Six Turnovers Doom Bears in Tempe
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  06/21/1999

November 7, 1998

TEMPE - Cal entered the game ranked tied for seventh nationally in turnover margin, but the Bears threw five interceptions and fumbled once, allowing Arizona State an easy time in a 55-22 loss in Tempe Saturday night..

The turnover problem, combined with an inability to stop big plays from Arizona State told the story in a loss that dropped the Bears to 5-4 on the season (3-3 Pac-10). ASU, meanwhile, improved to 5-4 (4-2 Pac-10) with the victory 5-4 on the season.

Neither offense could generate any point in the early-going. In fact neither team had a first down during the game's first nine minutes. ASU's first three possessions netted a minus six yards while Cal's first three got a plus six yards.

On Cal's fourth drive, the Bears finally started clicking. A 22-yard pass to Dameane Douglas got the ball into Sun Devil territory. Two plays later, Justin Vedder found tailback Marcus Fields on a crossing pattern out of the backfield and he broke loose up the right sidelines for a 43-yard touchdown pass and an early 7-0 Bear lead.

The Sun Devils, however, responded with a big play of their own as Ryan Keeley hit Kenny Mitchell on a post pattern for a 56-yard gain to the Cal 4-yard-line. Two plays later Davaren Hightower went in for a 2-yard TD to tie the score 7-7 with 13:52 left in the half.

Cal then moved down the field thanks to three Vedder-to-Douglas passes, including a 33-yarder that moved the ball to the 15-yard-line. A holding penalty negated a Cal first down at the ASU 1-yard-line and the Bears had to settle for a 27-yard field goal by Brache. The kick made it 10-7 with 11:01 left in the half.

Only one play later, Cal gave up another huge play. This time it was an intermediate pattern to Kenny Mitchell who got behind Derrick Gardner. Marquis Smith missed a tackle on the sideline and Mitchell sprinted into the endzone for a 79-yard TD and a 14-10 lead with 10:37 left in the half.

On Cal's next play, linebacker Adam Archuleta blitzed, blindsided Vedder and knocked the ball loose which he fell on at Cal's 7-yard-line. Cal's defense stiffened and forced Stephen Baker to come on an hit a 33-yard field goal. It made the score 17-10 with 8:15 left in the half.

A crucial pass interference penalty on Derrick Gardner helped the Sun Devils convert a 3rd-and-21 situation on its next possession and they were able to take advantage. Kealy hit tight end Todd Heap on an 11-yard TD pass with just 0:52 left in the half and the conversion made it 24-10.

Cal got the ball to midfield, but again made a huge mistake. Vedder tried to throw an out pattern across the field to Sean Currin. Courtney Jackson, however, stepped in front of the pass and returned the interception 54 yards to the Cal 1-yard-line. On the next play, fullback Jeff Paulk took the ball in for the TD and Cal was in trouble at 31-10 at the half.

The halftime stats showed Cal with more first downs (10-9) and more yards (246-210), but were down by three touchdowns, thanks in large part to the Bears three turnovers.

The Bears attempted to begin a comeback on the second play of the second half when Marcus Fields broke loose up the middle for a career long 72-yard touchdown run. Unfortunately, Brache shanked the extra point and Cal was still down 31-16 with 14:12 left in the third quarter.

When Cal stuffed ASU's next drive and forced a punt, the momentum was all on the Bears side. However, Vedder misfired on another pass and Jackson was there again to haul in the errant throw for the Sun Devils for an interception that he returned 23 yards to the Cal 37-yard-line. Eight plays later, back-up QB Steve Campbell hit Lenzie Jackson on a slant pattern for an 11-yard TD pass. The conversion made it 38-16 with 7:49 left in the quarter.

Cal wouldn't lay down and moved back to within 15 points late in the third quarter after marching 51 yards in 5 plays and culminating on a 1-yard Vedder pass to Brian Surgener. Cal tried a fake on the extra point but an option play orchestrated by holder Nick Harris failed and it was 38-22 with 1:33 left in the quarter.

However, ASU used a 41-yard kickoff return by Justin Taplin and a pair of passes from Campbell to Jackson, the first a 38-yarder and the final a 19-yard TD pass to push the lead back up to 45-22.

