Unbeaten No. 6 Cal Opens Pac-10 Action Saturday at Oregon
Sept. 21, 2009
2009 Cal Football
This Week In Cal Football
Cal Up to No. 6 In Latest AP and USA Today Rankings (Monday, Sept. 20, 2009)
Jahvid Best Named CFPA National Performer of the Week (Monday, Sept. 20, 2009)
Jahvid Best Nominated for AT&T All-America Player of the Week Award (Monday, Sept. 20, 2009)
Watch This Week's Cal Sports Report (Thur., 10 p.m./Fri., 8:30 p.m.), Comcast SportsNet California
2009 CALIFORNIA FOOTBALL
Saturday, Sept. 26, 12:30 a.m. (PT)
California (3-0, 0-0 Pac-10) at Oregon (2-1, 0-0 Pac-10)
Eugene, Ore. - Autzen Stadium
TV: ABC Lindsay Gannon (Play-By-Play), David Norrie (Analyst)
Radio: KGO 810 AM (San Francisco) - Joe Starkey (Play-By-Play), Troy Taylor (Anaylst), Todd McKim (Sideline) - and affiliate stations KGIL 1260 AM (Los Angeles), XSURF 540 AM (San Diego), KESP 970 AM (Modesto), KTKZ 1380 AM (Sacramento). Also Sirius XM Satellite Radio channel 211 (Sirius) and channel 194 (XM). The pre-game show begins 30 minutes before kickoff.
CalBears.com: Visit CalBears.com for complete coverage of Cal football, including a live play-by-play update via Gametracker.
GOLDEN BEAR FACTS
Head Coach: Jeff Tedford
Alma Mater/Year: Fresno State/`83
Record at Cal/Years: 62-30/8th
Career Record/Years: Same
Football SID: Kyle McRae
Secondary Contact: Anton Malko
Credentials: Herb Benenson
Ticket Info: 800-GO-BEARS
Games Played: 71
Series Record: Cal leads, 39-30-2
First Meeting: 11/18/1899, Cal 12-0
Last Meeting: 11/1/08, Cal 26-16
Current Streak: Cal win three
Tedord vs. Oregon: 4-2
Kickoff- California at Oregon
California returns to Eugene for the first time since Sept. 29, 2007, when the then-No. 6 Golden Bears' came up with a memorable 31-24 win over then-No. 11 Oregon in Autzen Stadium that propelled Cal to the No. 2 ranking in the nation.
Cal head coach Jeff Tedford has done well against his former employer (Tedford was the Ducks' offensive coordinator 1998-2001) with a 4-2 record against Oregon since taking over the job at Cal. The teams did not play during Tedford's first season in Berkeley in 2002 and Oregon was a winner in Eugene in 2003, but the Golden Bears have won four-of-five since with each of the last three victories over ranked Ducks' teams the last three seasons.
This year, the Golden Bears have been dominant in jumping out to a 3-0 record, outscoring opponents, 146-41, and moving up six spots from their No. 12 preseason ranking to their current No. 6 spot in both the AP Top 25 and USA Today poll.
Cal started the season with home victories over Maryland (52-13) and Eastern Washington (59-7) with the back-to-back 50-point efforts its first since 1973. The Golden Bears then took their show on the road with a convincing 35-21 win at Minnesota. Cal jumped out to early 14-0 and 21-7 leads and never trailed, but still needed a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns to withstand a Golden Gophers' comeback that tied the score at 21-21 late in the third quarter.
Cal's Heisman Trophy candidate Jahvid Best had a huge game, breaking a modern-era single-game school record with five rushing touchdowns. Best finished the contest with 131 yards on a career-high 26 carries.
Cal ranks second in the nation in offense with a scoring average of 48.7 points per game while allowing only 13.7 points per contest defensively to rank No. 20 nationally.
