BERKELEY, Calif. - The California defense finished off a spectacular day by keeping UCLA out of the end zone during a fourth-quarter goal-line stand as the Golden Bears defeated the Bruins 17-12 on Saturday.
UCLA - which got a safety on the game's final play as Cal ran out the clock - had first-and-goal twice during the pivotal series, but it ended with Cal's Jamaal Cherry blocking a 22-yard field-goal try by Chris Griffith.
Joe Igber ran 4 yards for the game-winning touchdown with 12:08 left, but the defense was the star for the Bears (5-3, 2-2 Pac-10). UCLA, averaging 437 yards coming in, was limited to 226.
After the Bruins (4-3, 1-2) came up with a huge special-teams play of their own, Cal answered right back. UCLA's Marcus Reese blocked a punt by the Bears' Tyler Fredrickson, and the Bruins recovered, giving them first-and-goal at the 3 with 9:32 left.
The Bruins' best chance to score came on third down, when a pass by freshman quarterback John Sciarra went through the hands of a wide-open Tab Perry in the end zone. Then Cherry came up with his big block.
UCLA played most of the second half without starting quarterback Cory Paus, who was carted off the field with an injured right ankle with 12:02 left in the third quarter. He didn't return.
The Cal defense was tested a final time after Junior Taylor blocked another Fredrickson punt, giving the Bruins first-and-10 at the 20 with 2:31 remaining, but they couldn't score.
The Cal defense was effective in its pass rush all game. The defensive line put consistent pressure on UCLA's quarterbacks and also stopped the Bruins on two third-and-short plays in the first half. Cal had a season-high seven sacks, including five of Paus in the first half, when UCLA had just 17 yards rushing.
Cal quarterback Kyle Boller was inconsistent, completing only 13 of 30 passes for 130 yards and a touchdown. But his 24-yard TD pass to Tom Swoboda in the second quarter gave the senior quarterback the most TD passes in Cal history with 55. He surpassed Pat Barnes, who had 54 from 1993-96.
Tyler Ebell carried 28 times for 102 yards, and Bragg had seven catches for 113 yards for the Bruins, who have lost two straight. UCLA had three turnovers to none for Cal.
Paus was replaced by freshman Drew Olson. Sciarra, whose father was an All-America quarterback at UCLA in the '70s, came in for the fourth quarter after Olson hurt his shoulder. Sciarra fumbled on his second play from scrimmage and the first time he dropped back to pass.
Defensive end Tully Banta-Cain sacked Sciarra and forced the fumble. Lorenzo Alexander recovered at the Bruins 25. Boller hit Swoboda to get Cal its first first down of the half, and, following a fumble by Boller that he recovered, Igber sidestepped past UCLA's defensive linemen into the end zone.
This showdown of north and south, albeit on a much smaller scale than the World Series featuring Anaheim and San Francisco, lacked any spectacular plays.
What could have been a shootout was anything but for the Bears' season-high crowd of 46,697 on homecoming. Cal entered the game averaging 38.7 points, and UCLA 33.5.
By JANIE McCAULEY
AP Sports Writer