Washington Falls To California After Strong Start, 56-17
Sept. 10, 2005
SEATTLE (AP) - Joe Ayoob overcame a shaky start, picking apart Washington's secondary for four first-half touchdown passes and leading No. 16 California to a 56-17 rout of the Huskies on Saturday.
Coming off an 0-for-10 debut against Sacramento State, Ayoob was intercepted by Darin Harris on the game's opening play and missed on his first three attempts.
Once the junior found Jordan on an 11-yard completion with 9:47 left in the first, Ayoob settled into a rhythm, and showed the talent that made him the California junior college offensive player of the year last season.
He finished 17-of-27 for 271 yards, and attempted just seven passes in the second half for the Bears (2-0, 1-0 Pac-10). Robert Jordan was his favorite target, catching eight passes in the first half, three for touchdowns. He finished with 11 catches for 192 yards.
It was Cal's fourth straight win over Washington, the first time that's happened since 1973-76 and only the fourth time since the teams began playing regularly in 1915.
For Washington coach Tyrone Willingham it was his first loss against the Bears. He was 7-0 versus Cal while the coach at Stanford. The Huskies have lost eight consecutive games dating back to last season.
The Huskies (0-2, 0-1) could not have scripted a better start. After Harris' interception, Washington scored on its first offensive play, just 20 seconds in. Quarterback Isaiah Stanback faked a wide receiver screen, then found Sonny Shackelford open for a 56-yard score.
Late in the first quarter, Ayoob and Cal's offense displayed its potency, taking just 1:19 to score. Marshawn Lynch ran for 25 yards, then Ayoob completed the next four passes, the final one to Jordan on a 9-yard touchdown.
The two connected on a 24-yard touchdown early in the second quarter to give the Bears a 14-10 lead.
Ayoob directed an eight-play, 94-yard drive, capped by a 58-yard strike to Jordan with 2:50 left in the second quarter. Washington went three-and-out on its next possession. Punter Sean Douglas was pressured on fourth down and tackled for 6-yard loss at Washington's 13. On the next play, Ayoob found tight end David Gray open for a 13-yard touchdown and a 28-10 halftime lead.
Washington closed the gap, scoring on its first possession of the second half. Stanback found Craig Chambers for a 39-yard score. But Ayoob led the Bears on a 76-yard drive, capped by a 5-yard run by Marcus O'Keith with 1:43 left in the third.
Stanback finished 22-of-39 for 301 yards for Washington, and Shackelford had six catches for 124 yards.
Cal lost Lynch to a broken left pinky finger on its first offensive play of the second half. A week after rushing for a career-high 147 yards against Sacramento State, Lynch was mostly a decoy, carrying the ball just five times for 46 yards before leaving.
O'Keith added a 71-yard TD run in the fourth, and cornerback Daymeion Hughes returned an interception 41 yards.
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