Oregon will be playing its third consecutive home game when the Bears head north this Saturday. After dropping their first game of the season on a Thursday night at Boise State (19-8) to open the 2009 college football season, the Ducks have squeezed past Purdue (38-36) and then-No. 18 Utah (31-24) in their last two contests. Oregon has a 2-1 mark despite being outscored (79-77) by its opponents and averaging only 126.3 passing yards per contest.
Cal's 3-0 record to start the 2009 campaign marks the fifth time in eight seasons under Tedford that the Bears have opened the season with at least three consecutive wins. Cal is looking to extend current streaks of seven straight winning seasons, six consecutive post-season appearances and four bowl victories in a row - the latter two school records.
Tedford has also improved his all-time record at California to 62-30 three games into his eighth season at the helm. The team's 62 wins since 2002 are the second most in the Pac-10 behind USC, while the run under Tedford is also the best for Cal in nearly a century since legendary head coach Andy Smith led the Wonder Teams to a 63-7-5 mark over eight seasons from 1918-25.
Cal Moves Up to No. 6 in both AP and USA Today Rankings
Cal has moved into the No. 6 spot in both the latest AP Top 25 and USA Today rankings to mark the highest the Golden Bears have ever been listed on Sept. 20. The No. 6 position is also the highest Cal has been ranked overall since the Bears were No. 2 in both polls heading into a home game against Oregon State on Oct. 13, 2007. Cal has moved up six spots since the Bears were ranked No. 12 in both polls in the preseason. Cal moved to No. 10 in the first regular-season polls, No. 7 (USA Today)/No. 8 (AP) in the second set of rankings before its current ascent to No. 6.
Simply The Best - Cal's Heisman Trophy Candidate Jahvid Best
Junior TB Jahvid Best is off to a fantastic start in his quest for the 2009 Heisman Trophy. Best remains third in the most recent HeismanPundit.com Heisman Poll released last Tuesday and has been mentioned as a leading candidate by other experts. Most recently, he rushed for a modern-era single-game school record and career-best five touchdowns against Minnesota last Saturday. He now has eight touchdowns this season and is already more than halfway to the school record of 15 that he tied in 2008. He also has 25 rushing touchdowns in his career and moved from a tie for seventh place into sole possession of fifth place on the school's all-time list after the five he recorded against Minnesota. Best ran for 131 yards on a career-high 26 carries against the Golden Gophers to move into 10th on the all-time rushing yardage list at Cal with a career total of 2,213. After the first three games of 2009, Best leads the nation in scoring (18.0 ppg), as well as the Pac-10 in both rushing (137.3 ypg, No. 3 NCAA) and all-purpose running (160.3 ypg, No. 15 NCAA). He has rushed for 412 yards on 53 carries for an average of 7.8 yards per carry. Best also has seven consecutive games of 100 or more rushing yards dating back to the final four contests of 2008 and has rushed for 1,228 yards and 17 TDs on 126 carries (9.7 yards per rush, 175.4 yards per game) during that seven-game span. Earlier this year, Best picked up 137 yards and two TDs on only 10 carries in the first game of the season vs. Maryland and then followed that up with another outstanding effort against Eastern Washington, carrying the ball 17 times for 144 yards and a score. His performances in the first three games of 2009 come fresh off the heels of a pair of school records he set in 2008 by averaging 8.1 yards per carry for the season and rushing for 311 yards in the regular-season finale vs. Washington. Best also has three career 200-yard games (first Cal player with more than one) to go with his 11 career 100-yard contests (sixth all-time at Cal). He has put his big-play capability on full display throughout his career with a career total 30 rushes of 20+yards, to go along with nine of 60+ yards and three of 80 or more.
