Bears' High-Powered Offense Ready To Attack Wildcats
Oct. 20, 2004
California is having an offensive season to remember.
The seventh-ranked Golden Bears look to continue piling up the points asthey visit struggling Pac-10 rival Arizona on Saturday.
California (4-1, 2-1 Pac-10) leads the nation in offense with 518.2 yardsper game, almost 60 more than the top mark in school history. The Golden Bearsalso average 41.6 points, ranking third in the nation behind Boise State (46)and Louisville (42.2).
The Golden Bears bounced back from a loss to top-ranked Southern Californiaby racking up 550 total yards in a 45-28 victory over UCLA last Saturday.
Cal's offensive numbers were uniformly impressive against the Bruins.Quarterback Aaron Rodgers was 19-of-29 for 260 yards with four touchdowns andno interceptions, throwing just one incomplete pass in the second half. J.J.Arrington ran 205 yards and two TDs and receiver Geoff McArthur made sixcatches for 193 yards and two more scores.
Rodgers and his teammates have given Cal fans plenty to cheer in a seasonthat already has sparked talk of the school's first trip to the Rose Bowl in 45years.
Rodgers is completing over 75 percent of his passes for 1,141 yards and 11touchdowns. Arrington has 783 rushing yards and eight scores.
'Anybody who comes to watch us is going to get a show,' said McArthur.
The Bears are averaging well over 200 yards rushing and passing. Cal ran for290 yards and passed for 260 against UCLA, scoring a touchdown in everyquarter.
'This offense is a powerhouse,' center Marvin Philip said. 'We've gotgreat running backs, great receivers - and Aaron, you can't really compare himto anybody, because he's a step ahead of everybody else.'
The Bears have topped 40 points in all four of their wins this season, witha high of 56 in their opener at Air Force. Dating to last season, Cal hasscored 40 or more points eight times in the last 11 games, a run that beganwith a 42-14 triumph over Arizona last Oct. 25 in Berkeley.
The Wildcats (1-5, 0-3) have lost five straight since their season openeragainst Northern Arizona.
Freshman quarterback Richard Kovalcheck will make his first career startSaturday in an attempt to shake things up. The Wildcats fell behind 28-0 beforescoring twice in the final two minutes of a 28-14 loss to Oregon last weekend.
Kovalcheck came off the bench to throw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Brad Woodafter starter Kris Heavner struggled, completing just 9-of-24 passes for 79yards with two interceptions.
Cal coach Jeff Tedford doesn't know what to expect from his first-yearsignal-caller.
'I don't know. I haven't seen him enough at this level of play,' saidTedford. 'He was highly recruited and a very good player in high school. It'llbe interesting to see him get in there and get his opportunity.'
The Wildcats lead the all-time series 11-10-2.