EditorsNote: rewords fourth graf
Chase Garbers passed for four touchdowns and rushed for a fifth as Cal beat Illinois 35-20 in the Redbox Bowl on Monday at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.
Garbers completed 22 of 31 passes for 272 yards. His touchdown passes went to four different receivers. In total, nine different Golden Bears caught passes from Garbers.
Makai Polk led the group with five receptions for 105 yards.
Cal (8-5) trailed 10-7 at the end of the first quarter after Brandon Peters found Daniel Barker on a 5-yard touchdown pass. The Golden Bears then scored 28 of the game’s next 31 points.
The first two of those four touchdowns came in the second quarter, one on a goal-line Garbers rush and the second on a 3-yard pass to Christopher Brown Jr., which capped a 97-yard drive. Three other Cal touchdown drives went 79, 56 and 88 yards.
In addition to his touchdown reception, Brown rushed for 120 yards to lead the Golden Bears. Collin Moore got Cal’s scoring started with a 4-yard reception in the first quarter.
Cal extended to its lead to 22 points after intermission with a 2-yard Garbers pass to Gavin Reinwald and a 6-yarder from Garbers to Nikko Remigio.
Illinois (6-7) scored on a 6-yard Reggie Corbin run midway through the fourth quarter, then moved the ball into Golden Bears territory on the ensuing possession with an opportunity to cut the gap to one score.
However, the Cal defense stepped up. Jaylinn Hawkins grabbed his third interception of the season to snuff the drive with the only turnover of the game.
Peters, who completed 22 of 37 passes for 273 yards, also led the Illini with 68 rushing yards on eight carries. Illinois had 450 total yards on offense, due in part to field position. Nine of the Illini’s 12 possessions began at their own 30-yard line or worse.
—Field Level Media