Riley Shows He's Ready
Junior QB Kevin Riley has jumped out of the gates in 2009 with three solid performances to post a 182.53 passing efficiency rating that leads the Pac-10 and ranks No. 6 nationally. Riley has completed 46-of-71 passes for 698 yards with five touchdowns and is one of eight quarterbacks listed among the NCAA's Top 100 highest-rated passers without an interception. He had a huge season opener against Maryland, completing 17-of-26 passes for 298 yards and a career-high four TDs to earn Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week honors for the first time. Riley's 298 yards in the air were the second-highest total of his career (after the 423 yards at Maryland in 2008). He followed that up by completing 13-of-20 passes for 148 yards and one touchdown against Eastern Washington and then going 16-of-25 for 252 yards at Minnesota.
Mychal Kendricks Second in the Pac-10 in Tackles
Sophomore LB Mychal Kendricks led the Golden Bears in tackles in each of the first two games of 2009, including a career-high of 15 against Eastern Washington. Kendricks ranks second in the Pac-10 in tackles with his average of 10.0 per contest. He also has both the first forced fumble and fumble recovery of his career in 2009, returning a fumble 45 yards against Eastern Washington before forcing one at Minnesota.
All Aboard the Shane Train
Sophomore TB Shane Vereen has had a knack for finding the end zone in 2009, with his five touchdowns (four rushing, one receiving) giving him 30 points on the season to rank tied for third in the Pac-10 in scoring and tied for 19th in the nation with his average of 10.0 points per game. Vereen had a career-high three rushing touchdowns against Eastern Washington and has already equaled the five touchdowns he scored all of last season (4 rushing, 1 receiving).
Back on the Road
Cal will return to the road this Saturday at Oregon, where the Golden Bears had dropped eight of nine and four in a row before snapping that streak with a 35-21 victory at Minnesota last Saturday.
The Cal offense ranks first in the Pac-10 and second nationally in scoring with an average of 48.7 points per game. The team's back-to-back 50-point games in victories over Maryland (52-13) and Eastern Washington (59-7) to open the season marked the first time the Golden Bears had put together back-to-back 50-points contests since the 1973 club accomplished the feat with a 51-6 victory over Army on Sept. 29 and a 54-49 win against Washington on Oct. 6. Cal had never before opened a season with back-to-back 50-point games and its combined 91-point margin of victory was also the largest in the first two games in school history. The 146 points the team has scored in the first three contests of the season equals the 146 points put up in the first three games by the 2004 team. No Cal team has scored more in the first three games of a season since the 2002 club put up 150 points in its first three contests.
The Cal offense already has posted 34 plays of at least 15 yards in the first three games of 2009. The Golden Bears have had 20 different passing plays go at least 15 yards to 10 different receivers (TB Jahvid Best, WR Nyan Boateng, FB Brian Holley, WR Marvin Jones, WR Alex Lagemann, TE Anthony Miller, WR Jeremy Ross, TE Jarrett Sparks, WR Verran Tucker, TB Shane Vereen). On the ground, Best has accounted for nine of the 14 runs for 15 or more yards, while Vereen has a pair, and TB Covaughn DeBoskie-Johnson, QB Kevin Riley and TB Isi Sofele have one each.
Defense Pushing Opponents Back, Especially Against the Run
The Cal defense is ranked among the Pac-10 and NCAA leaders in sacks (4.3 per game, No. 1 Pac-10, No. 5 NCAA) and tackles for loss (8.3 per game, No. 2 Pac-10, No. 12 NCAA) after recording 13.0 sacks (94 yards) and 25.0 tackles for loss (117 yards) over the team's first three games of 2009. Senior DL Tyson Alualu leads the team with 2.5 sacks after getting a career-high pair at Minnesota, while junior LB Mike Mohamed has a club-high 4.0 tackles for loss. The defense has allowed only 51 rushing yards in its last two games, giving up just 14 to Eastern Washington and 37 at Minnesota.
