Ninth-Ranked Bears Travel to Pasadena for an Afternoon Tilt with UCLA on Saturday
2007 CALIFORNIA FOOTBALL
Saturday, October 20; 12:30 p.m. (PT)
#9/10 California (5-1, 2-1 Pac-10) vs. UCLA (4-2, 3-0 Pac-10)
Pasadena, Calif. - Rose Bowl
TV: ABC. Broadcast Team: Dan Fouts (PxP), Tim Brant (analyst), Todd Harris (sideline).
Radio: KGO Radio (810 AM) in San Francisco (Joe Starkey, Troy Taylor, Todd McKim) - and affiliate stations KMZT Radio (1260 AM Los Angeles), XSURF Radio (540 AM San Diego), KNTK Radio (102.3 Weed), KCBL Radio (1340 AM Fresno), KESP Radio (970 AM Modesto), KVBL Radio (1400 AM Visalia) and KNRO Radio (1670 AM Redding).
Before And After: Each broadcast begins with a 30-minute pregame show that leads to the kickoff. The postgame includes reaction from the Bears' locker room and the 'Postgame at the Paragon' live program from the Paragon Bar & Cafe at the Claremont Resort & Spa hosted by Lee Grosscup and Eddy Kleinhans.
XM Satellite Radio: Cal fans can also track the Bears through XM Satellite Radio, a corporate partner of the Pacific-10 Conference. Football action can be heard on XM channels 193, 194 and 195.
GOLDEN BEAR FACTS
2006 Record: 10-3
2006 Pac-10 Record/Finish: 7-2/T1st
Head Coach: Jeff Tedford
Alma Mater/Year: Fresno State/1983
Record at Cal/Year: 48-21/6th
Career Record/Years: Same
Football SID: John Sudsbury
Office Phone: 510-643-4723
Ticket Info: 800-GO-BEARS
Games Played: 76
Series Record: UCLA leads, 48-27-1
First Meeting: 11/4/33, Tie, 0-0
Last Meeting: 11/4/06, Cal, 38-24
Current Streak: Cal win 3 of 5
Tedford vs. Oregon State: 3-2
After suffering its first setback of the season to Oregon State, the California Golden Bears will have to regroup and try to earn a road win against UCLA in the Rose Bowl (Saturday, Oct. 20) - something it hasn't done since 1999 (that game was later forfeited). Cal, which fell seven spots in the AP poll to No. 9 after its 31-28 loss to Oregon State, has won two of its last three meetings with the Bruins.
After achieving its highest ranking since 1951 (No. 2), Cal fell seven spots to No. 9 in the Coaches poll and eight spots to No. 10 in the AP poll, following its 31-28 loss to Oregon State. Cal is ranked 12th in the first BCS poll released on Oct. 14. California has now been ranked in the AP poll for 25 straight weeks and 51 of the last 55 weeks of rankings.
Cal on ABC
Since 2002, California is 6-7 when playing on ABC ... last win on ABC: 31-24 over Oregon, Sept. 29, 2007 ... last loss on ABC: 23-9 at USC, Nov. 18, 2006.
DJ on ABC
DeSean Jackson is no stranger to putting up big numbers when he is in the national spotlight. In two games on ABC (vs. Tennessee and at Oregon) this season, Jackson has scored three touchdowns (two via receiving, one on a punt return) and has racked up 301 all-purpose yards.
Senior wide receiver Robert Jordan, who caught a pass in the first quarter of the Oregon State game, tied a school-record 36 straight games with at least one catch. Jordan can claim sole possession of the record with another catch at UCLA this weekend.
Bears-Beavers: Big Plays Lift Cal to 38-24 Victory Last Season
Nate Longshore tossed three touchdown passes and ran for another score as No. 10 Cal won its eighth straight game with a 38-24 win over the UCLA Bruins on Nov. 4 last season in Memorial Stadium. Robert Jordan had two touchdown catches, while DeSean Jackson romped 72 yards on a punt return for a touchdown pushing Cal's record to 8-1, 6-0. Longshore was 20-of-24 for 266 yards, and Marshawn Lynch had 126 total yards on a chilly night in Berkeley.
Cal-UCLA and Other Musings
UCLA has a 48-27-1 series advantage over Cal dating back to Nov. 4, 1933 ... interestingly enough, it was that first game (in 1933) between the two programs which resulted in the series' only tie (a 0-0 game) ... Pat Barnes threw for 435 yards on Oct. 26, 1996 vs. UCLA -- second-most passing yards in a single game in program history ... the 57 pass attempts in that game by Barnes still stands as a school record ... UCLA's 532 rush yards against the Bears on Oct. 21, 1972, was the most given up to an opponent in school history.
