TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- A vicious hit on one of their California
teammates -- and the crowd's reaction to it -- was enough to fire up
the Bears (No. 8 ESPN/USA Today, No. 7 AP) in an otherwise sluggish performance
After seeing teammate Jonathan Makonnen flattened by a block
from Arizona's Marcus Smith on an interception return, Aaron
Rodgers threw two touchdown passes in the final 1:38 of the first
half en route to a 38-0 victory over the lowly Wildcats.
"It kind of ticked us off," Rodgers said. "They were cheering
our guy getting injured, and they were really giving it to him on
the sidelines -- pretty derogatory remarks."
Rodgers threw for three first-half touchdowns, J.J. Arrington
topped 100 yards rushing for the sixth consecutive game and Cal
shut out an opponent for the first time in five years.
Geoff McArthur broke the Cal record for career yards receiving
with his 11-yard TD reception 11 seconds before halftime. McArthur
caught six passes for 94 yards to give him 2,768 career yards,
breaking Bobby Shaw's record of 2,731 set from 1994 through 1997.
McArthur, who predates Tedford's arrival and the Cal program's
turnaround, said he would never have imagined back then that he
could accumulate such statistics.
"There was no way I could have been convinced that I'd be the
all-time leading anything here," he said.
Rodgers completed 20 of 27 passes for 235 yards but was
intercepted twice -- both by Antoine Cason and both on deflections.
They were just the third and fourth picks he has thrown this
It was on Cason's second interception return that Makonnen was
leveled by Brooks. Cal coach Jeff Tedford saw the hit coming, and
rushed to the field as the receiver lay on the ground.
"It was a tough hit. I saw it coming and I wish I could have
yelled loud enough to tell him to look out," Tedford said.
Makonnen was taken to a nearby hospital, where an MRI showed no
"Jonathan's going to be fine," Tedford said. "Our medical
staff was a little worried about internal injuries so they took him
for an MRI and right now all signs say they're negative."
Arrington gained 135 yards in 24 carries, including a 1-yard
The Golden Bears (5-1, 3-1 Pac-10) posted their first shutout
since a 17-0 victory over UCLA on Oct. 16, 1999.
Cal had 489 total yards, falling a little short of its season
average of 518 yards and 41.6 points per game. It's a measure of
the team's expectations that a 38-0 victory is considered as
"We stopped ourselves a lot today, which is discouraging,"
Arizona (1-6, 0-4) lost its sixth in a row.
"Obviously we got beat by a much better football team in all
areas," coach Mike Stoops said. "We're not a very consistent
football team on either side of the ball. At times we show spurts,
and we're just not able to get a break. We fight and hang in there,
then the damn kind of opens up."
California needed just 2:32 to go 82 yards in seven plays.
Rodgers threw 21 yards to Chris Manderino for the score to make it
21-0 with 1:38 left in the half. Arrington carried four times for
56 yards on the drive.
Cal's Tim Mixon made an acrobatic interception on the sideline
at the Arizona 48 with 35 seconds to play in the half. Rodgers
threw 25 yards to McArthur, then Darrell Brooks was called for an
illegal use of his helmet on a tackle to set up Rodgers' TD pass to
McArthur that made it 28-0.
The Bears took the opening kickoff and went 80 yards in 11
plays, capped by Arrington's 1-yard run. The drive began when
Rodgers threw a lateral to Terrell Williams, who passed 28 yards to
Rodgers was 4-for-4 for 40 yards on the first TD drive, and
5-for-5 on the second.
Arizona's offense finally got moving when redshirt freshman
Richard Kovalcheck, in his first collegiate start, threw 48 yards
to Steve Fleming. The Wildcats advanced to the Cal 23, but Donnie
McCleskey soared to block Nick Folk's 46-yard field-goal attempt
with 10:41 left in the second quarter. Down 14-0, Arizona had a touchdown nullified. Rodgers threw to
Makonnen, who lost the ball for what appeared to be a fumble.
Arizona's Tony Wingate picked it up and returned it to the end
zone, but it was ruled an incomplete pass.
Nike Men's Arizona Wildcats Navy/Cardinal Team Issue Performance PoloShop
The Paul Finebaum Show talks about LSU against Wisconsin being the most evenly matched game of opening weekend.
Bleacher Report's Barrett Sallee joins the Paul Finebaum Show to discuss his rankings of the toughest environments to play in in SEC football.
Tony Barnhart joins the Paul Finebaum Show to discuss his article about the need for new sexual-assault rules.
Stanford's schedule is exceptionally front-loaded with six of its toughest seven games coming at the beginning of the season.
The Paul Finebaum Show discusses the challenges facing both teams in the 2016 season after losing some of their top players.
The Paul Finebaum Show talks abut the opening weekend matchup between two of the most prominent college football teams in history.