Cal’s Defense Dominates In 34-10 Win Over Utah
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Zach Maynard threw for one touchdown and ran for another and California’s defense completely shut down Utah’s offense to help the Golden Bears get their first Pac-12 win of the season, 34-10 over the Utes on Saturday.
Isi Sofele ran for 84 yards and a score, Keenan Allen caught a TD pass and Josh Hill returned an interception 32 yards for a score as the Bears (4-3, 1-3) controlled the entire game.
Jon Hays threw three interceptions and lost a fumble, and Utah (3-4, 0-4) had just 57 yards of offense in the first three quarters as the rough introduction to the new conference continues.
The Utes and fellow Pac-12 newcomer Colorado are the only teams in the conference without a Pac-12 win as Utah has lost its first four conference games for the first time since 2002, when it resided in the Mountain West.
With starting quarterback Jordan Wynn and tight end Dallin Rogers out with season-ending injuries and leading receiver DeVonte Christopher sidelined by an ankle injury, the Utes offense generated nothing against Cal’s defense.
Hays was 11 for 22 for 148 yards with the four turnovers, running back John White was held to 39 yards on 15 carries a week after gaining 171 yards at Pittsburgh and Utah managed a paltry 177 yards for the entire game.
That made the job easy for a Cal offense that had been held to 24 points in back-to-back lopsided losses to Oregon and Southern California. Maynard bounced back from a four-turnover performance last week against the Trojans to complete 19 of 29 for 255 yards. Allen had eight catches for 78 yards.
Cal scored 20 points in the second quarter to seize control of the game and proceeded to put it away quickly in the second half. After the defense came up with another three-and-out to start the third quarter, Maynard capped an 87-yard drive with a 4-yard keeper that made it 27-0.
Hays was drilled by David Wilkerson and threw his second interception in Cal territory later in the quarter. After being briefly replaced by Griff Robles, Hays was intercepted again on the opening play of the fourth quarter with Hill returning it for the score to make it 34-0.
The Utes finally managed to get on the scoreboard early in the fourth quarter on a 36-yard field goal by Coleman Petersen. White added a 14-yard TD run in the closing minutes.
Cal held Utah to two first downs, 27 total yards and negative 6 yards rushing on the way to taking a 20-0 halftime lead. Sofele’s 5-yard run early in the second quarter got the Bears on the scoreboard. Aaron Tipoti then forced a fumble with a hard hit on Hays on the next play from scrimmage, setting up the first of Giorgio Tavecchio’s two first-half field goals.
Utah finally got into Cal territory for the first time late in the second quarter with help from two personal fouls against the Bears. But on first down from the 30, Mychal Kendricks intercepted Hays and returned the ball 32 yards to the Utah 42. Maynard threw a 30-yard pass to Marvin Jones and then Allen took a short pass and ran in for a 12-yard touchdown with 27 seconds left in the half.
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