Michael Wiley’s 10-yard touchdown run with 2:17 remaining was the difference in Arizona ending its 20-game losing streak with a 10-3 Pac-12 win Saturday in Tucson, Ariz., over a California team depleted by COVID-19 protocol.
Arizona, which had the longest losing streak in the nation, won its sixth straight against California. The Wildcats (1-8, 1-5 Pac-12) won for the first time since Oct. 5, 2019 at Colorado.
The Bears (3-6, 2-4) were without 24 players, including quarterback Chase Garbers, and five coaches were entered into COVID-19 protocols earlier this week.
Garbers took every snap at quarterback through Cal’s first eight games. Transfer Ryan Glover, who played last spring at Western Carolina after three years at Penn, was the starter.
Glover completed 11 of 29 passes for 94 yards.
The teams traded field goals in the third quarter to open the scoring.
Tyler Loop’s 29-yard field goal with 5:46 left in the quarter was answered by Nick Lopez, who made his first career attempt, a 34-yarder with 2:09 remaining. Lopez replaced Dario Longhetto, one of the players affected by the COVID-19 restrictions.
In that drive, Cal achieved its first third-down conversion in the game after failing in its first eight attempts.
The Golden Bears finished with 122 yards of total offense while Arizona tallied 331.
Arizona quarterback Will Plummer suffered a shoulder injury in the first half, forcing him to leave the field twice to the locker room to be examined. He went to the locker room again in the third quarter with a bloody hand.
Plummer completed 16 of 28 passes for 129 yards with two interceptions. He also rushed for 68 yards on 11 carries.
Converted receiver Jamarye Joiner and fifth-string quarterback Luke Ashworth took snaps for Arizona, which has lost Jordan McCloud (knee and ankle injuries) and Gunner Cruz (thumb) for the season.
Arizona’s best scoring situation in the first half with 9:09 left in the first quarter when the Wildcats reached the Cal 7-yard line but Plummer’s pass on third-and-goal was tipped by Nate Rutchena and fellow linebacker Evan Tattersall intercepted the pass.
–Field Level Media