BERKELEY -- What has been obvious for weeks became official Friday night: Cal's football team will not play in a bowl game this season.
The Golden Bears' grim season continued its downward spiral with a mistake-filled 21-13 loss to Washington in front of 42,226 fans -- the smallest crowd of the season at renovated Memorial Stadium.
Cal lost its third straight game and at 3-7 overall cannot reach .500 necessary for bowl eligibility.
"It's obviously disappointing," said Cal coach Jeff Tedford, whose team will miss playing in the postseason for the second time in three seasons after seven consecutive bowl appearances. "It's not something we're used to. It's not a good feeling."
The Bears, 2-5 in Pac-12 play, have lost four home games in a season for the first time in Tedford's 11 seasons. They close out their home schedule a week from Saturday against unbeaten and second-ranked Oregon.
Cal might have to play the high-scoring Ducks without starting quarterback Zach Maynard, who injured his left knee with 4:01 to play.
"He seemed to be in quite a bit of pain," Tedford said.
Maynard will undergo an MRI to determine the extent of the injury. If he can't play, junior Allan Bridgford will start against Oregon.
Linebacker Nick Forbes, who accounted for three of Cal's four defensive takeaways with an interception and two fumble recoveries, said it hadn't yet sunk in that there is no bowl game in the team's future.
Two days after star wide receiver Keenan Allen was declared out of the game with a knee injury, the Bears couldn't overcome four turnovers. The last of them was a Maynard pass that was intercepted by Washington freshman safety Shaq Thompson -- the one-time Cal commit who flipped to UW after assistant coach Tosh Lupoi took a job in Seattle.
"It's obvious he didn't see him," Tedford said. "He threw it right to him."
Thompson's pick with 6:13 left -- the fourth turnover by the two clubs in the final quarter -- set up running back Bishop Sankey's game-clinching, 1-yard touchdown run with 4:11 left. Sankey rushed for a career-best 189 yards and two TDs.
The Bears battled on defense -- twice stopping UW on fourth-and-1 plays -- but simply didn't have enough healthy bodies.
Linebacker Jalen Jefferson and cornerback Marc Anthony sat out the game with concussions. Three defensive ends are hurt: Kendrick Payne had surgery on a finger Tuesday and was unavailable; Deaundre Coleman played sporadically because of an ankle sprain; and Keni Kaufusi broke a kneecap midway through the second quarter and is done for the season.
"We don't have a lot of depth to rotate players right now," Tedford said. "There's no one else to play."
On a number of plays, the Bears lined up with just two down linemen on defense.
The Huskies (5-4, 3-3) took a 14-13 lead by a matter of 8 inches -- the difference in height between UW tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Cal cornerback Steve Williams.
On third-and-goal from the Cal 29, Huskies quarterback Keith Price threw high to the 6-foot-6 Seferian-Jenkins, who outleaped the 5-10 Williams for the TD catch with 41 seconds left in the third quarter.
Cal threatened to retake the lead on its next possession, sparked by a 29-yard run by Isi Sofele. But Maurice Harris couldn't hold on to a pass at the UW 2-yard line, and Vincenzo D'Amato, who had made his previous 11 field goal attempts, missed wide right from 41 yards with 13:55 to play.
Cal took a 10-7 lead on the opening possession of the third quarter on a drive that began with perhaps the Bears' worst play of the season.
Maynard tried throwing a lateral pass to Brendan Bigelow but threw behind him, and the ball bounced all the way back to the 8-yard line before receiver Darius Powe recovered for Cal.
Two plays later, on third-and-23 from the 16, C.J. Anderson rambled 64 yards down the right sideline to the UW 20. Washington's Thompson was flagged for an illegal horse collar tackle, and the Bears had a first down at the 10.
But the Bears' season-long red-zone problems prevented them from cashing in for more than a 23-yard field goal by D'Amato with 10:40 left in the quarter.
D'Amato made it 13-7 when he converted a 21-yard field goal with 3:59 left in the third quarter after linebacker Robert Mullins forced Sankey to fumble, and Forbes recovered at the Huskies' 36-yard line.