SAN FRANCISCO — It was supposed to be a homecoming of sorts for quarterback Jon Hays, who grew up in northern California. Instead, it turned into a nightmare, as Hays turned the ball over four times in a 34-10 loss to Cal Saturday at AT&T Park.
Hays fumbled once and threw three interceptions, including one that went for a California touchdown.
But it wasn't all on Hays, who got little protection from his offensive line and was running for his life most of the night. Also, the Ute running game never got untracked and finished with just 22 yards on the ground. For the game, the Ute offense gained just 177 yards.
The Utes fell to 3-4 on the season and 0-4 in Pac-12 play, while Cal improved to 4-3 and 1-3 in the Pac-12.
Cal got on the board first, early in the second quarter on a 5-yard run by former Cottonwood High star Isi Sofele, who rushed for 85 yards in the game. Then Giorgio Tavecchio booted a pair of field goals from 35 and 37 yards to increase the lead to 13-0.
With less than a minute to go in the first half, and Utah in Cal territory, Hays was intercepted by Mychal Kendricks. Two plays later, the Bears scored on a 12-yard pass from Zach Maynard to Keenan Allen and went into halftime up 20-0.
In the second half, the Bears went up 27-0 midway through the third quarter on a 4-yard run by Maynard. Then early in the fourth quarter, a Hays pass was intercepted by Josh Hill and returned 32 yards for the score.
The Utes finally put together a couple of nice drives and scored on a 36-yard field goal by Coleman Petersen and a 14-yard touchdown by John White in the fourth quarter.
Next week, the Utes are at home to face Oregon State.
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