BERKELEY — Jaydn Ott ran for 165 yards and a touchdown and Cal earned its first Pac-12 Conference victory of the season with a 24-21 win over Arizona State in front of 34,353 at Memorial Stadium Saturday after- noon.
The Bears (3-2, 1-1) were never behind but never managed to stand out from the Sun Devils (1-4, 0-2), who have still not beaten an FBS team.
Cal nearly put the game away with just under 3 minutes left, but ASU stopped Ott on a fourth-and-goal to take over at its own 1-yard line.
The Sun Devils reached their own 39-yard line before running out the clock after an incomplete fourth down by Bourguet.
Cal started Sam Jackson V at quarterback and he was 12 of 29 for 130 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions.
The Bears got a significant contribution from punter Lachlan Wilson, who averaged 49.7 yards on seven kicks, including four of at least 50 yards and four downed inside the 20-yard line, including at 2 and 5.
Cal extended its lead to three points at halftime when Jackson delivered a 21-yard off-the-shoulder touchdown pass to Jeremiah Hunter for a 17-7 margin with 9:11 left in the third quarter.
ASU responded with what looked like a touchdown, but the play was called because the Sun Devils had 12 men on the field. Instead, former Cal kicker Dario Longhetto kicked a 24-yard field goal, pulling the Devils within 17-10 with 5:29 left in the quarter.
Another 29-yard Longhetto field goal made the score 17-13 before an interception by Cal defensive back Matthew Littlejohn and a 20-yard return to the ASU 10-yard line set up a TD of 1 yard run by Ott with 10:52 left in the third quarter for a 24-13 advantage.
ASU scored once again on a 3-yard keeper from Bourguet, who then completed a two-point conversion pass to Elijah Badger to make it 24-21 with 9:18 to play.
Cal led 10-7 after a first half that featured very little offense but no turnovers until ASU lost a fumble on the final play of the second quarter.
The Bears scored first with running back Isaiah Ifanse running from the 1-yard line with 6:! 6 to go in the first quarter to cap a seven-play, 68-yard drive. Ott had two 9-yard runs, Jackson passed 31 yards to Jeremiah Hunter and Oakland freshman Jaivian Thomas gained 16 yards on a reserve to bring the ball to the 3-yard line.
ASU responded on the ensuing possession, driving 75 yards in 13 plays with Cam Scattebo converting a fourth down play with a 2-yard plunge. The big play of the drive was a 34-yard pass from Trenton Bourguet to Melquan Stovall at Cal 19.
Cal regained the lead when freshman kicker Mateen Bhaghani converted a 37-yard field goal with 8:18 left in the half on her first collegiate attempt. He replaced Michael Luckhurst, who was just 3 of 9 on field goals in the first four games.
Next up for the Bears is No. 19 Oregon State next Saturday night at Memorial Stadium.