HALFTIME: Shaky Cougars hold onto lead

DESPITE A SECOND STRAIGHT week of defensive shakiness, the Cougars' offense managed to put enough plays together to take a sloppy 21-15 lead into halftime over California in Berkeley. A week after leaving the drubbing by Stanford with an injury, Connor Halliday was back to throw for two touchdowns.

For every play the defense made, it seemingly fell flat moments later, allowing Cal wide receiver Chris Harper to gain ground – and 168 yards on seven receptions in the first half.

The Cougars came out strong, scoring on their first two possessions of the game – a 35-yard touchdown pass from Connor Halliday to Vince Mayle and a 5-yard run by Jeremiah Laufasa. The first was set up by Cal quarterback Jared Goff fumbling at the Cougars' 6-yard line and quick action by Toni Pole.

However, the Cougars were unable to capitalize on a Cal fumble at the start of the second quarter and scored a safety, adding to Cal's three points scored by Vincenzo D'Amato on a 35-yard field goal.

With a little more than seven minutes left in the second quarter, Halliday threw an interception that two plays later gave Cal its first touchdown, an 89-yarder for Harper, the second longest touchdown completion in school history.

On Cal's next possession, the Cougars' pressure on Goff on second-and-18 resulted in an interception. Deone Bucannon returned it to the Cal 22, but Andrew Furney missed a 39-yard field goal attempt.

The Cougars refused to go quietly, though, adding a key block by Mayle that enabled a 68-yard touchdown pass from Halliday to Marcus Mason with 1:04 left before halftime.

D'Amato added a 43-yard field goal to close out scoring in the half.

Cougfan Top Stories