2003 Preseason Football Notes
July 29, 2003
BCA Kickoff Classic vs. No. 5 Kansas State Earliest Start Ever for Cal Opener
In one of the nation's premier early season games, the California Golden Bears travel to Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium to play the nationally No. 5 ranked Kansas State Wildcats in the 7th annual Black Coaches Association Kickoff Classic on Saturday, Aug. 23. Proceeds from the game provide college scholarships for minority students throughout the country. Last year's contest featured Nebraska and Arizona State, with the Cornhuskers prevailing, 48-10, in Lincoln, Neb. The Bears' 2003 curtain raiser, which represents the earliest start for a season opener in Cal history, will be televised nationally on ESPN at 4:45 p.m. PDT. Prior to this season, California had opened its campaign on Aug. 31 on two occasions-1985 vs. San Jose State (a 48-21 Cal win) and last year vs. Baylor (a 70-21 Bear blowout victory). Following the BCA Kickoff Classic, Cal returns to Berkeley to christen its home schedule against Southern Mississippi, Saturday, Aug. 30, at 1 p.m. PDT.
'03 Bears Play One of Nation's Toughest Schedules, Including 9 Bowl Teams
The California Golden Bears have traditionally played one of the nation's most challenging schedules, and 2003 is no exception. Of their 13 opponents, nine were bowl teams in 2002-USC (Orange), Washington (Sun), UCLA (Las Vegas), Arizona State (Holiday Bowl), Oregon State (Insight), Oregon (Seattle), Kansas State (Holiday), Southern Mississippi (Houston) and Colorado State (Liberty). What's more, two other 2003 foes were bowl bound two years ago-Stanford (Seattle) and Utah (Las Vegas).
Jeff Tedford Already Tied for 5th in Pac-10 for Consecutive Year Seniority
Just how unstable is it to be a Pac-10 head football coach? Well, consider this: Cal head coach Jeff Tedford, who entersonly his second year at the helm, is already tied for fifth in seniority among conference head coaches. Tedford, named thePac-10 Coach of the Year after transforming Cal from a 1-10 team in 2001 to 7-5 in 2002 in his first season, trails onlyOregon's Mike Bellotti, Arizona's John Mackovic, Arizona State's Dick Koetter and USC's Pete Carroll in consecutiveyears of service. Here's the list of current Pac-10 coaches and their years with each school:
Coach School Consecutive YearsMike Bellotti Oregon 9John Mackovic Arizona 3Dick Koetter Arizona State 3Pete Carroll USC 3Jeff Tedford CALIFORNIA 2Buddy Teevens Stanford 2Bill Doba Washington State 1Karl Dorrell UCLA 1Mike Riley Oregon State 1*Keith Gilbertson Washington 1#
*previously was Oregon State's head coach for two seasons#previously was California's head coach for four seasons
Cal Defense to Face 4 of Nation's Top 10 QBs, Says The Sporting News
California's defense, which returns only two starters (tackle Lorenzo Alexander and rover Donnie McCleskey) from lastyear's unit, will square off against four of the NCAA's Top 10 quarterbacks, according to The Sporting News' pre-seasonpublication. They are Washington's Cody Pickett (4,458 yards,28 TDs), Kansas State's Eli Roberson (1,032 yards and 16TDs rushing, 1,580 yards and 7 TDs passing), Arizona State's Andrew Walter (3,877 yards and 28 TDs) and Colorado State'sBradlee Van Pelt (2,073 yards and 10 TDs passing, 819 yards and 11 TDs rushing).
Momentum Turf Installed in Memorial Stadium After 8 Years of Grass
Sportexe, manufacturer of leading-edge indoor and outdoor sports surfaces, will complete the installation of its highlyacclaimed Momentum Turf System at California Memorial Stadium within a matter of days. The total project is estimated tocost approximately $975,000 and was completely funded by private donations. This marks the second time that MemorialStadium has featured an artificial playing surface. The field was outfitted with Astroturf from 1981-94 before natural grass wasinstalled prior to the 1995 season. Designed to maximize player speed and performance, Momentum Turf is Sportexe'spremier sand and rubber infill surface. The turf's special mix of sand and granular rubber provides stability, traction and speed,simulating a perfect natural grass surface. The Momentum Turf System is being installed by the specialized Sportexe staffunder the direction of Robert A. Bothman Inc., which serves as general contractor for the project. Robert A. Bothman Inc.,based in San Jose, Calif., is one of the region's leading sports field contractors. Bothman completed the field conversion atMemorial Stadium in 1995, and the renovation to the field and track at Edwards Stadium in 1999.
KGO Radio Celebrates 30th Year Broadcasting Cal Football
KGO Radio (810 AM, San Francisco) and Cal football will celebrate their 30th consecutive year as broadcast partners in 2003. KGO, the highest rated AM station in Northern California, first began its association with Cal in 1974. Also noteworthy is the fact that Joe Starkey, KGO'S sports director, begins his 29th consecutive year as the 'Voice of Cal football.' That's the longest consecutive season association with a sports team in Bay Area sports history. Other legendary broadcasters with long runs include Bill King (27 years with the Raiders, 1966-92; 23 with the A's, 1981-2003; 22 with the Warriors, 1962-83), Don Klein (25 with Stanford football, 1956-80), Lon Simmons (24 with the 49ers, 1957-80) and Bob Murphy (21 with Stanford football, 1983-2003). Ironically, Starkey will miss the Golden Bears' opener in Kansas City Aug. 23 due to a NFL exhibition game conflict with the 49ers, snapping a streak of 200 straight games in which he has broadcast Cal football. Roxy Bernstein, who broadcasts Cal men's basketball, will fill in for Starkey in the 2003 opener vs. Kansas State, which will air on KSFO Radio (560 AM, San Francisco), the sister station of KGO.
Fan Appreciation Day Slated for Saturday, Aug. 16 at Memorial Stadium
Bay Area football fans will have the opportunity to meet and get autographs from their favorite Cal players on Saturday, Aug. 16 from 10:30-12:30 p.m. when the Bears stage their annual Fan Appreciation Day at the north end of Memorial Stadium. The event will also feature a brief talk by coach Tedford, interactive games, a tour of the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame, a representative of Sportexe (which installed Momentum Turf this year) and special guest appearances. There will also be some fan giveaways. Admission is free.
While Cal's six-win improvement last year tied for the NCAA's greatest turnaround in 2002, the Golden Bears came hauntingly close to an even bigger swing. The Bears' five defeats were by an average of 7.2 points, including two losses by reed-thin margins of two points-30-28 at USC and 23-21 vs. Air Force....Cal will face four teams this fall that will feature newly-hired head coaches: Mike Riley at Oregon State, Urban Meyer at Utah, Karl Dorrell at UCLA, and Keith Gilbertson at Washington.... With QB Kyle Boller (19th, Baltimore) and CB Nnamdi Asomugha (31st, Oakland) both selected in the first round of the 2003 NFL Draft, the University of California can now boast 20 first-round picks in its history. The Bears also can claim eight NFL first-rounders in the past eight years-Regan Upshaw (12th, Tampa Bay) and Duane Clemons (16th, Minnesota) in 1996, Tony Gonzalez (13th, Kansas City) and Tarik Glenn (19th, Indianapolis) in 1997, Deltha O'Neal (15th, Denver) in 2000, Andre Carter (7th, San Francisco) in 2001, and Boller and Asomugha in 2003.
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