Cal vs. Sacramento State Game Notes
Sept. 3, 2005
BERKELEY, - .Cal vs. Sacramento State Game NotesSept. 3, 2005 at Memorial StadiumThe Records: Cal improved to 75-41-5 in season openers with today's 41-3 victory over Sacramento State. The Golden Bears, who led only 10-3 at the half, are 8-2 in season openers over the last 10 years and 3-1 under Jeff Tedford. Cal has also won 16 of its last 19 games and eight straight regular-season contests for the first time since the 1951-52 seasons. Coming off last season's 5-0 home record, the Bears have triumphed in eight straight home games and are 14-5 at home in the Tedford era, which began in 2002. Cal has scored at least 21 points in every home game except one under Tedford (17-12 Cal win over UCLA Oct. 12, 2002)
New Opening Day Home Attendance Record: Today's attendance of 65,938 set a new opening day home attendance record for Cal, surpassing last year's record mark of 58,949 set against New Mexico State. Cal fans contributed at least $25,000 to Hurricane Katrina Relief efforts today.
Lynch Posts Career-High Rushing Yards: Sophomore TB Marshawn Lynch rushed for a career-high 147 yards on 24 carries and 1 TD, marking the third game of his career in which he has rushed for at least 100 yards. Lynch accumulated nine carries in the first quarter to match his previous career high for a game. He had nine carries twice last season - at Washington (121 total yards) and vs. Stanford (122 total yards). Those were his previous one hundred-plus yard rushing games. With Lynch's two-yard TD run with 9:36 to play in the third quarter, Lynch has now scored a TD in five straight games, and it is the second consecutive year in which he scored in Cal's season opener. His 147-yards rushing is the third-best rushing performance by a Cal player in a season opener. It also marks the 13th game in a row that Cal has had a 100-yard rusher.
Longshore Breaks Ankle in Solid First Start: Redshirt freshman Nate Longshore completed 8-of-11 passes for 131 yards, including one TD and one INT, in his starting debut for the Bears. Longshore's longest pass completion of the day was 44 yards to WR Sam DeSa with 1:54 left in the second quarter. The play put the Bears on Sacramento State's 33-yard line, however, Longshore left the game with a broken left ankle. He didn't return to the game and may be out for the season.
Jackson's First Career Catch and First Career Punt Return Result in TDs: Redshirt freshman QB Nate Longshore threw a 31-yard TD pass to freshman WR DeSean Jackson with 9:26 left in the first half to give Cal a 7-0 lead. The reception was Jackson's first of his career and Longshore's first career TD pass. Jackson's first punt return also resulted in a TD. With 5:21 left in the game, he had a 49-yard punt return for a TD - Cal's first since Vincent Strang's 68-yard punt return for a TD at Illinois Sept. 20, 2003 - to give Cal a 41-3 lead. . Jackson finished the game with two receptions for 37 yards.
Schneider Nails Career-Longest Field Goal: With 1:19 left in the second quarter sophomore kicker Tom Schneider converted a career-long 49-yard field goal to extend Cal's lead to 10-3. His previous career long was 48 yards vs. Arizona State in 2004. Schneider also hit a 27-yard FG with 2:20 left in the third quarter to increase Cal's lead to 20-3. Schneider is now 2-for-2 on field goals this season and he has connected on 6 of his last 7 going back to last season.
Additional Offensive Notes: Cal QB Joe Ayoob was 0-for-10 in his first action in a Cal uniform. He was pulled for junior Steve Levy, who completed 2-of-7 passes for 52 yards and tallied one TD and one INT in his first action as a QB for the Bears. He came to Cal as a QB in 2002 but didn't play until 2004, when he saw action at fullback. Levy threw his first career TD - a 46-yard strike - to sophomore WR Noah Smith for his first career TD reception. Smith tallied career highs for receptions (3) and yards (72) in a game today to lead Cal's receiving corps. Levy's TD pass with 11 seconds left in the third quarter increased Cal's advantage to 27-3. Today's game marked the first time Cal has utilized three QBs in a game since the Bears defeated Arizona, 42-14, Oct. 25, 2003, in Berkeley.
Bishop Leads Cal Defense: Junior LB Desmond Bishop, a transfer from San Francisco City College, was impressive in his first start for Cal. Bishop led Cal with seven tackles, followed by Ryan Foltz with six. Bishop also broke up one pass.
Other Defensive Notes: Cal recovered two Sacramento State fumbles today (FB Chris Manderino and LB Zack Follett) and scored two TDs after recovering the fumbles (Noah Smith, 46-yard reception, and Manderino, 3-yard run, fifth career TD. Manderino's fumble recovery came after a Steve Levy interception. DeSean Jackson caused the Sacramento State fumble after the Levy INT. Abu Ma'afala also recovered a fumble for Cal. Junior safety Wale Forrester recovered the ball after Justin Moye blocked a Sacramento State punt in the fourth quarter. Brandon Mebane notched Cal's only sack of the day, for a seven-yard loss.
Young Bears Have Slow First-Half Start to 2005: Seven of Cal's 22 starters today are freshmen or sophomores, and only eight are seniors. Eight players made their first career start for the Bears, including redshirt freshman QB Nate Longshore, sophomore TB Marshawn Lynch, freshman WR DeSean Jackson, sophomore WR Noah Smith, sophomore DT Matthew Malele, junior DE Nu'u Tafisi, junior MLB Desmond Bishop and sophomore OLB Greg Van Hoesen.
Bears Continue Habit of Scoring First: Cal continued a trend today of scoring first under head coach Jeff Tedford. The Bears scored first in seven of 12 games last year and won the seven games in which they scored first. In Tedford's inaugural 2002 campaign in Berkeley, Cal was 6-5 when scoring first, and in 2003, Cal was 4-2 when scoring first. Overall, Cal is now 18-7 when it has scored first under Tedford.
Bear Bits: Punter David Lonie dropped five punts inside Sacramento State's 20-yard line today and averaged 40.4 yards per punt today...Marshawn Lynch's third-quarter TD run was set up by a 39-yard punt return by junior CB Tim Mixon...junior TB Marcus O'Keith recorded a career-best 52-yard run late in the fourth quarter and finished with 69-yards rushing (34.5 per carry)...Cal held Sacramento State to 68-yards rushing, marking the fifth straight game, dating back to last season, that Cal has held opponents under 100-yards rushing...Cal completed only 10-of-28 passes, giving the Bears their fewest pass completions in a game since going 9-for-34 against Oregon State on Oct. 4, 2003.