BERKELEY, Calif. -- Cade McNown threw for two touchdowns and Jermaine Lewis ran for one and passed for another on a halfback option as No. 2 UCLA beat California 28-16 Saturday for its 16th straight win.
Cal's defense, top-ranked in the Pac-10, held the Bruins' high-powered offense to a season-low in points, blitzing on nearly every play and putting constant hits on McNown.
But the Golden Bears' aggressiveness also cost them. They never saw the Lewis' trick play coming as he passed 30 yards for a score to backup receiver Jon Dubravac. And McNown dodged the pressure enough to scramble for key gains, finishing with 57 yards rushing. He also completed 15 of 27 passes for 182 yards.
Lewis also rushed for 60 yards for the Bruins (6-0, 4-0 Pac-10), who had scored at least 41 points in each of their previous five games. The Bruins are off to their best start since opening 7-0 in 1988.
Trailing 21-9, the Golden Bears (4-3, 2-2) twice advanced inside the UCLA 2 but came up empty because of a second-quarter turnover and a third-quarter goal-line stand culminating in UCLA's stop of Samuel Clemons' fourth-down quarterback sneak.
Cal fought back to put together another third-quarter drive, this time finishing it with Justin Vedder's 2-yard scoring pass to Joel Young and pulling to 21-16 with 36 seconds left in the period.
But UCLA responded on its next possession. With Cal's defense geared up to stop the run, Lewis pulled up and lofted a pass to the wide-open Dubravac for the score.
Cal was poised to score after driving to the UCLA 1 in the final seconds of the second quarter but Josh White fumbled on a second-and-goal play and the ball squirted into the arms of safety Larry Atkins. He was hit immediately and also appeared to fumble, with Cal recovering, but officials ruled Atkins' was already down because his knee touched the ground when he first recovered White's fumble.
Cal struck first, getting a 2-yard touchdown run from Saleem Muhammad after Jerry DeLoach sacked McNown on UCLA's first play from scrimmage, forcing a fumble that was recovered by Jacob Waasdorp.
UCLA answered with a 91-yard drive, helped along by Durell Price's 40-yard run. McNown finished it off with his first touchdown pass to Brian Poli-Dixon, a 17-yarder.
The two teamed up again, this time from 35 yards out, to put UCLA in front 14-17. McNown put the ball up and Poli-Dixon stretched out to make a finger-tip catch as he tumbled into the end zone.
A punt pinned the Bruins at their own 1 and after a procedure penalty moved them back further, Sekou Sanyika broke through to tackle Price in the end zone for a safety.
But McNown got the Bruins going again, getting a key first down with a 34-yard scramble on third down. A 19-yard completion to Danny Farmer and a personal foul on Cal moved the ball to the Bears 13 and Lewis ran the ball in for a score from there.