SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 24: Chris Polk #1 of the Washington Huskies celebrates a 31-23 lead over the California Golden Bears in the last minute of the game at Husky Stadium on September 24, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Huskies Beat Cal With Late Fourth Down Stop, 31-23

The Huskies beat the Cal Bears 31-23 behind solid performances from quarterback Keith Price and running back Chris Polk despite the UW defense struggling to stop the pass for the fourth straight game.

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Washington Vs. Cal: Huskies Hold Off Bears, Win 31-23

It took 59 minutes and 39 seconds of football until the Washington Huskies knew they were going to beat the California Golden Bears in Saturday's Pac-12 opener.

Down by eight points, with less than 30 seconds left in the game, the Bears were at the Huskies two yard line on fourth down and on the cusp of potentially tying the game and sending it to overtime.

To the Huskies' fortune, Bears quarterback Zach Maynard was unable to connect with wide receiver Keenan Allen in the end zone and the Bears turned the ball over on downs to the Huskies.

The Bears were the first on the scoreboard after Maynard connected with Allen for a 90 yard touchdown reception in the first quarter ; it was the longest reception in Cal history.

Allen's catch foreshadowed what the Huskies defense struggled to defend again all day long. Maynard threw for a season high 349 yards with his half-brother Allen hauling in 197 of those yards on ten catches.

Despite the defense's struggles, the Husky offense continued their strong play and carried the team to victory. Huskies quarterback Keith Price connected with freshman tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins for a pair of 20-yard touchdowns in the first half. 

Huskies running back Chris Polk was stuffed by the Bears defense throughout the entire game, only managing 60 yards and one touchdown on 20 carries.

Though he struggled out of the backfield, Polk ended up winning the game for the Huskies with a 70 yard touchdown reception from Price that came at the beginning of the fourth quarter on 3rd-and-12. Polk's touchdown put the Huskies up for good, 31-23.

This opening Pac-12 win wasn't all good news for the Huskies. Running back Johri Fogerson and defensive end Hau'oli Jamora left the game in the first half with knee injuries and cornerback Greg Ducre also left the game with a concussion.

The scariest moment for Husky fans came at the end of the third quarter when freshman linebacker John Timu made head-to-head contact with Bears lineman Dominic GalasTimu was taken off the field by ambulance, but appears to be "fine," according to head trainer Grant Gilliland. 

Keith Price continued his strong play for the Huskies, passing for 297 yards and three touchdowns. Seven different receivers caught balls from Price, including Chris Polk who totaled 85 yards on four receptions for 145 total yards on the day. 

Washington will continue Pac-12 play and travel down to Utah next Saturday to take on the Utah Utes

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Washington Vs. Cal Score Update: 7-7 Midway Through The First Quarter

The California Bears came out of the gate strong in their opening offensive drive. Bears quarterback Zach Maynard connected with his half-brother, the highly-touted Keenan Allen for a 91 yard reception, the longest reception in Cal history.

The play came on a 3rd and 20 situation and exposed horrible coverage by the Washington Huskies secondary. Husky cornerback Desmond Trufant was turned around chasing Maynard for the whole run.

Dave Mahler from 950 KJR tweeted,

Richardson went for swipe on ball instead of tackle. About as bad as you’ll see regarding decisions and coverage. No excuse for that play.

The Huskies responded right away with a three play 66 yard drive. Keith Price connected with Devin Aguilar for a 44 yard reception to put the Huskies in Bear territory and then hooked up with true freshman tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins for a 20 yard touchdown.

This game looks like it will be a shootout, with both defenses easily allowing fast drives by the opposing offenses.

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