California recorded its largest margin of victory since a 127-0 win over St. Mary's in 1920. Despite only 112 yards passing, the Bears' defense recorded four interceptions and Best led a rushing attack that amassed 385 yards on the ground in the conference opener. It is just the second win in Pullman for the Bears since 1979.
Syd'Quan Thompson intercepted Gary Rogers on the Cougars' first series setting up the Bears inside the WSU 15. Kevin Riley hit Sean Young two plays later for a 14-yard touchdown pass, and the rout was on, just two minutes into the game.
Shane Vereen got into the action with 8:55 left in the first quarter, capping a 7-play 64-yard drive with a 39-yard touchdown run. The PAT made it 21-0, more points than what Cal scored last year in 20-17 win over the Cougars at Memorial Stadium. After a 68-yard kickoff return by Christopher Ivory, it looked like WSU was ready to fight back with a 1st-and-10 at the Cal 22. But the Bear defense tightened up.
Zach Follett recorded his first sack on the season on a Cougar 3rd-and-7, forcing them to settle for the field goal. Nico Grasu's 43-yard field goal gave WSU their only points of the game.
Two consecutive three-and-outs stalled the Bear offense to close the first quarter. But the Cougars could not capitalize. With field position on their side, WSU recorded its best offensive drive of the game – 24 yards on eight plays. It set up another Grasu field goal attempt. However, this time it was blocked by Rulon Davis and Follett returned it 65 yards for the touchdown.
Cal would go three-and-out once again despite forcing WSU to punt on the previous drive. The Cougars, looking for some momentum, went for it on 4th-and-1 at the Cal 44 with less than seven minutes to play in the half. Nevertheless, Ivory was stuffed for no gain. WSU finished just 1 of 13 on third conversions and 0 for 2 on fourth down in the game.
Riley did not have a great game, but it was not needed. He finished just 6 of 14 for 50 yards and the one touchdown. Still, he showed his playmaking ability with his legs. Riley rushed for 45 yards on two carries, including a 27-yard touchdown run to push the Bears' further ahead 35-3 with 5:25 left to play in the second quarter.
Thompson would record his second interception on the day with Cougars driving inside Cal territory after recovering a Riley fumble. Thompson returned it 90 yards to the WSU five-yard line setting up Best's second touchdown. Best took the direct snap for Cal's final points of the half. But he was far from finished on the afternoon.
Kevin Lopina replaced Rogers in the second half and immediately led the Cougars on a 7-play 57-yard drive. But Bernard Hicks ended the drive at the Cal 11 with his first interception of the year. Two plays later, Best would rumble 86 yards for his third score on the day.
Nate Longshore replaced Riley on the Bears' next possession with 8:51 left in the third quarter. He led Cal on two scoring drives. He finished with 52 yards on 7 of 8 passes.
Third string quarterback Brock Mansion saw the first action of career and scored his first career-rushing touchdown. Vereen rushed for 81 yards on nine carries. Nyan Boateng led the Bears' receivers with four receptions for 43 yards.
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