Cal-Oregon Football Notes

Nov. 6, 2000

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Game No. 10: California Golden Bears (Pac-10) at Oregon Ducks (Pac-10)
Date: Saturday, Nov. 11, 2000, Autzen Stadium (41,698- OmniTurf), Eugene, OR
Kickoff: 12:30 p.m. PT
Television: Fox Sports Bay Area (Brian Webber and Mike Pawlawski will describe the action)
Attendance: A crowd of 41,000 is expected.

Cal Radio Network
The game will be aired live over KGO Radio (810 AM) San Francisco and the five-station Cal Radio Network. Other stations on the network are: KRCK (1490 AM) in King City, KGOE (105.5 FM) in Eureka, and KESP (970 AM) in Modesto. The pre-game show begins 30 minutes prior to kickoff. KGO is in its 27th season as the Golden Bears flagship station. Sports Director Joe Starkey is in his 26th season handling play-by-play duties, and Lee Grosscup, in his 11th year in the booth, joins him with color commentary. The Tom Holmoe Show airs weekly on KGO Tuesdays at 6:20 p.m.

Cal TV Highlight Show
The weekly one-half hour Cal Football Highlight Show, hosted by Glen Kuiper, airs Wednesdays on Fox Sports Net Bay Area. This week's show is at 8:00 p.m.

Cal-Oregon: The Series
Cal leads the overall series, 35-26-2, although the Ducks have taken the last four meetings by a 139-79 scoring margin. Last season, Oregon defeated Cal 24-19 in Berkeley. The Bears came back from a 24-0 deficit, scoring the final 19 points. Deltha O'Neal picked-off a pass at the Oregon goal line and returned it 100-yards for a touchdown to cut the lead to 24-10. The Bears had a 1st-and-goal at the Oregon 5-yard-line with one minute to play, but an interception by cornerback Brian Johnson ended Cal's upset bid.

Key Game Notes

  • Cal sophomore Kyle Boller's 349 passing yards last week against Oregon State was almost 100 yards more than his previous career best passing performance (252 yards against UCLA earlier this season).
  • California has come alive on offense over the last month. After averaging just 13.8 points a game through the first five games of the season, the Bears have averaged 32.5 points over the last four games.
  • Cal will be attempting to beat a Top 10 ranked team for the first time since October 29, 1977 when the Golden Bears beat No. 10 ranked USC, 17-14.

    Media Team Link
    All California releases and statistics are available to the media via Media Team Link. Visit to access the information on your computer. You can also receive the documents on your fax machine by calling 770-399-0096. The Pac-10 code is 77210 and the Cal codes are: release - 1901 and latest game book - 1905.

    Cal Radio on the InternetCal football radio broadcasts can be heard live on the Internet. To listen, go to the football page at, click on the icon and hear Joe Starkey and Lee Grosscup call the action.

    Cal Radio on 800 Service
    All Cal football radio broadcasts during the 2000 season are available nationwide via telephone through the facilities of TRZ Telephone Broadcast Services. Fans can access the Cal Radio Network from anywhere in the country at 1-800-846-4700, ext. 5918. The cost is $.50 for the first minute, with decreasing rates for additional minutes.

    Pac-10 Teleconferences
    The Pac-10 Conference will hold a media-only teleconference every two weeks during the 2000 football season: Sept. 14, Sept. 28, Oct. 12, Oct. 26 and Nov. 9. The call begins at 9:30 a.m., and Cal head coach Tom Holmoe will be on the line at 10:05. For more information, media should contact the Pac-10 at 925-932-4411.

    The Coaches

    Tom Holmoe, California (Brigham Young '83) is in his fourth year as head coach of the Bears and fifth with the Cal program. He has a career record of 15-26 with the Bears. A 1983 graduate of BYU, Holmoe was the Cougars starting cornerback from 1980-82 and led the WAC in interceptions as a sophomore in 1980. He earned first team WAC honors as a senior and later was drafted in the fourth round by the San Francisco 49ers. Holmoe went on to play seven years with in the NFL, all with San Francisco, and helped the 49ers win three Super Bowls. After retiring from pro football, he entered the coaching ranks, serving as a graduate assistant during the 1990 and '91 seasons under LaVell Edwards at BYU. In 1992, Holmoe was reunited with Bill Walsh after accepting an offer to become the Stanford secondary coach. After two years as a member of the Cardinal staff, he moved back to the pro ranks and his former team, the 49ers, as George Seifert's defensive backfield coach for the 1994 and '95 seasons. In 1996, Holmoe joined the Bears staff as the defensive coordinator and on Jan. 18, 1997, he was named head football coach at Cal.

    Mike Bellotti, Oregon (UC Davis '73) is in his sixth season as the head coach of the Oregon Ducks, and 11th season at the collegiate level. While in Oregon, Bellotti has led the Ducks to 47-21-2, and 70-46-2 in his collegiate career. Prior to his coaching duties at Oregon, Bellotti led Chico State to a 23-25-2 record in five seasons. Bellotti also spent time at Cal State-Hayward and Weber State as an offensive coordinator. During his six years at Oregon, Bellotti has compiled an impressive 14-2 record during the month of November.

