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Davis Webb, California top Hawaii in season’s first game

Associated Press

SYDNEY — After three seasons at Texas Tech, quarterback Davis Webb made quite an impression in his first game as a graduate transfer at California.

Webb threw four touchdown passes and ran for another score in a stellar debut for California, leading the Bears to a 51-31 win over Hawaii on Saturday in college football’s season opener at Sydney’s Olympic stadium.

Told he had 441 yards passing — 38 for 54, with no interceptions, Webb said dryly: “Yeah, it was OK, I’m just glad we got the victory. Hawaii threw a few blitzes at us and our offensive line played well.”

Khalfani Muhammad had 94 yards rushing and one touchdown, and Chad Hansen had 14 receptions for 160 yards and two scores to help Cal win the game played Down Under as a tourism initiative and to increase awareness of “gridiron” in the country.

“Phenomenal, I was energetic,” Muhammad said of his 34-yard TD run in the second minute of the game. “My first one, and it’s special, of course.”

Webb said it was a “very good victory” in his first game with Cal, but praised Hansen, who clicked with his quarterback from early on.

“As soon as Davis showed up at Cal, we just had a connection,” Hansen said. “I think being together, day in and day out, really helps that quarterback-wide receiver connection.”

The teams provided plenty of early entertainment for unfamiliar fans, part of a crowd of 61,247 in the 83,500-seat stadium, scoring two touchdowns each by midway through the opening quarter.
But Webb, who replaced Jared Goff — the No. 1 overall NFL draft pick by the Los Angeles Rams — helped move Cal into control in the second quarter.

Hawaii fumbled on a kickoff following Matt Anderson’s second field goal for Cal, and Webb’s 34-yard pass to wide receiver Hansen on the next play gave Cal a 27-14 lead.