BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — A third straight victory to start the season wasn’t enough to satisfy California quarterback Chase Garbers, not after the Golden Bears nearly let a 20-point lead slip away.
“We executed well in the first half, especially the first quarter, then we kind of went into a lull,” Garbers said. “We have to play a lot better. It starts with me. I just have to put balls in the right spot. Everywhere else we just have to execute better.”
Garbers passed for one touchdown after using his legs to get California’s offense going, Greg Thomas kicked three field goals and the Bears beat North Texas 23-17 on Saturday.
Christopher Brown Jr. ran for 47 yards and a touchdown while Cal’s defense had six sacks and forced two turnovers. The Bears are 3-0 for the third time in three years under coach Justin Wilcox.
Cal won despite being held to three points over the final three quarters.
“For us it was all about the level of execution and we’ve just got a long way to go there,” Wilcox said. “No two ways about it. Our guys play hard and the effort’s really good. Now the level of execution’s gotta match that for us to do what we want to do. We’re not there yet.”
Cal dominated on both sides early in the first-ever matchup between the two schools then held on after North Texas made a late surge. The Mean Green pulled within 23-17 on Mason Fine’s 18-yard TD to Jyaire Shorter late in the fourth quarter and got the ball back with less than two minutes remaining but turned it over on downs.
Garbers was a big factor for the Bears staying unbeaten, one week after Cal’s stunning 20-19 win over then-No. 14 Washington in a game that was delayed by weather for more than 2½ hours. Garbers repeatedly burned the Mean Green with keepers and scrambles while running for a career-high 70 yards on 18 carries despite North Texas frequently stacking the box.
Gabriel throws 4 TD passes,
No. 17 UCF routs Stanford 45-27
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — New quarterback, same results for No. UCF 17, which continues to state its case for inclusion in the discussion about elite teams in college football by lighting up the scoreboard and winning.
“I think since we’ve been here, we’ve been a part of the noise,” coach Josh Heupel said Saturday after the Knights dominated Stanford 45-27 for their 28th win in 29 games.
“I think people that watch us play, know that we play championship caliber football,” the second-year coach added. “We’ll hold our own every single week. They’re probably the most competitive group of kids that I’ve ever been around. They knew this was big.”
Freshman Dillon Gabriel threw for 347 yards and four touchdowns in his second college start, and UCF scored at least 30 points for the 29th consecutive game — the longest streak in the Football Bowl Subdivision since 1936.
The Knights (3-0) scored on six of seven possessions, building a 31-point halftime lead in what was expected to be a much tougher test for the two-time defending American Athletic Conference champions, who won their first two games of the season by a combined score of 110-14 against Florida A&M and Florida Atlantic.
“Pretty straightforward today, we got beat by a very good football team. Going into it all this Group of Five talk ... I don’t know what any of that stuff is,” Stanford coach David Shaw said. “Doesn’t matter. What matters is they’ve got talent, they’ve got speed. They’ve got playmakers, and they’re a tough team ... one of the best teams in America the last two years. They don’t need a statement win.”
Stanford (1-2), which tumbled out of the Top 25 after losing 45-20 at Southern California the previous week, yielded four touchdowns in the opening quarter and 413 yards total offense in the first half alone.
Thomson leads Sacramento State
over Northern Colorado 50-0
SACRAMENTO (AP) — Kevin Thomson threw for a career-high 361 yards and tied a career high with five TD passes to help Sacramento State beat fellow Big Sky member Northern Colorado 50-0 in a nonconference game on Saturday night.
Thomson completed 27 of 41 passes with an interception and ran for 53 yards for the Hornets (2-1). Elijah Dotson caught seven passes for 158 yards and a touchdown, and Pierre Williams had six receptions for 115 yards.
Sacramento State had 614 yards of total offense while its defense scored on a safety and held Northern Colorado (0-3) to 171 yards.