No. 10 California Hopes to Continue Winning Ways on the Road at Washington State
Oct. 9, 2006
2006 CALIFORNIA FOOTBALL
Game Seven: Saturday, October 14; TBA (PT)
No. 10 Cal (5-1, 3-0) vs. Washington State (4-2, 2-1)
Pullman, Wash. - Martin Stadium
GOLDEN BEAR FACTS
2006 Record: 5-1 (3-0)
2005 Record: 8-4
2005 Pac-10 Record/Finish: 4-4/4th
Head Coach: Jeff Tedford
Alma Mater/Year: Fresno State/1983
Record at Cal/Year: 38-18/5th
Career Record/Years: Same
Football SID: John Sudsbury
Office Phone: 510-643-4723
Ticket Info: 800-GO-BEARS
Games Played: 67
Series Record: Cal leads, 37-25-5
First Meeting: 10/25/19, WSU, 14-0
Last Meeting: 10/22/05, Cal, 42-38
at Pullman: 6-13-1
Current Streak: WSU win 4 of 5
Tedford vs. WSU: 1-1
After one of the biggest poll jumps (16-10) in the nation, California hopes to continue to click in all three phases of the game. This weekend, the Golden Bears are on the road, playing at much-improved Washington State on Saturday. Cal has won five games in a row, scoring over 40 points in each of those games.
Recapping the Bears
California continued to gel this weekend as the Golden Bears recorded their most impressive win of the season, defeating No. 11 Oregon, 45-24, before a sellout crowd at Memorial Stadium. The Bears were led by junior running back Justin Forsett, who had 163 rushing yards after Marshawn Lynch went down with an injury (he is expected back for this weekend). Nate Longshore completed 14-of-26 passes for 189 yards and three touchdowns while also rushing for his first career score. DeSean Jackson had two catches for 77 yards, including a 36-yard TD grab, while also returning a punt 65 yards for a touchdown. Defensively, linebacker Desmond Bishop bagged 10 tackles and a key interception as the Bears held Oregon to just 70 rushing yards (they had entered the game with a Pac-10 leading 227.5 rushing yards per game). Safeties Bernard Hicks and Brandon Hampton each had interceptions as well, to go with eight and six tackles, respectively. The Golden Bears struck early as Hampton intercepted the first pass of the game to set up a short Longshore pass to tight end Craig Stevens. Jackson reeled in his TD at the end of the first quarter and then Longshore scored on a one-yard plunge and Jackson had his punt return score to make it 28-10 at the break. Forsett took over in the second half as the Bears held possession for 22:42 crushing the Ducks' comeback hopes.
Bits on the Bears
DeSean Jackson has 18 touchdowns in 17 career games; he also has TD catches in eight straight games to lead the nation ... Cal has five straight 40-point games for the first time in school history ... the Golden Bear offensive line has allowed just four sacks in the last five games ... the Bears held the ball for over 75 percent of the second half of the Oregon game ... Nate Longshore has completed 91-of-137 (66.4%) passes for 1,325 yards with 17 touchdowns and just four interceptions in the last five games ... Daymeion Hughes is tied for third in the nation with five interceptions while Jackson is tied for second in the nation in receiving TDs and Longshore is third in passing TDs ... Cal has had 17 scores this year that have taken less than two minutes ... the Bears are out-scoring opponents by an average 16.2 points in the first half of games this year ... the Bears's 21 first-quarter points at Oregon State were their most since 2004's visit to Corvallis when they also scored 21 ... Cal has had a 100-yard rusher in 37 of 56 games under Tedford, meanwhile, its opponents have had just 14 games with 100-yard rushers ... the Bears have been over 50,000 fans for 15 straight home games - Saturday's sellout was just the fourth non-Big Game sellout in the last 50 years ... despite missing the entire second half of the Oregon game due to injury, Marshawn Lynch leads the Pac-10 in rushing ... Cal's trio of tailbacks has combined for 20 100-yard rushing days in their careers ... Cal lost its season opener each of the last two years it won the conference championship (1958 and 1975) ... the Golden Bears led the Pac-10 in scoring defense in 2005, allowing just 21.2 points per game.
