CM – Shorthanded Cal falls to Arizona when Wildcats lose 20 games


Cal played without 24 players, including quarterback Chase Garbers, who stayed home on COVID log, and became the antidote to Arizona’s 20-game bankruptcy on Saturday afternoon in Tucson, Arizona.

The Wildcats, who hadn’t won for 763 days since October 2019, beat the Shorthanded Bears 10-3 after Michael Wiley scored a goal in a 10-yard run with 2 minutes and 17 seconds left .

By then, the game was the first with Cal that hadn’t had a touchdown from either team in at least 60 years.

Cal (3-6, 2-4 Pac-12) came in the week and needed three wins in the last four games to qualify for the bowl. Now the Bears will have to beat USC, Stanford and UCLA to make it into the postseason.

The bears played without 24 players and five coaches left at home, according to COVID protocol. The main players who were absent on offense included Garbers, left guard Ben Coleman and center Matthew Cindric, while left tackle Will Craig and wide receivers Nikko Remigio and wide receiver Jeremiah Hunter were injured.
On the defensive, the Bears had to do without Luc Bequette, inside linebackers Trey Paster and Femi Oladejo, defensive back Collin Gamble and backup nose guard Ricky Correia.

Cal was also without Dario Longhetto. The Bears only had 63 players on the trip.

Without Garbers, who finished second in the overall offensive in the Pac-12, the Cal offensive was helpless. Ryan Glover, a Penn and Western Carolina graduate, led an offense that only managed 122 yards and nine first downs.

Glover, who failed to take a snapshot in Cal’s first eight games, was 11-on-29 for 94 yards and was sacked four times.

A 25-yard punt return to Cal 29 from Stanley Berryhill set the victory point for Arizona (1-9, 1-5), which snapped the longest losing streak in Pac-12 history.
Arizona quarterback Will Plummer, who overcame shoulder and hand injuries in the game, handed 19 yards to Dorian Singer to position the Cats for Wiley’s game-winning touchdown.

Arizona scored first, with Tyler Loop scoring a 29-yard field goal 5:46 in the third quarter to top off a 10-play, 61-yard drive.

Cal replied immediately, walking 59 yards in nine games before Nick Lopez – who came on for Longhetto – scored a 34-yard field goal with 2:09 in the third quarter. A 26 yard pass from Glover to Kekoa Crawford started the drive, which was aided by an unsportsmanlike behavioral penalty against the Wildcats.

The Bears reached a total of 66 yards in the first half and only two first downs. Glover was 5-for-15 for 40 yards and Cal was 0-for-7 on third-down conversions.
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Arizona had 179 yards at halftime despite using three different quarterbacks. Plummer appeared to injure his right (throwing) shoulder when linebacker Marqez Bimage hit him, so the Cats also used the wide receiver throwing cat QB Jamarye Joiner and Luke Ashford.

But the Wildcats, who came into play with a minus 11 sales margin, gave up the ball twice on interceptions, one each from Plummer and Ashford (on his only pass attempt).

Linebacker Evan Tattersall grabbed the first pick for the Bears on a ball from Bimage, and freshman linebacker Nate Rutchena took the second on a tip from Cameron Goode.


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