UC Berkeley vs. Colorado Buffaloes

Lilly Richards, Sports Reporter

The California Golden Bears have suffered yet another devastating 16 point defeat against the Colorado Buffaloes. This puts Cal at 0-11 in conference games on the road dating back to the 2015 season. Both teams entered this Saturday morning’s game with records of 4-4, hoping to get a win to put them in contention for a decent bowl game. While Cal quarterback Ross Bowers recorded a season high of 359 yards of passing, it was not enough to push them past their conference opponents.

Cal’s defense started off strong on Colorado’s first drive, allowing just 18 yards then forcing a punt. However, when Colorado got the ball back after a disappointing three-and-out featuring two incomplete passes from Bowers, they marched 73 yards down the field in 3 minutes and 39 seconds to score the first of their five touchdowns in the game.

Cal shot back, scoring their first touchdown in 11 plays and 75 yards. This touchdown came off of a stunning trick play: Bowers completed a screen pass to Vic Wharton III, who ran a few feet toward the left sideline, taking advantage of his left handedness as he threw a perfect 15 yard pass to a wide open Kanawai Noa in the end zone. Cal would end the first quarter down 7-14.

In the second quarter, the Buffaloes scored either a field goal or touchdown of four consecutive drives and held the Bears to only one touchdown. On that drive, Bowers took control of the offense, passing and rushing for 83 yards. On the scoring play, Noa caught his second touchdown of the game, this time a 27 yard completion from Bowers. The Bears entered the locker room at halftime trailing 14-27.

The third quarter was a bit dull, as neither team scored and simply alternated punts with one Colorado fumble. With 11:20 left to go in the third, defensive end James Looney recovered a team fumble at their own 46, but their offense did not manage to convert off of the turnover.

Colorado scored on the first drive of the fourth quarter on a perfect 23 yard pass to Boulder Colorado native, Jay MacIntyre, putting the Buffaloes up 34-14. But the Bears had not lost hope. They came back to score a touchdown to make it a 13 point game with 8:24 remaining in the fourth quarter. During that five play, 84 yard drive, they only took 1:07 minutes off the clock. Bowers went off again, passing for 73 yards, 51 of which coming off of a beautiful pass to Jordan Veasy to bring them in Colorado’s red-zone. Wharton caught the 14 yard touchdown pass to make the score 21-34.

Though the Buffaloes scored a field goal after that drive, the Bears were still optimistic, down only two possessions with 5:22 left. They drove down the field to the Colorado 11 yard line. Then came the nail in the coffin. Bowers threw a pass into the back right corner of the endzone, but it was picked off by cornerback Nick Fisher and returned 100 yards for a Colorado touchdown. While Cal did come back to score a touchdown their next drive, it was not enough to come back from the substantial deficit.

Bowers finished the game with 359 yards and three touchdowns, making it one of his best games of the season. Another player that really broke out was Jordan Veasy. He had seven receptions (a season high), 111 yards, and a touchdown. He also caught that 51 yard pass to put the Bears deep into Buffalo territory. This was by far his best game, and he is stepping up to help Wharton fill in for Demetrius Robertson. Wharton played well also, recording 108 yards on seven receptions with two touchdowns. Their running game was subpar, rushing for a team total of 61 yards. Linebacker Jorda Kunaszyk played outstanding, recording 10 solo tackles and 16 total tackles that game.

After the game, James Looney expressed his displeasure in their performance: “They beat the crap out of us,” he said, “It sucks.” While he did force a fumble, James Looney underperformed only recording a season low of three tackles. He was not the only one to leave this game angry; Bowers said that “this is not a fun feeling at all, and it’s not something that we are going to accept. He concluded with a takeaway that he received from this game: “This is when everybody talks about adversity and asks what you’re about. Now, we get to see who’s genuinely going to come to work and who’s going to show how much they care.”

The Bears will face the 1-7 Oregon State Beavers at home this Saturday and are looking at that game optimistically.