BERKELEY - California rushed for a season-high 195 yards, piled up 30 first downs and scored 28 points against one of the nation’s best defenses, but the Golden Bears found themselves on the wrong end of a 62-28 final score to USC Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
The Trojans returns three punts for touchdowns, including one off a block, en route to their 10th straight victory over Cal. Nelson Agholor had two of the returns, including a 75-yarder for the game’s first score. By the end of the first quarter, USC led, 21-0, before the Bears mounted a challenge.
Early in the second quarter, Cal drove 81 yards for its first points, a 4-yard pass from Jared Goff to Kenny Lawler. Just over three minutes later, the Bears used a flea-flicker to add to their total. Goff handed off to Daniel Lasco, who then flipped the ball back to Goff who found Darius Powe in the end zone for Powe's first touchdown this season on a 24-yard play.
“I thought our kids did a really good job down 21 nothing to rally to cut it to 21-14,” Cal coach Sonny Dykes said. “I promise you there wasn’t anybody on our sideline at that point that didn’t think we were going to win. That is a hard feeling to have playing USC when you are 1 and 8. That says a lot about our football team and what they believe. If we can get them to continue to believe that, and to work, this will get turned around.”
USC connected on a 57-yard pass play from Cody Kessler to Javorius Allen, the first of three straight touchdowns by the Trojans to close out the half. The last two tallies came off punts – a blocked punt that Josh Shaw returned 14 yards for a score and a 93-yard return by Agholor to make it 41-14 USC at the break.
In the third quarter, Khalfani Muhammad reached the end zone for the Bears, with a 7-yard run for this third rushing touchdown of the year. Lawler capped Cal’s scoring with another 4-yard reception from Goff. Combined with his three touchdown catches last week vs. Arizona, Lawler has five TDs over the past two games.
Goff finished 34-for-48 for 255 yards and three touchdowns. He now ranks second on Cal's single-season passing list with 3,136 yards. Pat Barnes and his 3,499 yards in 1996 tops the chart.
USC came into the game ranked 11th in the country in total defense, allowing 323.6 ypg, but the Bears totaled 483 against the Trojans.
Bryce Treggs caught eight passes for 39 yards to move up to sixth on Cal’s single-season top 10 list for receptions with 69, while Chris Harper ranks seventh on that list with 68.