Oct 23, 2021; Berkeley, California, USA; California Golden Bears quarterback Chase Garbers (7) scrambles for the first down and passes the school record held by Joe Kapp for the most rushing yards by a quarterback for the last 60 years against the Colorado Buffaloes during the first quarter at FTX Field at California Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

Chase Garbers helps California rout Colorado

Chase Garbers was 22-of-29 passing for 225 yards and two touchdowns and also rushed for 96 yards, and California beat Colorado 26-3 in Pac-12 play in Berkley, Calif., on Saturday.

Keleki Latu had three catches for 36 yards and a score and Gavin Reinwald caught a 31-yard touchdown pass for the Bears (2-5, 1-3 Pac-12).

Cal held Colorado to 104 total yards, sacked quarterback Brendon Lewis six times and intercepted him once.

The Bears struck first on the first of four field goals by Dario Longhetto, this one from 49 yards out.

On the ensuing possession the Buffaloes (2-5, 1-3) went for it on fourth-and-one at midfield but were stopped.

The Bears took advantage of the field position when Garbers connected with Latu on a 24-yard scoring strike to put Cal ahead 10-0 with 6:05 left in the first quarter.

Colorado was forced to punt again on its next possession and the Bears took 7:08 to drive 88 yards to the Buffaloes 12-yard line. Longhetto made it 13-0 with a 30-yard field goal.

Colorado finally got on the board on its next possession. The Buffaloes drove to the Cal 13 but couldn’t convert on a third-and-two, settling for Cole Becker’s 33-yard field goal that made it 13-3.

The Bears padded their lead before halftime. After Colorado kicked off, Garbers took Cal down the field and hit Reinwald on a 31-yard touchdown pass with 3:21 left in the second quarter.

The Buffaloes got one first down on their ensuing possession before punting to the Bears’ 17. Garbers completed four passes and ran for a first down in the final 58 seconds, and Longhetto hit a field goal from 51 yards out as time expired to make it 23-3.

Neither team scored in the third quarter but Cal added some insurance in the fourth after a wild sequence. Longhetto had his 38-yard field goal attempt blocked and Colorado returned it for an apparent touchdown.

However, the Buffaloes were offside, giving Longhetto another chance, and he hit from 33 yards.

–Field Level Media

October 2, 2021; Berkeley, California, USA; California Golden Bears quarterback Chase Garbers (7) passes the football against Washington State Cougars defensive back Derrick Langford (5) and defensive end Brennan Jackson (80) and linebacker Justus Rogers (37) during the second quarter at FTX Field at California Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Washington State rebounds with road win over Cal

Washington State’s defense held California scoreless for the final 53 minutes and Jayden de Laura returned from a knee injury to throw three touchdown passes as the visiting Cougars suffocated the Golden Bears 21-6 in Pacific-12 Conference action Saturday afternoon in Berkeley, Calif.

De Laura completed 22 and 5-yard passes to Calvin Jackson for first-quarter scores and 8 yards to De’Zhaun Stribling for the only touchdown of the second half, helping Washington State (2-3, 1-2) end a two-game losing streak.

The win was the Cougars’ first at Cal since a 44-22 shootout in 2013.

Christopher Brooks ran in from 11 yards out on Cal’s first possession for the Golden Bears’ only score of a game in which they were held to 273 yards of total offense.

Led by de Laura, who was injured two weeks ago against Southern Cal and sat out last Saturday’s loss at Utah, Washington State drove 75 yards on each of its first two possessions. Jackson culminated both drives with his touchdown catches.

In between, the Golden Bears (1-4, 0-2) marched 79 yards on just seven plays leading to the Brooks TD run. But Cal failed on its PAT attempt, leaving it in a 7-6 hole.

The Golden Bears totaled just 194 yards on their last 11 possessions, as Washington State cornerback Jaylen Watson ended one drive with an interception and the Cougars stalled others with four sacks.

Stribling’s TD catch came on Washington State’s first possession of the second half, completing the game’s scoring with still 8:47 remaining in the third quarter.

