Cal coach Sonny Dykes put on his travel-agent hat after the Bears’ 48-46 victory over Arizona State in their regular-season finale at Memorial Stadium.
Asked if the Bears deserved a bid in the Jan. 2 Cactus Bowl at Tempe, Arizona over the home-town Sun Devils, the giddy coach offered, “I mean, we beat ‘em. They probably want to sell hotels. I don’t know how many they’re going to sell to Arizona State.”
Cal won’t know its postseason destination won’t be official until Sunday, but Dykes and the Bears probably wish they could play this week after their second-half performance Saturday night on front of 45,385 fans.
Down by 21 points midway through the second quarter and trailing 27-10 at halftime, Cal punted after its first possession of the third quarter.
Then quarterback Jared Goff led a parade of five straight touchdown drives before placekicker Matt Anderson delivered a game-winning, 22-yard field goal as time expired.
Cal hadn’t scored more than 28 points against any Pac-12 opponent – except last-place Oregon State – since Oct. 3. But the Bears posted 38 in the second half alone against an ASU defense whose mighty pass rush was completely defused.
“We just couldn’t stop them,” ASU coach Todd Graham said.
For Goff, who has thrown 90 touchdown passes in three seasons, this was a signature game. He broke his own school record with 542 passing yards and threw four of his five TDs after halftime.
“He will us to that win at the end,” Cal offensive coordinator Tony Franklin said.