PULLMAN — It was Mike Leach bobblehead doll night at Washington State on Saturday, but the coach wasn’t sure how popular the items would be after the Cougars lost to California 31-17.
“I hope they are able to give all 10,000 of them away,” Leach quipped. “Some people might have turned them back in.”
Leach was satisfied by the effort of the Cougars (2-5, 0-4 Pac-12), who produced 420 yards of offense.
“I thought we did some good things,” Leach said. “We took a step forward.”
For California, a second consecutive win has changed the outlook for the Bears, who started the season 1-4, receiver Keenan Allen said.
“Confidence is very high,” Allen said. “We feel we can play with anybody.”
Quarterback Zach Maynard threw for a touchdown and ran for another, and Cal rushed for a season-high 318 yards.
C.J. Anderson rushed for 112 yards and two touchdowns as the Golden Bears (3-4, 2-2) earned their eighth straight win over the Cougars.
Anderson said a key to the game was the 78 yards on 10 carries by Maynard.
“They’ve got to account for the quarterback,” Anderson said. “Zach did a great job of getting upfield.”
Maynard completed 14 of 23 passes for 189 yards, and was intercepted twice. Cal finished with 507 total yards of offense.
Washington State has lost four in a row, and Leach is still looking for his first Pac-12 win.
The Cougars continued to suffer offensive woes, switching quarterbacks in the first quarter. WSU had trouble punching the ball into the end zone when it got into scoring position.
“We left meat scraps all over the table,” Leach said. “We had opportunities to win that game.”
The Bears scored first, after Michael Lowe’s interception gave Cal the ball on its own 25. On the third play, Maynard connected with Allen, his brother, on a short pass that turned into a 69-yard touchdown reception and a 7-0 Bears lead late in the first quarter. Allen finished with 11 receptions for 166 yards.
On its next possession, Cal drove to WSU’s 10 before Maynard was intercepted by Anthony Carpenter. Jeff Tuel, who replaced Connor Halliday at quarterback after Halliday was intercepted twice, then led WSU 86 yards to the 3. But two incomplete passes and a short run made them settle for Andrew Furney’s 20-yard field goal to cut Cal’s lead to 7-3 in the second quarter.
Cal responded with a 75-yard drive, and Anderson ran over from the 4 to give the Bears a 14-3 lead that they held at the end of the first half.
WSU receiver Marquess Wilson, who caught four passes for 87 yards in the first half, was injured late in the half and did not return.
Cal marched 71 yards on the opening drive of the second half, with Maynard running over from the 1-yard line for a 21-3 lead.
Washington State came back with a 75-yard drive, with Tuel passing 8 yards to Brett Bartolone for a touchdown to narrow Cal’s lead to 21-10 with 6:42 left in the third. That broke a string of six quarters in which WSU had not scored a touchdown.
Vincenzo D’Amato hit a 52-yard field goal to lift Cal to a 24-10 lead with 2:02 left in the third. Furney missed a 43-yarder for WSU early in the fourth quarter.
Anderson added a 29-yard touchdown run for a 31-10 lead
Bartolone caught a touchdown pass from Tuel midway through the fourth quarter to complete the scoring.
Tuel completed 30 of 53 passes for 320 yards and two touchdowns. Isiah Myers caught eight passes for 108 yards.
CALIFORNIA 31, WASHINGTON ST. 17
California 7 7 10 7–31
Washington St. 0 3 7 7–17
Cal–Allen 69 pass from Maynard (D’Amato kick), 5:55.
WSU–FG Furney 20, 10:14.
Cal–C.Anderson 4 run (D’Amato kick), 6:35.
Cal–Maynard 1 run (D’Amato kick), 10:58.
WSU–Bartolone 8 pass from Tuel (Furney kick), 6:42.
Cal–FG D’Amato 52, 2:02.
Cal–C.Anderson 29 run (D’Amato kick), 10:27.
WSU–Bartolone 6 pass from Tuel (Furney kick), 7:09.
First downs 25 23
Rushes-yards 50-318 18-36
Passing 189 384
Comp-Att-Int 14-23-2 34-63-2
Return Yards 14 6
Punts-Avg. 4-45.5 4-38.8
Fumbles-Lost 0-0 2-0
Penalties-Yards 8-91 5-30
Time of Possession 30:59 29:01
RUSHING–California, C.Anderson 15-112, Maynard 10-78, Sofele 14-63, Bigelow 8-59, Stevens 2-7, Team 1-(minus 1). Washington St., Brooks 1-40, Caldwell 4-24, Winston 7-2, Halliday 2-(minus 7), Tuel 4-(minus 23).
PASSING–California, Maynard 14-23-2-189. Washington St., Tuel 30-53-0-320, Halliday 4-10-2-64.
RECEIVING–California, Allen 11-166, Harper 1-9, Rodgers 1-7, Wark 1-7. Washington St., Myers 8-108, Bartolone 7-44, Wilson 4-87, Marks 4-25, D.Williams 3-60, Winston 3-30, G.Simone 3-17, K.Williams 2-13.