California quarterback Chase Garbers passed for 224 yards and three touchdowns and safety Ashtyn Davis had an interception and an 89-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the Golden Bears’ 45-23 victory over the visiting Idaho State Bengals at Memorial Stadium on Saturday.
Garbers, a redshirt freshman, completed 20 of 25 passes in his second career start, throwing 28- and 14-yard scoring passes to wide receiver Jordan Duncan in the first half and hitting Jake Ashton on a 20-yard score early in the fourth quarter as the Golden Bears improved to 3-0 for the second straight season.
Cal halfback Marcel Dancy rushed for 80 yards and a touchdown, Garbers added 42 yards rushing and backup quarterback Brandon McIlwain threw a late touchdown pass in the first meeting between the two schools.
Senior quarterback Tanner Gueller completed 15 of 23 passes for 179 yards and a touchdown to younger brother Mitch Gueller, who had six catches for 156 yards. James Madison rushed for 63 yards and a touchdown for the FCS Bengals (1-1), who scored twice in the final six minutes.
Cal has held its first three opponents scoreless in the first half, and it has six interceptions. It led the FBS with six interceptions entering the game.
The Bears scored three touchdowns in a 6:40 span over the first two quarters to take control. Davis’ interception set up a four-play, 40-yard drive capped by Dancy’s 5-yard run with 1:41 left in the first quarter for a 7-0 lead. Idaho State did not have a first down in the first quarter.
Garbers’ 28-yard touchdown pass to Duncan make it 14-0, and Davis scored on his kickoff return with 10:01 remaining in the first half for a 21-3 lead after Idaho State kicked a field goal. Garbers and Duncan connected again with 53 seconds left in the first half to make it 28-3.
Ty Flanagan scored on an 11-yard run to make it 28-9 after a Garbers pass was intercepted midway through the third quarter and Cal blocked the extra point attempt. Greg Thomas’ 44-yard field goal gave Cal a 31-9 lead after three quarters.
—Field Level Media