A Look at the Cougars
Washington State has already matched last year's victory total as the Cougars have used a stout defense to hold opponents to just 18.2 points and 319.8 yards per game. Pass rushing has been the biggest weapon for WSU, as it leads the nation with 27 sacks in six games. While they have just 26.3 points per game, the Cougars are third in the league in total offense (414.7) and passing offense (252.2). The only blemishes on Washington State's record have come at the hands of No. 3 USC and No. 11 Auburn. Senior Mkristo Bruce, a 6-6, 260-pound defensive end, leads the nation with 10 sacks to go with 36 tackles and an interception. Senior safety Eric Frampton adds a team-best 46 tackles and a pair of interceptions. Offensively, junior quarterback Alex Brink has thrown for 1,334 yards and nine touchdowns while junior receiver Michael Bumpus leads the Pac-10 with 6.67 receptions per game (40 catches for 384 yards). Senior receiver Jason Hill has a team-best five receiving TDs. The Cougars have a trio of running backs - Dwight Tardy (5-11, 212, Fr.), DeMaundry Woolridge (5-9, 229, So.) and Derrell Huston (5-9, 181, Jr.) -combining for 134.8 rushing yards per game.
More Than Four Forties
For the first time in California football history, the Golden Bears have scored 40 or more points five straight times. The Bears had broken 40 points in four straight games on two other occasions. During the 1993 season Cal piled up wins over San Diego State (45-25), Temple (58-0), San Jose State (46-13) and Oregon (42-41). Back in 1920's undefeated season, Cal cruised to victories over the Mare Island Marines (88-0), St. Mary's (127-0), Nevada (79-7) and Utah (63-0).
The Touchdown Touch - DeSean Jackson
Sophomore DeSean Jackson is proving himself to be one of the most potent players in college football. The wise receiver/punt returner has scored a Pac-10 best 10 touchdowns (eight receiving and two on punt returns) in six games this year. For his career, the Long Beach product has scored 18 touchdowns (15 receiving, three on punt returns) in just 17 games. This year, Jackson has 29 receptions for 522 yards after leading the Bears with 38 catches for 601 yards last year. Dating back to last season, over the last eight games, the six-foot speedster has 717 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns. He is tied for tops in the nation with receiving touchdowns in eight straight games and also ranks eighth nationally in scoring.
Eight in a Row - DeSean Jackson
With receiving touchdowns in eight straight games, DeSean Jackson is tied for the longest streak in the nation with Rice's Jarett Dillard. The NCAA record is still a long way off as Larry Fitzgerald snared scores in 18 straight games from 2002 to 2003.
Punting is Risky for Cal Foes
Not only has DeSean Jackson established himself as a game-breaking receiver, he is also a serious threat in the punt-return game. On Saturday against Oregon, the sophomore put the game away with a 65-yard return for a touchdown in the second quarter (making the score 28-3). It was Jackson's third career punt-return touchdown, matching California's modern record set by Jemeel Powell from 1999-2002. Bobby Sherman had four punt returns for scores in 1901 and 1902, but two came against non-college opponents.
Passing Fancy - Nate Longshore
Quarterback Nate Longshore has guided California to five straight victories by tallying some fantastic numbers from under center. Over the last five games, the sophomore has completed 91-of-137 passes (66.4%) for 1,325 yards and 17 touchdowns with just four interceptions. His passing efficiency for the last five games is 182.77. In Longshore's first three career Pac-10 games, he is 54-of-82 (65.9%) for 800 yards and 11 scores. For the season, Longshore has a Pac-10 best 169.8 efficiency rating (ninth in the nation).
O-Line Likes Longshore
Despite losing three 2005 starters to the NFL and having two current starters miss games due to injury, the California offensive line is developing into a true strength for the Golden Bears. Oregon came into Saturday's game with 12 sacks in four games, including six in the previous week against Arizona State; the Ducks did not get any on Saturday against Cal. Arizona State had entered week four leading the nation in sacks and the Sun Devils managed just one. The Bears have allowed just seven sacks all season, including only four in the last five games.
Third Down Defense
Oregon came into Saturday's game against California with one of the top third-down conversion rates in the nation at 57.7 percent (30-of-52). However, Cal's defense stepped up, holding the Ducks to just 2-of-10 on third-down conversions. One of those stops by the Golden Bears was a Desmond Bishop interception on third-and-four and another was a forced fumble by Brandon Mebane which led to a Bear touchdown. For the season, Cal ranks third in the Pac-10 in opponent third-down conversion rate at 31.0 percent (22-of-71).
