BERKELEY, Calif. — Jared Goff threw for 309 yards and three touchdowns in one half and California returned two interceptions for scores to beat Grambling 73-14 in a season opener Saturday.
Goff connected with Kenny Lawler three times for scores as the Golden Bears broke out to a 52-0 halftime lead with the highest-scoring half in modern school history.
Cameron Walker and Devante Downs each returned interceptions for scores as Cal overwhelmed lower-division Grambling on both sides of the ball.
Johnathan Williams threw four interceptions in the first half against the Tigers, who have been outscored 185-20 in their last three meetings against schools from Power Five conferences.
Martez Carter scored on a 90-yard run in the fourth quarter and Nicholas Peoples added two interceptions for the Tigers.
This one was never close despite Cal turning the ball over twice on the first three drives on a deflected interception by Goff and a fumble near the goal line by Vic Enwere.
After winning just six games in coach Sonny Dykes’ first two years at the school, the Bears are hoping for big things this year behind a deep offense led by Goff and an improving defense.
Cal completed passes to 13 receivers and got touchdown runs from Enwere, Daniel Lasco, Tre Watson and Jeffrey Coprich.
While the competition was not stiff, the defense did show progress with four interceptions, three sacks and keeping the Tigers off the scoreboard until the fourth quarter.
Williams threw as many interceptions as completed passes in the first quarter. Walker took one back 14 yards for a score and Downs took another back 8 yards as Cal returned two interceptions for touchdowns in a game for the first time since 2008 against UCLA.
Goff had two of his three TD passes to Lawler in between those returns and put up his usual big numbers despite playing only a half.
It was a tough trip for the Tigers, whose flight to California was delayed several hours Friday, leading them to cancel their scheduled walkthrough and practice.
HUNTINGDON 56, LOUISIANA COLLEGE 35: In Montgomery, Ala., Louisiana College’s Easton Melancon finished with 230 passing yards and four touchdowns, while Ladarius Gardner tied a single-game school record with three touchdown receptions on five catches for 64 yards.