De Laura finished 25-for-41 for 219 yards and three scores. He was intercepted twice by Cal’s Nate Rutchena and Daniel Scott.

Jackson had six catches for 53 yards and two TD’s, while Travell Harris added a game-high seven receptions for 46 yards.

Deon McIntosh, who shared time with Max Borghi, was the game’s leading rusher with 59 yards on 12 carries.

Cal’s Chase Garbers went just 14-for-30 for 152 yards and the one interception.

Kekoa Crawford led all receivers with 67 yards on three catches, while Chris Street was Cal’s top Cal rusher with 51 yards on eight tries.

–Field Level Media

Jul 27, 2021; Hollywood, CA, USA; California Bears head coach Justin Wilcox speaks with the media during the Pac-12 football Media Day at the W Hollywood. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Chase Garbers helps Cal down Sacramento State

Chase Garbers passed for two scores and ran for another on Saturday afternoon, guiding California to its first football win of the season with a 42-30 victory over Sacramento State in a nonconference game at Berkeley, Calif.

Damien Moore rushed for two touchdowns, Jeremiah Hunter and Trevon Clark hauled in scoring passes, and Nikko Remigio returned the opening kickoff of the second half 99 yards for the Golden Bears (1-2), who had opened the season with losses to Nevada and Texas Christian.

Jake Dunniway threw for 370 yards and two touchdowns and his backup, Asher O’Hara, ran for a pair of scores for the Hornets (1-2), an FCS team that lost its second straight.

Cal never trailed in the game, with Moore scoring twice from 4 yards out in the first quarter and Garber hitting Hunter for 45 yards in the second period to account for a 21-6 halftime advantage.

Remigio’s return immediately following the halftime break broke open the contest, which matched teams located 90 miles apart in Northern California.

Sacramento State didn’t go down without a fight, twice rallying within two scores in the third quarter on O’Hara’s second rushing touchdown, a 2-yarder, and a 34-yard pass from Dunniway to Marshel Martin.

Ahead just 35-20 after three quarters, Cal finally gave its home fans a comfort zone when Garbers ran 16 yards for the Golden Bears’ final touchdown with 12:50 to go.

Garbers went 22-of-34 passing for 288 yards with one interception, and also rushed four times for 68 yards.

Moore was Cal’s leading rusher with 87 yards on 12 carries, while Hunter was the top receiver with five catches for 78 yards.

Dunniway completed 25 of 43 passes with one interception, with eight of his completions and one of his scoring passes going to Pierre Williams, who totaled 121 receiving yards. O’Hara led Sacramento State rushers with 49 yards on 12 runs.

In a game that featured 1,001 yards of total offense, Cal outgained the visitors 534-467.

–Field Level Media

Sep 4, 2021; Berkeley, California, USA; California Golden Bears wide receiver Jeremiah Hunter (10) is tackled by Nevada Wolf Pack cornerback Isaiah Essissima (2) and defensive back JoJuan Claiborne (8) during the second quarter at FTX Field at California Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

Nevada rallies for 22-17 win over Cal

Carson Strong passed for 312 yards and two touchdowns, and the visiting Nevada Wolf Pack surprised the California Golden Bears 22-17 in the non-conference opener for both teams.

The Wolf Pack held California to three points over the final three quarters.

Strong, the reigning Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year, connected with Romeo Doubs on a 43-yard touchdown in the second quarter and with Elijah Cooks from 16 yards out for the go-ahead score in the third period.

Nevada beat Cal for the third time in four all-time meetings.

Brandon Talton added 44-, 35- and 49-yard field goals for the Wolf Pack, who trailed 14-0 after Cal’s first two possessions before tightening the defensive screws on the Pacific-12 Conference team.

Seeking its first win over Nevada since 1996, Cal used a powerful running game to dominate the first period and build a 14-0 lead.

The Golden Bears scored at the end of 63- and 72-yard drives. Damien Moore plunged in from 1 yard out to open the scoring in the game’s 10th minute before Chase Garbers connected with Nikko Remigio for a 2-yard touchdown with three seconds left in the period.

