UCLA falters against Cal 43-17
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP)
Coach Jim Mora was a bit more diplomatic and felt the blame should have been more spread out to others inside the locker room, including himself.
Suffice it to say there was plenty to go around after a mistake-filled night cost the No. 25 Bruins a chance to enhance their position behind first-place Arizona State in the Pac-12 South standings.
Hundley completed a season-high 31 passes for 253 yards and a pair of touchdowns but was also intercepted four times, part of six turnovers by UCLA in its 43-17 loss to California on Saturday night.
''We've got to make tackles and we've got to cover them,'' Mora said after the Bruins committed 12 penalties and gave up nearly 500 yards of offense.
''But part of the responsibility of a head coach is to help them out. I don't think I did a very good job with that tonight.''
Not much went right for UCLA.
The Bruins intercepted Zach Maynard's first pass of the game then allowed the California quarterback to pick apart the defense the rest of the night.
Maynard matched his career high with four touchdown passes, added a fifth on the ground and repeatedly picked himself up off the turf at Memorial Stadium after getting drilled by the Bruins defense to help the Golden Bears (2-4, 1-2 Pac-12) end their three-game losing streak.
Hundley, the redshirt freshman who has looked strong running UCLA's spread offense, never found his rhythm.
He passed for 253 yards and two touchdowns, but couldn't prevent the Bruins from remaining winless at Memorial Stadium since 1998. Three of the interceptions were by Bears cornerback Kameron Jackson.
''Just stuff didn't bounce our way,'' Hundley said. ''There are always tough moments in games and we've got to be able to respond back to it. There was a lot of pressure, but I could do better going through my mind reads.''
Johnathan Franklin rushed for 103 yards for UCLA, which lost for the second time in three games and is likely to fall out of the rankings again.
By beating the Bruins (4-2, 1-2) at home for the seventh straight time, the Bears might have also decreased some of the pressure on coach Jeff Tedford.
Tedford had come under criticism from some alumni and boosters recently over the team's poor start.
Maynard, who completed only 9 of 28 passes in last week's loss to Arizona State, was almost flawless against UCLA. He completed 13 consecutive throws during one stretch in the second half and finished 25 of 30 for 295 yards.
''We prepared ourselves well to win this game,'' Maynard said. ''We had a lot of fire behind our backs and our fans supported us. It was a great outcome.''
The Bears' senior quarterback also scored on a 1-yard keeper in the fourth quarter following a 42-yard interception return by safety Mike Lowe.
The ending was in sharp contrast to the opening drive for UCLA.
The Bruins got creative when Hundley threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Cassius Marsh, a defensive end who lined up on the left side of the offensive line then ran a short out pattern. It's a formation UCLA has used previously this season, but the first time Marsh, a 275-pound senior, has scored.
Cal responded with a 26-yard field goal by Vicenzo D'Amato then took the lead on Maynard's 9-yard touchdown pass to C.J. Anderson midway through the second quarter.
That came after Hundley was charged with a fumble after his short pass in the left flat to Jordan James was ruled a lateral and recovered by Cal's Nick Forbes.
After UCLA kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn missed a 46-yard field goal attempt, the Bruins forced a punt but Kenny Orjioke ran into return man Steven Manfro as Manfro was calling for a fair catch. The ball hit Orjioke in the back and Cal pounced on it.
Five plays later, Maynard connected with Keenan Allen for an 8-yard touchdown on an inside slant play similar to the one run by Anderson.
The Bruins committed their third turnover of the first half when Hundley threw an interception in the end zone after the intended receiver stopped his route well short of the goal line.
Maynard threw touchdowns on Cal's first two drives in the second half to push the lead to 29-14.
UCLA pulled within 29-17 on Fairbairn's 30-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter, but Cal's defense came up with two more interceptions to secure the win.
''They were relentless,'' Mora said of the Bears. ''They were maniacal. They did bring a lot of pressure and we've got to learn to handle that better.''
Rodgers caught seven passes for 129 yards for Cal while Allen caught a pair of touchdowns and finished with eight receptions to move into third place on the Bears career list.
Anderson rushed for 151 yards, 68 on a touchdown run in the fourth quarter to extend Cal's lead to 26 points.