Boller Leads Bears Past Huskies
Oct. 5, 2002
SEATTLE - Kyle Boller threw for 266 yards and a career-high five touchdowns as California defeated No. 12 Washington 34-27 on Saturday, snapping a 19-game losing streak in the series.
The Golden Bears (4-2, 1-1 Pac-10) beat Washington (3-2, 0-1) for the first time since Nov. 9, 1976. They also ended a 17-game homefield winning streak by the Huskies.
Boller was 13-of-24 without an interception, outdueling Washington's Cody Pickett, the nation's No. 2 passer. Pickett finished 35-of-59 for 399 yards, but he threw two interceptions.
After the final seconds ticked off, the Bears gathered in front of the Cal band in the southwest corner of Husky Stadium to salute a contingent of fans.
The Huskies rallied to beat California the last three years, and they seemed confident they could do it again. Pickett's 1-yard TD run on an option play pulled Washington to 34-24 with 4:03 remaining.
Greg Carothers recovered a fumble by Joe Igber on Cal's ensuing series, and the Huskies reached the final margin on John Anderson's fourth field goal of the day, a 37-yarder with 1:54 to play.
Geoff McArthur recovered the ensuing onside kick for Cal, and the Bears ran out the clock.
Pickett barely missed his third straight game with at least 400 yards. He was contained by a steady pass rush, and Cal's defensive backs smothered Washington's talented receivers.
Pickett's second interception, by Jemeel Powell at Washington's 15-yard line early in the fourth quarter, set up Boller's fifth TD. The Bears needed only three plays, as Boller found LaShaun Ward for a 2-yard scoring play and a 34-18 lead.
California extended a 21-16 halftime lead to 27-16 early in the third period when Boller found freshman cornerback Nate Robinson out of position and threw a 23-yard TD pass to a wide-open Tom Swoboda.
Boller moved past Gale Gilbert for fourth place on Cal's career passing list with 6,643 yards.
He also became only the third quarterback to throw for five TDs against the Huskies. The last was Washington State's Jack Thompson in 1976. Tom O'Connell of Illinois, in 1952, was the other.
Boller guided California to a 21-16 halftime lead, setting the tone early by going deep on a flea-flicker play for a 40-yard touchdown to Jonathan Makonnen on the Bears' opening series.
Washington led 10-7 late in the first quarter after a 21-yard TD run by Braxton Clemen and a 51-yard field goal by Anderson, but the Bears went ahead for good after taking advantage of a Washington turnover early in the second period.
Rich Alexis, who usually starts at tailback but played in reserve because of a sprained ankle, fumbled on his first carry. On the next play, Boller threw an 8-yard TD pass to Makinnon for a 14-10 lead.
Anderson answered with a 41-yard field goal, but Boller found Vincent Strang on a 55-yard TD play to give Cal a 21-13 lead.
The Huskies scored a safety late in the third quarter, pulling to 27-18. Jimmy Newell rushed on a safety blitz and wrapped up Boller, who was called for intentional grounding in the end zone.
By TIM KORTE
AP Sports Writer