Cal Beats Arizona on Late Field Goal : Pacific 10: The Bears overcome five fumbles and seven penalties to win their conference opener, 23-21, and improve their record to 3-0 overall.
Doug Brien’s 33-yard field goal with three seconds remaining Saturday night lifted fumble-plagued No. 24 California past upset-bound Arizona, 23-21, in a Pacific 10 Conference game.
Brien’s third field goal offset Arizona’s second straight come-from-behind bid. His first 33-yarder, with 11:23 left, had pulled the Golden Bears to 21-20.
Despite fumbling the ball five times and committing seven penalties, Cal (3-0) won its first Pac-10 game.
The Wildcats (1-2, 1-1), who had overtaken Stanford a week earlier, moved ahead, 21-17, after trailing 17-0 in the second quarter.
But after a 51-yard punt rolled dead at the Cal 3-yard line, quarterback Mike Pawlawski engineered an 82-yard drive in the final 2:02 before Brien’s kick.
The drive’s key play was a 36-yard pass play to Sean Dawkins.
Brien’s kicking offset two costly fumbles by tailback Russell White; the Bears recovered their other three.
White carried 35 times for 150 yards, but his first fumble led to an Arizona touchdown.
And his second, recovered by Arizona linebacker Corey Pittman at the Wildcats’ three at the end of the third quarter, foiled Cal’s 80-yard drive for what would have been the go-ahead score.
The Golden Bears led by 17 points with more than 10 minutes left on White’s one-yard touchdown run.
But Chuck Levy scored on an 11-yard pass from George Malauulu, and after Bobby Roland recovered White’s fumble on the next series, the Wildcats came back with a 63-yard scoringdrive.
Billy Johnson’s nine-yard run and Steve McLaughlin’s kick narrowed the Cal lead to 17-14 at halftime, and his 20-yard run in third third quarter put Arizona ahead.
The Golden Bears drove 78 yards in the first 2:31, with Greg Zomalt scoring on a 16-yard run up the middle. Brien then kicked a 22-yard field goal.
Cal rushed for 309 yards and Pawlawski passed for 236 more as the Bears outgained Arizona, 545 yards to 274.
Pawlawski completed 16 of 23 passes and had one intercepted. Malauulu completed 21 of his 23 passes, but for only 122 yards.
Lindsey Chapman rushed for 106 yards in 17 carries for Cal.