On a record-setting day for quarterbacks – one that saw Cal’s Jared Goff throw for a school-record 504 yards – Washington State came out on top in the end with a 44-22 victory over the Golden Bears.
Goff broke the previous record of 503 set by Pat Barnes in a four-overtime win over Arizona in 1996, completing 35-of-59 passes with two for touchdowns, including an 89-yarder to wide receiver Chris Harper for the second longest pass play in school history. Goff is now the first player at Cal to throw for over 400 yards three times and he joined Arizona State’s Andrew Walter as the only quarterbacks in Pac-12 history to have three career 450-yard games.
Harper added his name to Cal’s record book, too, with career highs in catches (14) and yards receiving (231). Both totals put him No. 3 on the Bears’ all-time list in those categories. He is the fifth Cal receiver to record more than 200 yards in a game.
Despite the big numbers, the Bears suffered three fumbles and two interceptions and gave up several big plays to the Cougars.
“This was obviously not a good performance by us,” Cal head coach Sonny Dykes said. “We turned it over five times, including fumbling inside their five-yard-line twice. You are not going to win if you do that, no matter who you play. Right now we are having a very difficult time running the football, which is putting a lot of pressure on our offensive line."
Cal and Washington State combined to throw for 1,042 passing yards, which set a school record for combined passing yards in a game. The previous record was 921 set in a four-overtime game against Arizona in 1996. Each team passed for 521 yards with Cal setting a school record, surpassing the previous mark of 503 against Arizona in 1996.
WSU quarterback Connor Halliday threw for 521 yards and three touchdowns to help the Cougars snap an eight-game skid vs. Cal.
Vince Mayle caught two TD passes and Teondray Caldwell, Jeremiah Laufasa and Marcus Mason also scored touchdowns for the Cougars (4-2, 2-1 Pac-12), who last beat the Golden Bears (1-4, 0-2) in 2002.
The Bears continued to be hit by the injury bug with three defensive players having to leave the game in linebacker Jalen Jefferson and cornerbacks Joel Willis and Stefan McClure. In addition, cornerback Kameron Jackson only played a short while trying to come back from an ankle injury suffered at Oregon last week.