Last Five Games vs. UCLA (3-2)
2006: (10) Cal 38, UCLA 24 -- Nate Longshore tosses three touchdown passes and runs for another score as No. 10 Cal wins its eighth straight game with a 38-24 win over the UCLA Bruins; Robert Jordan has two touchdown catches.
2005: (16) UCLA 47, (10) Cal 40 -- Maurice Drew runs for three touchdowns, scores another on a long punt return, and catches a 28-yard pass for the go-ahead touchdown as No. 20 UCLA rallies for a wild 47-40 victory over No. 10 California.
2004: (8) Cal 45, UCLA 28 -- Geoff McArthur catches two of Aaron Rodgers' career-high four touchdown passes, Cal racks up 550 total yards in a 45-28 victory over UCLA in Berkeley. J.J. Arrington runs for a career-best 205 yards and two scores.
2003: UCLA 23, Cal 20 (ot) -- Drew Olson throws for two touchdowns, Brandon Chillar runs 65 yards to score after a blocked field goal, before Justin Medlock kicks a 41-yard field goal in overtime as UCLA outlasted California 23-20 in Pasadena.
2002: Cal 17, UCLA 12 -- California's defense finishes off a spectacular day by keeping UCLA out of the end zone during a fourth-quarter goal-line stand -- Golden Bears defeated the Bruins 17-12 in Berkeley.
On This Date: Oct. 20
Cal is 7-7-1 all-time on games played on Oct. 20 in program history. Cal's first game played on Oct. 20 was in 1900, resulting in a 5-0 win over the Reliance Club. Interestingly enough, the Golden Bears have played UCLA six times on Oct. 20 (1934, 1956, 1979, 1984, 1990, 2001) and have a 2-4 record against the Bruins in those games.
Cal-Oregon State Afterthoughts
Oregon State, which won its fourth straight game in Memorial Stadium, also snapped Cal's 10-game home winning streak ... the last team to break a 10-game home-winning streak for Cal was Oregon State on Oct. 15, 2005 ... the OSU game attendance of 63,995 marked the 22nd straight game with over 50,000 fans at Memorial Stadium - that streak includes every home game in the last four years ... redshirt freshman Kevin Riley earned his first career start (filling in for injured Nate Longshore) ... he threw his first career touchdown pass in the second quarter to Lavelle Hawkins and rushed for his first career touchdown in the second stanza ... Brandon Hampton recorded his first career forced fumble (Zack Follett recovery) ... Cal's defense has now forced and recovered a fumble in all six games this season ... Andrew Larson had a career-long 73-yard long punt in the second quarter - fifth-longest punt in school history ... Larson had four punts for an average of 55.8 yards per punt which broke the all-time Cal record for highest punt average in a game (55.6 Scott Tabor vs. USC on Sept. 26, 1987) ... Robert Jordan tied a school-record with his 36th straight game with a reception in the first quarter ... Lavelle Hawkins snared a career-long 64-yard touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter, marking his 10th career touchdown reception ... he also had a 10-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter ... it was the first time Hawkins scored multiple touchdowns in a game ... he has now scored a touchdown seven times in his last nine games ... Hawkins had 192 yards receiving on nine catches vs. Oregon State - sixth-most receiving yards in school history ... it was his third career 100+ yard receiving game ... his nine receptions vs. the Beavers gave him 100 for his career ... Justin Forsett became the first running back this season to tally 100 yards against the best rush defense in the nation -- in fact no one had more than 91 yards rushing on the Beavers heading into the contest ... Forsett accounted for 124 yards (all by rush) of Cal's 230 offensive yards in the first half ... Forsett has now recorded 11 100-yard rushing efforts in his career ... Forsett scored his Pac-10 best tenth rushing touchdown of the season in the fourth quarter - it was the seventh game in a row (dating back to last season) that he had a rushing touchdown ... Forsett now has seven career games with 150+ yards ... Craig Stevens had a season-long 23-yard reception in the third quarter.
Riley Fills In For Longshore
Redshirt freshman Kevin Riley earned his first career start against the Oregon State Beavers last weekend, filling in for injured starter Nate Longshore. Riley performed admirably against a stout OSU defense, which boasted the nation's top rush defense. Riley completed 20 passes for 294 yards -- the most by passing yards by Cal since Longshore threw for 341 at Oregon State on Sept. 30, 2006. He also tossed a pair of touchdowns and rushed for a score. With the Bears pinned deep on their own six-yard line with 1:27 left in the game, Riley drove Cal down the field 84 yards, completing a 4th-and-17 to Lavelle Hawkins and a 37-yard pass to Robert Jordan along the way. Unfortunatley, after reaching the OSU 12 with seconds remaining, the Bears were out of timeouts and the clock expired before Cal could muster one more play.
