PASADENA -- The Cal offense took the heat for this one.

After a 37-10 loss to No. 11 UCLA in front of 84,272 fans at the Rose Bowl, Cal quarterback Jared Goff called the performance of the defense "stellar."

And if that was perhaps generous, certainly it was an improved effort by a unit that has been one of the nation's worst.

The offense, meanwhile, scored 10 points in a second-quarter burst but otherwise was quiet.

"They gave us a chance to win and we didn't capitalize on it," Goff said of the defense's work. "That's probably mainly on me. If the offense doesn't play well, it's my fault."

Sonny Dykes, the first Cal coach to start 1-5 in his debut season since Mike White in 1972, was disappointed the offense couldn't get much done.

"We haven't put a solid football game together all year where we played well on both sides of the ball," Dykes said.

The Bears (1-5, 0-3 Pac-12) still haven't beaten a Football Bowl Subdivision opponent since a 31-17 win at Washington State a year ago today.

UCLA (5-0, 2-0) flipped the script from a year ago when it came to Berkeley and was pummeled 43-17.

That night produced the worst game of quarterback Brett Hundley's freshman season. He was intercepted four times and sacked five more.

Hundley was in charge Saturday, hit 31 of 41 passes for a career-high 410 yards with three touchdowns. He completed 11 of his first 12 passes attempts as the Bruins jumped out to a 10-0 first-quarter lead.


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"Great player," Cal linebacker Hardy Nickerson Jr. said "He can extend plays, is good on his feet."

Cal geared its defense to try stopping the run, and did a pretty solid job. The Bruins gained just 78 yards rushing on 34 carries, an average of 2.3 yards per attempt.

"We're taking steps in the right direction," Nickerson said of the defense, which entered the game allowing 45.0 points per game, second-worst in the nation. "Overall, I think we got better as a defense."

The Bears simply didn't have an answer for Hundley.

"We wanted to make them one-dimensional," Dykes said, "and he did a good job."

Meanwhile, the Bears' offense sputtered. They were 0 for 8 on third-down tries in the first half, just 4 for 17 for the game. And they were responsible for most of the team's nine penalties for 87 yards.

Cal's 320 yards and 80 plays both were season lows.

"Not a very clean game, offensively," Dykes said.

Goff, who passed for a school-record 504 yards the week before against Washington State, was 26 for 43 for 215 yards. He had an interception and a lost fumble, both in the second half, preventing the Bears from mounting a comeback while the defense was settling in a bit.

Dykes and offensive coordinator Tony Franklin tweaked things for this game, replacing Brendan Bigelow with freshman Khalfani Muhammad as the No. 1 running back. Muhammad had just 14 first-half yards on six rushes, but finished with 63. Daniel Lasco added 39 on six attempts, including a 6-yard burst for Cal's only touchdown with 2:35 left in the first half.

Bigelow was moved to slot receiver and caught two passes for 18 yards.

Meanwhile, tight end-turned slot receiver Richard Rodgers got six rushing attempts out of a power formation in short-yardage situations -- the first time he's run the ball since high school. He converted the first three for first downs, but was stuffed on the next three.

For the first time all season, Cal's defense did not allow the opposition to score a touchdown on its first possession of the game. The Bruins settled for a field goal.

But some things didn't change. UCLA's 10-0 lead added to the Bears' slow-start issues. Cal has been outscored 96-31 in the first quarter.

And UCLA, ahead 24-10 at halftime, still hasn't allowed a point in the third quarter. After a pair of field goals pushed the margin to 30-10, UCLA's season ledger for the third period is 71-0.

-- Vincenzo D'Amato's season-long 51-yard field goal makes him 12 for 13 on the season. Punter Cole Leininger averaged 43.4 yards on seven kicks.

-- Dykes said the Bears came out of the game relatively injury-free, although Lasco banged up his shoulder. Receiver Bryce Treggs left the game early after a big hit to his thigh, but returned to play the rest of the night.

For more on Cal sports, see the Bear Talk blog at ibabuzz.com/beartalk. Follow Jeff Faraudo on Twitter at twitter.com/JeffFaraudo.