BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Jake Browning and the Washington Huskies sure made a good case that they may have been snubbed in the initial College Football Playoff rankings even if they say they weren't bothered by it in the least.
Browning threw for 378 yards and six touchdowns to set Washington's single-season record for TD passes, and the fourth-ranked Huskies beat California 66-27 on Saturday night.
Days after being ranked fifth in the playoff rankings behind one-loss Texas A&M, the Huskies (9-0, 6-0 Pac-12) took care of business in efficient fashion hours after the Aggies were upset by Mississippi State.
"I think it's good," Browning said. "There's a lot of football left to play. Put us outside the top four and make us earn it."
John Ross had 208 yards receiving and three scores. Dante Pettis caught three touchdown passes and threw another to lead the Huskies (9-0, 6-0 Pac-12, No. 5 CFP) to their 12th straight win in convincing fashion.
Washington is off to its best start since going 12-0 and winning a share of the national title in 1991.
"It's nice to get into a grove like that," Pettis said. "You move the ball down the field pretty easily and things feel good. Everyone is in the mojo right there. That's how it was today."
The Bears (4-5, 2-4) had won five straight home games, including victories over ranked Texas and Utah earlier this season. But they were no match for the Huskies, who were far more potent on offense and much stingier on defense.
Davis Webb threw for 262 yards and one touchdown, and ran for a second score. But he also had three second-half interceptions as the Huskies pulled away with 38 straight points after Cal cut the deficit to 21-20 midway through the second quarter.
"We just let the game get away from us," Dykes said. "We turned the ball over on three straight possessions, we couldn't get any stops and we did not do a good job on third downs."
Browning did most of the work, finding Ross and Pettis open repeatedly downfield for big plays. Ross scored on TD catches of 60 and 67 yards, eluding four defenders after backtracking 4 yards on the longer TD. Pettis caught a 32-yard TD pass that gave Browning 34 TDs this season, one more then Keith Price had for the Huskies in 2011.
"They were kind of stacking the box," Browning said. "It's high risk, high reward. That's going to happen with those deep balls."
Washington: The Huskies showed off their balance on offense. When Cal stacked the box to stop the run, Browning was able to beat the Bears with deep passes. When the defense rolled coverage to take away Ross, Washington's other receivers took advantage of the opportunity. The Huskies also gained 287 yards on the ground with TD runs from Lavon Coleman and Myles Gaskin.
California: Struggling on defense is nothing new for the Bears, who came into the game allowing more than 505.9 yards and 41.8 points per contest. The offense was a problem this game. Cal settled for field goals after starting in Washington territory on two first-half possessions and converted just 1 of 14 third downs.
LONG TIME COMING
Pettis said he had practiced his pass play a few times each week and was eager to get the chance to pull it off in a game. That opportunity came in the first quarter when he took a lateral from Browning and then hit Darrell Daniels for a 39-yard score.
"That was fun," Pettis said. "I've been joking to my coach that we were never going to call that paly and sure enough we called it today."
Cal tied the modern school record for points allowed in a game, matching the performance in a 66-0 loss to Alabama in the 1973 season opener.
The Huskies should remain fourth in the AP poll .
Washington: The Huskies host USC on Saturday.
California: The Bears play the other top team in the division when they visit Washington State on Saturday.
More AP college football: www.collegefootball.ap.org