Photo by Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Cal Football

Bears Start Strong, Hold Off North Texas

September 14, 2019
2,330

BERKELEY – The Cal football team scored on each of its first four possessions of the game and held off North Texas 23-17 on Saturday afternoon at California Memorial Stadium.

The Bears (3-0) took the opening kickoff and immediately marched 75 yards on seven plays, with Christopher Brown Jr. scoring on a 2-yard touchdown run. After safety Jaylinn Hawkins sacked North Texas quarterback Mason Fine and forced a fumble that was recovered by Brett Johnson on the Mean Green's first possession, Cal got the first of three field goals from senior Greg Thomas to make it 10-0 with 8:45 remaining in the first quarter.

Thomas' 44-yard field goal with 4:58 to play in the first period pushed the Bears' lead to 13-0, and Cal quarterback Chase Garbers connected with Nikko Remigio for a 36-yard scoring pass to make it 20-0 before the end of the first quarter.

The Bears' offense didn't muster much of a threat for the remainder of the game, but Cal's heralded defense made sure it held up.

"The first thing is finding a way to win, which we know is hard at this level," Cal head coach Justin Wilcox said. "For us, it was all about our level of execution and we have a long way to go there. We started fast and put some points on the board early. I would have liked to score a couple more touchdowns, but we couldn't quite get it done. The level of execution the rest of the game has to be better. There are no two ways about it."

Cal led 20-3 at halftime after holding North Texas to a single field goal late in the second quarter. But the Mean Green announced itself as a legitimate threat for the remainder of the afternoon after Fine found Jaelon Darden for a 68-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown on the third play from scrimmage of the third quarter to make it 20-10.

The Bears answered with Thomas' third field goal of the afternoon – a 34-yarder with 8:44 to play in the third quarter – and stymied North Texas on its next possession when Traveon Beck intercepted Fine at the Cal 37 after a quarterback pressure by linebacker Evan Weaver. The Bears couldn't convert the turnover into points and led 23-10 heading into the fourth quarter.

The Mean Green trimmed the deficit to 23-17 on an 18-yard touchdown pass from Fine to Jyaire Shorter on a 4th-and-7 play with just under three minutes to play, and forced Cal into a three-and-out to get the ball back with 1:51 remaining. But the Bears turned back North Texas one last time, with Weaver breaking up a pass by Fine on fourth down.

"They have a good quarterback and did a great job," said Weaver, the reigning National Defensive Player of the Week who finished with a team-high 11 tackles. "They really brought it to us today. We did a great job with our effort. That's always there. There a few little things we need to fix. But it shows the character in the locker room that guys believe in the system and Coach Wilcox, and what everyone else puts in front of us."

The Bears, who have started the season 3-0 for the third straight year, travel to Ole Miss next Saturday for a 9 a.m. PT kickoff on ESPNU.

More stories:

Cal-North Texas Postgame Notes, Quotes and Video

Bears to Host Several Unofficial Visitors in Showdown vs North Texas

Discussion from...

Bears Start Strong, Hold Off North Texas

996 Views | 12 Replies | Last: 2 mo ago by Another Bear
Nasal Mucus Goldenbear
How long do you want to ignore this user?
When was it the N-T receiver was WIDE-OPEN in the end zone and inexplicably dropped the perfectly-thrown TD pass?

We could easily be celebrating a 1-pt L right now.
71Bear
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Nasal Mucus Goldenbear said:

HWhen was it the N-T receiver was WIDE-OPEN in the end zone and inexplicably dropped the perfectly-thrown TD pass?

We could easily be celebrating a 1-pt L right now.
You forgot the ball the Cal TE dropped that was an easy TD. That puts Cal back up by one. Your turn...
Nasal Mucus Goldenbear
How long do you want to ignore this user?
There were some speedy DBs between Reinwald and the EZ; it's a catch that had to be made but he wasn't going to take that for a TD. The N-T receiver was in the EZ and had several steps on Cal #3 with no one else in sight. In your mind, this wasn't a one score diff. game?
71Bear
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Nasal Mucus Goldenbear said:

There were some speedy DBs between Reinwald and the EZ; it's a catch that had to be made but he wasn't going to take that for a TD. The N-T receiver was in the EZ and had several steps on Cal #3 with no one else in sight. In your mind, this wasn't a one score diff. game?
Reinwald dropped the ball at the 11 along the sideline. There was no one between him and the EZ (the only defender in the area was shielded by Duncan). He could have walked in.

Nasal Mucus Goldenbear
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Duncan couldn't shield off an arthritic housefly. And CG's dying duck wobblers are not easy for anyone to catch. Question: Was this a 1-score diff. game or not? That is my factual point. One unlucky break in 3+ hours of play and this could've easily been an L. It should have never been that close.
71Bear
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Nasal Mucus Goldenbear said:

Duncan couldn't shield off an arthritic housefly. And CG's dying duck wobblers are not easy for anyone to catch. Question: Was this a 1-score diff. game or not? That is my factual point. One unlucky break in 3+ hours of play and this could've easily been an L. It should have never been that close.
I think you need to watch the replay. As for the score, there are dozens of plays that influence the outcome of every game. It is never one play that occurs early in the game that decides the result.
KingPosibearII
How long do you want to ignore this user?
We had an absolutely brilliant Golden Bear game. An easy 3-0. Wilcox in charge. We're doing it! Go Bears!
Nasal Mucus Goldenbear
How long do you want to ignore this user?
71Bear said:


I think you need to watch the replay. As for the score, there are dozens of plays that influence the outcome of every game. It is never one play that occurs early in the game that decides the result.
In a 1-score diff. game, a missed score can indeed decide the result. One unlucky break not going our way in the dozens of plays mentioned could have meant a L. It shouldn't have been that close. Again, this was not a close game in your mind? Watch the final scoreboard.
KingPosibearII
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Nasal, relax with from some Zyzal or a Neti Pot. The Kingdom will send some for free. Pedestrian victory. Top 25 ranking. All in due course. Relax after the therapy.
oskidunker
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Fools Gold.
Last year is over,” Fox said. “Today we start to fight forward. We build for greater days.”
Nasal Mucus Goldenbear
How long do you want to ignore this user?
I'm chillaxing and enjoying this lovely evening (no need for meds). Just stating a non-controversial fact this game shouldn't have been within 1 score. I place blame on the Letdown curse, which has victimized Cal several times in the last 17+ years. At least these coaches and defense managed to preserve a close win in a classic Letdown scenario against a determined, talented mid-major team.
Another Bear
How long do you want to ignore this user?
My take on the game: Cal had things under control in the first quarter and did just enough to coast to the win. Sure it was a f'ugly win...but a win none-the-less. If you want to complain about the quality of the win...whatever. I'd say save it for something real to complain about because good teams win ugly.

Yes, thing got shaky at the end but then the D showed up, made a stand, flexed for the crowd and the crowd responded appropriately. Cal was suppose to win and they did.

Page 1 of 1
 
×
Verify your student status
See Subscription Benefits
Trial only available to users who have never subscribed or participated in a previous trial.