PASADENA, Calif. -- If you didn't know which team came into Thursday's contest with 12 days of rest, you'd be forgiven for thinking it was unranked UCLA. The Bruins, led by freshman quarterback Josh Rosen, ran at the kind of tempo that No. 19 California's Bear Raid was purported to run at, gashing the Bears with runs from Paul Perkins (who had 73 yards on 11 carries before a Cameron Walker hit knocked him out of the game with 6:28 to go in the first half), and a surgical night for Rosen, who broke UCLA's two-game losing streak -- and single-game completion record -- in a 40-24 win over No. 19/20 Cal (5-2, 2-2 in Pac-12).
The first-year signal-caller was given ample time by a three-man rush which didn't tally its first sack (the Bears had 21 on the season coming in) until there were 8:41 left in the third quarter. In the first half, Rosen completed 24-for-33, and by the time things were over with, he'd surpassed his career-high of 351 passing yards against Virginia with a total of 399 against the Bears' secondary, going 34-for-47 with no picks.
Cal quarterback Jared Goff, on the other hand, was besieged by a Bruins defense that was missing its best pass rusher, as well as starting defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes. Goff was only sacked once in the first half, and had to slide away from pressure on multiple occasions. In the second half, though, the Bruins teed off, tallying four more sacks.
In the second half, Goff tore off several designed runs, and, were it not for the 29 yards of sack-loss yardage, he would have been Cal's second-leading rusher. Passing, Goff threw for 295 yards, and the offense managed just 417 yards.
The UCLA secondary blanketed the Bears receivers all night, holding dynamic Kenny Lawler to just 8 yards on three catches, until a 15-yard grab and a nine-yard gain with less than a minute to go. Lawler did turn in one of his trademark acrobatic catches, leaping for a one-yard touchdown fade with less than a minute left in the first half.
After scoring on their first drive for the first time since the season opener, the Bears saw the Bruins march up and down the field for five straight scores, before the Lawler touchdown, and then saw UCLA kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn hit a 55-yard field goal, only for it to be pulled back by a false start, and then hit the ensuing 60-yarder to end the first half.
Lawler's leaping touchdown grab, and a flea-flicker 42-yard bomb from Daniel Lasco back to Goff and out to Maurice Harris (which led to a one-yard TD pass from Goff to Darius Powe), and a fourth-quarter 18-yard touchdown dart from Goff to Khalfani Muhammad were the lone highlights for a sleepwalking Cal offense, that didn't do the defense any favors, with four straight drives of five plays or fewer in the first half.
Coming into tthe game, Cal had tallied a Football Bowl Subdivision-best 21 turnovers. Despite three near-picks, the Bears didn't tally a single takeaway until there was 6:22 left in the game -- a forced fumble by Nathan Broussard, recovered by Griffin Piatt.