Calif. Slaps No. 25 Ariz. St. 55-38
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TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) _ Kyle Boller matched his career high with five touchdown passes to lead California past No. 25 Arizona State 55-38 Saturday night.
Arizona State lost despite 479 yards passing from Andrew Walter.
Joe Igber rushed for a season-high 144 yards and caught a 17-yard touchdown pass for the Bears (6-4, 3-3 Pac-10) in a wild game that featured six lead changes.
The Sun Devils (7-4, 4-2) were doomed by three fumbles deep in their own territory, an interception returned 85 yards for a Cal touchdown, and a blocked punt that was returned for a score.
California scored the game’s final 20 points after Arizona State took a 38-35 lead on Hakim Hill’s 2-yard touchdown run with 2:36 left in the third quarter.
Walter completed 29 of 50 passes, including four touchdowns, and broke Arizona State’s single-season record for passing yards even though he didn’t start until the fifth game.
With two games to play, Walter has 2,994 yards, breaking the record of 2,878 set by Danny White in 1973. His 25 TD passes are No. 2 on the ASU single-season list.
Shaun McDonald caught six passes for 138 yards for the Sun Devils, including touchdown receptions of 28 and 68 yards. McDonald broke Arizona State’s single-season record for receiving yards at 1,203.
Boller completed 16 of 35 passes for 213 yards and was intercepted once.
There were 38 points scored in a marathon third quarter that ended in a 38-38 tie and the Bears on the Arizona State 2.
California led 35-24 after Nnamdi Asomugha intercepted Walter’s screen pass and raced 85 yards for a touchdown with 7:15 to go in the third quarter. The Bears took a 28-17 lead when Ryan Gutierrez blocked Tim Parker’s punt and Wale Forrester returned it 18 yards for a touchdown with 10:03 to play in the third quarter.
There were four touchdowns scored in a 3:17 span in the third quarter. The final one, an 85-yard pass from Walter to Daryl Lightfoot, cut Cal’s lead to 35-30 with 6:36 to play in the third. Hill’s 2-yard run, and Walter’s 2-point conversion pass to Skyler Fulton, gave Arizona State its brief, final lead.
Mark Jensen’s 48-yard field goal tied it at 38 with 35 seconds left in the third quarter
Two plays later, a blitzing Paul Ugenti knocked the ball loose from Walter and Tully Banta-Cain recovered for Cal at the Sun Devil 13. The defense held at the 2, but Jensen’s 20-yard field goal put the Bears up for good 41-38 with 14:20 to play.
A personal-foul facemask penalty set up Boller’s 17-yard TD pass to Igber. Jonathan Makonnen caught his second touchdown pass of the night, from 28 yards, to seal the victory with 5:58 remaining.
Boller also threw for five touchdowns in Cal’s 34-27 victory at Washington on Oct. 5. The Bears, who were 1-10 last year but turned things around under first-year coach Jeff Tedford, are ineligible for a bowl game for violating NCAA academic rules, but have appealed to the NCAA.