With today’s 44-30 Northwestern victory over California, the Golden Bears currently have an all-time record of 73-42-4 in season openers over the first 118 campaigns of Cal football that began in 1882. Cal’s most-recent season-opening victory came in 2011 when Cal defeated Fresno State, 36-21, at Candlestick Park in the Battle By the Bay. The Bears' most recent season-opening win at Memorial Stadium was a 52-3 victory over UC Davis on Sept. 4, 2010.
The Cal offense ran 99 plays, which ranks third all-time in school history. The 2012 season high was 79 plays at Ohio State last year. The school record for most offensive plays in a game is 102, which was set in 1968 against San Jose State.
This was the first time Cal opened the season against a top-25 team since facing No. 15 Tennessee in the ’07 opener. Cal was ranked No. 12 in that contest.
Tonight’s attendance was 58,816. Last season, the season high was 63,186 in the opener against Nevada.
Northwestern leads the all-time series with Cal, 2-0. The only other time these teams met was in the 1949 Rose Bowl, a 20-14 victory by the Wildcats.
Making his collegiate debut in his first game as a true freshman, Jared Goff finished 38-63 for 445 yards and 2 touchdowns and three interceptions. The 445 yards is the most-ever by a Cal freshman quarterback and ranks second all-time in school single-game history. Goff’s 63 pass attempts, combined with the one pass attempt from Vincenzo D’Amato set a new school single-game record. The previous record was 58 attempts from Kevin Riley against Maryland in 2008.
Goff connected with Chris Harper for a 52-yard touchdown strike in the third quarter. After recovering a Northwestern fumble on the ensuing kickoff, Goff and Harper paired up again on a second touchdown, good for seven yards.
Harper had personal bests in catches (11) and receiving yards (151), which were a team best, along with his two touchdowns. The last time a player had 10 catches was Keenan Allen last year against Washington State. The last time a Cal receiver had 100 receiving yards was Harper against Washington last year.
Bryce Treggs notched a personal-best 13 catches for a career-high 145 yards. The 13 receptions ranks tied for third all-time in Cal single-game history. The record is 16 catches – Geoff McArthur against Stanford in 2003. Treggs’ previous personal best was four which he posted in the first quarter. The last time two Cal receivers had over 100 yards receiving in the same game was in the 2011 season opener against Fresno State when Keenan Allen caught eight passes for 112 yards and Marvin Jones posted 5 receptions for 118 yards and two touchdowns.
The first Cal touchdown of the season came on a fake field goal. Holder Jackson Bouza flipped the ball up to D’Amato who then threw a pass to Bouza who ran in for his career touchdown.
Defensive highlights include, Jalen Jefferson set a personal best in tackles for loss with 1.5. Avery Sebastian hauled in his first career interception in the first quarter, and Alex Logan caught his first INT in the fourth quarter. Dan Camporeale garnered his first solo sack in the second quarter. In his first collegiate game, Hardy Nickerson recovered his first career fumble – caused by Joel Willis – on a kickoff return in the third quarter.
Sebastian was Cal’s leading tackler on the night with 11 to lead all defenders. Like Jefferson, Michael Lowe also had nine tackles, which tied his personal best.
Vincenzo D’Amato tied his career best with three field goals out of three attempts. His longest field goal was 38 yards.
In the first quarter, Cole Leininger booted a career high 70-yard punt. His previous career punt was 61 yards.
Making their first career starts today were Matt Cochran, Khairi Fortt, Jared Goff, Villiami Moala, Steven Moore, Hardy Nickerson and Freddie Tagaloa.