BERKELEY, Calif. – Taylor Kelly threw three touchdown passes to help Arizona State send California to its worst start ever under coach Jeff Tedford with a 27-17 victory on Saturday.
Kelly connected with Kevin Ozier twice and Darwin Rogers once, and Arizona State (4-1, 2-0 Pac-12) used six sacks to improve its impressive start under first-year coach Todd Graham.
The start of the season hasn’t gone nearly as well for Cal (1-4, 0-2) and Tedford despite the team returning to renovated Memorial Stadium. The Golden Bears have lost three straight games and are off to their worst start since losing their first 10 games in 2001 under Tom Holmoe – who was succeeded the following season by Tedford.
After a strong start to his tenure, Tedford has a losing record since the start of the 2009 season. His only win this year came against Southern Utah of the FCS, and the frustration from fans was evident all afternoon.
The Sun Devils, who lead the Pac-12 in scoring and total defense, harassed Zach Maynard all afternoon.
Maynard finished 9 for 28 for 126 yards with a touchdown. Isi Sofele rushed for 105 yards and scored Cal’s only touchdown in the past two games.
Kelly completed 26 of 45 passes for 292 yards, but Arizona State was unable to pull away. The Sun Devils settled for field-goal attempts on four drives and made only two.
But leading 20-17, Kelly led ASU on 74-yard drive, completing 4 of 5 passes for 45 yards, capped by a 22-yarder to Ozier to make it 27-17 with 6:17 left.