Cal Takes 2-Game Win Streak To Arizona
Riding the momentum of back-to-back wins over Colorado and Oregon State at home, Cal hits the road this week with a visit to Arizona Saturday. Kickoff is set for 12 noon PT and the game will be televised on the Pac-12 Network.
After rolling past Colorado, 26-3, Oct. 23, the Golden Bears responded last weekend with a 39-25 victory over Oregon State. Quarterback Chase Garbers accounted for four touchdown on the day with three passing and one rushing.
Arizona leads the series with Cal, 18-14-2, and won the last meeting between the schools in 2018 in Tucson, 24-17. Each of the last five games have been decided by seven points or less. The Bears' last win at Arizona came in 2004 with a 38-0 shutout of the Wildcats.
Dual-Threat Garbers Sets Cal QB Rushing Marks, Leads Pac-12 in Total Offense
— Chase Garbers has broken two Cal career quarterback rushing records over the last two weeks. With a 38-yard scamper on his first carry of the game against Colorado Oct. 23, he snapped the school record for most rushing yards by a Golden Bear quarterback, previously held by Joe Kapp (931 yards). Garbers enters the Arizona game with 1083 rushing yards, which includes a career-high 96 yards (on 10 carries) vs. Colorado.
— Garbers then scored on a 2-yard rush in the first quarter vs. Oregon State for his 10th career rushing touchdown, a school record for a quarterback. Garbers had shared the old record of nine with Dave Penhall and Brian Bedford.
— Garbers entered the season with a career per-game passing average of 162.0 ypg. This year, though, he is averaging 247.4 ypg through the air, which ranks second in the Pac-12. Add in his rushing yardage, and Garbers leads the conference with 293.0 ypg of total offense (19th in the country).
— Garbers has tied his career high with 14 passing TDs this year (also 2018 and 2019), while his 1979 passing yards and 2344 total offense yards are already career bests for a season.
Defense Rounding into Form
— After allowing 417.8 yards and 29.3 points per game through its first four games of the season, Cal's defense is giving up 315.3 ypg and 18.3 ppg over its last four contests.
— As a result, the Bears now rank second in the Pac-12 in rushing defense (121.9 ypg, 28th in NCAA), third in total defense (366.5 ypg) and fourth in scoring defense (23.8 ppg).
— The Bears held Oregon to 24 points (tied for the Ducks' lowest total of the season) with Oregon averaging 37.9 ppg against all teams other than Cal this year.
— In a 26-3 win over Colorado, Cal limited the Buffaloes to only 104 yards of total offense - lowest for a Cal opponent since Presbyterian had 48 on Sept. 17, 2011. It also marked the first time the Bears held a conference opponent under 200 yards since Utah managed only 178 yards on Oct. 22, 2011.
— In Cal's 39-25 victory over Oregon State last week, the Bears limited OSU to 134 rushing yards after the Beavers entered the game averaging 245.0 ypg.
The Lowdown on Turnovers
— Cal has not committed a turnover in its last two games vs. Colorado and Oregon State. In addition, the Bears did not have a turnover at TCU.
— With only one lost fumble, Cal ranks first in the Pac-12 and tied second nationally for fewest lost.
— Marqez Bimage leads the Pac-12 and is one of six tied for the national lead with three fumbles recovered this year - at Washington, at Oregon and vs. Washington State. In the Oregon State game, he forced and recovered a fumble on the first play from scrimmage, leading to a Cal TD and a 7-0 lead.
— Chase Garbers has not thrown an interception in his last three games and has gone 120 passes without a pick (since throwing one in the second quarter vs. Washington State). The school record is 185 by Jared Goff in 2015.
— Cal is tied for first in the Pac-12 and fifth in the nation with only six turnovers lost. The school record for fewest turnovers lost in a full season is 13 from 2019.
— With three interceptions this season, safety Daniel Scott is tied for 10th nationally in total interceptions.
— The Bears are +6 in turnover margin (12 takeaways, six turnovers) and have caused at least one turnover in ever game this season, ranking second in the Pac-12 and tied for 18th nationally.
Nick Alftin Has a Block Party
— Nick Alftin blocked his second punt of the season against Oregon State, this one coming late in the third quarter. After the ball went out of bounds on the Oregon State 38-yard line, Chase Garbers connected on the next play - the final play of the quarter - for a 38-yard TD strike to Trevon Clark and a 31-17 Golden Bear lead.
— Alftin's other blocked punt came against Washington State.
— The last time Cal had multiple blocked punts in one season was in 2015 when the Bears had three.
— Alftin's two blocked punts tie him for the national lead with nine others.
Grinding the Clock
— The Bears sit atop the Pac-12 and rank 22nd in the country in time of possession with an average of 31:29 per game, including 38:30 vs. Colorado.
— Cal has held the ball for at least 32 minutes five times including each of the last three contests - Nevada (32:18), Washington (32:36), Oregon (32:10), Colorado (38:30) and Oregon State (33:59) - with each time resulting in at least a 4:20 edge.