Washingto Comeback Tops Cal,36-24
Oct. 21, 2000
SEATTLE - Washington scored 23 points in a 6:01 span of the fourth quarter to post a 36-24 come-from-behind victory over Cal Saturday afternoon in Husky Stadium.
The Bears led for most of the game and entered the final period up, 24-13. However, two fumbles, an interception and a blocked punt in four straight possessions directly led to 23 UW points, giving the Huskies their 18th consecutive win over the Bears.
Up to that point, Cal played one of its best games of the year. Joe Igber rushed for 116 yards and quarterback Kyle Boller threw for one touchdown and rushed for another. However, UW, which has outscored its opponents by more than 60 points in the fourth quarter this year, took control down the stretch.
Cal enjoyed fine field position throughout the first quarter and broke into the scoring column on a 54-yard touchdown drive. The march was kept alive by a roughing the punter penalty, which set the ball at the Washington 30-yard-line. Two plays later, Boller hit freshman Geoff McArthur, who found a seam in the zone and he hauled in a 24-yard TD pass with 4:52 left in the quarter.
Penalties also played a big role on the next drive. A Cal fumble recovery was negated by an offsides penalty and a Marques Tuiasosopo scramble inside Cal's 10-yard line was wiped out by a holding penalty. However, the Huskies converted a 3rd-and-25 situation with a 28-yard pass to Paul Arnold at the Cal 16. Five plays later, Rich Alexis took the ball into end zone from one-yard out to tie the score on the first play of the second quarter.
On its next possession, Cal marched all the way to the Husky 33, but failed on a fourth-down attempt.
That field position paid off, though, as Cal got a major break on the next play. Andre Carter caused a Rich Alexis fumble and linebacker John Klotsche picked up the loose ball and rambled in 34 yards for a touchdown and a Bears 14-7 lead with 11:12 left in the half.
Taking over at their own 23-yard-line with 2:51 left in the half, the Huskies used crossing patterns to quickly move down the field. After getting as far as the Cal 25. The Bears stiffened and John Anderson came on to nail a 42-yard field goal with just 0:20 showing on the clock to make it 14-10 at the intermission.
A 56-yard kickoff return by Washington's Derrick Johnson provided momentum for the Huskies opening the second half. The Huskies barely converted a 4th-and-1 situation at the Cal 31 to keep the drive going. An even bigger break occurred three plays later when a Cal holding penalty negated a Dewey Hale interception. That gave Washington life at the Cal 29-yard-line. An option play lateral to Willie Hurst eventually gave the Huskies a first down at the Cal 6-yard-line. However, Cal held and when a third down slant pass was deflected by Chidi Iwuoma, the Huskies called upon Anderson for a 21-yard field goal to make it 14-13.
Cal continued to have good success moving the football. A 16-yard run by Igber and a 17-yard completion to Derek Swafford gave the Bears a first down at the Husky 18-yard-line. The drive stalled at the 11 and Mark Jensen was called upon to knock through a 28-yard field goal. That made it 17-13 with 6:18 to go in the third quarter.
Cal began to take seemingly control of the game later in the quarter. After stopping the Huskies, the Bears again moved into Washington territory. A 40-yard run by Igber put the ball at the Husky 16. Three plays later, Boller dropped back, saw a wide open middle, and scrambled 15 yards for a TD and a 24-13 lead with 2:07 left in the third period.
Washington attempted to get back into the game on its next drive. Thanks to a 4th-and-1 conversion at the Cal 30, the Huskies advanced deep into Cal territory. When the drive stalled, Anderson came on to attempt a 32-yard field goal attempt, but it sailed wide right with 12:37 left in the game.
Disaster struck three plays later when Anthony Kelley came on a blitz and forced a fumble as Boller was attempting the throw. Linebacker Derrell Daniels fell on the ball at the Cal 12-yard-line. Cal's defense rose to the occasion and this time Anderson hit a 29-yard field goal to make it 24-16 with 10:35 left in the game.
Washington received yet another break on the next drive, when Swafford slipped trying to make a cut to the sidelines and the pass floated straight into the hands of cornerback Omare Lowe at the Cal 31-yard-line with just under nine minutes left in the game. A pair of first downs put the ball at the 10-yard-line with just over seven minutes to go. Tight end Jerramy Stevens culminated the drive when he hauled in a TD pass to pull the Huskies within two. A two-point pass conversion was negated by three penalties and everybody had to do it again. This time the pass across the middle was incomplete, knocked down by Jemeel Powell, and the Bears were hanging to a 24-22 lead with 6:49 left in the game.
An illegal block on the ensuing kickoff put the Bears in poor field position at their own 12-yard-line. The crowd noise was deafening. On the first play, Joe Igber fumbled the ball and Hakim Akbar recovered at the Cal 16-yard-line. Rich Alexis made the Bears play as he rambled 16 yards on an option pitch for the TD. With the extra point, Washington had its first lead of the day at 29-24, with 6:24 left in the game.
The trend continued for Cal on its next drive. After a 20-yard run by Igber, the Bears were eventually forced to punt. This time, UW blocked the Nick Harris kick, recovering the ball on the Cal 9-yard-line. Two plays later, Tuiasosopo his Todd Elstrom in the back of the end zone for the 36-24 lead.
Boller finished the day completing 14-of-32 passes for 213 yards, including three each to Igber and Chase Lyman. Tuiasosopo was 19-for-35 on the day for 225 yards. UW also enjoyed 35:16 to 24:44 time of possession advantage.