Other National Notables and Pac-10 Leaders
Cal is also among the nation's Top 10 as a team in rushing offense (No. 10, 250.33 ypg), turnover margin (No. 5, 2.00) and passing efficiency (No. 10, 169.28). In addition to sacks and scoring offense, the Golden Bears also lead the conference in total offense (488.7 yards per game), passing efficiency, PAT kicking percentage (1.000, 20-20), first downs (23.3 per game) and fewest penalty yards (36.7 per game). Individually junior TB Jahvid Best leads the nation in scoring (18.0 points per game), while pacing the Pac-10 in rushing (137.3 yards per game, No. 3 NCAA) and all-purpose running (163.0 yards per game, No. 15 NCAA). Junior QB Kevin Riley leads the Pac-10 and ranks No. 6 in the nation in passing efficiency (170.61). Sophomore LB Mychal Kendricks is tied for the Pac-10 lead with 10.33 tackles per game (31 total).
Cal-Oregon Series Notes
Cal leads the all-time series against Oregon, 39-30-2, and has won three straight and four of six since Jeff Tedford's arrival in 2002. Tedford, who was Oregon's offensive coordinator from 1998-2001, lost to his former team the first time he played them as the Bears' head coach in 2002 to extend Oregon's longest win streak in the all-time series to seven games. Since then, Cal has won four of five, including the last meeting in Eugene in 2007 when Marcus Ezeff's hit at the Cal 1-yard line with 0:16 caused Ducks' wide receiver Cameron Colvin to fumble and preserved a 31-24 Bears' victory.
Six Straight Pac-10 Opener Victories
Cal has won its Pac-10 opener in each of the last six seasons with victories over USC, Oregon State, Arizona, Arizona State, Arizona and Washington State since 2003. The only time that head coach Jeff Tedford has lost his Pac-10 opener as Cal's head coach was in his first conference game against Washington State in 2002.
Three in a Row - Again
Cal has won at least its first three games of the season in each of the last three campaigns and five times in the last eight years. The Golden Bears have started the season with at least three consecutive victories under head coach Jeff Tedford in 2002, '04, '05, '07 and '09), including a pair of 5-0 starts in 2005 and '07.
Turn On Your Televisions around the Nation
To date, six of Cal's 12 regular-season games have been picked up for television, including four of the first five and each of the next three on national TV. The Sept. 5 opener vs. Maryland was shown on ESPN2 before Comcast SportsNet California carried the Sept. 12 contest against Eastern Washington. The Sept. 19 game was aired on ESPN with ABC televising the next two contests - at Oregon this Saturday and vs. USC on Oct. 3. The Golden Bears' regular-season finale at Washington will air on Comcast SportsNet California, while TV networks will announce their choices for remaining games later in the season. Every Golden Bear contest since 2007 has been televised live.
The Tedford Factor
Head coach Jeff Tedford has compiled a 62-30 (.674) record as the Golden Bears' head coach. Tedford, who ranks fourth on the school's all-time win list, needs only six more victories to pass the legendary Pappy Waldorf (67-32-4, 1947-56) for the most wins at Cal in the modern era and move into third on the all-time list behind Andy Smith (74, 1916-25) and James Schaeffer (73, 1909-15). Tedford is also eight games from becoming only the third coach in Cal history to have coached 100 games for the Golden Bears with Waldorf (103) and Stub Allison (102, 1935-44) the only two to have previously done so. He is on track to coach his 100th career game in the 2009 Big Game at Stanford on Nov. 21. Tedford is 6-1 in Big Games and has also led his teams to school records of six straight bowl games and four consecutive post-season wins, as well as seven consecutive winning campaigns. Since his arrival in 2002, Cal has posted an overall record of 5-1 in bowl games after the Bears had previously earned bowl bids just four times since 1979.
Tedford and the Pac-10
Head coach Jeff Tedford has compiled a 36-23 (.610) mark against Pac-10 opponents after taking over a team in 2002 that had not had a winning conference season since 1991. Tedford's 2006 club shared the Pac-10 crown with USC and six of his first seven teams have placed at least fourth with the 2004 squad taking second.
