- Associated Press - Saturday, October 11, 2014

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) - California’s surprising start this season is over. The Golden Bears got a stark reminder from a formidable Pac-12 foe that their rebuilding project is far from finished.

Cal fumbled five times, losing three of them, and the mistake-prone Bears lost 31-7 to Washington on Saturday.

“Throughout the past couple of weeks, we’ve had so much notoriety, throwing the ball and running the ball and so much success on offense. I think it kind of got to our heads,” Cal running back Daniel Lasco said. “We messed up.”

The Huskies (5-1, 1-1 Pac-12) sacked Jared Goff four times to quiet the country’s second-highest scoring offense and took advantage of most of the opportunities. Washington went ahead 28-0 at the half to bury the Golden Bears (4-2, 2-2) in a hole they could never dig out of.

“Every time we got something going, something happened. It was just a frustrating day and we’ve got to execute better,” Cal coach Sonny Dykes said.

Cyler Miles threw for 273 yards and three touchdowns, and Shaq Thompson returned a fumble by Goff 100 yards for the game’s first score.

Miles tossed TDs of 86, 25 and 11 yards. He completed 22 of 29 passes, and the Huskies ran for 111 yards behind Lavon Coleman and Dwayne Washington to spoil Cal’s homecoming.

The Huskies totaled 384 yards, while Cal had 368 yards.

“I’ve gotta be better. The whole offense has got to be better,” said Goff, who finished 35-for-51 passing but was limited to mostly short and intermediate throws because of Washington’s pressure.

The Bears entered the game leading the Pac-12 in scoring and ranked second in the country with an average of 50 points per game. They had scored at least 50 points in each of their last two games and three times this season, including a wild 60-59 win at Washington State last week.

Cal also had started 4-1 for the first time since 2008 and seemed to be turning things around quicker than expected after going 1-11 in Dykes’ first season last year.

But Miles moved Washington with relative ease, at times, taking advantaging of a Cal team missing three key players - defensive end Brennan Scarlett (knee) and safeties Stefan McClure (calf) and Michael Lowe (head) - because of injuries and often looking helpless even when it has been healthy.

The Huskies started out slow before capitalizing on a big gaff by Goff to tilt the momentum for good.

Goff lost the ball on a quarterback sneak near the goal line, Thompson grabbed the fumble and sprinted the length of the field to give the Huskies a 7-0 lead. It was the fourth touchdown this season for Thompson, who originally committed to Cal, including his third fumble taken back for a score.

“It just popped out and just popped into my hands,” Thompson said, joking that he had a magnet to lure the ball.

On the next possession, Goff and Daniel Lasco fumbled the exchange, Washington recovered at the Cal 25 and Miles tossed a TD pass to Joshua Perkins.

Miles also connected with DiAndre Campbell on an 11-yard touchdown before John Ross raced 86 yards for a TD after catching a short pass to give Washington a 28-0 lead.

After blocking a field goal by the Huskies early in the third quarter, Lasco’s 3-yard run capped an 18-play, 80-yard drive for Cal’s lone score.

About the only bummer on Washington’s day came in the final minutes with the outcome already decided.

Perkins was ejected for targeting a defenseless player to wipe away another dazzling run by Ross after a reception. He could be suspended for the first half against Oregon if the call is upheld by the conference.

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