Cougars Manhandle Bears, 51-20
Sept 22, 2001
By JOHN K. WILEY
PULLMAN, Wash. - Jason Gesser threw for a career-high 432 yards and four touchdowns as Washington State beat California 51-20 on Saturday in the Pacific-10 opener for both teams Saturday.
Washington State (3-0, 1-0 Pac-10) started the season with three wins for the first time since 1998. The Cougars passed for 513 passing yards, surpassed the school record of 492 set in the 1992 Copper Bowl.
Gesser's favorite target was Nakoa McElrath, who caught nine passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns.
Two other Cougars receivers caught passes for more than 100 yards. Mike Bush caught five for 144 yards and a touchdown and Jerome Riley had 124 yards and a touchdown on three catches.
Gesser completed 19 of 43 passes and was intercepted once. Washington State had 605 yards of total offense, compared to Cal's 367 yards.
Dave Minnich scored on a 2-yard run and Alan Thompson ran 6 yards for another score.
Drew Dunning hit field goals of 38, 23 and 37 yards as Washington State took a 16-13 halftime lead.
The Bears (0-3, 0-1) lost 118 yards on 12 penalties, lost two fumbles and Cal quarterbacks were intercepted twice.
Charon Arnold hauled in a 45 yard pass from Kyle Boller to put Cal up 7-3 early.
Terrell Williams, starting in place of injured Cal running back Joe Igber, carried 17 times for 63 yards and caught a 15-yard scoring pass from Boller.
Eric Holtfreter took over for Cal starter Boller early in the second period, but Boller returned in the fourth quarter. Boller finished with 10 of 22 pass attempts for 135 yards and two touchdowns. Holtfreter was 10-of-27 for 161 yards.
Mark Jensen hit field goals of 45 and 20 yards for Cal.
Gesser's performance surpassed his previous best game total of 348 last year
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