BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Sonny Dykes must be wondering what he has to do to shake California out of a losing streak that is now just shy of two months long.
Not even an improved effort from the Golden Bears' defense — the team's biggest weakness all season — was enough to stop the free-fall from reaching a new low.
Freshman quarterback Jared Goff passed for four touchdowns but was intercepted on consecutive drives in the second half, and California couldn't stop Arizona quarterback B.J. Denker in a 33-28 loss to the Wildcats on Saturday.
At this rate, the Bears are going to need a little help and a lot of luck to avoid finishing with their worst record since going 1-10 in 2001.
"The fact that we played better against a good team shows that we are making progress and headed in the right direction," Dykes said. "But our goal is to win regardless of who we play. To our players' credit, they expect to win and think they can win."
Unfortunately Cal has only done it once this year, beating Portland State 37-30 on Sept. 7.
Since then it's been an endless stream of frustration and losses.
Goff kept Cal (1-8, 0-6) close against Arizona despite a rocky afternoon.
He completed 34 of 56 passes for 289 yards, and his interceptions came on back-to-back drives. The first came while the Bears were backed up deep in their own territory. The second was in the end zone when Goff tried to force a throw into coverage.
"It was in our grasp and we didn't really grab it," Goff said. "It really shows that with the team we have we can't make those little mistakes. I can't make those interceptions if we're going to win. It just can't happen."
Cal's defense bottled up Carey most of the afternoon.
He rushed for 152 yards to top 1,000 for the second straight season but they didn't come easily. The Bears held Carey to two yards or fewer on 15 of his 32 carries, and limited the nation's leading running back to 48 yards total in the second half.
"I thought it was going to be a really good day but shout out to their coach," Carey said. "They made some adjustments and changes and they were able to focus on me. The yards weren't easy."
Denker ran for three touchdowns and passed for a fourth to pace Arizona.
A week after setting a school record for most rushing yards by a quarterback in one game, Denker managed just 44 yards on the ground but scored on runs of nine, one and 14 yards. That gave the Wildcats senior a team-leading 11 rushing touchdowns this season, another Arizona record for quarterbacks.
Arizona's third straight win improved the Wildcats to 6-2 (3-2 Pac-12) and makes them bowl eligible for the second time in two seasons under coach Rich Rodriguez.