Second Half Control
On Saturday against Oregon, the Golden Bears used their quick-strike offense to build a big first-half lead, then their ball-control attack to foil any chances of a Duck comeback.
Category: Cal - Oregon
First Half Score: 28 - 10
First Half Plays: 26 - 44
First Half T.O.P.: 10:45 - 19:15
Second Half Plays: 42 - 21
Second Half T.O.P.: 22:42 - 7:18
Final Score: 45 - 24
Injury Halts Lynch, but Not Cal Running Game
California running back Marshawn Lynch had his four-game streak of 100-yard games snapped by an injury against Oregon, but the Golden Bear rushing attack was not slowed. Junior Justin Forsett carried 27 times for 163 yards to lead a Bear attack which finished with a season-high 235 rushing yards in the 45-24 victory. Lynch finished with just seven carries for 50 yards and is still averaging 7.0 yards per carry. It was Forsett's fifth career 100-yard rushing day while Lynch ranks third all-time with 13 100-yard efforts.
Tailback Triple Threat
Most teams would crumple if their star running back went down with an injury against the No. 11 ranked team in the nation. However, when California lost junior Marshawn Lynch to an ankle injury in the first half on Saturday against Oregon, it turned to junior Justin Forsett, who simply rushed for a team-season-best 163 yards in the victory. And if Forsett was not available, Cal would not have hesitated to insert senior Marcus O'Keith, known as Mo-Deuce by his teammates, into the rotation. California's 'Tailback Triple Threat' has combined for 670 carries, 4,517 yards (6.74 yards per carry), 38 touchdowns and 20 100-yard rushing days. As the prominent Lynch said in the San Francisco Chronicle, 'There's no shadow here. We all are the front-runner, and I would hate for anyone to feel like any of my teammates were in my shadow. It's just not true.'
Ready to Run - Justin Forsett
Junior Justin Forsett is always ready to run for the Golden Bears. On Saturday against Oregon with Marshawn Lynch hampered by an injured ankle, Forsett galloped for 163 yards on 27 carries - the fifth 100-yard effort of his career. Last season, Forsett finished the year with exactly 999 rushing yards, including a career-high 235 yards against New Mexico State. For his career, Forsett has 1,338 rushing yards on 208 carries for an impressive 6.4 yards per carry.
In a lineup full of talented linebackers, sophomore Zack Follett, a freshman All-American last season, continues to make noise. In the last three games, the sophomore has 17 tackles, including 3.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. The best game of his young career came against Arizona State when he recorded 10 tackles, including a pair of sacks, to go with a pair of forced fumbles. His previous career-best was five tackles twice last year. Follett's three forced fumbles is tied for the most in the Pac-10 so far this year.
The Killer B's
California safeties Brandon Hampton and Bernard Hicks are forming a formidable duo for the Golden Bears. On Saturday against Oregon, both safeties had interceptions and they combined for 14 tackles. Over the last two games, the pair have 31 tackles and the two interceptions. Hampton had a career-high 10 takedowns against Oregon State on Sept. 30 while Hicks had a career-high eight stops against Oregon on Saturday. Hampton, a former walk-on, is now second on the team in tackles with 37. Hicks, who made his first career start against Oregon State in place of the injured Thomas DeCoud is fourth on the squad with 29 tackles.
For just the fourth time in the last 50 years, California sold out Memorial Stadium for a non-Big Game. The other three sellouts all came against USC (1977, 1979 and 2005). The Golden Bears have sold out the Big Game against Stanford 14 times in the last 50 years.
Cal has 17 scores this year that have taken less than two minutes. The Golden Bears have had 12 scoring drives that have lasted less than 2:00 as well as three interception returns and two punt returns for touchdowns.
Building the Lead, Maintaining the Lead
California has not piled up giant second-half numbers in its current five-game winning streak, however, the Golden Bears have not needed big stats in the closing halves. Over the last five games, the Bears have built an average halftime-advantage of 22.2 points: 28-10 v. Oregon, 31-3 at Oregon State, 42-14 v. Arizona State, 42-16 v. Portland State and 28-17 v. Minnesota. Cal has an overall advantage of 171-74 in the first half of all of its games this year, while it is out-scoring its opponents 66-52 in the second half.
