Bears re­main un­de­feated

San Francisco Chronicle Late Edition - - COLLEGE FOOTBALL - By Rusty Sim­mons Rusty Sim­mons is a San Fran­cisco Chron­i­cle staff writer. Email: rsim­mons@sfchron­i­cle.com Twit­ter: @Rusty_SFChron

The Cal play­ers had to be re­strained from rush­ing the field af­ter Cameron Goode in­ter­cepted a pass and re­turned it for a 31-yard touch­down that clinched the Bears’ 27-16 vic­tory over Ole Miss on Saturday night at Me­mo­rial Sta­dium.

The cul­ture has of­fi­cially changed in Berkeley, where, for the third straight week, the pro­gram’s much-ma­ligned de­fense turned in a re­mark­able sec­ond half to en­sure a win.

Led by in­side line­backer De­vante Downs, who had 14 tack­les, two sacks and an in­ter­cep­tion, the Bears shut out Ole Miss in the sec­ond half and held the Rebels to fewer than 100 yards.

In front of 37,125 fans and a na­tional TV au­di­ence, Cal, which was pro­jected to win 3½ games all sea­son, moved to 3-0 in just its third game. Ole Miss, which was play­ing in the state of Cal­i­for­nia for just the sec­ond time in pro­gram his­tory (38-28 win at Fresno State in 2011), dropped to 2-1.

On a night when the of­fense was with­out its two most dy­namic play­ers, Tre Wat­son and Demetris Robert­son, Kanawai Noa and Bran­don Sin­gle­ton had ca­reer-high per­for­mances, and Pa­trick Laird and Vic En­were com­bined for 153 rush­ing yards.

Ole Miss quar­ter­back Shea Pat­ter­son, who en­tered the game lead­ing the na­tion in pass­ing yards and tied atop the coun­try in pass­ing touch­downs, went 26-for-44 for 363 yards and two touch­downs. But his three in­ter­cep­tions helped make win­ners of Cal, and the Rebels fur­ther hurt their cause by com­mit­ting 16 penal­ties for 113 yards.

Cal lim­ited Ole Miss to a field goal af­ter get­ting burnt on a 42-yard pass that gave the Rebels a first-and-goal sit­u­a­tion from the 4-yard line. The Bears then took ad­van­tage of their first red-zone trip, an op­por­tu­nity set up by their de­fense.

Downs took out A.J. Brown’s legs just as a pass ar­rived, pop­ping the ball into the hands of Jaylinn Hawkins. He re­turned it to Ole Miss’ 21-yard line, and three plays later, Laird scored on a 13-yard run to put Cal ahead 7-3 with 8:17 re­main­ing in the first quar­ter.

DaMarkus Lodge strut­ted around the Rebels’ side­line af­ter catch­ing a slant and streak­ing 72 yards for a touch­down that gave Ole Miss a 10-7 lead be­fore the mid­way point of the first quar­ter.

Downs got an in­ter­cep­tion of his own with late in the first quar­ter, when Mar­loshawn Franklin de­flected a pass that the line­backer grabbed at the 23-yard line. Pat­ter­son wasn’t de­terred, com­ing back and toss­ing a 71-yard touch­down to D.K. Met­calf on Ole Miss’ next play from scrim­mage to put the Rebels up 16-7.

Cal briefly trimmed the deficit to 16-10 in the clos­ing min­utes of the sec­ond quar­ter, but Wil­cox chose to take the field goal off the board when a penalty gave the Bears a first-and­goal sit­u­a­tion from the 9-yard line. Ross Bow­ers was in­ter­cepted by C.J. Moore in the end zone two plays later, and Ole Miss sneaked into the half­time break with a 16-7 lead.

A 13-play, 72-yard drive, in­clud­ing a fourth-down con­ver­sion and a 19-yard touch­down pass to Vic Whar­ton III, made it 16-14 on Cal’s first pos­ses­sion of the sec­ond half. Matt An­der­son’s 19-yard field goal put the Bears ahead 17-16 with 2:47 left in the third quar­ter — their first lead of the game.

An­der­son, who is No. 9 on Cal’s all-time scor­ing, missed his sec­ond of the game mid­way through the fourth quar­ter.

His 41-yarder gave the Bears a 20-16 lead with 3:44 re­main­ing, and Goode’s in­ter­cep­tion re­turn put it away 44 sec­onds later.

San­ti­ago Me­jia / The Chron­i­cle

Cal’s Vic Whar­ton III helped lead the Bears to a come­back win against Ole Miss in front 37,125 fans in Berkeley.

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