SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF / AP) — Embattled California quarterback Zach Maynard threw for 118 yards and a touchdown before leaving with an injury, Isi Sofele ran for 138 yards and a TD and California routed Washington State 30-7 on Saturday to move within one victory of becoming bowl eligible.
Maynard, who had thrown seven interceptions in his previous three games, hit Anthony Miller for a 19-yard touchdown pass on the first series of the game by the Golden Bears (5-4, 2-4 Pac-12), who made a statement on a drizzly day in their next-to-last game at temporary home AT&T Park.
Maynard was hurt recovering a fumble by Sofele with 4:52 remaining in the third, and Allan Bridgford replaced him.
Quarterback Marshall Lobbestael and the Cougars (3-6, 1-5) faced constant pressure from the smothering Cal defense and managed only a 5-yard TD run early in the fourth quarter by Rickey Galvin, who attended Berkeley High School but wound up on the Palouse.
Will Kapp, the son of former Cal coach and Bears 1959 Rose Bowl quarterback Joe Kapp, ran 43 yards for his first career touchdown on fourth-and-1 early in the third quarter for the Bears’ lone points of the second half.
Trailing 30-0 after Kapp’s TD, Washington State had more yards in penalties (61) than total offense (55) on the way to losing its fifth straight game since opening Pac-12 play with a 31-27 victory at Colorado on Oct. 1.
The Bears have won the last seven meetings against Washington State — outscoring the Cougars 248-98 — and four in a row at home. Cal won 20-13 last season in Pullman.
The Bears still have a tough task ahead to win one more in their final three games. After next Saturday’s home finale against Oregon State, Cal plays the Big Game at rival and No. 4 Stanford on Nov. 19 and then travels to Arizona State the following week.
Last season, the Bears went 5-7 and missed out on a bowl game for the first time since now-10th-year coach Jeff Tedford’s initial season in 2002.
Cal is 3-1 in the San Francisco Giants’ waterfront ballpark while Memorial Stadium is undergoing a renovation and retrofit across the bay in Berkeley. Most of Saturday’s announced crowd of 35,506 left early to get out of a steady rain.
Sofele carried 23 times on the way to his third 100-yard game of the season, and C.J. Anderson added a 5-yard touchdown run as Cal outgained the Cougars 411-224. Washington State managed only 22 yards in the first quarter, including four yards passing.
Maynard made solid decisions and completed 10 of 17 passes. He was sacked once but didn’t throw an interception.
Tedford has defended his junior transfer quarterback in recent weeks — even after Maynard threw four picks in last week’s 31-14 loss at UCLA.
Keenan Allen’s 29-yard catch set up Sofele’s touchdown late in the first quarter and put him over 1,000 yards receiving, the sixth player in Cal history to do so in a season. He finished with eight receptions for 85 yards.
Giorgio Tavecchio kicked a 43-yard field goal but had an extra-point try blocked. It marked his fifth failed PAT this season compared to three missed field goals in 15 attempts.
Washington State had its own problems in the kicking game and on special teams.
The Cougars set up for a 52-yard field goal attempt by Andrew Furney, but Zach Koepp’s snap went high and through the hands of holder Dan Wagner for a 28-yard loss. Coach Paul Wulff shook his head in disappointment.
Furney got a good snap in the third quarter and missed a 27-yard attempt wide left.
Cal’s attacking defense made things difficult all day for a Washington State passing game that came in ranked second in the conference, averaging 316.1 yards per game.
Lobbestael finished 15 for 37 for 155 yards.
Cal freshman linebacker Chris McCain was helped off the field midway through the third quarter. The Bears also lost linebacker David Wilkerson in the first quarter.
World Series-winning manager Tony La Russa, who announced his retirement after the St. Louis Cardinals’ title, received a donation to his Animal Rescue Foundation.
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