As much as he tries, it's hard for Lavelle 'hawk' Hawkins to stay out of the spotlight this season. The senior wideout, who has paced the Golden Bears in five of the six games this season, had a career game in Cal's 31-28 loss to Oregon State. Hawkins snared nine catches for a career-best 192 yards and two touchdowns. Hawkins' 64-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter was also a career-long. The 192 yards were sixth-most receiving yards in school history. His nine receptions give him 100 for his career. His true value was also measured in Cal's 31-24 win over Oregon. He had two catches for 27 yards, but both of those catches came on third-and-long situations, keeping a Cal drive going. Hawkins caught a 16-yard pass on 3rd-and-7 in the third quarter which led to Cal's second touchdown of the game to tie the score at 17-17. His second catch (an 11-yarder) came on a 3rd-and-6 (in the fourth quarter) and led to another Cal score and a 24-17 lead. Hawkins has scored a touchdown (reception or kickoff) in seven of his last nine games. He scored a touchdown on the opening kickoff of the Louisiana Tech game, making it the first time since 2002 that a Golden Bear scored a touchdown on a kickoff. Hawkins is first on the team with 916 all-purpose yards, and leads the team with 534 receiving yards.
Forsett at the Forefront
Heart. Determination. Warrior. Leader. All words that should be used to describe senior tailback Justin Forsett for his stellar play for the Golden Bears this season. As the Pac-10's leading rusher (122.5/gm), Forsett had a rushing touchdown for the sixth straight game this season (seventh game in a row, dating back to last season's Holiday Bowl) in Cal's 31-28 loss to Oregon State. Forsett finished the contest with 150 yards (including a season-long 45-yard run on Cal's first offensive play of the game) on 28 carries against Beavers. To put that stat into perspective, Oregon State had not allowed a 100-yard rusher all season. It was also Forsett's fifth 100-yard effort (11th of his career). In Cal's 42-12 win over Louisiana Tech, Forsett recorded 152 yards rushing and three touchdowns, marking the first time in his career that he had three rushing scores in a single game. In just his fifth career start (season-opener vs. Tennessee), Forsett generated 156 yards on 26 carries (6.0 average). It was the fourth-highest rushing total for an opening day in program history. Forsett currently ranks eighth all-time with 2,409 career yards rushing. He has a career average of 6.05 yards per carry.
Anybody will tell you that in order to have a productive offense, you must have an successful running game. Cal can stick to that philosophy because of Justin Forsett. The Oregon State game marked just the eighth time that Forsett had more than 15 carries in a game. He is averaging 157.6 ypg in games with over 15 carries.
|9/17/05||Illinois||16-187, 2 TDs|
|9/23/05||New Mexico State||31-235, 1 TD|
|10/7/06||Oregon||27-163, 1 TD|
|9/1/07||Tennessee||26-156, 1 TD|
|9/15/07||Louisiana Tech||23-152, 3 TDs|
|9/22/07||Arizona||23-117, 2 TDs|
|9/29/07||Oregon||23-101, 2 TDs|
|10/13/07||Oregon State||28-150, 1 TD|
Big Play RJ
A veteran of 37 games and 32 starts, Robert Jordan has 22 receptions for 214 yards and a touchdown this season, including a season-high 68 receiving yards in Cal's 31-28 loss to Oregon State. Jordan tied a school record with his 36th game in a row with a reception against the Beavers as well. Jordan passed Sean Dawkins for ninth on Cal's all-time receptions chart (131) after hauling in five vs. OSU. He had 43 receptions (career-high) for 511 yards (career-high) and four scores in 2006.
The 1 To Watch
It seems like every time that the Bears are on national television, DeSean Jackson seems to have his best performances. With the Cal-UCLA game on ABC, Jackson will look to have another a career performance just like the one he had at Oregon, which was televised on ABC. Jackson snared a career-high 11 catches for a career-high 161 yards and two touchdowns in Autzen Stadium. Nine of his 11 catches went for first downs. In his opening-day performance against Tennessee (on ABC), Jackson took his first punt return 77 yards for a touchdown to give Cal a 21-14 lead in the second quarter. It was his sixth career punt return for a touchdown, both school and conference records.
Other Notes on DeSean ...
