BERKELEY-- Cal's football season continues to head down a deep, dark hole to oblivion.
A return to Memorial Stadium didn't help the Golden Bears, who lost 27-17 to Arizona State on Saturday before 51,634 fans, dropping to 1-4 for the first time in coach Jeff Tedford's 11 seasons.
No Cal team has recovered from a 1-4 start to play in a bowl game.
"As far as making a bowl game, that's a little farther down the line than I'm thinking about," linebacker Nick Forbes said. "I'm thinking about next week."
The Bears (1-4, 0-2 Pac-12) lost for the third straight game after consecutive road defeats to Top-25 opponents Ohio State and USC. Cal plays at home next Saturday night against UCLA.
"We're not going to quit," Tedford said. "If you want me to say we're going to quit, we're not going to quit. We're going to come back to improve."
The checklist of areas that need work is growing:
The Bears battled within 20-17 when Forbes blocked an ASU field goal try with 11:27 left, then Keenan Allen caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from Maynard with 9:33 left. The play was initially ruled incomplete, but a replay showed Allen's right foot brushed the turf before he went out of bounds in the end zone.
"Those two plays gave us some encouragement to keep going," said Allen, who sat out portions of the second and third quarters because he was throwing up.
But ASU (4-1, 2-0) answered with a 74-yard scoring drive, pushing the lead back to 10 points when Taylor Kelly delivered a 22-yard TD pass to Kevin Ozier with 6:17 left.
Kelly finished 26 for 45 for 292 yards with three touchdowns, while Maynard threw incomplete on all six of his attempts after the TD pass to Allen.
Cal had beaten the Sun Devils four straight times and had not lost to ASU at home since 1997. Now the Bears must win five of their final seven games to become bowl eligible.
The Bears managed just 285 total yards, their second straight game being held under 300. Tedford said the Bears never found a rhythm, and certainly that was the case on plays of third-and-7 or longer, where they converted just 1 of 11 chances.
"Getting stuck in third and extra long all the time is not the best situation to be in," Tedford said.
The result was Cal had as many punts (9) as pass completions.
ASU went in front 7-0 when Kelly threw a 1-yard TD to tight end Darwin Rodgers with 7:11 left in the first quarter. Through five games, the Bears have been outscored 44-7 in the opening period.
Cal answered when Sofele dashed 24 yards up the middle for a TD with 13:06 left in the second quarter. A 44-yard pass play to Allen helped set up the score.
ASU led 10-7 when Sofele fumbled with 3:11 left in the half. ASU converted a 37-yard drive, capped by Kelly's 9-yard TD strike to Ozier with 53 seconds left.
Maynard said the Bears won't quit on themselves.
"The 1-4 record for us is just putting more demand on us as a team to win," Maynard said. "I'm going to be harping on our guys this week. We've got to create focus, got to make things happen, practice harder than we've ever practiced. We gotta play better."
But sophomore Brendan Bigelow, who rushed for 191 yards on eight tries the previous two games, did not carry the ball. "If there's not things we feel he's suited for and other guys are better suited for them, they'll be in the game," Tedford said.