Cameron Goode intercepted Shea Patterson and returned it 32 yards for a touchdown with three minutes remaining to seal California’s 27-16 victory over Ole Miss in Berkeley, Calif., on Saturday night.
The Golden Bears improved to 3-0 on the year while fending off a pesky Rebels team led by Patterson, who had a career night.
Patterson threw for a personal-best 363 yards, but it wasn’t enough as Cal’s Ross Bower was able to steer the Bears to a win. Bower connected on 24 of 27 passes for 236 yards and 19-yard touchdown to Vic Wharton III.
Patrick Laird added a 13-yard rushing touchdown for the Bears.
Ole Miss (2-1) was up early in this one, courtesy of a 71-yard D.K. Metcalf touchdown reception and a 72-yard receiving score by DaMarkus Lodge.
The Bears took the lead in the third quarter after Wharton’s touchdown and a Matt Anderson 19-yard field goal. Anderson, who missed an attempt from 40 yards out midway through the fourth quarter, padded the Bears’ lead with a 41-yard make with 3:44 remaining.
Cal had a chance to close the gap with three minutes remaining in the first half after a 35-yard Anderson field goal. Refs flagged Ole Miss linebacker DeMarquis Gates for a non-contact foul, however, on the play.
Bears coach Justin Wilcox opted to take the points off the board and go for the touchdown. Two plays later C.J. Moore intercepted Bowers to quash the drive and send Ole Miss into the locker room with a 16-7 lead.
Devante Downs was flagged for a pair of 15-yard personal foul penalties. The Cal linebacker atoned for the mistakes with a sack, interception and 10 tackles (five solo, two for a loss). All told, the Bears defense registered five sacks, seven tackles-for-loss and picked-off Patterson 3 times.
The Ole Miss Landshark defense rung up eight tackles-for-loss, two interceptions and six pass break ups.
All-American third-team placekicker Gary Wunderlich injured his hamstring on a missed PAT attempt in the first half and was unable to return. Luke Logan stepped in and missed a 48-yard attempt early in the fourth quarter, on what was the first kick of his career.