California’s defense put the squeeze on Marshall Faulk and damaged his Heisman Trophy chances in the process.
Dave Barr threw four touchdown passes for California and Faulk had the second-worst outing of his career as the Golden Bears overpowered San Diego State, 45-25, Saturday.
“We showed what we could do against the best back in the nation,” Cal linebacker Jerrott Willard said. “We kept him from getting a seam. We shored up all the gaps and he couldn’t go anywhere.”
Faulk, the NCAA rushing champion the past two seasons, was held to 28 yards in the first half and finished with only 64 yards in 22 carries.
It was his second-lowest rushing total, excluding two outings cut short by injury. He ran for 39 yards in 11 carries against Long Beach State on Sept. 8, 1991.
Faulk, who also caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from David Lowery in the fourth quarter, said he was more concerned about the outcome of the game than his Heisman chances.
“I am not going to do anything special,” he said. “I just want to help my team to win. If I don’t win it, so what?”
Barr also helped keep the ball out of Faulk’s hands by completing 18 of 33 passes for 335 yards, the second time in his career he has gone over 300 yards. He threw for 365 yards last Oct. 24 against Arizona.
Lindsey Chapman ran for 80 yards and a touchdown and also caught Barr’s final scoring pass, a 19-yarder with 12:23 left.
At times, California (2-0) threw up eight- and nine-man fronts to slow down Faulk, runner-up in last year’s Heisman Trophy balloting.
Faulk complained that some Cal players were trying to hurt him in pileups at the end of plays.
“I am getting legs twisted under the pile, that’s the type of stuff I’m talking about,” Faulk said. “It’s not been like that before. I guess I just have to prepare myself for that type of thing.”