San Francisco • Utah's defense has stopped a lot of good rushing backs this year, but it couldn't stop a guy who almost ended up in a Utah uniform.
Cal's Isi Sofele, who graduated from Cottonwood High School and was offered a scholarship by Utah, rushed 26 times for 84 yards in Cal's 34-10 win Saturday over the Utes at AT&T Park.
Sofele, a junior, decided to attend the University of California-Berkeley because he wanted more time to make his college decision than the Utes were willing to give him.
Perhaps the Utes should have waited.
Sofele, who entered the game ranked fifth in the Pac-12 averaging 90.5 yards a game, scored on a 5-yard run in the second quarter for the game's first touchdown and had 38 yards in the first half.
While slightly below his average, Sofele had one of the better performances against a Utah defense that is giving up 94.5 yards a game and was coming off its best performance, holding Pitt running back Ray Graham to just 46 yards a week ago.
The Bears finished with 129 rushing yards to the Utes' 13 yards.
"Their offensive line was good and they did some good things," Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei said. "They were just stronger on all sides of the ball."
Cal finished with 384 yards and won the battle of possession time 35:01 to 24:59.
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said that big gap played a part in Cal's success as much as anything."Our defense was on the field way too long," he said.
"Give credit to Cal," Whittingham said. "They had a nice game plan and they did some good things. They took care of the football, and that is job one."