Story Poster
Photo by © Darren Yamashita USA Today
Cal Football

Cal Offense Rolls in Win Over Sac State, 42-30

September 18, 2021
2,946

Offense was on display Saturday at Memorial Stadium when Cal and Sac State played one another. Fortunately for the Bears, they had a bit more of it than the Hornets and earned their first victory of the season, 42-30.

With quarterback Chase Garbers having a career day passing, 22-for-34, 288 yards and two touchdowns, the Bears rolled to an astounding total of 534 yards. It almost wasn’t good enough.

Sacramento State head coach Troy Taylor learned a thing or two about offense when he was a Cal quarterback and he certainly has taught it to his current players. They exposed some major shortcomings in the Cal defense which must be corrected if the Bears (1-2) want to be a factor in the Pac-12. Using three quarterbacks, Jake Dunniway, Asher O’Hara and even freshman Kaiden Bennett, they moved for 467 yards themselves, including 408 through the air. 

The Cal defense was able to stop Sac State (1-2) just often enough. But the Hornets showed the Bears they have some work to do. Cal enters Pac-12 play next week, and every team on the remaining schedule will have more talent than the FCS Hornets

Cal head coach Justin Wilcox was on crutches during the game because of knee surgery during the week. But he could move on the sidelines fast enough to keep up with the scoring.

“You never want to minimize a win, and Sac State has a lot of good players, but we have to play better,” Wilcox said afterward. 

The Bears’ young safeties were particularly vulnerable. “We have to work with those young guys, coach ‘em up better,” he said. “We have one-on-one and man-to-man techniques and we have to make sure they understand the concepts.”

For the third time in three games. the Bears started fast and scored on their first drive. “Just for a start we prepare really well during the week,” said wide receiver Nikko Remigio, who would electrify the crowd when he returned the second-half kickoff for a touchdown. “Coach Musgrave and everybody on the offensive staff does a great job just dialing up the defenses we face and putting us in position to be successful.”

Cal  fans were feeling uneasy late in the third quarter when the Hornets, trailing 35-20, seemed ready to pull within a touchdown. Cal had turned the ball over on downs and the Hornets’ offense, which had encountered little resistance from the Bear defense most of the day, was on the march again. Sac State had moved from its 39 to the Cal 25. But Daniel Scott intercepted Dunniway’s pass in the end zone. 

On the final play of the third period,Damien Moore burst through the line for 32 yards to set the Bears up on the visitors’ 48. Garbers pulled off a couple of nice runs, one a designed play the other a scramble for the final 16 yards and Cal’s sixth touchdown of the day.

The Bears led, 21-6, at the half and quickly widened that lead when Remigio brought the second half kickoff back for a touchdown. He caught the ball on his own 1 near the east hashmark. He angled to his left and before anyone could fully appreciate it, he had a wall of blockers between him and any white jerseys. At about midfield he was out on his own and no one was about to catch him. 

“ Nikko every time he gets the ball he can make some good things happen,” Wilcox said. “Obviously other guys were involved in it. There was nice wall of blockers ...It was just a clean play by the return unit.”

Trailing 28-6, Sac State wasn’t ready to go away. Aided by a pass interference penalty against Cal, one of four on the day, the Hornets moved smartly downfield and before four minutes had gone by had themselves a touchdown and were down 28-13.

Acting as if the defenses were not even on the field, each team’s offense mounted a quick TD drive. Cal’s score was a dazzling catch by Clark in the end zone for a 12-yard score. Sac State got that back when Marshel Martin showed he was as good as advertised when he caught a 34-yarder from Dunniway. The drives between them took all of 3 minutes, 34 seconds.

For much of the first half all that could stop the Cal offense was the Cal offense. On their first two drives the Bears rolled down the field for 85 and 69 yards respectively to 4-yard touchdown runs by Moore. So efficient were the Bears that they never had to even deal with a third down. At that point Garbers was 10-for-10 on his pass attempts.

In between those Cal touchdown drives Sac State managed one of its own, with O’Hara bedeviling the Bears with his running ability. He scored the TD himself on a 7-yard run. Sac State got greedy and tried for 2 points, but the  Bears sniffed out the running play and foiled the attempt.

 

Cal’s next two drives were frustrated by the Bears’ own mistakes. A holding penalty doomed the first one and Garbers’ ill-advised pass intended for a well-covered Monroe Young was intercepted by  Filer. 

Garbers was back on target later in the quarter. After the Bears took over on their own 15 following a punt, Garbers hit tight end Jake Tonges for 39 yards and on the next play he found Jeremiah Hunter running free and hit him for a 45-yard TD. 

The Cal defense meanwhile was giving up a lot of yards and no more points in the first half. Two Sac State drives, including the final one of the half. got the Hornets into the red zone. But each time Cal put the visitors into fourth-downs and watched Kyle Stenkowski, who had made four of his five tries coming in, miss twice. The first was from 37, the second from 27.

This was the second straight week the Cal offense and Garbers seemed to find their rhythm. “We were able to get some underneath stuff and then take some shots over the top,” Garbers said. “Were really efficient in the pass game, It was what we’ve been practicing all week.”

Notes

Wide receiver Kekoa Crawford and linebacker Kuony Deng did not play because of injuries. Wilcox said he had no idea about their availability going forward.

The touchdown Sac State scored in the first quarter was the first points Cali has given up in the opening period in three games.

Moore's five rushing TDs are the most in the first three games of a season for Cal since Shane Vereen posted six rushing TDs in the first three games of the 2010 season

Next Saturday Cal travels to Seattle to take on the Washington Huskies. Kickoff is 6:30 p.m.

 

Discussion from...

Cal Offense Rolls in Win Over Sac State, 42-30

2,188 Views | 8 Replies | Last: 2 mo ago by JimSox
remb8888
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Cal Defense rolls over
BearoutEast67
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Somebody, anybody teach those young CBs and safeties how to look for the ball, put their arms up, and make plays on the ball.
BadNewsBear1
How long do you want to ignore this user?
BearoutEast67 said:

Somebody, anybody teach those young CBs and safeties how to look for the ball, put their arms up, and make plays on the ball.
We haven't done that or covered the TE over the middle for fifty years.....why start now????
oski003
How long do you want to ignore this user?
BadNewsBear1 said:

BearoutEast67 said:

Somebody, anybody teach those young CBs and safeties how to look for the ball, put their arms up, and make plays on the ball.
We haven't done that or covered the TE over the middle for fifty years.....why start now????



We did that Wilcox' first three years at Cal. Secondary now looks average and have more concerns about the linebackers. Offense does look good but not great.
chazzed
How long do you want to ignore this user?
A win is a win. The key is to build upon this.

Go Bears!
calumnus
How long do you want to ignore this user?
chazzed said:

A win is a win. The key is to build upon this.

Go Bears!


Yes, most optimistic way to look at it. We need to win next week, which is doable.
JimSox
How long do you want to ignore this user?
oski003 said:

BadNewsBear1 said:

BearoutEast67 said:

Somebody, anybody teach those young CBs and safeties how to look for the ball, put their arms up, and make plays on the ball.
We haven't done that or covered the TE over the middle for fifty years.....why start now????



We did that Wilcox' first three years at Cal. Secondary now looks average and have more concerns about the linebackers. Offense does look good but not great.


Secondary, linebackers and also very little pressure from the pass rush. Zero sacks. Troubling to say the least.
After the kickoff return TD, outscored 24-14. By Sacramento State. Hmmm
Refresh
Page 1 of 1
 
×
subscribe Verify your student status
See Subscription Benefits
Trial only available to users who have never subscribed or participated in a previous trial.