California Golden Bears at Washington Huskies

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No. 8 Washington uses 45-point first half to cruise past California 59-32

Ja'Lynn Polk goes up for incredible TD grab

That's a scary proposition when facing arguably the most powerful offense in the country.

Rome Odunze scored on an 83-yard punt return and a 35-yard reception in the first half, Edefuan Ulofoshio returned an interception 45 yards for a score on the first possession of the game, and Washington scored 45 first-half points on its way to a 59-32 win over California on Saturday night.

“It's good to help him out. That's what we've been talking about this whole year just to create plays for our offense and give them the ball back as much as possible,” Ulofoshio said.

Washington led 14-0 before Penix ever saw the field. And when he did, Penix threw for three first-half touchdowns as the Huskies tied a school record for points in a half.

Washington (4-0, 1-0 Pac-12) made everything look surprisingly easy, leading by as much as 40 against an opponent that’s been a problem in recent years.

“It was fun. It was exciting to be able to see the other two sides of the ball score early,” Penix said. “Definitely a fast start and that's something we talk about a lot is starting fast in all phases.”

Penix played into the third quarter and finished 19 of 25 for 304 yards. He found Ja’Lynn Polk for touchdowns of 8 and 24 yards, the first of which Polk pinned the ball against his helmet as he went to the turf.

Odunze followed up his TD catch in the first half with a 13-yard scoring reception in the third quarter on a screen pass.

Polk finished with eight catches for 127 yards and Odunze had five receptions for 125 yards. Washington has had at least two pass catchers top 100 yards receiving in all four games this season.

“It just goes to the execution that we have coming out there and had and all the work that we put in as a whole offense,” Odunze said. “It's not just the wide receiver group. It's the whole offense. The whole offense has to be able to operate at a high level for us to be able to do those thing.”

The 101st meeting between the Golden Bears and Huskies was the conference opener for both and the final time the two original members of what’s now the Pac-12 would meet as members of the same conference.

Washington and California were founding members of the Pacific Coast Conference that started play in 1916. And more than 100 years later the Huskies and Golden Bears met for the final time before Washington heads to the Big Ten and Cal becomes a member of the ACC.

It was a forgettable trip for the visitors.

“I can’t say that any one unit played well enough. And that is coaches and players and ultimately me,” Cal coach Justin Wilcox said.

California quarterback Ben Finley was 17 of 32 for 207 yards and two touchdowns, but was intercepted three times in the first half. The problems started for Cal (2-2, 0-1) immediately as Ulofoshio intercepted a poor throw by Finley on the sixth play of the game. It was the first interception of Ulofoshio’s career.

Cal was forced to punt on its next possession and Odunze found open space for the first punt return touchdown of his career.

Cal running back Jadyn Ott returned after sitting out last week against Idaho but could never get started against Washington’s defense. Ott was held to 40 yards on 14 carries.

Finley was hurt during an interception return in the third quarter that was called back on a penalty and only then did Cal turn to Sam Jackson V at quarterback. Jackson had started two of the first three games.

“Basically both guys have two games under their belt and it’s unsettled. We’ve got to find more consistent play at that position and that’s the one that gets the most attention for obvious reasons," Wilcox said.

Jeremiah Hunter and Taj Davis both had touchdown receptions for the Bears. Davis played last season at Washington.


Washington’s 45 points in the first half matched a school record set four times previously. It also tied California’s record for most points allowed in a half. Washington also scored 40 or more points in a fourth straight game in the same regular season for the first time since 1944.


California: The Bears need to get their QB situation settled. Finley was shaky before getting hurt and Jackson looked good but against Washington's backups.

Washington: The Huskies enjoyed yet another big offensive day despite wide receiver Jalen McMillan not playing after suffering a lower leg injury last week at Michigan State. McMillan sat the second half against the Spartans and was on the Huskies sideline but not in full uniform against Cal.


California: The Bears host Arizona State next Saturday.

Washington: The Huskies are at Arizona next Saturday.

How To Watch

How can I watch California Golden Bears vs. Washington Huskies?
  • TV Channel: Golden Bears at Huskies 2021 College Football, week 4, is broadcasted on ESPN.
  • Online streaming: Sign up for Fubo.

Matchup Prediction

Huskies: 84.8%
Golden Bears: 15.2%
*According to ESPN's Basketball Power Index

Scoring Summary

WASH TD 1st Period 12:37 Edefuan Ulofoshio 45 Yd Interception Return (Grady Gross Kick)
WASH TD 1st Period 9:13 Rome Odunze 83 Yd Punt Return (Grady Gross Kick)
CAL TD 1st Period 5:52 Jeremiah Hunter 7 Yd pass from Ben Finley (Michael Luckhurst PAT failed)
WASH TD 1st Period 2:19 Ja'Lynn Polk 8 Yd pass from Michael Penix Jr. (Grady Gross Kick)
WASH FG 1st Period 0:38 Grady Gross 41 Yd Field Goal
WASH TD 2nd Period 11:27 Dillon Johnson 3 Yd Run (Grady Gross Kick)
CAL TD 2nd Period 9:00 Taj Davis 24 Yd pass from Ben Finley (Two-Point Pass Conversion Failed)
WASH TD 2nd Period 4:08 Ja'Lynn Polk 24 Yd pass from Michael Penix Jr. (Grady Gross Kick)
WASH TD 2nd Period 0:44 Rome Odunze 35 Yd pass from Michael Penix Jr. (Grady Gross Kick)
WASH TD 3rd Period 11:28 Rome Odunze 13 Yd pass from Michael Penix Jr. (Grady Gross Kick)
CAL TD 3rd Period 1:49 Jaydn Ott 2 Yd Run (Michael Luckhurst Kick)
CAL TD 4th Period 10:48 Trond Grizzell 20 Yd pass from Sam Jackson V (Michael Luckhurst PAT failed)
WASH TD 4th Period 7:08 Sam Adams II 9 Yd Run (Addison Shrock Kick)
CAL TD 4th Period 3:40 Ashton Stredick 3 Yd Run (Mateen Bhaghani Kick)

28 1st Downs 23
10-17 3rd down efficiency 5-11
0-0 4th down efficiency 1-2
502 Total Yards 529
363 Passing 389
27-46 Comp-Att 23-32
7.9 Yards per pass 12.2
139 Rushing 140
35 Rushing Attempts 30
4.0 Yards per rush 4.7
2-10 Penalties 9-83
3 Turnovers 1
0 Fumbles lost 0
3 Interceptions thrown 1
29:50 Possession 30:10

Game Information

Husky Stadium

Location: Seattle, WA
Attendance: 69,107 · Capacity: 70,138
Full Standings

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