Cody Pickett wasn't sharp, connecting on 22 of 39 passes for 225 yards and throwing two interceptions in his three quarters of work. It didn't really matter, though, as Cal never was forced to punt in the first half, as they were burying the dawgs.
One week after the Huskies were beaten by a very bad Arizona football team, they were unable to show any spirit, emotion, or fight as they were humiliated this afternoon. Can anyone motivate this Husky team? It is in dire need of more toughness, more football players, and more emotion. Husky football as we knew it, under Don James, HELL, even under Jim Lambright, is gone. This team is soft and has a Neuheisel hangover that could last a while.
FIRST QUARTER: Bears toy with Dawgs (Cal 13, UW 0)
It looked like a cat playing with a mouse, keeping it around long enough so it wouldn't get bored. That's pretty much what Cal did in the first quarter, moving the ball at will, only to stumble near the Husky goal line.
It took Cal one play to figure out that Washington was starting a brand new safety. They went over the top of him right away and the result was a 79 touchdown pass. Aaron Rodgers had all day to throw and lofted a perfect pass to Geoff McArthur, who was running step for step with Sam Cunningham. Cunningham was in great shape, but safety James Sims, making his first start of the year, was nowhere to be found to help cover the Bears best receiver. McArthur hauled in the perfect spiral at the 40 and took it to the house for a 7-0 lead with just 12 seconds elapsed.
Cal rammed it right back down the Husky throat, using a 51-yard Arrington run up the vacated middle. Both Husky safeties had blitzed and the linebackers were on their backs. Marquis Cooper caught up to and stopped Arrington at the five. The Husky defense held and Tyler Fredrickson made a 20-yard field goal to make it 10-0 Cal with just over five minutes played.
On Washington's third drive, the offensive line got even thinner. Brad Vanneman got the start at guard in place of an injured Dan Dicks. As Clay Walker limped off the field, converted DL Stanley Daniels entered the game. Upto this game, he had never taken a snap as an OL, and had only practiced at the position for two weeks. The drive was ill-fated as Washington punted for the third time in as many drives.
Cal's third drive was pretty much like their second one, as Rodgers just sat in the pocket and played catch with McArthur. The big play came from the Husky 48, as the Cal QB stood all by himself and just waited for McArthur to find a gaping hole in the Husky secondary. It came and McArthur made the grab, but it was behind him so he had to go down at the Husky five. Again the Cal offense struggled near the goal line and Fredrickson converted a 22-yard field goal to make it 13-0.
Washington's fourth possession wound up with Pickett getting put on his backside by Wendel Hunter. The ensuing punt didn't even get off without a false start penalty first.
The quarter mercifully ended with Cal recovering it's own fumble on their own 44. By that time they had spanked the Husky defense for 250 yards (131 receiving yards by McArthur), while Washington's anemic attack yielded 36. Somehow the score was just 13-0.
SECOND QUARTER: Start the bus (CAL 33, UW 7)
The first play of the second quarter was yet another bad joke for the Husky defense, as cornerback Roc Alexander fell down while trying to first cover, and then tackle Vincent Strang. Strang made the catch, easily avoided Alexander's whiff and raced 43 yards deep into Husky territory. One play later Rodgers found TE Brandon Hall wide open, and this time the Bears were not denied, as Hall ran unencumbered into the end zone. The two-point conversion was stopped short, leaving it 19-0.
The Bears still kept the Dawgs in the game. A pass interference penalty on California nullified an interception for a touchdown that would've probably ended the contest. Pickett threw a predictable wobbler that Sid Slater easily intercepted and ran into the end zone, but it went for naught as they were flagged for a silly holding in the secondary.
The penalty proved costly as Pickett used his new life to connect with Charles Frederick for 30 yards to move the ball into Cal territory for the first time in the game. He missed Frederick one play later on a dreadful overthrow. The play would've gone for six but he missed ET by seven yards. He was sacked on the next play, but rebounded and threw a rare spiral down the middle to Jon Lyon for 26 yards, down to the Cal 32. Washington brought in two fullbacks on the next play and went option right. The pitch went to James and he picked up a textbook block from Zach Tuiasosopo that sprung him. The play went for 29 yards down to the Cal 3. Tui took it in up the middle on the next play for a 3-yard score to draw the Huskies to within 12.
All of that good work by the offense was wiped out one play later as Arrington took a handoff and burst through the Husky defense for a 68-yard run. Derrick Johnson ran him down at the 12, which just prolonged the inevitable. Rodgers found Vincent Strang on a slant five yards in front of Jimmy Newell for an easy score and the Bears were back up by 19 at 26-7.
Pickett threw an interception, as James Bethea easily fielded the errant throw and returned it 21 yards. Two plays later the Bears were in the end zone again, as Arrington took it around right end and into the end zone from 15 yards out to make it 33-7.
Pickett should've been intercepted again on the next possession but Donnie McCleskey dropped it. After the Husky punt, Cal should've scored again, but Rodgers missed a wide open TE John Rust. He had gotten well behind Sims, but the ball was overthrown. Instead of a 40-7 lead, Tyler Fredrickson missed on a 50-yard field goal.
Washington was about to answer just before half, until Pickett threw another interception. On the Cal 8, Pickett was flushed from the pocket and attempted to throw to Sonny Shackelford when Daymeion Hughes dove in front of him and snared the ball at his shoe tops.
For the half, the Bears rolled to 457 yards of offense, while the Huskies had 195. Rodgers was not sacked, while Pickett was sacked three times and picked off twice. Any way you add it up, it's an ass kicking of epic proportions.
THIRD QUARTER: Can anyone motivate this Husky team? (Cal 40, UW 7)
Rodgers threw another beauty down the right sideline on Cal's first possession of the third quarter, and McArthur gathered it in and fell down at the Husky one, good for another 40 yard gain. Rodgers kept it for a one-yard TD to hang the 40th point on Washington at the 10:30 mark. To that point, McArthur had 150 yards of receiving.
Cal sat in a soft defensive zone for the rest of the game, as the Bears were called off. The mauling was complete.
With 6:13 in the third quarter, Washington's season was pretty much epitomized. Cal was attempting their first punt of the game. That in itself was quite an accomplishment, as the Husky fans cheered loudly, albeit with some facetiousness. It didn't really matter, as in keystone cop fashion, James Sims roughed the punter, Charles Frederick muffed the punt, and Cal's James Bethea recovered at the Husky 26.
FOURTH QUARTER: Mailing it in (Cal 54, UW 7)
Cal began a drive on their own nine-yard line. A 30-yard shovel pass to Arrington moved the ball quickly into Husky territory. One play later third-string tailback Marcus O'Keith bolted 48 yards through the Husky "defense" for a touchdown. The play marked Cal's SIX HUNDRED AND FORTY NINTH yard of offense and there was still 12 minutes left in the game.
Enter Casey Paus at quarterback for the Huskies.
Washington moved the ball well for a while on Paus' first drive, with the help of a pass interference penalty and a halfback pass from Shelton Sampson to Charles Frederick for 24 yards. The drive stalled when Paus went down in a heap on third down to lose 10 yards. Yet another false start penalty turned it into a fourth and 20 situation. Cal rushed but three defenders and still got to Paus, hitting him as he was releasing it.
For good measure, fourth string running back Michael Porter scampered 51 yards through the Husky defense with 2:44 remaining in the game.