But Cal’s only scoring after that came on a 24-yard field goal by Dario Longhetto with 12:59 remaining in the game, setting the stage for Nevada’s comeback.

The Golden Bears got possession of the ball twice after Longhetto’s field goal, but Isaiah Essissima intercepted a Garbers pass with 4:29 to go and Cal failed to get a first down after taking over one final time at its own 20 with 1:55 to go.

Strong finished 22-for-39 with one interception. Tory Horton was the club’s big receiver, gaining 94 yards on his three catches.

Garbers went 25-for-38 for 177 yards with one interception for Cal, which got away from a successful running game after one quarter, finishing with 11 more pass attempts (38) than runs (27).

Moore led all rushers in the game with 79 yards on 15 carries.

–Field Level Media

Dec 22, 2020; Boise, Idaho, USA; Nevada Wolf Pack quarterback Carson Strong (12) throws a pass  during the first half of the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl versus the Tulane Green Wave  at Albertsons Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

Heisman hopeful Carson Strong leads Nevada against Cal

The Carson Strong Heisman Watch kicks off Saturday night when Nevada visits California in a nonconference season opener at Berkeley, Calif.

Strong, the reigning Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Year, enters his junior year riding the hype of having already been named to several publications’ Maxwell Award watch lists.

He threw for 2,858 yards and 27 touchdowns last season, his first year as the Wolf Pack’s full-time starter, putting himself on the 2021 Heisman map with a 271-yard, five-touchdown finale against Tulane in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise.

Strong, who missed his senior season at Will C. Wood High in Vacaville, Calif., because of a knee injury, prompting local schools like Cal to focus their recruiting elsewhere, is focused on team goals rather than individual glory.

“Winning is the only thing that matters,” said Strong, his team coming off a 7-2 season. “At the end of the day, you have to go out there and win. That’s the only thing I’m worried about. I just want to go out there and win a championship for Nevada and play in a New Year’s Six bowl.”

He could be facing one of his toughest assignments of the season right off the bat against a Cal defense that figures to be tough against the pass.

The Golden Bears are strong both on the defensive perimeter with outside linebackers Cameron Goode and Kuony Deng and in the secondary with safety Elijah Hicks and cornerback Josh Drayden.

Cal allowed just 197.8 passing yards per game during its abbreviated 1-3 campaign last year, limiting Stanford’s Davis Mills and Oregon’s Tyler Shough to one touchdown apiece in the last two games.

Cal will counter Strong with an awards candidate of its own. Senior Chase Garbers is a veteran of 23 college starts, during which the Golden Bears have gone 14-9. The 14 wins as a starter are tops among all returning Pac-12 quarterbacks.

The 225-pounder also is a capable runner as well as a passer, having accumulated 718 rushing yards in his career, just 213 shy of Joe Kapp’s all-time school record among quarterbacks.

Cal offers good depth in its running game, with Christopher Brooks, who ran for 914 yards in 2019, and Damien Moore, who rolled up 121 yards against Stanford last season, splitting opportunities.

Bears coach Justin Wilcox offered no apologies for winding up with Garbers rather than Strong as his starting quarterback.

“Things happen in recruiting,” he said. “(Strong) has had a heck of a career. We know he’s going to be a great challenge for our defense.”

–Field Level Media

Dec 5, 2020; Berkeley, California, USA; California Golden Bears head coach Justin Wilcox walks onto the field with players after defeating the Oregon Ducks at California Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona-Cal season finale canceled due to COVID-19 issues

Saturday’s game between Arizona and host California has been canceled because neither team has enough scholarship players available due to COVID-19 issues, the Pac-12 announced Sunday night.

The Pac-12 said the game will be declared a no-contest.

“The cancellation of this game is very disappointing to our student-athletes and our fans,” the Pac-12 said in a statement. “While all of us want to see our football student-athletes on the field competing, our number one priority must continue to be the health and safety of all those connected to Pac-12 football programs.”

Arizona finishes the season 0-5 and has lost 12 consecutive games. The school fired coach Kevin Sumlin on Saturday one day after a horrific 70-7 loss to Arizona State.