    Cal-Oregon Media Notes

    Bears Face Major Road Challenge at Oregon
    After facing national Top 15 teams three of the past four weeks, Cal now faces perhaps its biggest challenge of the season when the Golden Bears take on No. 7 ranked Oregon this Saturday in Eugene. The Bears have battled on equal terms with the ranked opponents during the past month, with a victory over UCLA, and having the Washington and Oregon State games in doubt to the final minutes. However, Oregon is currently ranked No. 7 nationally and has won 20 consecutive games in Autzen Stadium, dating back to the 1997 season. Cal has a solid 35-26-2 series edge in a rivalry that dates back to 1899. Oregon has won four straight in the series and five of the last six games. A year ago, Cal rallied from a 24-0 deficit and had a 1st-and-goal at the Duck 5-yard-line with just over a minute left in the game. However, Oregon's Brian Johnson intercepted a pass from reserve QB Wes Dalton in the endzone on third down, allowing the Ducks to escape with a 24-19 victory. Kyle Boller suffered a season-ending shoulder injury after a second quarter collision with safety Michael Fletcher. Oregon's Reuben Droughns was held to 86 yards on 32 carries, an average of just 2.7 yards per carry. Cal hasn't played in Eugene since the 1996 season, a 40-23 loss to the Ducks. Oregon has won four straight over the Bears in Autzen Stadium, with Cal's last victory coming in a 20-6 victory in 1987.

    Bears Need Two Victories Down the Stretch for a Possible Upper Division Finish in the Pac-10
    Although last week's 38-32 loss to 14th ranked Oregon State ended Cal's hopes for a bowl berth, the Golden Bears still hope to finish the 2000 season in strong fashion and earn an upper division finish in the Pac-10. The Bears currently are tied for sixth place in the Pac-10, along with Stanford and Arizona State. Cal is just one game behind both UCLA and Arizona. The Bruins face a difficult game at Washington this week, while Arizona hosts a hot Oregon State team this week. Cal hasn't finished in the upper division of the Pac-10 since finishing tied for fifth in the league during the 1996 season.

    Missed Opportunities Frustrate Cal in 2000
    When you give up 524 yards of total offense as Cal did against Oregon State last week, you rarely are in a position to lament about how a potential victory got away. However, Cal will look back at one particular play with just under seven minutes to go in the OSU game and wonder what would have happened if it had ended a different way. After the Bears had rallied to within 31-29, Cal had all the momentum in the world. On the ensuring drive, the Bears had OSU in a 3rd-and-9 situation at the Cal 48-yard-line with 6:42 left in the game. Cal safety Nnamdi Asomugha came in untouched on a blitz and had both arms around OSU quarterback Jonathan Smith, who had crouched in anticipation of the tackle. However, Smith somehow broke loose from the apparent sack and scrambled up the middle for 21 yards to the Cal 27. On the next play, Oregon State scored and Cal's comeback bid was essentially over. Cal can also look back on the disappointment of blowing a 11-point fourth quarter lead at Washington and gift-wrapping 18 of Washington State's 21 points on punt team mistakes in a 21-17 loss. That may emphasize how close Cal has come to a much improved season, but it also is a major source of frustration for the Golden Bears.

    Comparing the Golden Bears with Next Two Opponents
    California should have a renewed sense of confidence it its offense, and in particular, it's passing game after improved performances in those categories over the last month. However, Oregon will present a lot of problems for Cal's offense as the Ducks are tops in the Pac-10 in pass defense as opponents are completing only 42.46 percent of its passes this season. Last week, Cal passed for 349 yards against a rugged Oregon State defense that had entered the game allowing an average of just 207.8 yards a game. Oregon leads the league in allowing just 203.9 passing yards a game. Last week, Oregon held the Pac-10's leading passer Jason Gesser to a 2-for-10 performance for just 35 yards and an interception, before he left the game with a season-ending leg injury.

    Bears Start to Find End Zone as Scoring Offense Emerges from Hibernation
    California's offensive revival over the last month has shown a quick strike ability that has been effective in producing points, but not in running a lot of time off the block. In averaging 32.5 points a game over the past four games, the Bears have scored 14 touchdowns. Three have come in non-offensive areas (interception return, punt return and fumble recovery return). The other TDs have been drives of some significant length, but they haven't been long drives in terms of time of possession. The 11 drives have averaged 57.8 yards, inclduing seven drives of 65 yards or longer. However, those TD drives have averaged only 1:57 in time of possession. Last week, Cal drove 68 yards in just 2:28, 74 yards in 2:25 and 81 yards in just 0:46. During that four-game span, Cal opponents have averaged 79 plays compared to Cal's 66 plays. Below is a list of Cal's touchdowns the last four weeks (minus the three OT touchdowns vs. UCLA).

