BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — California quarterback Zach Maynard made a bad read on his first pass attempt when he tried to squeeze a pass into double coverage and it ended in an interception.
He spent the rest of the night making UCLA's defense pay for his mistake.
Maynard matched his career high with four touchdown passes and added a fifth on the ground and California took advantage of six turnovers to stun No. 25 UCLA 43-17 on Saturday night.
"We had a huge week of practice this week and everybody was focused in," said Maynard, who completed 25 of 30 passes for 295 yards. "We prepared ourselves ... and we had a lot of fire behind our backs. It was a great outcome."
Coming off one of the worst games of his career, Maynard repeatedly picked himself up off the turf at Memorial Stadium after getting drilled by the Bruins defense to help the Golden Bears (2-4, 1-2 Pac-12) end their three-game losing streak.
By beating UCLA (4-2, 1-2) at home for the seventh straight time, Cal might have also decreased some of the pressure on coach Jeff Tedford.
"It was much needed, no doubt about it," Tedford said. "It's been a tough few weeks. That's definitely going to give us a boost. But even though this is very satisfying and gratifying for our team, we know we still have a lot of work to do."
The outlook is a lot more promising for the Bears following the upset win over their conference rivals.
Maynard, who completed only 9 of 28 passes in last week's loss to Arizona State, was almost flawless against UCLA. He completed 13 consecutive throws during one stretch in the second half.
The Bears' senior quarterback also scored on a 1-yard keeper in the fourth quarter following a 42-yard interception return by safety Mike Lowe.
All of this after his first pass of the night ended in the arms of UCLA safety Andrew Abbott.
"I just had to shake it off," Maynard said. "I thought Keenan (Allen) was going to come out a little bit faster out of his break, but he was double covered. I should have just thrown it out of bounds. Made a bad play worse."
Little else went wrong for the Bears.
Richard Rodgers caught seven passes for 129 yards while Allen caught a pair of touchdowns and finished with eight receptions to move into third place on Cal's career list.
C.J. Anderson added 151 yards rushing, 68 on a touchdown run in the fourth quarter to extend Cal's lead to 26 points.
Johnathan Franklin ran for 103 yards for UCLA, which lost for the second time in three games and is likely to fall out of the rankings again.
In addition to the six turnovers, the Bruins also committed 12 penalties on their mistake-filled night.