PULLMAN, Washington — Jared Goff threw for 527 yards and five touchdowns as California held on to beat Washington State 60-59 on Saturday in a game in which WSU quarterback Connor Halliday broke the NCAA passing record.
Washington State kicker Quentin Breshears attempted a 19-yard field goal with 19 seconds remaining and was wide right, preserving the win for California (4-1, 2-1 Pac-12), which is enjoying its best start since 2008.
Halliday threw for 734 yards and six touchdowns for Washington State (2-4, 1-2).
Washington State has the nation's No. 1 passing attack, while Cal's is No. 8, and the teams did not disappoint, combining for 1,400 yards of offense.
Goff's 51-yard touchdown pass to Trevor Davis with 3:18 left in the game provided the winning points for California.
Halliday broke the NCAA passing yardage record for all levels, breaking the mark of 716 set by David Klingler of Houston in 1990.
Trevor Davis of Cal ran two kickoffs back for touchdowns in the wild third quarter when the two teams combined to score 56 points.
Washington State scored first on a 90-yard touchdown pass when Halliday threw to a streaking Vince Mayle, who caught the ball over his shoulder at midfield and outran the Cal defense into the end zone.
Breshears kicked a 42-yard field goal to give WSU a 10-0 lead.
California was forced to punt on its first three possessions. But the Golden Bears got on the scoreboard when Goff hit Davis, who broke three tackles to complete a 27-yard touchdown reception.
Washington State replied with an 85-yard drive that ended when Halliday connected with Isiah Myers on a 16-yard touchdown pass for a 17-7 lead with 10:59 left in the half.
Cal marched quickly down the field on its next possession, but the drive stalled on the WSU 13 and the Golden Bears settled for James Langford's 31-yard field goal to cut WSU's lead to 17-10.
Halliday replied with his third touchdown pass, a 17-yarder to River Cracraft for a 24-10 lead late in the first half. The drive featured a 30-yard reception by Dom Williams.
Washington State turned the ball over on downs with just over a minute to play in the half. Cal's drive stalled at the 8 and Langford kicked a 26-yard field goal to bring the Golden Bears within 24-13 at halftime.
Halliday, the nation's passing yardage leader, had 337 yards in the first half on 22-of-29 passing.
The third quarter saw an explosion of offense, with each team scoring four touchdowns.
Cal's first play of the second half was a 55-yard pass completion from Goff to Stephen Anderson. Then Daniel Lasco caught a short pass from Goff and ran up the middle for a 27-yard touchdown to cut WSU's lead to 24-20.
After a WSU punt, California took the lead with an 85-yard drive that required only four plays. Goff's 40-yard pass to Chris Harper put the ball at WSU's 15. Lasco ran the next play in for a touchdown that gave Cal a 27-24 lead with 11:31 left in the third.
But WSU regained the lead on the next series when Halliday threw an 86-yard touchdown strike to a wide-open Cracraft for a 31-27 lead.
Then Washington State recovered an on-side kick and drove to the Cal 1, where Gerard Wicks ran in for a touchdown and a 38-27 WSU lead.
Cal's Davis took the ensuing kickoff in the end zone and ran it back 100 yards for a touchdown, cutting the WSU lead to four points.
Halliday threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Myers on WSU's next possession and the Cougars once again led by 11 points.
But Davis again took the ensuing kickoff and ran 96 yards up the right sideline for a touchdown, cutting WSU's lead to 45-41.
Halliday hit Cracraft for a 9-yard touchdown pass and a 52-41 lead.
Cal opened the fourth quarter with a 5-yard touchdown pass from Goff to Bryce Treggs to get within 52-48.
Cal went ahead when Goff connected with Treggs on a 21-yard touchdown pass that put the Golden Bears up 54-52 with 8:34 left in the game. Langford's conversion kick was blocked by Xavier Cooper.
Washington State drove 69 yards in 11 plays on the next possession, with Gerard Wicks running over from the 1 to put the Cougars ahead 59-54 with 4:19 left.
But California came right back, with Goff throwing a 51-yard touchdown pass to Davis for a 60-59 lead with 3:18 remaining. The Golden Bears attempted a two-point conversion pass that failed.
Washington State took over with 3:17 left in the game and drove to the California 1. Breshears 19-yard field goal attempt was wide right with 19 seconds left.
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