Illinois vs. Cal score: Bears earn Redbox Bowl victory behind strong performance from Chase Garbers
Garbers tied a career-high with four touchdown passes
Cal was two teams during the regular season. It was the team with quarterback Chase Garbers and the team without Chase Garbers. When Garbers started and finished a game, Cal went 6-0, picking up wins over Washington and Ole Miss, among others. The only two games Cal lost that Garbers started were games he didn't finish due to injury. In the four games he didn't play, the Golden Bears went 1-3.
Well, Garbers started for Cal in the Redbox Bowl against Illinois on Monday, finishing the game as well while leading the Bears to a 35-20 victory over the Illini. Garbers had one of the best games of his career, completing 22 of his 31 passes for 272 yards and four touchdowns. The four touchdown passes tied his career-high against Ole Miss earlier this season. Garbers even got in the end zone with his legs, scoring on a QB sneak in the first half.
Garbers was not getting the work done alone, however. Running back Chris Brown rushed for 120 yards on 20 carries and caught three passes for 17 yards and a touchdown. Receiver Makai Polk caught five passes for 105 yards as he was Garbers' favorite target on the day. Cal finishes the season at 8-5, meaning the team's win total has improved in each of Justin Wilcox's last two seasons with the program, but the team is left to wonder what might have been had Garbers never gotten hurt.
As for Illinois, it was a disappointing end to a season that had a couple of high notes with wins over a then-undefeated Wisconsin, as well as a 25-point comeback against Michigan State, but the Illini limped the finish line. This loss is the team's third straight to finish the season as they were banged up down the stretch. While Illinois got Brandon Peters back at QB, it was without its three leading receivers as well as a couple of key starters on defense.
CBS Sports HQ Daily Newsletter
Get the best highlights and stories - yeah, just the good stuff handpicked by our team to start your day.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox for the latest sports news.
There was an error processing your subscription.
'Prime Time' has his sights set on developing football players at the next level
The recently introduced bill is just in its beginning stages in the U.S. House of Representatives
The newly-hired offensive coordinator is now under heavy scrutiny as a result of the quote
Pelini was LSU's defensive coordinator from 2005-07
Murray had 6,718 all-purpose yards during his college playing career in Norman
Defensive end Korey Foreman is the future of the Tigers defensive line
Complete analysis, highlights and coverage of the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship
The Georgia defensive unit held off a strong second-half effort from Baylor in the win in New...
Live scores, highlights and updates from the Miami (OH) vs. Louisiana football game