>> Needs two touchdowns to tie Geoff McArthur for fourth on the all-time career receiving touchdowns list (20)
>> Needs 21 yards receiving to crack Cal's top 10 career receiving yards chart
>> Ranks first in school history in career punt return average, touchdowns (6) and single-season average (18.12)
>> Owns three of the 11 longest punt returns for touchdowns in school history (95 at Arizona, 80 vs. Arizona State, 77 vs. Tennessee)
The DeSean Effect
DeSean Jackson has returned six punts for touchdown in his California football career. Understandably, teams have opted to avoid the dangerous return man by punting away (pitching away?) from Jackson. However, in four of the last five games, Cal has benefited from the 'intentional walks.'
Dec. 28, 2006 Holiday Bowl vs. Texas A&M
Third quarter, Cal leads 14-10 with 12 minutes to go. Texas A&M punter Justin Brantley punts towards the left sideline, but mis-hits and Cal takes over possession at the A&M 41-yard line after the 0-yard punt. Four plays later, including a 28-yard Jackson reception, Cal hits the end zone and takes a 21-10 lead on route to the 45-10 victory.
Sept. 1, 2007 Season Opener vs. Tennessee
Second quarter, Cal leads 28-21 with 1:30 to go. Tennessee punter Britton Colquitt avoids Jackson, punting the ball out-of-bounds at the Cal 31 - just a 13-yard punt for the All-American candidate. Fifty-two seconds later, Cal settles for a 27-yard field goal to go up 31-21 on route to the 45-31 triumph.
Sept. 8, 2007 Road Opener vs. Colorado State
Second quarter, score tied at seven. After a four yard rush and a pair of sacks, CSU punter Jimmie Kaylor trots onto the field. From his own 22, Kaylor punts the ball out-of-bounds, 25 yards downfield, giving Cal the ball at the CSU 47. Five plays later, Justin Forsett plunges in from the one to give the Bears a 14-7 advantage on route to the 34-28 victory.
Sept. 22, 2007 Pac-10 Opener vs. Arizona
On the Wildcats' first punt of the game, Keenyn Crier tires to angle his punt to the sideline, but kicks it out of bounds for a 18-yard effort. Cal takes over at the 50-yard line and scores four plays later for a 7-0 advantage on route to the 45-27 victory.
Sept. 29, 2007 On the Road at No. 11 Oregon
With the score tied at 17 early in the fourth quarter, Oregon's Josh Syria miss-hits a 28-yard punt that is fair-caught by Jackson at the 50-yard line. Five plays later, Jackson takes a short Longshore pass and dashes past two Duck defenders for the go-ahead touchdown.
Nate Longshore is at it again this season -- throwing with accuracy and efficiency. Longshore has completed 64 percent of his passes in `07 against just two interceptions. Longshore produced a career day in Cal's 31-24 win at Oregon, completing a career-high 28 passes on a career-high 43 attempts (no interceptions) for a season-high 285 yards and two touchdowns. The two TD tosses vaulted Longshore into Cal's top 10 career passing touchdowns chart with 31. The junior signal caller surpassed 4,000 career passing yards in Cal's win over Arizona, and has now completed passes to 12 different targets this season. Longshore (4,289 career passing yards) has also thrown for over 200 yards in nine of his last 11 contests. He has thrown just two interceptions and has been sacked just four times in his last seven games. As a sophomore last season, he directed the California offense to a Pac-10 best 32.8 points per game and became just the second Golden Bear to pass for over 3,000 yards in a single season (3,021). The 6-5, 233-pounder was extra deadly with the long ball, completing 51 passes of 20 yards or more, including 19 to DeSean Jackson.
Senior punter Andrew Larson set a single-game record for punting average vs. Oregon State. Larson had four punts for 223 yards, an average of 55.8 yards per punt, eclipsing the previous average of 55.6 set by Scott Tabor on Sept. 26, 1987. Larson was another unsung hero in Cal's 31-24 win at Oregon. Of his seven punts, four landed inside the 20-yard line. His sixth punt of the game in the fourth-quarter pinned the Ducks on their own 11-yard line. On Oregon's first play of that drive, quarterback Dennis Dixon threw a pass that was picked off by Cal linebacker, Anthony Felder. That interception led to a Golden Bear touchdown. And with two minutes to go, Larson uncorked a 48-yarder which was downed at the Oregon 23.
Cal's 31-28 loss to Oregon State reinforced why turnovers are such a crucial part of the game. Prior to the OSU contest, Cal's success this season hinged on protecting the football. The Golden Bears had just four turnovers this year (two interceptions, two fumbles) and were tied for third in the nation in turnover margin at 2.20 per game (now sixth after Oct. 13). The Bears turned the ball over three times vs. the Beavers, including a key turnover in the fourth quarter which led to an OSU field goal and a 10-point lead for the visitors. OSU scored 13 points on Cal turnovers. For the season, the Bears have scored 49 points (seven touchdowns) on their opponent's 16 turnovers, while the opposition has managed 16 points on seven miscues by the Bears.
