No. 12 California Blanks Arizona, 28-0
Oct. 1, 2005
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) - Marshawn Lynch ran for 107 yards and a touchdown in his first game back from an injury and No. 12 California shut out Arizona for the second straight year, 28-0 Saturday.
Joe Ayoob threw for two scores and ran for one for the Golden Bears (5-0, 2-0 Pac-10), who are off to their best start since winning their first five games under coach Steve Mariucci in 1996.
Arizona (1-3) lost its conference opener and is off to a rough start in coach Mike Stoops' second season, beating only Division I-AA Northern Arizona so far and with a trip to No. 1 Southern California next week.
Ayoob went 14-for-20 for 137 yards and Justin Forsett ran for 74 yards for Cal, which visits No. 20 UCLA next week.
Ayoob also had two key scrambles on touchdown drives and showed off his mobility on his TD throw, being flushed to the right and reversing field to the left before connecting with Robert Jordan on a 39-yard score that made it 21-0 midway through the third quarter.
But the Bears did most of their damage on the ground, which was no surprise considering they had run for more than 200 yards in each of the first four games and Arizona entered the game 100th in the nation in run defense, allowing 202 yards per game.
Lynch, who missed the last two games with a broken finger, scored in the first quarter and gave Cal its 17th straight game with a 100-yard rusher.
Forsett, who had 422 yards those two games, ran for 50 yards on the drive that ended with Ayoob's 1-yard run. Cal finished with 194 yards rushing on the day.
Cal has outscored Arizona 66-0 the past two seasons.
The Wildcats' best chance to score came after Syndric Steptoe returned a punt 34 yards to the Cal 19 late in the third quarter. Arizona had a first-and-goal at the 2, but then lost 2 yards on a pair of runs and Richard Kovalcheck threw two incompletions to turn it over on downs.
Kovalcheck finished 19-for-36 for 169 yards and three interceptions.
Arizona drove inside the 20 late in the first half, but an intentional grounding by Kovalcheck sent the Wildcats back to the 33. The flag wasn't thrown until about a minute after the play, when referee Larry Farina consulted with two other officials. Nick Folk's 50-yard field goal was then blocked by Abu Ma'afala.
After the teams traded interceptions early in the first quarter, Arizona appeared to get the first big break when Steptoe returned a punt 79 yards to the 5. But a holding on Dramayne McElroy negated the play and put the ball back on the Arizona 15.
Cal forced a three-and-out and Tim Mixon had a 27-yard punt return to set the Bears up at the Arizona 45. Ayoob hit Craig Stevens for 7 yards on third-and-3 and scrambled for 12 to set up Lynch's 1-yard score in the final minute of the first quarter.
Cal stuck to the ground on its other first-half scoring drive, gaining all 79 yards with the run. Ayoob scored on an option keeper on fourth down from the 1 to make it 14-0 midway through the second quarter.
The Bears won only one more game after their 5-0 start in 1996, but three of the other seven times they won their first five games they went to the Rose Bowl, the site of this season's national championship game.