Arizona unable to contain Cal rushing attack to open Pac-12 play with loss
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Arizona was outscored 28-7 in the second half as Jaydn Ott ran for 274 yards and three touchdowns for California who opened Pac-12 play with a 49-31 victory on Saturday.
Ott scored on a 73-yard run on the second play from scrimmage, an improbable 18-yarder in the third quarter after he had appeared to be stopped for a short gain, and then another 72-yarder to ice it late in the fourth.
Ott had the third most rushing yards in school history, trailing only Jahvid Best’s 311 against Washington in 2008 and Jerry Drew’s 283 against Oregon State in 1954.
Jack Plummer added three TD passes for the Golden Bears (3-1, 1-0), who won their sixth straight home game. It’s their longest winning streak at Memorial Stadium since a nine-gamer in 2008-09.
Cal also ended a six-game skid against Arizona (2-2, 0-1) by beating the Wildcats for the first time since 2009.
Jayden de Laura threw for 401 yards and two touchdowns for the Wildcats (2-2, 0-1), who had no answers defensively and lost their 12th straight conference road game.
A year after Arizona beat COVID-depleted Cal 10-3 at home for its only win in 2021, the teams exceeded that point total after both teams scored touchdowns on the opening drive.
The Wildcats scored on four of their first five drives of the game, getting two short TD runs by Jonah Coleman and Michael Wiley and a 24-yard TD pass from de Laura to Tetairoa McMillan.
Ott added his second TD midway through the third quarter. He ran into a group of defenders at the 13 yet managed to keep his feet and snuck out of the scrum to run it into the end zone to make it 35-24.
Ott added his second breakaway run late in the fourth quarter.
Arizona: The Wildcats were gashed defensively all game as they struggled to tackle Ott or cover receivers downfield. Despite some promising signs on offense, that led to Arizona’s 21st loss in its last 24 Pac-12 games.
Arizona: Hosts Colorado on Saturday.