Cal failed to reach 30 points for the first time since Dec. 2, 2006 following its 31-28 loss to Oregon State. Despite that stat, Cal has scored 30 or more points in six games of its last seven games dating back to last year's Holiday Bowl victory over Texas A&M. Cal's run of six straight games with 30 or more points was a program first. In 2006, the Bears set a record with five straight 40-point games and they also had five straight 30+ games from the bowl in 2004 through the first four games of 2005. Prior to that, the last five-game run of 30-point games came in 1990's Copper Bowl campaign.
In Their 40s
Cal's win over Arizona was 14th game with over 40 points in its last 24 home games. Cal has scored 40 or more points 28 times since 2002, including nine of its last 17 games and three times this season.
Not only has Cal been scoring a lot of points (averaging 37.5 points per game - 15th in the nation), but the Golden Bears have been scoring fast as well. The Bears have registered 15 scoring drives of under two minutes this season, including eight drives that lasted less than one minute. In addition, a punt return TD, a kickoff return TD and two fumbles returned for scores give Cal 19 'quick strike' scores in less than two minutes. Last year, Cal had 28 scores, including 19 scoring drives, that took less than two minutes.
Whose House? Our House!
History really does repeat itself. In 2005, Oregon State snapped Cal's 10-game home win streak. Following Oregon State's 31-28 win over Cal last weekend, the Beavers once again snapped another Cal 10-game home win streak. Despite the setback to OSU, Cal has 21 victories in its last 24 home games. Overall, Cal is out-scoring opponents 887-459 (average of 37.0-19.1) over the last 24 games. In the fourth quarter of the last 23 games, Cal has topped foes, 237-110. The only three losses suffered in Memorial Stadium were to Oregon State (Oct. 15, 2005 and Oct. 13, 2007) and to USC (Nov. 12, 2005), who was ranked No. 1 at the time.
Did you know that Cal hasn't been shutout in a school-record 100 consecutive games since Sept. 11, 1999?
The Bears donned their gold uniforms for the season-opener vs. Tennessee, and improved to 4-0 in games when it wears the alternate jersey (Oregon, UCLA, Texas A&M, Tennessee).
Cal has won 29 league games over the last five years (Jeff Tedford's tenure), the second-most in the Pac-10 ... Cal has had at least one 100-yard rusher in 46 of 69 games under Tedford, meanwhile, its opponents have had just 18 games with 100-yard rushers ... Cal had 58 pass plays of 20 or more yards in 2006 ... the Golden Bears also had 49 other plays (rushing, punt returns, kickoff returns and interception returns) of over 20 yards in 2006 ... in six games this year, the Bears have 58 plays of 20 yards or more.
Fourth Quarter Rushing
Despite a tough 31-28 loss to Oregon State, Cal has done a great job of protecting leads late in the game due in part to its fourth quarter rushing production. The Golden Bears have tallied 319 yards (53.1 avg) and seven touchdowns in the fourth quarter of games this season. Cal has scored a rushing touchdown in every fourth quarter this season.
Third Quarter D
Cal has only allowed 34 points in the third quarter of games this season. Against Louisiana Tech, Cal picked off Zac Champion in the third quarter and limited the Bulldog offense to just 39 yards rushing in the stanza. In their road win at Colorado State, Cal registered three sacks, while surrendering just 23 total yards on 12 offensive plays to the Rams.
>>Bucking the Trend I: Cal's fourth quarter defense at Oregon was extremely effective as well. The Bears tallied two interceptions against Dennis Dixon (Anthony Felder, Tyson Alualu) and came up with arguably the biggest defensive play of the season when Marcus Ezeff knocked the ball out of Cameron Colvin's hands at the goal line (the ball went out of bounds in the endzone), resulting in a touchback for the Bears.
First Half Surge
In their 5-1 start, the Golden Bears have outscored their opposition 128-67 in the first half. Cal tied a school record with 28 first quarter points (tied for third-most ever, tied for second-most ever in a first quarter) vs. Arizona, and has used big plays to boost its scoring in the second quarter. DeSean Jackson's 77-yard punt return against Tennessee came in the second quarter and Justin Forsett's career-long 39-yard touchdown run was in the second against Louisiana Tech. In the Colorado State game, Jordan Kay booted a career-best 47-yard field goal in the final seconds of the first half, which gave Cal a 17-14 lead.
