Southern Utah 31

(0-2, 0-2 away)

California 50

(1-1, 1-1 home)

Coverage: Pac-12 Network

3:00 PM ET, September 8, 2012

Memorial Stadium (Berkeley, CA), Berkeley, CA

1 2 3 4 T
SUU 3 7 7 1431
CAL 0 20 0 3050

Top Performers

Passing: B. Sorensen (SUU) - 292 YDS, 4 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: I. Sofele (CAL) - 19 CAR, 104 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: F. Moala (SUU) - 9 REC, 85 YDS, 1 TD

California overcomes sluggish start, tops FCS-level Southern Utah

Associated Press

BERKELEY, Calif. -- California cornerback Marc Anthony scored on a 61-yard interception return in the fourth quarter and the Golden Bears shook off another sluggish start at home to beat Southern Utah 50-31 on Saturday.

Keenan Allen had two touchdowns, one on a 69-yard punt return, to help the Bears notch their first victory at newly renovated Memorial Stadium.

A week after losing the home-opener to Nevada, Cal (1-1) had 518 yards of offense but couldn't shake Southern Utah, an FCS school playing its first season in the Big Sky Conference, until the fourth quarter when the Bears forced two turnovers and scored 30 points.

Anthony, who tipped a Hail Mary pass the Thunderbirds converted into a touchdown just before halftime, made the biggest play after Southern Utah receiver Henna Brown appeared to run the wrong route on the first play of the fourth quarter.

Quarterback Brad Sorensen threw a short pass intended for Brown, who kept running while Anthony turned to make the interception. Anthony then worked his way downfield into the end zone to help give Cal a 34-17 lead.

The Bears piled on quickly after that.

Defensive end Aaron Tipoti recovered a fumble on Southern Utah's next possession, and Vincenzo D'Amato's third field goal made it 37-17.

Allen, who caught a 19-yard touchdown from quarterback Zach Maynard on the first play of the fourth quarter, made it 44-17 with a long punt return. Allen fumbled the ball but recovered it then broke free down the right sideline on his way into the end zone.

Things will get significantly more challenging for the Bears now. They go on the road to face No. 14 Ohio State next Saturday then take a trip to second-ranked Southern California the following week.

Maynard, making his first start of the season after being benched for the first three series in the loss to Nevada, completed 17 of 23 attempts for 229 yards and the touchdown to Allen.

C.J. Anderson and Isi Sofele both added short touchdown runs, and Daniel Lasco scored on a 77-yard run in the fourth quarter.

Two big mistakes by the Bears defense -- and an outstanding one-handed catch by the Thunderbirds' Cameron Morgan -- kept the game from being a total blowout before halftime.

Sorensen's Hail Mary pass in the end zone as time expired fell incomplete, but Cal defensive back Steve Williams was called for pass interference, giving the Thunderbirds an extra play. Sorensen then heaved another long pass that Morgan pulled in for a 37-yard touchdown. Anthony tipped the ball in the air but Morgan alertly grabbed it with his left hand as he was falling out of the back of the end zone for the score.

That was one of the few things that went right for Southern Utah.

Sorensen, a preseason candidate for the Walter Payton Award, passed for 292 yards and four touchdowns to become the school's career leader, though most of it came in the second half after Cal built a substantial lead.

It was a much better finish for the Bears, who fell behind early for the second consecutive week.

They committed turnovers inside their own territory on consecutive drives in the first quarter and had 10 penalties for 96 yards before halftime.

This time, Cal overcame its mistakes.

Maynard was intercepted by Southern Utah defensive end James Crowser while attempting a screen pass in the first quarter, then freshman wide receiver Chris Harper fumbled away the Bears next possession following a short completion.

Southern Utah (0-2) had its own issues on offense and couldn't take advantage of the good field position.

The Thunderbirds took a 3-0 lead on Colton Cook's 40-yard field goal then spent the rest of the afternoon playing from behind.

Cal scored on four consecutive possessions in the second quarter to go in front.

Anderson's 7-yard touchdown run capped a 94-yard drive for the Bears, Sofele scored on a 12-yard run and D'Amato added a pair of field goals to give Cal a 20-3 lead.

Southern Utah stayed close and pulled within 20-17 midway through the third quarter on Sorensen's 5-yard touchdown pass to Brown, but the Thunderbirds couldn't slow Cal down in the fourth.

Sofele finished with 104 yards on 19 carries.

Game notes

The Bears are 6-0 against FCS teams. ... Southern Utah won the coin toss but deferred. ... Cal played without starting right tackle Matt Summers-Gavin, who injured his knee late in the loss to Nevada.


Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs1820
Total Yards371518
3rd Down Conversions10-205-11
4th Down Conversions0-20-0

Passing Leaders


Rushing Leaders


Receiving Leaders


Scoring Summary

FG00:22Colton Cook 40 Yd 30
FG13:23Vincenzo D'Amato 18 Yd 33
TD09:40C.J. Anderson 6 Yd Run (Vincenzo D'Amato Kick) 310
TD05:22Isi Sofele 12 Yd Run (Vincenzo D'Amato Kick) 317
FG00:25Vincenzo D'Amato 27 Yd 320
TD00:00Cameron Morgan 37 Yd Pass From Brad Sorensen (Brock Miller Kick) 1020
TD08:27Henna Brown 5 Yd Pass From Brad Sorensen (Colton Cook Kick) 1720
TD14:54Keenan Allen 19 Yd Pass From Zach Maynard (Vincenzo D'Amato Kick) 1727
TD10:47Marc Anthony 61 Yd Interception Return (Vincenzo D'Amato Kick) 1734
FG09:22Vincenzo D'Amato 47 Yd 1737
TD07:28Keenan Allen 69 Yd Punt Return (Vincenzo D'Amato Kick) 1744
TD04:48Brian Wilson 8 Yd Pass From Brad Sorensen (Colton Cook Kick) 2444
TD03:21Daniel Lasco 77 Yd Run (Pat Failed) 2450
TD00:42Fatu Moala 7 Yd Pass From Brad Sorensen (Colton Cook Kick) 3150