SAN FRANCISCO (AP)
Stepping up in competition to the Pac-12 figured to be a tough enough task for Utah this season even if the Utes were healthy. With starting quarterback Jordan Wynn and other key offensive players out with injuries, the Utes have had no chance.
Jon Hays threw three interceptions and lost a fumble and Utah offense never got started as the Utes lost their fourth straight game to open Pac-12 play, falling to California 34-10 on Saturday.
''There are a heck of lot better athletes and level of play, no doubt about that,'' coach Kyle Whittingham said. ''That's what we expected. We're not sitting here surprised. We expected this to be a very challenging and a very difficult conference and it's proven to be exactly that.''
Especially after Wynn went down with a season-ending shoulder injury Oct. 1 at Washington. With tight end Dallin Rogers also out with a season-ending injury and leading receiver Devonte Christopher sidelined by an ankle injury, the Utes offense generated nothing against Cal's defense.
Utah (3-4, 0-4) had just 59 yards of offense through the first three quarters and finished with just 12 yards rushing for the night, getting to positive territory only on a late drive after the game had long been decided.
''I'm embarrassed,'' said running back John White, who was held to 39 yards on 15 carries a week after gaining 171 at Pittsburgh. ''We need more effort out there, we need more fight. This is killing me right now.''
Hays was 11 for 22 for 148 yards with the four turnovers, including two interceptions that ended potential scoring drives and another that Josh Hill returned for a 32-yard touchdown.
''I tried to make too much happen, trying to force the ball into certain places,'' Hays said. ''I've got to be smarter and do the right things. That loss is all on me. The offense goes the way that I go and I turned the ball over four times so that's entirely my fault.''
Zach Maynard threw for 255 yards and one touchdown and also ran for a score a week after committing four turnovers for Cal (4-3, 1-3). Isi Sofele ran for 84 yards and a score, Keenan Allen caught a TD pass and the defense did the rest for the Golden Bears, who bounced back from two straight lopsided losses to Oregon and Southern California.
''It is one win, but it was desperately needed, no question about that,'' coach Jeff Tedford said. ''We said last week that we were going to start the season over (with this game).''
Cal scored 20 points in the second quarter to seize control of the game and proceeded to put it away quickly in the second half. After the defense came up with another three-and-out to start the third quarter, Maynard capped an 87-yard drive with a 4-yard keeper that made it 27-0.
Hays was drilled by David Wilkerson and threw his second interception in Cal territory later in the quarter. After being briefly replaced by Griff Robles, Hays was intercepted again on the opening play of the fourth quarter with Hill returning it for the score to make it 34-0.
The Utes finally managed to get on the scoreboard early in the fourth quarter on a 36-yard field goal by Coleman Petersen. White added a 14-yard TD run in the closing minutes.
Cal held Utah to two first downs, 27 total yards and negative 6 yards rushing on the way to taking a 20-0 halftime lead. Sofele's 5-yard run early in the second quarter got the Bears on the scoreboard. Aaron Tipoti then forced a fumble with a hard hit on Hays on the next play from scrimmage, setting up the first of Giorgio Tavecchio's two first-half field goals.
Utah finally got into Cal territory for the first time late in the second quarter with help from two personal fouls against the Bears. But on first down from the 30, Mychal Kendricks intercepted Hays and returned the ball 32 yards to the Utah 42.
''He likes to throw quick outs to the numbers,'' Kendricks said. ''That play specifically I watched over and over in film. I had a feeling he was going to throw to the flat to the tight end. I jumped it and it worked out.''
Maynard threw a 30-yard pass to Marvin Jones and then Allen took a short pass and ran in for a 12-yard touchdown with 27 seconds left in the half.
AP Story- Cal 34 Utah 10
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