Cal's school-record six straight bowl appearances and four consecutive bowl wins are listed below.
2003 - Insight Bowl (Cal 52, Virginia Tech 49)
2004 - Holiday Bowl (Texas Tech 45, Cal 31)
2005 - Las Vegas Bowl (Cal 35, BYU 28)
2006 - Holiday Bowl (Cal 45, Texas A&M 10)
2007 - Armed Forces Bowl (Cal 42, Air Force 36)
2008 - Emerald Bowl (Cal 24, Miami 17)
Home Sweet Home
Cal has been both extremely successful and popular with fans at home over the past six seasons (2004-09). During this time period, the Golden Bears have posted an overall record of 29-4 (.879) in Berkeley and have actually put up a 31-4 mark (.886) dating back to the final two home contests of 2003. Cal has also been unbeaten at home three times (2004, '06, '08) under head coach Jeff Tedford and has currently won nine straight home games to move within just one victory of equaling the longest home winning streak since Tedford's arrival in 2002. The Golden Bears' popularity has shown with a current streak of 33 games with at least 50,000-plus fans in attendance over the last six seasons. Cal is on pace to draw 60,000 or more fans per game for the fifth time in six years this season with an average of 60,225 in its first two home contests of 2009. In terms of total numbers, Cal attracted its second-highest total ever in 2008 with 431,437 fans attending seven home dates. Only the 2006 season, which drew 450,223 fans and averaged a record 64,318 spectators per contest, has had a larger final total home attendance count.
Longest Home Winning Streaks under Jeff Tedford
10 - Oct. 25, 2003 - Oct. 15, 2005
10 - Sept. 9, 2006 - Oct. 13, 2007
9 - Aug. 30, 2008 to current
Six in a Row Overall
Not only have the Bears won nine straight at home, they have also recorded six victories in a row overall dating back to the final three contests of 2008. The streak marks the fifth time that the Golden Bears have won at least six games in a row under head coach Jeff Tedford. The longest run of victories with Tedford at the helm came when the 2006 club ran off eight straight wins after dropping its season-opener at Tennessee.
Longest Winning Streaks under Tedford
8 - Sept. 9, 2006 - Nov. 4, 2006
7 - Dec. 2, 2006 - Sept. 29, 2007
7 - Oct. 16, 2004 - Dec. 4, 2004
6 - Nov. 15, 2003 - Oct. 2, 2004
6 - Nov. 22, 2008 - Current
Looking to Equal Consecutive Winning Seasons Streak
Cal has recorded seven consecutive winning seasons (2002-08) to move within one winning campaign of tying the school's football record of eight consecutive years from 1918-25. The Bears did record 10 consecutive winning campaigns from 1907-16 but those were split between rugby (8, 1907-14) and football (2, 1915-16).
Being the Best, Beating the Best
As a Top 10 team, the Bears are 15-7 and are 35-15 when playing a game while ranked in the Top 25 since head coach Jeff Tedford took over in 2002. Cal has played 22 nationally ranked teams during the Tedford era and posted an 11-11 record in those contests. The Bears have two games remaining on their 2009 schedule scheduled against teams currently ranked in at least one polls as Cal will host USC (No. 10 USA Today/No. 12 AP) on Oct. 3 and visit Washington (No. 24 AP) to conclude the regular season on Dec. 5.
Winning Turnover Battle Crucial to Success
Winning the turnover battle has been emphasized since Jeff Tedford's arrival on campus in 2002. During his eight seasons at Cal, the Bears are 37-3 when committing fewer turnovers than their opponents compared to 13-19 when opponents win the battle (12-8 when tied). In Pac-10 games, the stats are even more decisive as Cal is 22-1 with a positive margin in turnovers and 7-17 with a deficit, while posting a 7-5 mark when the turnover table is tied. Cal is current the nation's No. 5 team in turnover margin with a +2.00 average as the Bears have forced seven turnovers in their first three games and committed only one.
