The California Golden Bears are going to be wondering what exactly happened against the UCLA Bruins. As it usually does, it comes back to the turnovers.
Zach Maynard, only two weeks removed from a terrible game against USC, threw up his worst performance as Cal's starting quarterback. Maynard finished the game against a porous UCLA pass defense with four interceptions and completing less than half his passes, three of them resulting in 17 UCLA points. Another turnover on a botched handoff between Maynard and Isi Sofele led to another UCLA touchdown on a short field, as the Bruins offense had to generate only two legitimate scoring drives to really distance themselves from the Golden Bears.
To make things worse, the usually stout Cal defense (which shut down the UCLA Pistol last season) didn't seem to know how to defend the read option looks at all. Kevin Prince had an amazing rushing performance on the outside as Cal defenders got lost trying to contain the outside; the Bruins quarterback compiled up 162 rushing yards on 19 carries to help sustain some important drives and make sure UCLA was able to move the football. Derrick Coleman powered it in the end zone three times, twice in the fourth quarter to salt it away. The Bruins rush attack neutralized the strength of the Cal interior defense, which always seemed slow in defending the edges.
Cal and UCLA are both now 4-4 on the season; the Golden Bears will most likely have to win their next two home games to reach a bowl, while the Bruins still have some easy contests ahead and a possible chance to win the Pac-12 South title if they can beat ASU next week.
To discuss the game with Cal fans, go to the California Golden Blogs. To discuss the game with UCLA fans, hit up Bruins Nation.