Low Key Lynch
Tailback Marshawn Lynch has quietly gone about his business on the field this season. Despite missing more than half of the Oregon game due to injury, the junior has 605 rushing yards in six games (a Pac-10 best 100.8 yards per game, 18th nationally) and is averaging 7.0 yards per carry. He also has 12 receptions for 146 yards, including three touchdowns following his two receiving catches on Sept. 30 against Oregon State. Lynch ranks third on the team with 42 points this season. The Oakland product now has 13 career 100-yard rushing games and 2,479 career yards (eighth all-time at Cal).
Wide receiver Lavelle Hawkins, a product of Stockton, Calif., had a solid season in his 2005 debut with the Golden Bears by snaring 18 passes for 171 yards. However, with his strong showing thus far in 2006, Hawkins' 2005 stats look like small change. The 5-11 junior now has 24 receptions for 398 yards in the first six games of 2006. His top performances have come against Minnesota (9 catches for 125 yards) and at Oregon State (6 catches for 128 yards).
Keep Away From Hughes
Senior Daymeion Hughes, who is known by his middle name of Dante, was rated as high as No. 1 among the nation's cornerbacks in the preseason and he is living up to the hype thus far in 2006. The Los Angeles native has been a glove in coverage and ranks third in the nation with five interceptions this season. On Sept. 23 against Arizona State, he added two more pickoffs, returning one 47 yards for a touchdown - the fourth INT return for a TD in his career. The game was Hughes' third career two-interception performance. The Los Angeles product now has 12 career interceptions to climb into a tie for second all-time at Cal. In the Oregon game, Hughes held star receiver Jaison Williams to five catches for 66 yards - Williams had come into the game averaging 115.5 receiving yards per game (second in the nation).
The Tedford Era
Jeff Tedford, now in his fifth year at the helm of the Bears, has quickly brought the program into another 'Golden' Age. The Bears' current four-plus year record of 38-18 (.673) is among the best-ever at California.
Era (Years): Record (Pct.) - Highlights
The Wonder Teams (1920-24): 44-0-4 (.958) - Three National Titles
The Thunder Teams (1937-38): 20-1-1 (.932) - One Championship
Pappy's Boys (1947-52): 53-9 (.855) - Three Rose Bowls
The Tedford Era (2002-current): 38-18 (.679) - Three bowls
Early 90s (1990-93): 30-17 (.638) - Three bowls
Mike White Era (1972-77): 35-30 (.538) - Last conf. title (`75)
Kicking, Not Screaming
California placekicker Tom Schneider is another quiet stat sheet standout for the Golden Bears. Without drawing much attention, Schneider has scored 42 points for the Golden Bears. The native of nearby Walnut Creek connected on a pair of field goals (37 yards and 42 yards) against Oregon State and added a 44-yarder against Oregon on Saturday. He is now a perfect 4-for-4 on field goals and 31-of-31 on extra points.
341 Yards - Nate Longshore
Nate Longshore threw for a career-best 341 yards in the Sept. 30 win over Oregon State. It was his second career 300-yard game (the other was exactly 300 against Minnesota). The 341 yards are the 28th-best total in Cal football history and the fifth-best in the Jeff Tedford era (Aaron Rodgers surpassed it three times and Kyle Boller once).
Defense Goes on the Offensive
The Golden Bears had a pair of interception returns for touchdowns on Sept. 23 against Arizona State. Late in the first half, senior cornerback Daymeion Hughes picked off a Rudy Carpenter offering and returned it 47 yards to the end zone. Then in the fourth quarter, Golden Bear senior linebacker Mickey Pimentel put the exclamation point on the win with a 20-yard INT return for paydirt. It is the first time Cal has had two pickoffs returned for TDs since Aug. 31, 2002 against Baylor in the first game of the Jeff Tedford era at California.
Spread the Wealth
With junior tight end Craig Stevens snagging his first two receptions of the season against Arizona State, the Golden Bears have now had 16 different players catch passes this season. Last year for the entire season, the Bears had just 14 players with receptions. The last time Cal had as many as 16 men with catches was 2004 when 18 had receptions. In the Portland State victory alone, Cal had 12 different players catch passes. Dating back to 1997, Cal has had just one game with as many as 10 different receivers catching passes.