Cal has started the 2009 season with a significant advantage in third-down conversions by converting on 20-of-38 (52.6%) chances to rank No. 13 nationally, while its opponents are a mere 14-of-45 (31.1%). As a comparison, the Bears converted just 29.6 percent of their third-down situations last year (47-of-159) while holding opponents to 31.0 percent (61-of-197, No. 10 NCAA).
Cal has outscored its opponents 42-0 in the fourth quarter this season. The Golden Bears held a 7-0 advantage against Maryland, 21-0 in the victory over Eastern Washington and then snapped a 21-21 tie with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns against Minnesota.
Time of Possession Doesn't Always Tell the Story
Cal dominated Maryland and Eastern Washington in its first two contests despite losing the time-of-possession battle in both games. The Terrapins held the ball for 32:58 to Cal's final total of 27:02. The numbers were almost identical against the Eagles with Eastern Washington holding the ball for 32:20 compared to 27:40 for the Golden Bears. The Golden Bears did have the ball longer than Minnesota, holding onto it for 33:26 compared to 26:34 for the Golden Gophers, but still are slightly behind their opponents in time of possession for the season (29:22 - 30:38).
Fewest Flags Flying
Cal leads the Pac-10 in fewest yards penalized per game (36.7) with the team's 12 penalties also the fewest in the conference.
After 27 players made their collegiate debuts and six their first starts at Cal in the first two games, Cal had more firsts in the 35-21 win at Minnesota. LB Mychal Kendricks forced the first fumble of his career, while redshirt freshman DL Kendrick Payne recovered his first. Senior LB Devin Bishop picked up his first sack, while DB Josh Hill had his first interception.
Seven Straight 1,000-Yard Rushers
Jahvid Best's 1,580 yards rushing in 2008 ranked second all-time at Cal and marked the seventh consecutive season in which a Golden Bear running back has gained over 1,000 yards on the ground. Cal is one of only three Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) schools to have current seven-year streaks, along with Missouri and New Mexico. The Golden Bears are nearing USC's record 10-year run of 1,000-yard rushers from 1972-81 and Best is only 588 yards away from extending it to eight after rushing for 412 yards in the first three contests. Joe Igber started the current trend in 2002 when he became the first Cal player to rush for more than 1,000 yards in nine years.
Cal's 1,000-Yard Rushers Since 2002
Year - Player (Yards)
2008 - Jahvid Best (1,580)
2007 - Justin Forsett (1,546)
2006 - Marshawn Lynch (1,356)
2005 - Marshawn Lynch (1,246)
2004 - J.J. Arrington (2,018)
2003 - Adimchinobe Echemandu (1,195)
2002 - Joe Igber (1,130)
Cal has two new coaches on board in 2009 with the addition of offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Andy Ludwig and offensive line coach Steve Marshall. Ludwig had been the offensive coordinator at Utah for the past four seasons, leading one of the best offenses in the country that was largely responsible for a 13-0 record in 2008, the country's only unbeaten mark by a Football Bowl Subdivision team, and a No. 2 final national ranking. Marshall most recently coached for six seasons in the NFL with the Houston Texans (2002-05) and Cleveland Browns (2007-08).
Cal has several connections to the both the University of Oregon and the state. Head coach Jeff Tedford spent four seasons as the Ducks' offensive coordinator from 1998-2001, helping lead Oregon to four bowl games, three post-season wins, the best overall record (38-10) in the Pac-10 during the period and a No. 2 national ranking at the end of his last season in 2001. Tedford's successor as the offensive coordinator at Oregon is now Cal's offensive coordinator with Andy Ludwig having spent three seasons in Eugene from 2002-04. Current Cal defensive coordinator Bob Gregory worked with Tedford at Oregon from 1998-2000 when he was the team's defensive backs coach. Tedford brought him to Cal to become the Golden Bears defensive coordinator in 2002. Junior QB Kevin Riley prepped at Beaverton High School in the Portland area, where he earned the 2005 Gatorade Player of the Year honor in Oregon as a senior. Freshman OL Charles Siddoway played his high school ball at Sheldon High School in Eugene.
