Football Hosts USC Saturday at 12:30 p.m.

Nov. 4, 2001

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Big Game Train

Press Conference Audio

  • LaShaun Ward
  • Burl Toler

    Cal wraps up its 2001 home schedule when the Bears host USC Saturday afternoon in Berkeley. The game marks the final Memorial Stadium appearance for 13 Golden Bear seniors, who will be recognized in pre-game ceremonies.

    Cal will also be playing its first contest since head coach Tom Holmoe announced his resignation, effective at the end of the season.

    At 0-8 on the year, the Bears look to avoid just their second winless season at Memorial Stadium. The only other time came in 1959, when Cal finished 0-5 at home.

    However, the Bears may have a bit of history on their side this week. Cal has won its last three games against USC, including a 28-16 victory in Los Angeles last year. And junior QB Kyle Boller, who returned to action against Arizona last week after missing the previous two games with a back injury, is 4-0 as a starter against both USC and UCLA.

    In this past Saturday's Arizona game, Boller came in for starter Reggie Robertson in the second quarter. Under a heavy rush - he was sacked six times - Boller completed 9-of-25 passes for 178 yards and led the Bears to three fourth-quarter touchdowns.

    At tailback, true freshman Terrell Williams posted his second straight 100-yard effort with 108 yards on 28 carries. Williams started in place of junior Joe Igber, who will miss the rest of the year after undergoing surgery last Thursday for a broken clavicle suffered at Oregon State.

    Cal-USC: The Series
    Although USC leads the overall series, 54-29-5, Cal holds a 4-1 edge in the last five meetings, including three wins in a row - the Bears' longest streak since also taking three straight from 1948-50. Last year, CB Jemeel Powell returned a punt 83 yards for a touchdown and also intercepted a pass to stop a late USC drive in a 28-16 Cal victory. Two seasons ago in the Coliseum, the Bears opened a 7-0 lead at the half and held on for a 17-7 win.

    A Quick Look at USC
    After getting off to a 1-4 start, USC has won three of is past four games to improve it record to 4-5 overall. Of the five losses, four have been by five points or less, and all came during a four-game losing streak that followed a season-opening win over San Jose State. Last Saturday, the Trojans upended Oregon State, 16-13 in overtime, when QB Carson Palmer scored on a four-yard bootleg. For the season, Palmer has completed 59.4 percent of his pass attempts and has thrown for 2,157 yards and 11 touchdowns. His favorite target has been WR Kareem Kelly, who has hauled in 40 catches for 677 yards. Despite missing the last three games with a stomach muscle injury, Sultan McCullough still leads the team in rushing with 410 yards. In his place, Sunny Byrd had 54 yards on 20 carries vs. OSU, and he has 246 yards on the year. Defensively, senior DE Lonnie Ford has 12 tackles for loss, including five sacks, while junior SAF Troy Polamalu owns a team-high 92 tackles, with 10 of those for loss.

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