The expectations heading into tonight's game as 3 point underdogs were uncertain, to say the least. The Wildcats had won their last two games, led primarily by second-string Khalil Tate, who before tonight had 859 total yards of offense, including an insane 557 rushing yards in just two game. Despite it being homecoming and coming off a huge win against Washington State last week, Cal just couldn’t manage to pull this one off. What makes this loss a particularly difficult one to accept is the way in which we lost, with the final play of the game. It was our game to win or lose, and unfortunately, it just didn’t work out for us tonight. However, going into double overtime and a combined 984 total offense yards between both teams, the game did not disappoint. With all that being said, let's take a look at the wrap for this week
Cal defense showed up ready to play and forced the Wildcats to punt on a 3 and out on their first drive. After starting at their own 34-yard line, Ross Bowers led the Bears to a 66 yard, 11 play touchdown drive, including a 36-yard pass to Vic Wharton. Bowers then went statue of liberty on 3rd down and gave the ball to Patrick Laird for an 8-yard rushing touchdown. Cal jumped out to a lead 7-0 with 8:51 left in the quarter.
Cal 7, Arizona 0
Can't catch what you can't see. pic.twitter.com/8SNhPlk2BD— Cal Football (@CalFootball) October 22, 2017
Tate and the Wildcats quickly responded with a one minute and nineteen-second drive, covering 75 yards in five plays and ending with a JJ Taylor rushing touchdown. Tied up 7-7 with 7:32 in the quarter.
Arizona 7, Cal 7
Although the next drive ending in a punt, Arizona lost safety Troy Young after he was called for targeting. Despite that loss, the Wildcats returned to the field, and Tate broke free on the 2nd play of the drive and scored a 76-yard rushing TD, the second longest rush from scrimmage in the Pac-12 and longest play allowed by the Bears defense this season. With 3:22 in the quarter, Arizona goes up by 7.
Arizona 14, Cal 7
Next drive started well, but ended with a Bowers interception and a 22-yard return, giving Arizona the ball at the 50-yard line. That ends Bowers streak of 116 completed passes without an interception. Womp Womp.
After J.J. Taylor was ejected for targeting, the Bears end the 1st quarter ready to receive the ball via punt.
Cal started the quarter by quickly going 3 and out, ending with a punt that put Arizona at their own 37-yard line. What would’ve been a loss of 1 yard and 3rd and 5 for the Wildcats, was turned into a 1st down at the Cal 13 thanks to a personal foul call. The next play ended in a 13-yard rushing TD for Zach Green, putting Arizona up.
Arizona 21, Cal 7
The next drive it looked like Cal was going to answer back with a touchdown or at the very least a field goal. Bowers drove the Bears 75 yards over 15 plays, including a 12-yard pass to Kanawai Noa. Despite all of that, Bowers ended the drive by giving up his second interception of the night in the end zone.
After turning the ball over though Cal’s defense managed to force the Wildcats to attempt a 43-yard field goal to end the quarter. They missed, and the first half ended with Arizona up by two possessions.
Arizona finished the half with 279 yards of offense, including 249 rushing yards, while Cal managed to put up 190 yards of total offense. Arizona managed to do all of this with just twelve minutes and forty-nine seconds of total first-half possession. Woof.
Score at the half
Arizona 21, Cal 7
Since Cal deferred, they started the 2nd half receiving the ball. Cal’s offense started the third quarter off with a 13 play drive that covered 79 yards and ended with a touchdown. The touchdown was set up by a 19-yard pass to Noa, putting Cal on the Wildcats 8 yard line. Bowers quickly capitalized and found a wide open Malik McMorris for an 8-yard touchdown. The Bears looked like they were starting to close in.
Arizona 21, Cal 14
Can’t we just enjoy some momentum, even for just a few minutes?! Literally!? On Arizona’s next drive, Cal’s defense looked like they were going to hold them, but on a 3rd and 5, Tate threw a 56-yard pass to Shun Brown for a touchdown.
Arizona 28, Cal 14
Cal started the next drive off with a 44 return by Ashtyn Davis to put the Bears at the 44 yard-line to start the drive. After a few plays, including an 11-yard pass to Brandon Singleton and a pass interference penalty by the Wildcats, Bowers ran for a 4 yard TD to start to close the gap again.
Arizona 28, Cal 21
On the next drive, Arizona put together a quick string of runs to put them at their own 49 with a first down before the end of the third quarter.
Arizona 28, Cal 21
Arizona began the fourth quarter with a quick 3 and out and punted the ball down to the Cal 20 yard line. Cal’s offense carried on its trend of lengthy, productive possessions. Bowers drove the Bears down to the red zone with a few completions, including an 18-yard pass to Jordan Duncan, and yet again another personal foul that put Cal on the Arizona 38 yard line. With a 13 yard completion to Singleton, Bowers handed the offense over to Laird who ran for a dominant 18-yard touchdown. PAT good, TIE GAME!!!!
Cal 28, Arizona 28
Arizona was only able to get to their own 16 on the kickoff. Cal’s defense managed to hold the Wildcat’s to an 11 play drive that only produced a 36-yard field goal. Arizona 31, Cal 28
After the kickoff, Cal began the drive on their own 33. Despite the good field position, Bowers only managed to push the Bears to Wildcats 35-yard line, facing a fourth and 4. BUT GUESS WHAT! Matt Anderson is a boss and hit that 52-yard field goal like it was nothing. TIE GAME AGAIN!
Cal 31, Arizona 31
Arizona’s next possession looked threatening, but our defense wasn’t having it! On a 2nd and 6, Tate thew an interception to Ashtyn Davis who returned it for 31 yards. Cal ball at their own 32.
Bowers and the offense just couldn’t manage to do anything with the gift their defense gave them. The possession and regulation time ended with a punt and the game tied.
FINAL SCORE AFTER REGULATION
Cal 31, Arizona 31
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the overtime rules in college football, each team gets an opportunity to score from the opponents 25-yard line.
The Bears had the first shot. After quick pass and a few rushes, Bowers hit Noa for a 13-yard touchdown. PAT was good. Cal takes the lead!
Cal 38, Arizona 31
Can’t we just enjoy the lead for more than one play!? Apparently not. Switching to Arizona’s turn, it took them a single play in which Zach Green ran for a 25-yard touchdown. With the PAT, the Wildcats tied it up.
Arizona 38, Cal 38
OVERTIME PART 2
Arizona was given first possession of the second overtime. On the second play of the drive, Tate found Bryce Wolma open for a 22-yard touchdown. With the PAT, Arizona took the lead.
Arizona 45, Cal 38
Cal began their second overtime attempt with an incomplete pass by Bowers; however, Laird bailed the team out with a 16-yard rush and a fresh set of downs. Bowers hit Wharton for 10 yards to put the Bears on the Arizona 2 yard line, and Vic Enwere powered through the scrum to break into the end zone for a touchdown.
Arizona 45, Cal 44
But wait, Wilcox leaves the offense on the field and decides to go for two! Cal could win this thing right now! Bowers snaps, throws high to Duncan who looks like he has it, but Arizona’s Colin Schooler got his hand in there and deflected the ball out. Game over. Sigh.
Arizona 45, Cal 44
TFW Cal loses a close one