Cal Picked Second in Pac-10 Preseason Media Poll
California was picked to finish second in the 2009 Pac-10 preseason poll of media members who regularly cover the league for the fifth time in the last six years. USC was the media's preseason choice to win the conference title for an eighth consecutive season (Cal shared the conference crown in 2006). The Trojans were listed in the top spot by 28 of the 32 voters participating in the poll, while Cal claimed three of the four other first-place votes. Oregon (one first-place vote) was picked third and followed by Oregon State, Arizona State, Stanford, UCLA, Arizona, Washington and Washington State.
Cal has had 74 players claim Pac-10 All-Academic honors in the first seven seasons under head coach Jeff Tedford. Last year, Alex Mack earned the Draddy Trophy (since renamed the Campbell Trophy) honoring college football's top scholar-athlete.
Offense Quick Notes Cal has averaged at least 30.0 points per game in six of the last seven years and has started its 2009 campaign by averaging 48.7 points in its first three contests.
Cal has won 25 straight games in which the Bears have scored 30 or more points and have now scored 30 or more points 52 times in the Jeff Tedford era, posting a 48-4 record in those contests.
Cal posted 415 yards of total offense in its most recent game at Minnesota and now has at least 400 yards in each of its first three games of 2009.
Cal has spread the wealth around in its passing game, connecting with nine different receivers against Maryland, eight vs. both Eastern Washington and at Minnesota, and a total of 11 in its first three contests.
The 59-yard pass play from junior QB Kevin Riley to senior WR Verran Tucker in the first quarter at Minnesota was the team's longest of the season.
Senior WR Verran Tucker (78 yards receiving) and junior WR Jeremy Ross (73 yards receiving) both had career-highs in receiving yards, with Ross also catching the longest ball of his career with a career-long 35-yard reception from junior QB Kevin Riley on a Cal scoring drive that snapped a 21-21 tie in the fourth quarter before the two hooked up for another 31-yard strike on the drive three plays later.
Cal had its longest drives of the season both in plays and yards at Minnesota. Cal's second drive of the game went a season-long 86 yards on only three plays with junior TB Jahvid Best scoring on a 2-yard run to cap the drive. The key play was a 59-yard hookup between junior QB Kevin Riley and senior WR Verran Tucker after Best had run for 25 yards on the first play of the drive. The Bears held the ball for 11 plays on their first drive of the second quarter and advanced 41 yards before freshman PK Vince D'Amato missed wide right on a 47-yard field goal attempt.
Defense Quick Notes
Cal finally picked off its first interception of the season in the second half against Minnesota and then finished with three. Last year, the Golden Bears had their most interceptions (24) since the 1948 squad recorded 30. LB Mike Mohamed had two of the picks against the Golden Gophers for his first career multi-interception contest.
Cal's stingy defense has allowed only 2.0 yards per rush and 4.2 yards per play in 2009, as well as only five touchdowns and one rushing.
Cal has had a total of 17 different players contribute to its total of 25.0 tackles for loss and eight different players have taken part in the team's 13.0 sacks.
Special Teams Quick Notes
Sophomore punter Bryan Anger, who has earned first-team 2009 preseason All-America honors as a punter and is on the watch list for the Ray Guy Award, has opened his season by averaging 43.2 yards per punt in the first three games, five of which have pinned opponents inside their own 20-yard line.
Bears vs. Ducks in NCAA Rankings
In terms of team statistical rankings, the Bears have an advantage going into Autzen Stadium this weekend. Cal ranks well ahead of the Ducks nationally in scoring offense (No. 2/73), turnover margin (No. 5/63), pass efficiency (No. 10/116), rush offense (No. 10/64), rush defense (No. 10/76).