Game Analysis - California
Turining Point/Play of the Game: There could have been several depending on how the game finished, however, ultimately though, it came down to a 3rd-and-goal from the Cal 29. Keith Price, who had just taken a sack the previous play, scrambled to his left and heaved the ball into the endzone where TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins went up over Cal CB Steve Williams and out-muscled him for the go-ahead score. Seferian-Jenkins juggled the ball before hauling it in before he hit the ground. Turining Point/Play of the Game (runner-up): With Washington clinging to a 14-13 lead, Cal was facing a 2nd-and-8 from their own 48 when Zach Maynard dropped back to pass and inexplicably threw it to Shaq Thompson who returned the ball 33 yards to the Cal 28. Four plays later, RB Bishop Sankey went over from one yard out giving the Huskies some breathing room, upping the score to 21-13 with just 4:11 left on the clock. Offensive Player of the Game: This was a tough choice, but you have to give it to Seferian-Jenkins who hauled in eight receptions for 152 yards and one touchdown, which proved to be the difference in the game. Also worth noting was that the sophomore tight end seemed a bit gimpy, especially in the second half, but it didn't see to matter. Defensive Player of the Game: Thompson finished second on the team with seven tackles, but was tied with tackles-for-loss with two and had the big interception late in the game that essentially sealed the win. Key Stat: Two stuck out on the night – 12 penalties for 108 yards; four turnovers. Washington killed itself several times extending drives for the Golden Bears including a hands-to-the face penalty, a pass interference penalty and a roughing the passer penalty. The turnovers also were a killer. Price threw a pick down inside the 10 yard line as the first half wound down, Sankey turned the ball over deep in Washington territory and Price fumbled, giving the ball back to Cal who had just turned the ball over to the Huskies the play before. Handouts to the standouts: Sankey was the runner-up to Seferian-Jenkins for the Offensive Player of the Week honors, toting the rock 29 times for 189 yards and two touchdowns; Cody Bruns definitely made his presence felt, hauling in a nine yard reception to set up Sankey's first touchdown of the night and then late in the fourth quarter, he brought a punt return back to the Cal 18 making two nifty moves on his 31-yard return; Andrew Hudson had a solid game posting 1.5 sacks with five tackles and two tackles-for-loss; Sean Parker had another side game, posting a team-leading eight tackles and forcing Brendan Bigelow to fumble deep in Washington territory in the first quarter, which eliminated a scoring opportunity for Cal. Needs work: Ball security and penalties. Those two categories are the reason this game wasn't a blowout. Washington completely outplayed Cal, but in the end, they just couldn't pull away and the main reasons were due to turnovers and ill-timed penalties that either snuffed out drives for them or extended drives for Cal.