>>Bucking the Trend II: After being held without a touchdown in the first half at Oregon, the Golden Bears responded with 28 second half points, including 21 in the fourth quarter. Justin Forsett accounted for two of those scores in the fourth quarter, including the touchdown that gave Cal a 31-24 lead with 3:11 left in the contest.
Some have questioned Justin Forsett's durability, but if they see some of the senior back's fourth-quarter numbers, they may rethink that. In Cal's 31-24 win over Oregon, Forsett generated 28 yards and two touchdowns. In the victory over Arizona, Forsett generated 55 yards on nine carries (5.9 ypc) and a touchdown. Against Tennessee, Forsett rushed 12 times for 92 yards (7.8 yards per carry) as he helped the Bears seal the victory.
Felder Leads the LBs ... and Pac-10
The Cal linebacking corps has shown why it should be considered one of the best in the nation. In six games, the LBs have combined for 201 tackles (11.5 for losses), 5.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and two interceptions. Junior Anthony Felder paces the corps and the Pac-10 with 62 tackles, two sacks and an interception. Felder's fourth quarter interception at Oregon was even nominated as a Pontiac Game Changing Performance. Felder also turned in a career-high 13 tackles and two sacks at Colorado State. Worrell Williams tallied a career-high 14 tackles vs. Arizona to go along with a sack and a pass break up. Zack Follett returned to action against Oregon State, after missing two games, and tallied five tackles, a fumble recovery and a pass break up.
The Golden Bears graduated three starters from its defensive line unit last season and have been plagued with injuries this season. But a group of unheralded players, however, have been given the opportunity to step up. Fifth-year senior John Allen recovered a key fumble in the Louisiana Tech game and sophomore Tad Smith has been a regular on the line. Redshirt freshman Derrick Hill snagged an interception in the Colorado State game and nearly added another against Louisiana Tech, and recorded his first career sack against Arizona. Sophomore Cody Jones has started the last four games and registered three tackles for a loss at Oregon, while sophomore Tyson Alualu recorded his first career interception in the fourth quarter at Oregon. Alualu, who also recovered a fumble for a touchdown versus Arizona, has tallied a team-best 2.5 sacks this year. In addition Cameron Jordan has also been a key contributor as just a true freshman in defensive line coach Ken Delgado's corps.
...And Don't Forget the Secondary
Senior Thomas DeCoud, who leads the Bear secondary with 47 tackles, enjoyed a career day against Arizona when he recorded his first career forced fumble, sack and interception in the first half. Senior Brandon Hampton has recorded an interception in two games (Louisiana Tech and Arizona) and recorded his first forced fumble against Oregon State. Sophomore Marcus Ezeff has been a pleasant surprise this season, as he has racked up 44 tackles, including a career-high 14 vs. Arizona. But the biggest play of his career thus far was his hit on Oregon wide receiver Cameron Colvin in the final seconds at the one-yard line, jarring the ball loose into the end zone and out of bounds, resulting in a touchback, allowing the Bears to preserve their 31-24 lead. Sophomore Syd'Quan Thompson leads the team with six pass break ups, including three vs. Oregon State.
Other Defensive Notes ...
>> Cal's defense has forced and recovered a fumble in all six games this season ... the defense has also scored two touchdowns (both on fumble recoveries) this season.
>> Jahvid Best has recorded 13 plays of 10 yards or more this season (30 touches total in `07)
Is there anything true freshman Javid Best can't do? Best has been utilized plenty in special teams and he came up with his first career fumble recovery on a kickoff in the fourth quarter at Oregon. Cal capitalized on the ensuing drive and scored a touchdown. It didn't take long for Best to score his first collegiate touchdown -- a career-long 64-yard run for paydirt at Colorado State -- in his second career game. Best added his first career receiving touchdown to his resume after snaring a 16-yard reception versus Louisiana Tech -- his third career game. He added a one-yard rushing touchdown in the conference-opener vs. Arizona as well. Best gained 103 all-purpose yards in his collegiate debut vs. Tennessee, including a long run of 34 yards. For the season, Best has 184 yards on 17 carries (10.5 ypc) and two touchdowns.
The Tedford Era
Jeff Tedford, now in his sixth year at the helm of the Bears, has quickly brought the program into another 'Golden' Age. The Bears' current five year record of 48-21 is among the best-ever at Cal.
