By: James Kaplan
Cal, entering the week 3-0, opened Pac-12 conference play this week against Washington. Star QB Jared Goff had a great game, throwing for 342 yards and 2 TDs while completing 7-11 attempts on third down.
Cal went with the pass out the gate; however, by the end of the first quarter, Cal was not winning the game- they were down 7-3. As a result, Cal fired out of the second quarter on all cylinders scoring 17 points, going into halftime up 20-7.
After 5 minutes into the third quarter, Jared Goff threw his second TD of the game, giving Cal a 20 point lead. From there, Washington was forced to play the catchup game, desperately trying to score. Cal’s defense played excellent in the first half and pretty well in the second half, forcing a whopping 5 turnovers!
It was really Washington’s mental mistakes that guided Cal to this victory. The five turnovers, two of them being interceptions, and the 53 yards lost as a result of penalties crushed Washington’s hopes of winning the game.
Despite how close the score of the game was, Cal dominated the stat sheet with 481 yards, while Washington’s only had 259 yards. Cal also had 13 more first downs (28 to 15) than Washington and ran 37 more plays (97-60). Cal dominated time of possession with 39:49 to Washington’s 20:11. The real offensive statistical difference maker was passing yards; Cal passed for 342 yards, while Washington passed for a mere 152 yards.
This is a new era of Cal football, a very different team from the one that went 1-11 just 2 years ago. This team plays hard in the beginning of games, gets ahead and maintains their high level of intensity and composure to sustain those leads and get the victory. This is the Cal team that is currently 4 and 0 and looks to potentially win the Pac-12 North, if it can win the Big Game.
Cover Image: California players cheer after beating Washington in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015, in Seattle. Cal won 30-24. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)