No. 10 Cal Heads to No. 20 UCLA
Oct. 3, 2005
Television: TBS Ron Thulin (play-by-play), Charles Davis (analyst) and Craig Sager (sideline).
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 rankedNo. 10 in the Associated Press Poll and No. 9 in the USA Today Poll. UCLA is ranked No. 20 in the Associated Press Poll and No. 16 in the USA Today Poll.
This Week's Game
California faces its stiffest test to date when the Golden Bears travel to the Rose Bowl to meet undefeated UCLA Saturday at 4:30 p.m. The match-up of Top 20 teams will be televised nationally by TBS.
Off to a 5-0 start for the first time in nine seasons, Cal needs a win over the Bruins to post the Bears' first 6-0 record since the 1950 squad began 9-0 under head coach Pappy Waldorf.
Cal's current 12-game regular-season win streak is second in the country to USC (26) and Virginia Tech (13), while the Bears have won their last eight Pac-10 games to tie for the seventh-longest active conference streak in the nation.
Although Cal lost eight starters off of its 2004 defense, the Bears have replenished their ranks and now lead the Pac-10 in three defensive categories: passing efficiency (92.11), total defense (288.60 ypg) and scoring (10.60 ppg). Cal is also second to Washington State in rushing defense (92.00 ypg) after allowing Arizona just 37 yards on 28 attempts last Saturday.
In shutting out the Wildcats, 28-0, the Bears increased their string of not allowing an offensive touchdown to 10 quarters, dating back to the second quarter vs. Illinois Sept. 17. Cal has also outscored its opponents 115-13 in second halves this season, surrending just a third-quarter TD to Washington in week two.
On offense, sophomore TB Marshawn Lynch returned to the field vs. Arizona after missing two weeks due to a broken finger, rushing for 107 yards and a score on 20 carries. With his effort, Lynch is averaging an even 100.0 ypg on the ground, but still ranks second on the team to sophomore Justin Forsett, who has run for 117.0 ypg. Cal's team average of 6.4 yards per carry is ahead of the school record of 6.1 ypc set last season.
Junior QB Joe Ayoob enjoyed an efficient 14-for-20 day against the Wildcats. Since beginning the season 0-for-13 with one interception, Ayoob is 56-for-87 (64.4%) with eight TDs and only one interception. He has also used his scrambling ability to rush for 56 yards and four touchdowns.
A Quick Look at UCLA
Off to its best start since the 2001 team won its first six games, 4-0 UCLA features a high-powered attack that averages 42.25 ppg to rank 10th in the country in scoring offense. Tailback Maurice Drew has gained 311 yards on the ground (6.1 yards per attempt) and scored five touchdowns, while tight end Marcedes Lewis is the Bruins' top receiver with 22 catches for 296 yards and two scores. Drew also presents a dangerous threat on punt returns, where he is third in NCAA Division I-A at 25.13 ypr, including a pair of touchdowns. Quarterback Drew Olson has completed 69.7 percent of his pass attempts and rates 13th nationally with a 160.26 QB rating. All-American linebacker Spencer Havner leads the squad with 34 tackles, including five for loss.
UCLA Head Coach Karl Dorrell
Karl Dorrell (UCLA `87) is in his third season as head coach of the Bruins and owns a 16-13 record. Before returning to his alma mater as head coach, Dorrell was a standout receiver for the Bruins (1982-86) and his 108 receptions rank 10th on the UCLA career list. After spending part of the 1987 season as a player with the Dallas Cowboys, Dorrell began his coaching career as a graduate assistant with UCLA in 1988. He spent 11 years as a college assistant at six different programs before moving on to the NFL, assisting the Denver Broncos from 2000-02. Dorrell was born in Alameda.
The California Golden Bears, now 5-0 for the first time since 1996 and 2-0 in Pac-10 play, will participate in one of Saturday's headline games when they travel to the Rose Bowl to face 20th-ranked and undefeated UCLA (4-0/1-0) in a mid-season Pac-10 showdown. Kickoff is set for 4:30 p.m. The Bears will be seeking their first win at UCLA since 1999. California and UCLA are two of five Pac-10 teams ranked in this week's Associated Press poll.
For the third straight week, the Bears are appearing on national television. This week's game will be televised nationally by TBS. At New Mexico State, California appeared on ESPN's Friday night telecast, and the TBS cameras visited Memorial Stadium for last week's win over Arizona. The Bears also have an ABC regional appearance under their belts this season (a 56-17 victory at Washington).
TBS, Very Successful
California is 4-1 all-time on TBS telecasts, including wins in three straight games. The Bears are 2-0 against the Bruins when meeting on TBS, including last season's 45-28 win in Berkeley and a 17-12 victory over the Bruins in 2002.
Not only is Saturday's visit to the Rose Bowl important in the Pac-10 race, but the unblemished records of both teams have put the game on the national radar. The Cal-UCLA game is one of just two in the country this week that will feature undefeated teams. The other is Texas Tech at Nebraska. Cal is one of just five teams nationally with a 5-0 record. The Bruins enter this week at 4-0 with a 1-0 Pac-10 mark after Saturday's come-from-behind win over Washington.
On The Field
This week's game will feature the nation's third and fourth leading punt return men. UCLA's Maurice Drew is third nationally with an average of 25.14 yards per punt return. Tim Mixon of Cal is fourth with an average of 21.80 yards per return. It will also be a matchup of the 10th (UCLA at 42.25 ppg) and 12th highest (Cal at 40.20 ppg) scoring offenses in the country.
California returned to the top 10 this week with a No. 9 national ranking in the USA Today poll and a No.10 ranking in the Associated Press. It marks the first time that California has climbed into the top 10 in consecutive seasons since 1951 and 1952. The Bears reached the top five last season (No. 4 in three straight polls) for the first time since 1952.
California enters the Arizona game ranked in the national polls for the 18th consecutive week, every week since the 2004 preseason poll. It is the longest such streak for the Bears since they entered the polls in the middle of the 1949 season and remained there until November of 1952 during the heyday of the Pappy Waldorf era. That streak included 36 straight appearances by the Bears as a ranked team. California's last appearance as a non-ranked team came Dec. 26, 2003, in the Insight Bowl. Cal won that game, 52-49.
Our Ranking vs. Your Ranking
Not only does the Bears-Bruins clash feature a unique battle of unbeaten teams, it is one of just five games on Saturday between ranked opponents. The others include No. 25 Virginia (USA Today) vs. No. 18 Boston College, No. 5 Georgia vs. No. 8 Tennessee, No. 6 Ohio State vs. No. 16 Penn State and No. 25 Oregon vs. No. 17 Arizona State.
Ranking The Past
This week's game marks just the fifth time in the history of the Cal-UCLA series that both teams enter the game ranked in the national polls. The last time that happened was 1991 when No. 18 California defeated No. 24 UCLA, 27-24. That is the only time both teams have been ranked in the game since the 1950s. Above is a quick look at the matchups between the two schools when both have been included in the national polls.
Bearing The Success
Under Jeff Tedford, the Bears are now 15-3 when ranked in the nation's top 25. On the flip side, Cal is 5-3 against ranked opponents under their head coach, including a 3-2 record when facing a top 25 opponent on the road.