Cal Bears quarterback Chase Garbers (7) is sacked and at the bottom of the pile brought down by UCLA defenders defensive back Cameron Johnson, right, and linebacker Mitchell Agude at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on Sat Nov 27, 2021 (AP News photo)
By Daniel Dullum
Saturday, November 27, 2021
California’s slim hopes of playing postseason football were dashed Saturday night at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., when UCLA used a big second half to bury the Golden Bears 42-14.
The Pac-12 Conference loss eliminates the Golden Bears (4-7 overall, 3-5 Pac-12) from bowl eligibility. UCLA (8-4, 6-3) ended its regular season tied with Arizona State for second place in the Pac-12 South. Cal is assured of its second straight losing season, and a losing Pac-12 record for the 12th straight season.
Bruins quarterbaack Dorian Thompson-Robinson completed 19 of 28 passes for `64 yards and three touchdowns, while not being intercepted or sacked. He also gained 102 rushing yards on 13 carries. Zach Charbonnet led the Bruin rushing attack with 106 yards and a touchdown on 22 attempts.
Charbonnet, Greg Dulcich and Kyle Phillips each caught six passes for UCLA.
Cal signalcaller Chase Garbers had a tough evening, being picked off twice and sacked four times. He finished 16 of 31 for 125 yards and no touchdowns. Christopher Brooks ran 12 times for 61 rushing yards, and Kekoa Crawford and Marcel Dancy each caught five passes for the Golden Bears.
The Bruins gained 282 rushing yards against the top run defense in the conference. Cal was held to 91 total rushing yards.
UCLA opened the scoring with a 41-yard field goal by Nicholas Barr-Mira at 9:47 of the first quarter. The Bruins extended their lead to 10-0 on the first play of the second quarter, when Phillips hauled in a 4-yard touchdown pass from Thompson-Robinson.
The Bears broke through six minutes later, when Brooks scored on a 14-yard run, and, at 7:34 of the second period, Garbers ran in on a 1-yard quarterback sneak, giving Cal a 14-10 lead,
But the Bruins responded with a 64-yard scoring drive that consumed 6 minutes and 29 seconds. With 32 seconds left in the first half, UCLA surged back ahead to stay at 17-14 on Kazmeir Allen’s 8-yard touchdown run.
From there, the Bruins scored 25 unanswered points throughout the second half to blow the game open. Dulcich snared a 29-yard scoring pass from Thompson-Robinson, and Barr-Mira kicked a 46-yard field goal, giving UCLA a 27-14 lead after three quarters.
Early in the fourth quarter, Charbonnet’s 1-yard TD run, and Phillips’ second scoring pass reception from Thompson-Robinson – this time for 4 yards – gave the Bruins a commanding 42-14 lead.
Cal closes out its season next Saturday, when the Bears host Southern California in a game that was postponed from an earlier date due to Cal’s team COVID outbreak. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.