“I fully support the mutual cancellation of our game with Cal after consultations with the Pac-12 Conference, university leadership and California Athletics,” Arizona athletic director Dave Heeke said in a statement. “While cancelled competitions have become an unfortunate reality this season, we must remain focused on the health and safety of our student-athletes as our top priority.

“With the official conclusion of our football season, we will continue with our national search for the next head football coach at the University of Arizona.”

The Golden Bears finish 1-3. Cal had four games canceled this season due to COVID-19 protocols.

“Our heart goes out to all the student-athletes who put in so much preparation and time to play the game they love,” Golden Bears coach Justin Wilcox said in a statement. “We are disappointed that we are not able to host Arizona, but I am proud of our team and what we have been able to accomplish under difficult and unprecedented circumstances this season.

“Providing a safe environment has been at the top of our priority list throughout the season, and I’d like to thank everyone who helped us put together a plan to practice and play within health guidelines.”

–Field Level Media

November 27, 2020; Berkeley, California, USA; Stanford Cardinal wide receiver Michael Wilson (4) catches the touchdown against California Golden Bears cornerback Camryn Bynum (24) during the second quarter at California Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Blocked PAT preserves Stanford’s win over Cal

Thomas Booker blocked Dario Longhetto’s potential game-tying extra-point attempt after a Christopher Brown Jr. touchdown run with 58 seconds remaining Friday afternoon, allowing Stanford to hold off California 24-23 at Berkeley, Calif., in the 123th edition of the Big Game.

Down 24-17 after Austin Jones scampered into the end zone for a Stanford touchdown with 1:51 left in the third quarter, the Golden Bears (0-3, 0-3 Pac-12) drove 90 yards in 14 plays for their late TD, capped by Brown’s 3-yard plunge up the middle.

However, Cal needed a successful PAT to set up overtime, and Longhetto, who earlier had a field goal blocked, couldn’t get his kick above the outstretched arms of the 6-foot-4 Booker.

Stanford (1-2, 1-2) then recovered an onside kick, preserving its 10th win in the last 11 meetings with Cal in the Northern California rivalry. The Bears ended a nine-year Big Game losing streak last season.

Jones finished with a team-high 72 rushing yards and two TDs for the Cardinal, who took advantage of a pass-interference call on Cal’s Elijah Hicks to negate an interception by Daniel Scott on their last scoring drive.

Jones also scored on a 2-yard run early in the third quarter, giving Stanford a 17-10 lead that Cal erased just 1:44 later on a 3-yard touchdown pass from Chase Garbers to Nikko Remigio.

Garbers finished 19-for-29 for 151 yards and two touchdowns. Cal’s Damien Moore was the game’s leading rusher with 121 yards on 10 carries.

Stanford’s Davis Mills threw for 205 yards and one TD on 24-for-32 passing. Neither quarterback had a pass intercepted.

The Cardinal’s Michael Wilson was the game’s leading receiver with seven catches for 88 yards and a TD.

Cal outgained Stanford 392-289 but committed both of the game’s turnovers on fumbles.

For the second week in a row, special teams haunted Cal in the first half and helped Stanford rally into a 10-10 tie at the intermission.

Garbers and Mills each had a TD pass in the half, with Mills’ 11-yard, game-tying scoring strike to Wilson coming after the Golden Bears’ Remigio had fumbled a punt at the Cal 16.

The Golden Bears later had a chance to take a halftime lead, but Stanford’s Curtis Robinson blocked a 32-yard field-goal attempt by Longhetto on the final play of the second period, retaining the 10-10 tie.

–Field Level Media

Dec 30, 2019; Santa Clara, California, USA;  California Golden Bears head coach Justin Wilcox  during the second quarter against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Pac-12 audible: Cal visiting UCLA after cancellations

Hours after having their respective games canceled, Cal and UCLA agreed to meet Sunday in a Pac-12 game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, the conference announced on Friday afternoon.

Kickoff will be at 9 a.m. PT (Noon ET) and the contest will air on Fox Sports 1.

