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What are the greatest Cal football games against Washington?

There are some great candidates.

Washington v California Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Most exciting game

Avinash: 2006. The BeastMode injury cart game—or as I like to call it, the Book of Marshawn Lynch. The rest of the Bears were pretty much lethargic in this one (offense was bad and Carl Bonnell threw a game-tying Hail Mary, so it was pretty much Lynch putting us on his back and lifting us to the win).

Ohio Bear: 1991. #3 Washington 24, #7 Cal 17. This was a Saturday of my college days that I will never forget. Cal was not only relevant, but front and center in the college football world that day. I met Brent Musburger and Dick Vermeil in the Memorial Stadium elevator that day, heading up to the press box to call the biggest Cal football showdown in years.

The game did not disappoint. Washington had outscored opponents 236–31 in its first five games that season, but found itself in a 17–17 tussle with the Bears after Lindsey Chapman’s 68-yard touchdown burst up the middle on the last play of the 3rd quarter.

On the ensuing drive, however, Washington’s Beno Bryant countered with a 65-yard touchdown run that proved to be the game winner. Cal had one last chance, but Mike Pawlawski’s pass to Brian Treggs in the left corner of the end zone fell incomplete. Cal would go onto finish that season 10–2 with a #8 national ranking, while Washington went undefeated and won a share of the national championship.

Best Cal performance

Avinash: 2003. 54–7. This is where we got a glimpse of the team Cal was going to be. Aaron Rodgers throwing for 300+, JJ Arrington rushing and catching for 200+. Cal set a school record of 729 yards in that one.

Ohio Bear: 2008. Jahvid Best’s 311 yards rushing in Cal’s 48–7 victory in the 2008 regular season finale.

Best Cal upset

Ohio Bear: 2002. Cal 34, #12 Washington 27. Cal had not beaten Washington since 1976 and it didn’t seem likely that the Bears, led by first-year head coach Jeff Tedford, would march into Seattle and beat the 12th-ranked Huskies. But beat them we did. Kyle Boller threw for 5 touchdown passes—including a 55-yard strike to Vinny Strang—and the Bears escaped Seattle with an upset win, the first of what would become a five-game win streak against our nemesis.