McArthur Leads Cal Past Huskies
Nov 15, 2003
By JANIE McCAULEY
AP Sports Writer
BERKELEY, Calif. - Geoff McArthur had six catches for a career-high 180yards, including a 79-yard touchdown reception in the opening seconds, andCalifornia set a school record with 729 total yards in a 54-7 rout ofWashington on Saturday.
Aaron Rodgers was 20-for-33 for a career-high 348 yards and three touchdownsand also ran for a score in one of Cal's most dominating games of the season.
Cal ended a 28-year home losing streak to the Huskies with the Golden Bears'most lopsided victory in the series since 1921 when they won 72-3.
J.J. Arrington carried 14 times for 185 yards in place of starterAdimchinobe Echemandu, the Pac-10's second-leading rusher held out with asprained ankle, and the Bears averaged more than 10 yards per carry whilerushing for 381 yards.
The Huskies couldn't do anything right in the first half as Washington coachKeith Gilbertson returned to Memorial Stadium to face his former team for thefirst time since taking over as coach when Rick Neuheisel was fired during thesummer.
And a sour reunion it was.
With a bowl berth on the line for both teams, the Huskies (5-6, 3-4 Pac-10)struggled to protect quarterback Cody Pickett and routinely missed tackles onthe way to giving up a season high in yards, 378 more than they allowed No. 2USC last month.
Washington now must beat powerful Washington State in the Apple Cup nextweekend at Husky Stadium to make the postseason.
Cal (6-6, 4-3) scored on its first six possessions in a game it had to winto avoid being eliminated from the bowl picture all together. The Bears need tobeat Stanford in the Big Game next Saturday. The Pac-10 has six bowl berths anda chance at a seventh if the conference can get two teams into the BCS.
McArthur, the nation's second-leading receiver, had four catches for 131yards in the first quarter and broke the school's all-time single-season recordfor receiving yards. McArthur now has 1,259 yards and has gone over 150 yardsreceiving four times this season.
Zach Tuiasosopo, with big brother Marques of the Oakland Raiders watchingfrom the sideline, scored Washington's lone touchdown on a 3-yard run in thesecond quarter. The Huskies suffered their worst loss of the year are on thebrink of their first losing season since 1976.
Cal punted for the first time midway through the third quarter - drawingloud cheers from the Huskies' faithful - but Charles Frederick muffed thereturn to give the Bears the ball back at the 26.
The Bears have won the last two against Washington, including a 34-27victory in Seattle last season to snap a 19-game, 26-year losing streak in theseries. Washington had won 10 in a row in Berkeley. Four of the previous fivemeetings had been decided by eight or fewer points.
Cal leveled Pickett several times with its aggressive blitzing defense thatled to three first-half sacks, and the Bears often used double coverage on starWashington receiver Reggie Williams, who was held to four catches for 23 yards.
This was the second straight embarrassing loss for Washington, stunned 27-22at Arizona last week. Pickett struggled against the Wildcats and Gilbertsonsaid he had considered going to backup Casey Paus but didn't.
Paus did play Saturday, relieving an unproductive Pickett in the fourthquarter. Pickett was 22-of-39 for 225 yards and threw two interceptions.
Cal's third- and fourth-string running backs scored fourth-quartertouchdowns, with Michael Porter capping the blowout with a 51-yard TD run with2:44 left. Fans chanted 'We love Tedford!' for second-year coach Jeff Tedfordas the school compiled its most yards since gaining 670 against Utah in 1958.