Safety Damariay Drew’s pass interception with 3½ minutes left helped No. 24 Cal stay unbeaten on Saturday with a shaky 34-28 victory over Washington State in front of 42,042 fans at Memorial Stadium.
Jared Goff completed two third-down passes on the ensuing possession and the Bears (5-0, 2-0 Pac-12) went on to equal their best start since 1950. They hadn’t been 5-0 since 2007 and will need to win on the road against No. 10 Utah next Saturday to reach 6-0 for the first time since the Pappy Waldorf era.
A year after outlasting the Cougars (2-2, 0-1) in a back-and-forth 60-59 marathon in Pullman, Washington, the Bears used seven sacks and three takeaways to overcome an uneven performance by the offense.
Drew, who did not attend Cal a year after an assault charge for an on-campus incident in the spring of 2014, stepped in front of WSU receiver Tyler Baker to pick off Luke Falk’s pass at the 10-yard line with 3:29 left.
The Cougars got the ball back at their own 20-yard line with 12 seconds left, but their comeback ran out of time.
Goff passed for 390 yards and four touchdowns, becoming the school’s career leader in that category with 68. Kenny Lawler caught two of the TDs, giving him 22 for his career.
But the Bears’ run game was erratic and Cal turned the ball over twice.
The Bears took a 34-28 lead into the fourth quarter after an action-packed third period.