SAN DIEGO — The California Golden Bears couldn't hold onto the football or protect their quarterback in a 21-10 loss to Texas in the Holiday Bowl on Wednesday night.
The Golden Bears (7-6) had five turnovers and Zach Maynard was sacked six teams, leading to their fifth straight loss to Texas dating to 1959.
"You were going to have to earn everything you got," Cal coach Jeff Tedford said. "We gave away too many things today. Some of them were self-imposed. Many of them were the result of Texas."
David Ash threw for one touchdown and caught a TD pass for Texas (8-5).
Ash caught a 4-yard pass from wide receiver Jaxon Shipley in the second quarter to join BYU's Steve Young, Texas A&M's Bucky Richardson and Oregon's Joey Harrington as quarterbacks who've caught scoring passes in the Holiday Bowl.
The Longhorns had the ball first-and-goal when Ash handed off to running back Malcolm Brown who then handed off to Shipley as if the Longhorns were going to run a reverse. Ash slipped into the end zone and caught Shipley's pass to give Texas a 7-3 lead. Shipley has thrown three touchdown passes this season, all while lining up at wide receiver.
Texas coach Mack Brown joked on Tuesday how much it still bugged him that Harrington caught a TD pass in the Ducks' 35-30 win against Texas in the 2000 Holiday Bowl. The Oregon offensive coordinator then was Tedford, who has been Cal's coach since 2002. Harrington now works for the Longhorn Network.
That play helped salvage a little bit of the Holiday Bowl's reputation for high-scoring, wide-open games.
"We knew that any big plays they were going to have were going to come off gimmicks and trick plays," Cal defensive end Trevor Guyton said. "I think some guys got too caught up in knowing that it was coming to really stop it."
Ash had another impressive play in the third quarter when he threw a 47-yard touchdown pass to Marquise Goodwin, who made a nice over-the-shoulder catch in full stride. That gave the Longhorns a 14-10 lead.
Texas put it away on Cody Johnson's 4-yard touchdown run on the first play of the fourth quarter, which was set up when Maynard was sacked and fumbled, which was recovered by Chris Whaley at the Cal 44. Goodwin ran for 37 yards and Johnson had a 3-yard gain before his touchdown run.
Cal briefly took the lead at 10-7 after Isi Sofele's 6-yard run to cap the opening drive of the second half.
Ash's long TD pass to Goodwin came four plays into the next Texas drive.