NCAA Game Summary - California at Northwestern|
(Saturday, August 30)
Final Score: California 31, Northwestern 24
Evanston, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Jared Goff threw for 281 yards and three
touchdowns as the California Golden Bears held on to defeat the Northwestern
Wildcats, 31-24, in non-conference action at Ryan Field.
Goff converted 21-of-34 passing, was sacked twice and tossed an interception
for the Golden Bears (1-0).
The Wildcats (0-1) were led by Trevor Siemian who hit on 23-of-43 for 229
yards and a score, but he was picked off two times in the losing cause.
Cal scored a pair of touchdowns in the first quarter as Goff registered
scoring passes of one and seven yards to Bryce Treggs and Kenny Lawler,
Early in the second period the lead for the Bears rose to 17-0 as James
Langford knocked through a 20-yard field goal.
The Wildcats finally got on the board at the 6:26 mark thanks to a 54-yard TD
pass from Siemian to Cameron Dickerson.
Almost immediately the Bears countered with a 76-yard TD pass play between
Goff and Trevor Davis, giving the visitors a 24-7 advantage at the break.
The third quarter saw the teams alternate touchdowns as Khalfani Muhammad
reached the end zone on a one-yard run for Cal and Northwestern countered with
a seven-yard TD run by Treyvon Green with 2:31 remaining in the frame.
Refusing to go away quietly, the Northwestern defense came alive as Collin
Ellis intercepted Goff at the 24-yard line and returned it to the 17. The
Wildcats then turned to a bit of trickery as Jayme Taylor then threw to
Siemian who lunged to the right pylon for the touchdown to cut the deficit to
31-21 with just over two minutes to play in the third.
Northwestern closed the gap even more in the fourth, thanks to a 24-yard field
goal by Jack Mitchell with 5:18 left in regulation.
Forcing a Cal punt, the Wildcats found themselves near midfield with 4:14 to
play following a penalty. After throwing under the defense several times,
Siemian was sacked, resulting in a 3rd-and-17. Siemian's next pass over the
middle was tipped and intercepted by Jalen Jefferson at the 20-yard line.
After picking up a couple of first downs, California was able to run out the
The victory for Cal not only snapped a 10-game losing streak, it was the
team's first against another member of the Football Bowl Subdivision since the
squad topped Washington State by a score of 31-17 in Pullman on Oct. 13, 2012.
The Bears are coming off a season in which they ranked 122nd in the country in
both total defense (529.6 ypg) and points allowed (45.9 ppg), with the pass
defense dead last in the FBS with 341.0 ypg surrendered.
Northwestern, which had won eight straight season openers under the direction
of head coach Pat Fitzgerald, entered the game having won both of the previous
meetings against the Golden Bears, including a 44-30 victory in the 2013
08/30 19:48:01 ET