OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — California linebacker Evan Weaver finished with 22 tackles Saturday against Mississippi. The last one was the most important.
Weaver tackled Ole Miss quarterback John Rhys Plumlee for no gain at the 1-yard line as time expired to preserve No. 23 Cal’s 28-20 victory over the Rebels. Weaver crashed hard from the right flank, wrapped up Plumlee and stopped his progress as help arrived to finish the play.
“Just stop the guy with the ball. Keep him from crossing the white stripe,” Weaver said. “We got some push in the middle and put it in them.”
Cal coach Justin Wilcox, whose team is 4-0 for the first time since 2015, was not surprised. Weaver led every statistical category defensively for the Golden Bears, who let a late 28-13 cushion nearly disappear in the final six minutes.
“Weaver has 22 tackles. When was the last time we didn’t talk about what a great player he is? He produces every week,” Wilcox said. “He’s a really good player. We’re proud of him.”
The last-minute heroics almost overshadowed a brilliant performance from Chase Garbers, who threw for four touchdowns and finished 23 of 35 for 357 yards. Touchdown passes of 9 and 60 yards to Jordan Duncan and Jake Tonges on the opening two possessions of the second half preserved a lead Cal never surrendered.
Cal finished with 433 yards of total offense, including first-half touchdown passes by Garbers of 6 and 13 yards by Trevon Clark and Christopher Brown Jr. The Golden Bears were efficient offensively, managing 6 of 12 in third-down situations and 3 of 3 in the red zone, capped by touchdowns.
Herbert’s 3 TD passes lead
No. 16 Oregon past Stanford
STANFORD (AP) — As soon as the final whistle blew, the Oregon players rushed to the corner of the end zone to celebrate with the large contingent of Ducks fans that made the trip to Stanford.
Celebrating victories over the Cardinal, big road wins in conference play and dominating defensive performances hasn’t happened often of late for Oregon. That’s what made this one so sweet.
Justin Herbert threw two of his three touchdown passes to Jacob Breeland and No. 16 Oregon held a third straight opponent without a touchdown in a 21-6 victory over Stanford on Saturday.
“Physicality has been a big point of emphasis,” coach Mario Cristobal said. “When you go on the road, sometimes it’s a little bit ugly. But you never want to apologize for winning on the road because it’s tough, especially in conference. Identity wise we want to be physical, we want to be tough and we want to finish games.”
The Ducks (3-1, 1-0 Pac-12) did all of that to end a three-game losing streak to the Cardinal (1-3, 0-2) and win the conference opener for the first time since 2014.
San Jose State upsets
Arkansas with late score
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Coming into Saturday night, the last time San Jose State beat a power conference opponent was in 2006 when the Spartans beat Stanford — a team that finished 1-11 — by a single point. Cardinal coach Walt Harris, who was in his second season, was fired at its conclusion.
Arkansas coach Chad Morris is in his second season, coming off a 2-10 year and Saturday’s game between his Razorbacks and San Jose State was only briefly that close.
DeJon Packer’s 19-yard touchdown scamper with 1:13 left lifted three-touchdown underdog San Jose State past Arkansas on the road, 31-24. Third-year Spartans coach Brent Brennan’s team went 1-11 last year and 2-11 the year before.
“It’s been two really, really hard years,” Brennan said. “To see (us) rise to the occasion, to stay together, to keep believing. We didn’t fold. We actually bowed up. We made it hard on them.”
Packer’s score was the game-winner, but San Jose State’s (2-1) five interceptions of Arkansas quarterback Nick Starkel were the true catalyst. Two of Starkel’s picks came after he and the Arkansas offense had marched into the red zone. But an overthrow was picked off by Jay Lenard at the 13 on the first drive after halftime and an errant pass was nabbed by Nehemi Shelton at the 1 on the next series.
“This performance is completely unacceptable,” Morris said. “You get what you deserve in life. We didn’t deserve to win this football game.”
Hokit’s late TDs help Fresno
St. beat Sacramento St. 20-12
FRESNO (AP) — Josh Hokit scored three times, including a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown runs, and Fresno State pulled away in the closing minutes to beat Sacramento State 34-20 on Saturday night.
Hokit finished with 12 carries for 72 yards and his 14-yard TD reception in the first quarter opened the scoring. Jorge Reyna was 26-of-39 passing for 312 yards and two touchdowns for Fresno State.
Hokit scored on a 2-yard run and, after Asa Fuller missed the extra point, the Bulldogs (1-2) led 20-12 with 14:56 to play. Less than three minutes later, Sacramento State tied it for the first time when Kevin Thomson threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Isaiah Bailey and BJ Perkinson ran in the 2-point conversion. Fresno State answered with an 11-play, 74-yard drive capped by Reyna’s 7-yard scoring strike to Derrion Grim and, after the Hornets went three-and-out, Hokit scored on a 14-yard run to make it 34-20 with 2:17 remaining.
Thomson was 22-of-41 passing for 233 yards and three touchdowns for Sacramento State (2-2).
Fresno State limited the Hornets to 12 yards rushing on 17 carries.