On Cal's next offensive play, Vedder again was off target as he badly missed Dameane Douglas on a slant pattern, throwing it directly into the arms of ASU linebacker Joe Cesta at the Cal 24-yard-line. The Sun Devils couldn't move and Stephen Baker hit a 38-yard field goal for a 48-22 lead with just over 14 minutes on the clock.

Yet another Vedder interception with 11 minutes left in the game set ASU up on the Cal 32-yard-line. The Sun Devils took five plays to get into the endzone for what turned out to be the final score of the game and a 55-22 victory.

Cal returns home to Memorial Stadium in search of a magical sixth victory of the season next Saturday, Nov. 14, to meet the Arizona Wildcats. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. and the game will be televised by Pac-10/Fox Sports syndication package, locally in the Bay Area on KICU. GAME NOTES: Senior receiver Dameane Douglas broke Cal's single-season receiving record in the first half as he had 7 catches for 90 yards before the intermissionMarcus Fields 72-yard run was the longest at Cal since Tarik Smith went 90 yards for a TD against San Diego State on Sept. 14, 1996Cal lost a big part of its defense in the first five minutes of the game when defensive tackle Jerry DeLoach went down with a knee sprain and did not returnAfter entering the game with a +12 edge in turnovers, Cal threw five interceptions vs. ASU. LINESCORE 1 2 3 4 F California 7 3 12 0 22 Arizona State 0 24 14 10 55

GAME STATISTICS Qtr Time Play Score CAL 1 1:12 Fields 43-yard pass from Vedder (Brache kick) 7-0 Scoring Drive: 89 yards in 7 plays, 2:33

ASU 2 13:52 Hightower 2-yard run (Baker kick) 7-7 Scoring Drive: 78 yards in 6 plays, 2:10

CAL 2 11:01 Brache 27-yard field goal 10-7 Scoring Drive: 70 yards in 8 plays, 2:51

ASU 2 10:37 Mitchell 79-yard pass from Kealy (Baker kick) 10-14 Scoring Drive: 79 yards in 1 play, 0:24

ASU 2 8:15 Baker 33-yard field goal 10-17 Scoring Drive: -10 yards in 4 plays, 2:00

ASU 2 0:52 Heap 11-yard pass from Kealy (Baker kick) 10-24 Scoring Drive: 58 yards in 11 plays, 4:45

ASU 2 0:05 :Paulk 1-yard run (Baker kick) 10-31 Scoring Drive: 1 yard in 1 play, 0:03

CAL 3 14:12 Fields 72-yard run (kick missed) 16-31 Scoring Drive: 80 yards in 2 plays, 0:48

ASU 3 7:49 Jackson 11-yard pass from Campbell (Baker kick) 16-38 Scoring Drive: 37 yards on 8 plays, 3:23

CAL 3 1:33 Surgener 1-yard pass from Vedder (run failed) 22-38 Scoring Drive: 51 yards in 5 plays, 2:15

ASU 3 0:03 Jackson 19-yard pass from Campbell (Baker kick) 22-45 Scoring Drive: 59 yards on 3 plays, 1:30

ASU 4 14:03 Baker 38-yard field goal 22-48 Scoring Drive: 2 yards in 4 plays, 0:46

ASU 4 8:24 Hightower 4-yard pass from Campbell (Baker kick) 22-55 Scoring Drive: 32 yards in 5 plays, 2:49


RUSHING CAL: Fields 6-101 1TD Vedder 5-21 Oliver 3-7

ARIZONA STATE: Hightower 17-50 1TD Green 14-29 Paulk 5-11 1TD

PASSING CAL: Vedder 20-40 272 2TD Clemons 0-2 0

ARIZONA STATE: Kealy 9-14 188 2TD Campbell 7-11 106

RECEIVING CAL: Dougals 10-121 Fields 3-49 1TD Surgemer 3-39 1TD

ARIZONA STATE: Mitchell 4-169 2TD Jackson 4-73 1TD McDonald 2-22

Team Statistics CAL ASU First Downs 15 17 Rushing Attempts 21 49 Net Rush Yards 135 61 Passes Attempted 42 25 Had Intercepted 5 0 Net Yards Passing 272 294 Total Yards 407 355 Fumbles/Lost 1-1 3-0 Punts-Avg 7-47 8-44 Penalties 7-75 5-33 Possession Time 22:21 37:39 3rd Down Conv 2-12 6-18 Sacks 4-33 1-10