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Cal Football

No. 15 Bears Suffer First Loss of Season

September 28, 2019
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BERKELEY – Moments after the Cal football team suffered its first loss of the season, the Bears were already discussing ways to move forward.

"We better be ready to work," linebacker Evan Weaver said following Cal's 24-17 loss to Arizona State on Saturday at California Memorial Stadium. "If guys aren't ready to work, I don't want them to be here. They better not walk through that door on Monday."

Cal was outlasted by the Sun Devils after starting quarterback Chase Garbers went down with an apparent arm injury late in the second quarter and ASU scored 10 points in the final 4:41 to come back for the victory. The Bears took a 17-14 lead on a 47-yard field goal by Greg Thomas early in the fourth quarter – tying his career high – but the Sun Devils put together a 15-play, 75-yard drive that culminated in a 3-yard touchdown run by Eno Benjamin, and Christian Zendejas added a 43-yard field to put ASU up by a touchdown.

"We can't come in here Monday feeling like we deserved to win this game," Weaver said. "They played better than us. The energy needs to be better than this week."

Garbers, coming off the best game of his career during a victory at Ole Miss last Saturday, threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Trevon Clark in the first quarter that tied the game at 7-7. But Garbers was injured on a running play just before halftime and was replaced by junior Devon Modster.

Cal came out inspired to begin the second half, receiving the kickoff and promptly marching 63 yards on 12 plays – all runs – and scoring on Christopher Brown Jr.'s 1-yard run to put the Bears ahead 14-7 with 9:16 remaining in the third quarter.

"As an offense, we had to stay up. We have confidence in both our quarterbacks," Clark said. "When he went down, honestly we felt like we had to win it for Chase. As you can see, it didn't go as planned."

The Sun Devils answered Cal's opening possession of the second half with an impressive drive of their own, with Benjamin scoring from four yards out to tie it at 14-14.

Weaver had another monster game with 15 tackles, and he became the sixth player in program history to amass 300 career tackles. His 308 career tackles rank sixth all-time at Cal. Fellow linebacker Cameron Goode set a career-high with 11 tackles.

The Bears allowed 365 yards of offense, and head coach Justin Wilcox said the team must improve its tackling moving forward.

"It starts with me," Wilcox said. "We have to do a better job teaching it until we tackle better.Give them credit. They have some really good players. But we have to tackle better and play better on defense."

The Bears are on the road next week as they visit No. 13 Oregon on Saturday at 5 p.m. PT. The game will be televised by FOX.

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No. 15 Bears Suffer First Loss of Season

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