Cougars flat from kickoff in 30-7 loss to Cal

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 05, 2011
Paul Wulff called out his team for mistakes and mental lapses. He called out himself for poor coaching and preparation. Washington State's lopsided 30-7 loss at California left Wulff perplexed, angry and embarrassed. The Cougars had what he considered a great week of practice. It sure didn't show Saturday. ''The performance today was not acceptable, and it starts with me, and all of us need to play better than that,'' Wulff said. ''We will see what the character of this team is made of. ... We have players that do immature and dumb things still. We don't act very mature at times and we act young.'' Embattled Cal quarterback Zach Maynard threw for 118 yards and a touchdown before leaving after a blow to his head that wasn't considered serious and Isi Sofele ran for 138 yards in the rout that moved the Golden Bears (5-4, 2-4 Pac-12) within one victory of becoming bowl eligible. ''Everybody has an opinion,'' Maynard said. ''Criticism is all talk. I don't let it get to me. I try not to let it burden me.'' Maynard, who had thrown seven interceptions in his previous three games, hit Anthony Miller for a 19-yard touchdown pass on the first series of the game by Cal, which made a statement on a drizzly day in their next-to-last game at temporary home AT&T Park. ''We started off too slow. It took us about a half to get going,'' Washington State safety Tyree Toomer said. By halftime, the Cougars were already behind 23-0. Quarterback Marshall Lobbestael and Washington State (3-6, 1-5) faced constant pressure from the smothering Cal defense and managed only a 5-yard TD run early in the fourth quarter by Rickey Galvin, who attended Berkeley High School but wound up on the Palouse. Even when the Cougars had scoring chances, they squandered them. They set up for a 52-yard field goal attempt by Andrew Furney, but Zach Koepp's snap went high and through the hands of holder Dan Wagner for a 28-yard loss. Wulff shook his head in disappointment. ''When we kicked off, we just weren't there. I don't have an answer,'' Wulff said. Furney got a good snap in the third quarter and missed a 27-yard attempt wide left. Cal's attacking defense made things difficult all day for a Washington State passing game that came in ranked second in the conference, averaging 316.1 yards per game. Lobbestael finished 15 for 37 for 155 yards and the Cougars were held to 69 yards rushing. Trailing 30-0 after Will Kapp's 43-yard TD run on fourth-and-1 in the third quarter, Washington State had more yards in penalties (61) than total offense (55). The Cougars dropped their fifth straight game since opening Pac-12 play with a 31-27 victory at Colorado on Oct. 1. The Bears have won the last seven meetings against Washington State - outscoring the Cougars 248-98 - and four in a row at home. Cal won 20-13 last season in Pullman. ''They just outplayed us. We just came out flat,'' said Washington State left guard John Fullington. ''It's really frustrating, and I don't understand it.'' Cal defensive end Trevor Guyton used this game as a chance to pay tribute to an old friend, Cory Mackay, the former Washington State defensive lineman paralyzed from the waist down in a car accident in May 2009. Guyton switched his uniform number from 92 to 6 for this game to honor Mackay, who fell asleep at the wheel driving home to the Seattle area after finals week. Cougars running back Logwone Mitz, Guyton's high school teammate, wore No. 6 in the season opener and is trying to make the jersey switch for the rest of the season. ''He was one of my best friends,'' said Guyton, who went to junior high with Mackay before they attended rival high schools. ''He's been going through some tough times.'' Guyton and the Bears still have a tough task ahead to win one more in their final three games. After next Saturday's home finale against Oregon State, Cal plays the Big Game at rival and No. 4 Stanford on Nov. 19 and then travels to Arizona State the following week. ''Last week, there was a lot of criticism and a lot of people doubted us, but we didn't let that bother us,'' center Dominic Galas said. ''We know those guys in the locker room, those are the guys we care about. All that outside stuff didn't really matter.'' Last season, the Bears went 5-7 and missed out on a bowl game for the first time since now-10th-year coach Jeff Tedford's initial season in 2002. Cal is 3-1 in the San Francisco Giants' waterfront ballpark while Memorial Stadium is undergoing a renovation and retrofit across the bay in Berkeley. Most of Saturday's announced crowd of 35,506 left early to get out of a steady rain. Sofele carried 23 times on the way to his third 100-yard game of the season, and C.J. Anderson added a 5-yard touchdown run as Cal outgained the Cougars 411-224. Washington State managed only 22 yards in the first quarter, including four yards passing. Maynard - hurt recovering a fumble by Sofele with 4:52 remaining in the third - made solid decisions and completed 10 of 17 passes. He was sacked once but didn't throw an interception. ''I felt more calm this week, more prepared,'' Maynard said. Tedford has defended his junior transfer quarterback in recent weeks - even after Maynard threw four picks in last week's 31-14 loss at UCLA. ''It meant a lot,'' Maynard said. ''I love my team. We all believe in each other. They rallied around me and I rallied around them, too.'' World Series-winning manager Tony La Russa, who announced his retirement after the St. Louis Cardinals' title, received a donation to his Animal Rescue Foundation.
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