PASADENA — Brett Hundley passed for a career-high 410 yards and three touchdowns, Paul Perkins rushed for an early score, and No. 11 UCLA prepared for tougher October challenges with a 37-10 victory over California on Saturday night.
Devin Fuller, Thomas Duarte and Shaq Evans caught touchdown passes as the Bruins (5-0, 2-0 Pac-12) got ready for back-to-back road games at Stanford and Oregon by grinding out a win over their upstate UC rivals.
UCLA struggled with nine penalties and an unimpressive running game in the absence of injured tailback Jordon James, but Hundley went 31 for 41 while picking apart the Bears' injury-depleted defense.
Jared Goff passed for 215 yards in the freshman's first game since his school-record 504-yard performance for Cal (1-5, 0-3).
Daniel Lasco rushed for the only touchdown for the Golden Bears, who still haven't beaten an FBS opponent midway through coach Sonny Dykes' first season. Khalfani Muhammad rushed for 63 yards for Cal, which also committed nine penalties and failed to execute in tough offensive situations.
UCLA didn't exactly dazzle a near-sellout Rose Bowl crowd celebrating coach Jim Mora's unbeaten team, but the Bruins' defense made sure Cal never threatened to make it a game in the second half.
The test should prove valuable to a team that must figure out how to move the ball against the Cardinal's sturdy defense and slow down the Ducks' speedy offense in consecutive weeks to stay in the national title hunt.
Perkins had just 36 yards rushing while starting in place of James, who hurt his ankle in last week's win at Utah. Simon Goines moved to left tackle and freshman Caleb Benenoch took over at right tackle on the UCLA offensive line after starting left tackle Torian White was lost for the regular season last week.
The Bruins' running game was mostly weak, but Hundley completed 13 straight passes during the first half, showing off his pocket poise to the usual gathering of NFL scouts hoping he'll pass up his final two years of eligibility this winter.
The Bear Raid offense had trouble early on, managing just one first down on Cal's first five possessions.
UCLA, which leads the FBS in penalties for the second straight season, was slowed by flags early. Fuller still turned a short screen pass into an 18-yard TD with a romp through the secondary for the Bruins' first touchdown, and Perkins scored from 1 yard out early in the second quarter to put UCLA up 17-0.
Cal finally responded with consecutive scoring drives aided by another batch of penalties against the Bruins.
Cassius Marsh, UCLA's starting right defensive end, was thrown out of the game in the second quarter for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after he committed back-to-back offsides penalties. Lasco capped that 81-yard drive with a 6-yard TD run, and the Bears trailed just 17-10 just 2½ minutes before halftime.
But Hundley calmly engineered a 73-yard drive in just 1:50, finding Duarte right down the middle for a 27-yard score.
UCLA's offense struggled again after halftime, but cornerback Randall Goforth's 31-yard interception return led to another field goal. The Bruins put it away with 4:41 to play when Evans caught a short pass and sliced through the Cal defense for a 22-yard score.