SEATTLE (AP) -- Kyle Boller waited his whole life to play such a
great game. The way he saw it, the Washington Huskies just happened
to be the team on the other side of the line.
Boller threw for 266 yards and a career-high five touchdowns as
California defeated No. 12 Washington 34-27 on Saturday, snapping a
19-game losing streak in the series.
"I can honestly say this is the best game I've ever played,
high school or college,'' a jubilant Boller said. "It was the best
feeling to look up in the stands afterward. I saw my mom jumping up
and down. It was awesome.''
The Golden Bears (4-2, 1-1 Pac-10) beat Washington (3-2, 0-1)
for the first time since Nov. 9, 1976. They also ended a 17-game
homefield winning streak by the Huskies.
"We can say, 'It's history. It's over,' '' Boller said. "People
will remember 2002 as the year the Golden Bears came in here,
played a good game and won.''
Boller was 13-of-24 without an interception, outdueling
Washington's Cody Pickett, the nation's No. 2 passer. Pickett
finished 35-of-59 for 399 yards, but he threw two interceptions.
"We kind of shot ourselves in the foot,'' Pickett said. "I
threw two picks, and you can't do that in the Pac-10.''
After the final seconds ticked off, the Bears gathered in front
of the Cal band in the southwest corner of Husky Stadium to salute
a contingent of fans. The celebration carried into the visitors'
"This does worlds for our confidence,'' Bears defensive back
Nnamdi Asomugha said. "Everybody saw us start 3-0, then they kind
of forgot about us when we lost the next two. We feel we're back.''
The Huskies rallied to beat California the last three years, and
they seemed ready to do it again. Pickett's 1-yard TD run on an
option play pulled Washington to 34-24 with 4:03 remaining.
Greg Carothers recovered a fumble by Joe Igber on Cal's ensuing
series, and the Huskies reached the final margin on John Anderson's
fourth field goal of the day, a 37-yarder with 1:54 to play.
"That was scary, how similar this game was to what's happened
before,'' Boller said. "This time, our defense stepped up. We
didn't let anything get to us.''
Cal's Geoff McArthur recovered the ensuing onside kick, and the
Bears ran out the clock.
"I would have never dreamed in my wildest dreams that I would
lose to Cal,'' Washington guard Elliott Zajac said. "It was
Pickett barely missed his third straight game with at least 400
yards. He was contained by a steady pass rush, and Cal's defensive
backs smothered Washington's talented receivers.
"Our main goal was to get hits on Pickett,'' Asomugha said.
"When you come at him, the D-line gets hits on the quarterback.
When the D-line gets hits on the quarterback, that forces him into
making bad plays.''
Huskies fans surely would say the Cal backs were too close. The
Golden Bears blanketed Washington receivers, and several times fans
booed when officials failed to call pass interference after
"Our receivers are so great, they tried to press and get our
guys off our routes,'' said Washington's Reggie Williams, who
caught eight passes for 116 yards. "We just didn't get calls when
somebody's ripping off your jersey.''
Williams continued to complain about the officiating.
"They're probably all cockeyed, or they have cataracts or
something,'' he said.
Pickett's second interception, by Jemeel Powell at Washington's
15-yard line early in the fourth quarter, set up Boller's fifth TD.
The Bears needed only three plays, as Boller found LaShaun Ward for
a 2-yard scoring play and a 34-18 lead.
California extended a 21-16 halftime lead to 27-16 early in the
third period when Boller found Washington freshman cornerback Nate
Robinson out of position and threw a 23-yard TD pass to a wide-open
"Boller is really a sleeper,'' said Cal's Vincent Strang, who
caught a 55-yard scoring pass. "I don't know if people realize how
good he is.''
Boller moved past Gale Gilbert for fourth place on Cal's career
passing list with 6,643 yards.
He also became only the third quarterback to throw for five TDs
against the Huskies. The last was Washington State's Jack Thompson
in 1976. Tom O'Connell of Illinois, in 1952, was the other.
"All that matters is we won,'' Boller said. "I could have
thrown for 8 yards or 800 yards. I don't even know how many yards I
had. It's just awesome to see everybody so happy. We just