“It’s an unconventional solution in an unconventional year and we’re excited to host the Bears at the Rose Bowl on Sunday,” UCLA athletic director Martin Jarmond said.

Earlier Friday, Cal’s game at Arizona State and UCLA’s home game versus Utah were canceled due to COVID-19 issues.

“The scheduling of this game is consistent with the Conference’s commitment to provide opportunities for student-athletes through maximum scheduling flexibility while still prioritizing health and safety,” the Pac-12 said in a statement.

Arizona State was unable to play Cal on Saturday due to the Sun Devils having multiple players and coaches who tested positive for COVID-19. Arizona State coach Herm Edwards was among those who tested positive.

Utah called off the Saturday game against UCLA, and the school announced it has 17 confirmed positive cases among players, coaches and staff — including a new positive on Friday. The school said another 11 members of the program are in quarantine due to contact tracing protocols.

One other Pac-12 game that was in jeopardy was Oregon State’s game at Washington on Saturday. But Oregon State officials said the game would go on after the school announced one positive COVID-19 test and four players in quarantine due to contact tracing.

The Pac-12 also pushed back UCLA’s game at Oregon back one day from Nov. 20 to Nov. 21.

The Bruins (0-1) lost their season opener 48-42 at Colorado last Saturday.

The Golden Bears will be opening their season on Sunday. The scheduled opener against visiting Washington on Nov. 7 was cancelled due to one positive COVID-19 test and subsequent contact tracing, according to the school.

“We have known since the pandemic began that the 2020 college football season would be different from any other,” Cal coach Justin Wilcox said. “As I’ve told our team many times, the one thing we have learned is to expect the unexpected. We appreciate all of the hard work that everyone has done on so many levels to allow us to play this weekend, and we are thankful the opportunity has arisen to play at UCLA.”

–Field Level Media

Where Do Gubernatorial Candidates Stand on Sports Betting? West Edition

 

Thirty-six states will elect governors next month, and we at Sports Handle wondered if sports betting ranks among the key issues in any state elections — or as a topic of campaign trail conversation at all.

In most cases, sports betting is not a hot topic and likely won’t be a deciding factor in electing a governor (although there are single issue voters on very issue), but there are some states in which the legislature has been actively exploring sports betting and having a “friendly” governor will speed the process in those states.

Using the Mighty Mississippi as our divider, we present our findings in two parts. Part I on the East is available here.

Read more Where Do Gubernatorial Candidates Stand on Sports Betting? West Edition on SportsHandle.

Get a Grip: The Week in Sports Betting & Sports: SVP, G2E & New Mexico’s a ‘Go’

It’s information overload everywhere, and there’s not time enough to sleep and eat and stay fully apprised of what’s happening on this crazy blue dot of ours (two out of three ain’t bad).

Here’s the weekend Sports Handle item, “Get a Grip,” recapping the week’s top stories, and rounding up key stories in sports betting, gaming, and the world of sports at large. You may have missed them, and they are worth reading.


SVP: Legal Sports Betting Just ‘Common Sense’


ESPN personality Scott Van Pelt didn’t pussyfoot around his thoughts on sports betting at the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas earlier this week. Nope, the sometimes irreverent, always hip late-night sports jock just said it like it is on why sports betting should be legal.

“Because I have common sense,” he said in answer to a question from the American Gaming Association’s Sara Slane, per CDC Gaming Reports. “I live in a state (Connecticut) where I can buy lottery tickets at a gas station, go to a casino and play blackjack, but I can’t bet on the Red Sox or the Yankees? People bet. They are adults. I’m in favor of adults doing adult things.”

Van Pelt shared his thoughts on how fast states across the nation would legalize sports betting — “Maybe six months, a year, we’ll get to a point where everyone, even grandma, is out on the dance floor.” And if that would compromise the integrity of games — “You have to be vigilant. You have to be concerned, but you just can’t listen to the conspiracy theorists and the idiots on Twitter”.

 

Read more Get a Grip: The Week in Sports Betting & Sports: SVP, G2E & New Mexico’s a ‘Go’  on SportsHandle.