    Nick Harris Claims NCAA Career Punting Record, Going Over 13,000 Yards
    Nick Harris broke the NCAA career record for punting yardage this past Saturday as he became the first punter in NCAA history to kick for over 13,000 yards in a career. The senior All-America candidate passed the former national record held Cameron Young of TCU, who punted for 12,947 yards from 1976-79 on 320 punts. Harris also should eventually break Young's 320-punt record as well, needing to average 5.7 punts over the final three games to capture that national mark. Harris only ranks 45th nationally in punting this season with a 40.85 average, but that stat is misleading. He has been asked to punt for placement rather than distance most of the season as 21 of his 54 punts (38.9 percent) this season have come with a line of scrimmage inside opponent territory. He's has 31 punts downed inside the opponent 20-yard-line (57.4%). Included in that total are 9 punts inside opponent's 5-yard-line. Harris is a candidate for the Ray Guy Award for the nation's top punter.

    Cal Receiving Corps Beginning to Have an Impact
    The Cal receiving corps has been slow to emerge during the 2000 season. That's hardly a surprise in view of the fact that the Bears top four producers from the wide receiver group were not even on the Cal team last season. It's been a period of adjustment for both the receivers (two true freshmen and two JC transfers) and quarterback Kyle Boller. However, there have been solid signals in recent weeks that the receiver group is ready make more and more of an impact. After making just five TD receptions over the first seven games and not more than one in any single game, Cal's receiver group has made five touchdown receptions over the last two weeks (two at USC, three vs. OSU). Derek Swafford, a sophomore transfer from Ventura JC, has made the biggest impact as he's caught TD pases in three of the past four games, including an 81-yard TD catch last week vs. Oregon State, the seventh longest in Cal history. He had a career best 112 yards on 3 catches last week, while true freshman Chase Lyman had a career best 98 yards on 3 catches, including a 30-yard TD catch. While Joe Igber leads the Bears with 20 catches on the season, he is followed by Lyman with 17 catches, Swafford with 14 catches and true-freshman Geoff McArthur with 13 catches. It's hard to concentrate on any one particular Cal receiver as the Bears have used seven different players in the playing rotation and six of those have contributed touchdown catches this season.

    Cal Sophomore Cornerback Jemeel Powell Takes NCAA Lead
    It's getting more and more difficult to ignore Cal sophomore Jemeel Powell as a potential honors candidate, not just in the Pac-10 but in the entire nation. After another superb outing against Oregon State, Powell now leads the nation in punt returns (averaging 22.7 yards per return), he leads the Pac-10 and is tied for 10th nationally in interceptions (.57 per game) and leads the league in passes defensed (19). Last week, he not only had a 38-yard and a 22-yard punt return, but he also had four pass deflections and five tackles (4 unassisted), including one behind the line of scrimmage for a two-yard loss. Remember, this is a player who sat out two entire games and missed all but a few plays of a third game in the early-season due to a hip flexor. Going into Game No. 6, against UCLA, Powell had only a figure of two in the passes defensed category (one being an interception in the Utah opener). He's basically come out of nowhere to take the Pac-10 lead as he has made a major impact over the last month. Against UCLA, he had two interceptions. The first set Cal's offense up at the Bruin 20-yard-line and the second was in the third overtime period in the Cal end zone to clinch the Golden Bear victory. He also had three pass deflections. The next week, Powell had four more pass deflections at Washington in addition to recording seven tackles and making his debut as a punt return specialist. He was named the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week for the USC game. He not only had five unassisted tackles and three more pass deflections, but he also had an interception in the fourth quarter that helped seal USC's fate. He also had a huge impact with two long punt returns in the second half. The first was a 44-yarder to get Cal out of poor field position in the third quarter and the second was an 83-yarder for a touchdown with 12 minutes left in the game to provide Cal's final margin of victory. It was the fourth longest in Cal history.

    Joe Igber Challenging Cal Top 10 Career and Single-Season Rushing Lists
    Sophomore Joe Igber has some work to do if he hopes to become Cal's first 1000-yard rusher since 1993 (Lindsey Chapman -1037) as he'll need to average 114.5 yards the last two games to hit the 1000-yard barrier. He certainly will challenge Cal's Top 10 lists for both single-season and career rushing as his current 85.7 yards per game average would give him 942 yards on the season (which would rank as the 9th best rushing season in Cal history) and 1636 career yards (which would place him No. 11 on the Cal list, only 2 yards behind Anthony Wallace). Although he's only started 13 games in his career, he already has posted five 100-yard rushing games, something only 10 other players in the Cal annals have achieved. Igber ranks No. 5 in the Pac-10 and No. 47 nationally, averaging 85.7 yards a game. Igber's contributions go far beyond taking handoffs, as he also rates as Cal's leading pass receiver with 20 catches. The last five games, Igber has accounted for 704 yards of all-purpose rushing (207 yards at ASU, 175 yards vs. UCLA, 148 yards at Washington, 80 yards at USC, 94 yards vs. Oregon State). That's an amazing 41.8 percent of Cal's total offense of 1,683 yards in those three games. Below is a listing of all of Igber's runs and catches this season.

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