Era (Years): Record (Pct.) - Highlights
The Wonder Teams (1920-24): 44-0-4 (.958) - Three National Titles
The Thunder Teams (1937-38): 20-1-1 (.932) - One Championship
Pappy's Boys (1947-52): 53-9 (.855) - Three Rose Bowls
The Tedford Era (2002-current): 48-21 (.691) - Four bowls
Early 90s (1990-93): 30-17 (.638) - Three bowls
Mike White Era (1972-77): 35-30 (.538) - Last conf. title (`75)
The California Athletic Department and website partner CSTV (College Sports Television) launched a Heisman Trophy promotional website for junior wide receiver DeSean Jackson entitled the1towatch.com. 'The 1 to Watch' features flash animation for the introduction before taking the viewer to the main page. Once on the site, fans can navigate eight tabs to find such information as up-to-date video highlights, a player profile and photo galleries. The four tabs at the top of the page include a 'video' link which allows fans to see packaged highlights of Jackson. Fans can get to know Jackson on a personal level with the '1-on-1' tab, which allows the user to know what his life is like on and off the field. Finally, there is the 'national attention' link which directs the viewer to see what other coaches, players, football analysts and teammates are saying about Jackson. Additional links provide navigation to CalBears.com, other Cal football all-star candidates, the Cal Bears football page and any breaking news on Jackson.
Another Tailback U?
USC has been widely recognized as tailback u (university) because of the legendary running backs it has produced. But Cal is starting to build that same reputation based on the track record of head coach Jeff Tedford. Under Tedford Cal has produced a 1,000-yard rusher every season since 2002. Here are four more Cal rushing factoids:
>> Cal has rushed for over 200 yards in four out of its last six games (dating back to last year's Holiday Bowl ... this season, the Bears are averaging 198.6 yards per game on the ground
>> J.J. Arrington is the last NCAA Division I running back to rush for 2000 yards in a season
>> The Golden Bears are the only Division I (BCS Conference) to have a 1,000 yard and a 600 yard running back four straight seasons (since 2003)
>> Prior to the start of the 2007 season, Cal had the most rushing yards in the Pac-10 over the past five seasons (11,668) from 2002-06.
As of Oct. 8, a record-tying 11 Cal football games will be aired on television this season. Tennessee (9/1, ABC, 5 p.m.), Colorado State (9/8, CSTV, 11 a.m.), Louisiana Tech (9/15, Comcast Sports, 3:30), Arizona (10/22, Versus, 3 p.m.), Oregon (9/29, ABC, 12:30), Oregon State (10/13, Versus, 4 pm), UCLA (10/20, ABC, 12:30 pm), Arizona State (10/27, FSN, 7 p.m.), Washington State (11/3, FSN, 7 p.m.), USC (Nov. 10, ABC/ESPN/ESPN2, 5 p.m.) and Stanford (12/1, Versus, 4 p.m.) will be televised. In the first five years of head coach Jeff Tedford's tenure, 47 Cal football games were televised; in the five years prior to that, 30 Cal games were televised. National television broadcasts have more than doubled in that time. The Colorado State game marked Cal's first game on CSTV while the Arizona game was Cal's debut on Versus. Versus is a national cable network that is available in 72 million homes. To find out if Versus is available in specific areas, visit www.versus.com and input the zip code for that area. On Comcast in Berkeley, it is Channel 75, while on Direct TV, it is Channel 603.
50,000 Fans Again
The Oregon State attendance of 63,995 marked the 22nd straight home game with over 50,000 fans. That streak includes every home game in the last four years and is even more impressive when compared to the days before the current streak. In the first 13 home games under head coach Jeff Tedford (in 2002 and 2003), Cal attracted over 50,000 fans just twice. The Oregon State game was also the 12th game of 60,000+ fans under Tedford; Cal had nine 60,000+ games in the 12 years prior to Tedford's arrival.
The Golden Bears established a new record for average attendance in 2006 with an average of 64,318 fans per game. Including three sellouts. California had a total of 450,223 fans at seven home games. The previous record for the Bears was in 2004 when they averaged 64,019.
The Golden Ticket
Cal established a new season ticket sales record for the 2007 football season -- 41,336, eclipsing last seasons sales mark of 40,262. Since the arrival of head coach Jeff Tedford, California's season ticket count has been on a steady climb. The Bears sold 16,200 season passes in 2002 -- Tedford's first year. His second season resulted in sales of 22,500. In 2004, the number again jumped substantially, up to a then-school-record 34,100. In 2005, the Bears set another mark with 40,134 season tickets sold and again in 2006 (40,262).
