7:00 PM ET, October 23, 2004
Arizona Stadium, TUCSON, AZ
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- A vicious hit on one of their California teammates -- and the crowd's reaction to it -- was enough to fire up the Bears (No. 8 ESPN/USA Today, No. 7 AP) in an otherwise sluggish performance against Arizona.
After seeing teammate Jonathan Makonnen flattened by a block from Arizona's Marcus Smith on an interception return, Aaron Rodgers threw two touchdown passes in the final 1:38 of the first half en route to a 38-0 victory over the lowly Wildcats.
"It kind of ticked us off," Rodgers said. "They were cheering our guy getting injured, and they were really giving it to him on the sidelines -- pretty derogatory remarks."
Rodgers threw for three first-half touchdowns, J.J. Arrington topped 100 yards rushing for the sixth consecutive game and Cal shut out an opponent for the first time in five years.
Geoff McArthur broke the Cal record for career yards receiving with his 11-yard TD reception 11 seconds before halftime. McArthur caught six passes for 94 yards to give him 2,768 career yards, breaking Bobby Shaw's record of 2,731 set from 1994 through 1997.
McArthur, who predates Tedford's arrival and the Cal program's turnaround, said he would never have imagined back then that he could accumulate such statistics.
"There was no way I could have been convinced that I'd be the all-time leading anything here," he said.
Rodgers completed 20 of 27 passes for 235 yards but was intercepted twice -- both by Antoine Cason and both on deflections. They were just the third and fourth picks he has thrown this season.
It was on Cason's second interception return that Makonnen was leveled by Brooks. Cal coach Jeff Tedford saw the hit coming, and rushed to the field as the receiver lay on the ground.
"It was a tough hit. I saw it coming and I wish I could have yelled loud enough to tell him to look out," Tedford said.
Makonnen was taken to a nearby hospital, where an MRI showed no internal injuries.
"Jonathan's going to be fine," Tedford said. "Our medical staff was a little worried about internal injuries so they took him for an MRI and right now all signs say they're negative."
Arrington gained 135 yards in 24 carries, including a 1-yard touchdown run.
The Golden Bears (5-1, 3-1 Pac-10) posted their first shutout since a 17-0 victory over UCLA on Oct. 16, 1999.
Cal had 489 total yards, falling a little short of its season average of 518 yards and 41.6 points per game. It's a measure of the team's expectations that a 38-0 victory is considered as sub-par performance.
"We stopped ourselves a lot today, which is discouraging," Tedford said.
Arizona (1-6, 0-4) lost its sixth in a row.
"Obviously we got beat by a much better football team in all areas," coach Mike Stoops said. "We're not a very consistent football team on either side of the ball. At times we show spurts, and we're just not able to get a break. We fight and hang in there, then the damn kind of opens up."
California needed just 2:32 to go 82 yards in seven plays. Rodgers threw 21 yards to Chris Manderino for the score to make it 21-0 with 1:38 left in the half. Arrington carried four times for 56 yards on the drive.
Cal's Tim Mixon made an acrobatic interception on the sideline at the Arizona 48 with 35 seconds to play in the half. Rodgers threw 25 yards to McArthur, then Darrell Brooks was called for an illegal use of his helmet on a tackle to set up Rodgers' TD pass to McArthur that made it 28-0.
The Bears took the opening kickoff and went 80 yards in 11 plays, capped by Arrington's 1-yard run. The drive began when Rodgers threw a lateral to Terrell Williams, who passed 28 yards to Garrett Cross.
Rodgers was 4-for-4 for 40 yards on the first TD drive, and 5-for-5 on the second.
Arizona's offense finally got moving when redshirt freshman Richard Kovalcheck, in his first collegiate start, threw 48 yards to Steve Fleming. The Wildcats advanced to the Cal 23, but Donnie McCleskey soared to block Nick Folk's 46-yard field-goal attempt with 10:41 left in the second quarter. Down 14-0, Arizona had a touchdown nullified. Rodgers threw to Makonnen, who lost the ball for what appeared to be a fumble. Arizona's Tony Wingate picked it up and returned it to the end zone, but it was ruled an incomplete pass.