Cal Football Travels to Washington
Sept. 4, 2005
Television: ABC sports with Keith Jackson (play-by-play), Dan Fouts (analyst) and Scott Walker (sidelines).
Radio: Cal Radio Network (Flagship: KGO AM 810, San Francisco) with Joe StarkEy (play-by-play), Troy Taylor (analyst) and Todd McKim (sideline).
Rankings: California is ranked No. 19 in the AP Poll and No. 20 in the USA Today poll. Washington is not ranked.
This Week's Game
After opening the 2005 season with a 41-3 victory over Sacramento State last Saturday, California visits Washington this weekend for the Golden Bears' earliest Pac-10 game since beating UCLA, 27-25, Sept. 4, 1993 in Pasadena.
Against the Huskies, Cal has turned the tables in the series, going 3-0 under head coach Jeff Tedford. That streak comes on the heels of a 19-game losing streak that lasted from 1977-2001. Since Tedford joined the Bear program, Cal owns a pair of win in Seattle - 34-27 in 2002 and 42-12 last year - plus a 54-7 rout in Berkeley in 2003.
However, the Bears will face an old nemisis in Husky coach Tyrone Willingham, who was 7-0 vs. Cal when he was the head man at Stanford from 1995-2001.
Only one week into the '05 campaign, the Bears already find themselves in need of a new quarterback. Redshirt-freshman Nate Longshore, who earned the starting nod for the Sac State contest, broke his left ankle late in the first half vs. the Hornets after completing 8-of-11 passes for 131 yards and a touchdown and is expected to miss the rest of the regular season.
Junior Joe Ayoob - the state's 2004 Junior College Player of the Year at City College of San Francisco - and junior Steve Levy, who came to Cal as a quarterback in 2002 but played fullback last season, are vying for the starting spot. Ayoob was 0-for-10 vs. Sac State, while Levy was 2-for-7 for 52 yards, including a 46-yard TB pass to WR Noah Smith.
Even with uncertainty at quarterback, the Bears offer plenty of offensive weapons. Sophomore TB Marshawn Lynch rushed 24 times for 147 yards and a score in his starting debut vs. Sac State, while freshman WR DeSean Jackson caught a 31-yard TD pass from Longshore and later ran a punt back 49 yards into the end zone. Against the Hornets, Cal's four tailbacks - Lynch, Justin Forsett, Marcus O'Keith and Terrell Williams - combined for 233 yards on 34 attempts.
The Bears' defense, which lists eight new starters from a year ago, was led by one of the new faces against Sac State. LB Desmond Bishop, a transfer from CCSF, paced the squad with seven solo tackles, while true freshman LB Zack Follett came off the bench to add four solo stops and a tackle for loss.
On special teams, sophomore PK Tom Schneider, who was 9-for-16 on field goals last year, booted a career-long 49-yarder in addition to a 27-yarder vs. the Hornets.
The California Golden Bears will look to improve to 2-0 on the young season when they travel to Seattle to face the Washington Huskies for a Saturday afternoon kickoff (12:30 p.m.). The game will serve as the 2005 Pacific-10 opener for both schools.
Washington lost a nailbiter to Air Force at QWEST Field in the opener while the Bears pulled away in the second half for a 41-3 win over Sacramento State in their opener. Cal is 1-0 under Jeff Tedford for the third time in four years.
The California-Washington game will be televised by on a regional basis by ABC with Keith Jackson calling the play-by-play and Dan Fouts providing analysis. Sideline reports will be courtesy of Scott Walker.
California will head to Seattle as a member of the nation's top 25, marking the 14th straight game in which the Bears will take the field as a member of the national polls. It is the longest stint for Cal in the national polls since the Pappy Waldorf heyday. His squads were ranked nearly continually from midway through the 1949 season through late 1952.
California is becoming a consistent member of the nation's top 25, despite the new pressures that come along with being a member of the nation's elite. California is now 11-3 under Jeff Tedford when entering a game as a member of the top 25. Last season, California climbed as high as fourth in the polls and finished ninth following the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl.
California and Washington are opening Pac-10 play on Saturday. The game marks the earliest conference opener for the Golden Bears since 1993 when Cal opened the league season on Sept. 4th with a 27-25 Pac-10 victory over UCLA. That Bears squad went on to win to its last five games en route to a 9-4 record and a victory in the Alamo Bowl.
California enters league play with a six-game winning streak in conference play, dating back to the 23-17 loss at top-ranked Southern California on Oct. 9, 2004. The Bears have been victorious in nine of their last 10 conference games and 11 of their last 13 in league play. Those 11 victories in 13 games include a pair of wins over Washington.
A win in Seattle would give California seven consecutive victories in league play. The current six-game winning streak is already Cal's longest ever in Pac-10 play and the longest conference winning streak since the Bears were members of the old Pacific Coast Conference and dominated that league in 1949, 1950 and 1951.
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