2006 marked the first time since the 1975 season that California earned a share of the Pac-10 Conference championship ... Cal secured the co-championship after its 26-17 victory over Stanford (Dec. 2) coupled with a UCLA upset victory over USC in Pasadena also on Dec. 2 ... Both Cal and USC finished 7-2 in league play ... In 1975, Cal tied with UCLA for the league title, but the head-to-head loss to the Bruins denied a Rose Bowl bid. Here's a look at Cal's title teams:
Year: Overall (Conf) - Note
1918: 7-2 (2-0 Pacific Coast) - Beat Oregon and Stanford
1920: 9-0 (3-0 Pacific Coast) - First national championship for Cal
1921: 9-0-1 (4-0 Pacific Coast) - Brick Muller is first Cal All-American
1922: 9-0 (4-0 Pacific Coast) - Outscores opponents, 146-7
1923: 9-0-1 (5-0 Pacific Coast) - Wonder Team continues to roll
1937: 10-0-1 (6-0-1 Pacific Coast) - Thunder Team beats Alabama in Rose Bowl
1948: 10-1 (6-0 Pacific Coast) - Pappy's Boys return to Rose Bowl
1949: 10-1 (7-0 Pacific Coast) - No. 3 in final AP poll
1950: 9-1-1 (5-0-1 Pacific Coast) - Third straight Rose Bowl appearance
1958: 7-4 (6-1 Pacific Coast) - Last Rose Bowl for California
1975: 8-3 (6-1 Pac-8) - Chuck Muncie leads Bears to title
2006: 10-3 (7-2 Pac-10) - Beat Texas A&M, 45-10, in Holiday Bowl
Cal Corrals Fifth Straight Winning Season
Since posting the worst record at Cal in 104 years (1-10) in 2001, the Golden Bears have rolled to five straight winning seasons since the arrival of head coach Jeff Tedford. In Tedford's first season (2002), he guided the Bears to a 7-5 mark - the school's first winning record in nine years. The 2004 club climbed as high as No. 4 in the nation and finished 10-2. Last year, Cal won eight games and in 2006, the Bears finished 10-3, marking the first time the Golden Bears have had five straight winning seasons in over 50 years (Pappy Waldorf's juggernaut teams reeled off six straight winning marks from 1947-52).
In the six years under Jeff Tedford, the Golden Bears have averaged 34.3 points per game, by far the most in any six-year stretch in school history. In fact, Tedford-coached teams own five of the top six slots in single-season scoring in the modern era of football in Berkeley.
Juniors Alex Mack, Zack Follett, Nate Longshore and DeSean Jackson and seniors Craig Stevens, Justin Forsett, Tom Schneider and Andrew Larson have been prominent in many of the national Watch Lists. Mack is on three Watch Lists including the Outland Trophy (best interior lineman), the Rotary Lombardi Award (top lineman) and the Rimington Trophy (most outstanding center). Follett landed a spot on the Bednarik Trophy list (nation's top defensive player), the Butkus Award (best linebacker) and the Lott IMPACT Trophy, which recognizes athletic performance and the personal character attributes of the player. Jackson has secured spots on the Biletnikoff Award (top wide receiver), Maxwell and Walter Camp Trophy lists -- both of which honor the nation's best player. Longshore is also on three Watch Lists -- the Manning and Davey O'Brien Awards, which are given to the nation's top quarterback, and the Walter Camp Award Watch List, which honors the nation's best player. Stevens landed a spot on the John Mackey Award Watch List -- given annually to the nation's top tight end. Forsett secured a spot on the Doak Walker Award Watch List which is presented to the nation's top RB. Schneider is on the Lou Groza Watch List (nation's top kicker), while Larson found a spot on the Ray Guy Award Watch List, honoring the nation's top punter.
Cal Picked 2nd in Pac-10 Media Poll
For the fourth consecutive season the University of California football team was picked to finish second in the Pac-10 Media Poll released on July 26. Four-time defending Pac-10 champion USC was a unanimous selection to win the conference title as voted by West Coast media members who regularly cover the league. It marks the fifth consecutive year the Trojans have been the choice to win the title. The Trojans captured all 39 first-place votes. The Golden Bears garnered 323 points, while third-place pick, UCLA, collected 305 points, followed by Arizona State (242), Oregon State (237), Oregon (226), Arizona (162), Washington State (115), Washington (98) and Stanford (47).
Pac-10 Media Day Chatter
Jeff Tedford general remarks: 'We are very excited about the upcoming season and to report to camp on the fifth of August. The players' commitment has been great through the summer. We have a lot of experience and I feel that the investment has been made to compete for a championship. We have great leadership, DeSean [Jackson] being one of them and a big part of what we do. Having to replace Daymeion Hughes and Marshawn Lynch, both Players of the Year, will be a challenge. We feel Justin Forsett can move right in and take over and we'll have some young guys competing at corner. We had a rough game at Tennessee last year, and we need redemption. It's not about revenge, we just need to focus on ourselves. This Conference is very balanced so we have to bring our 'A' game. I have great confidence in our players and our staff to be prepared each and every week.'