Oct. 16, 2004
By GREG BEACHAM
AP Sports Writer
BERKELEY, Calif. - Geoff McArthur caught two of Aaron Rodgers' career-high four touchdown passes, and eighth-ranked California racked up 550 total yards in a 45-28 victory over UCLA on Saturday.
J.J. Arrington ran for a career-best 205 yards and two scores for the Golden Bears (4-1, 2-1 Pac-10), who rebounded from last week's heartbreaking loss to top-ranked Southern California with another near-flawless exhibition of balanced offense.
In Cal's first home game in five weeks, Rodgers was 19-of-29 for 260 yards - and McArthur, the nation's second-leading receiver last year behind Pitt's Larry Fitzgerald, had his biggest game of the season.
McArthur finished with nine receptions for 163 yards, including an early 20-yard TD catch and an 80-yard scoring romp down the UCLA sideline in the fourth quarter.
Drew Olson also threw four touchdown passes, but the Bruins (4-2, 2-1) couldn't catch up after Cal took a 35-14 lead on McArthur's long scoring run. Olson finished 20-of-36 for a career-best 299 yards for UCLA, which had its four-game winning streak snapped.
The Bears lost top receiver Chase Lyman for the season last week with a knee injury, but replaced him with a bit of everything. Tight end Garrett Cross and freshman running back Marshawn Lynch both made scoring catches, and McArthur resumed his role as Rodgers' favorite target in a tough spot.
Cal also ran the ball superbly again, getting 290 yards on the ground - 271 from Arrington, Lynch and Terrell Williams, their three talented tailbacks. The Bears entered the game second in the nation in total offense, and they exceeded their average (510.3) while making three scoring drives in the fourth quarter.
Arrington, who broke several long runs in the final minutes as the Bears held on to their lead, became the first running back in Cal history with five straight 100-yard games, breaking Chuck Muncie's record.
Maurice Drew turned two short passes into long touchdowns, but UCLA's star tailback rushed for just 42 yards. The Bruins kept things interesting with Drew's 43-yard TD catch and Joe Cowan's 46-yard scoring catch in the final seven minutes.
The Bears led 14-0 before UCLA scored two touchdowns in 56 seconds midway through the second quarter.
After Marcedes Lewis caught a 15-yard TD pass from Olson, Williams fumbled the kickoff return. UCLA scored again two plays later, with Drew taking a screen pass through a crowd of defenders for a 27-yard score.
But Rodgers mounted an 80-yard scoring drive shortly before halftime, with Cal converting a fourth-and-6 before Cross caught a 26-yard TD pass across the middle 17 seconds before halftime.
After Lynch scored on a 27-yard screen in the third quarter, McArthur put it away with the longest TD catch of his career. His 80-yard sprint was aided by receiver Burl Toler, who threw two key blocks along the way.
The game began under cloudy conditions and finished in near-darkness at Memorial Stadium, where temporary lighting was installed for the late start. The stadium was packed with 69,898 fans - the largest Cal crowd for any game not featuring Stanford since 1991.
Cal hadn't played at home since beating New Mexico State on Sept. 11, but three of the Bears' next five games are in Berkeley.