More on Longshore
Nate Longshore's totals in the Minnesota game surpassed his career totals entering the game (19-of-31 for 216 yards and one touchdown). In fact, his stats through the first play of the second quarter (9-of-13, 134 yards, 2 TD) had already qualified as his best career game. His first touchdown of the game (to junior Robert Jordan) was his first TD delivery in 371 days and his 300 passing yards marked the first 300-yard game by a Bear QB since Aaron Rodgers threw for 394 yards vs. Virginia Tech in 2003.
50,000 Fans Again
Cal's sellout (72,516) against Oregon marked the 15th straight home game that California has drawn over 50,000 fans. That streak includes every home game in 2004 and 2005 and is even more impressive when compared to the days before the current streak. In the first 13 home games under head coach Jeff Tedford (in 2002 and 2003), Cal attracted over 50,000 fans just twice. The Oregon game was also the eighth game of 60,000+ fans under Tedford, nearly matching the total of nine from the 11 years prior to Tedford's arrival.
Since the arrival of Jeff Tedford, California's season ticket count has been on a steady climb. The Bears sold 16,200 season passes in 2002, Tedford's first year. His second season resulted in sales of 22,500. In 2004, the number again jumped substantially, up to a then-school-record 34,100. Last year, California set another mark with 40,134 season tickets sold and again this season, the record has been broken. The official season ticket number for 2006 is 40,262.
Junior-college transfer Andrew Larson has stepped right into the Division I game and shown some serious punting ability for California. The newcomer has punted 22 times for 956 yards - an impressive average of 43.5 yards per punt. However, his net punting is the true measure of his value. Opponents have returned just eight punts for a total of 54 yards, giving Cal a Pac-10 best net-punting mark of 38.3 yards. Last season, with veteran David Lonie handling punting duties, the Bears had a net average of 36.7 yards per punt.
Cal fans and the media can keep up with all the highlights of Marshawn Lynch's junior season by visiting www.Marshawn10.com. The star tailback is a top candidate for numerous awards, including the 2006 Heisman Trophy. The website features highlight video from his first two seasons in Berkeley and will include highlights from each game of the 2006 campaign as the season progresses. Statistics, a complete bio and other information will offer fans and media the opportunity to get to know the running back. In addition, his honors and records and a list of quotes from college football experts, coaches and players from around the nation are available for perusal.
While California does not have any players on the team who have already earned their undergraduate degrees from Cal, 12 players are expected to earn degrees in December: Eric Beegun, Randy Bundy, Andrew Cameron, David Gray, Steve Kelly, Taylor Kunzi, Abu Ma'afala, Tim Mixon, Marcus O'Keith, Erik Robertson, Scott Smith and Byron Storer. Tyler Krieg has his undergraduate degree from Duke and is currently pursuing his master's degree at Cal.
More TV Time
The Oregon game was Cal's first as part of the ESPN on ABC package. It is the fifth different network to televise the Bears this year (Tennessee was on ESPN, Minnesota on TBS, Portland State on Comcast Sports and Arizona State on Fox Sports Net). In addition, UCLA (ABC), USC (ABC) and Stanford (Fox Sports Net) will be televised. The remainder of the games could also be televised. Full broadcast schedules have not been determined.
The Portland State game was the final non-league contest of the year for California. The Golden Bears have posted a 15-6 (.714) record against non-Pac-10 foes under head coach Jeff Tedford.
Despite opening the season with a loss, history has shown success can still follow. The last two conference championship teams at California lost their season openers. In 1975, the Golden Bears fell to Colorado on the road in their opener, but rebounded to finish 8-3 and share the Pac-8 Championship in 1975 behind star running back Chuck Muncie. In 1958, Cal lost to Pacific at home in the opener, but went 6-1 in league play to win the title and advance to the 1959 Rose Bowl behind star Joe Kapp.
Start Me Up
Thirteen different Golden Bears have earned their first career starts in the first four games this year. Redshirt freshmen Cameron Morrah (TE) and Syd'Quan Thompson (CB) were both starters in their first collegiate games at Tennessee, while sophomore Alex Mack (C), senior Bryan Deemer (OG), junior Justin Moye (LB), junior Brandon Hampton (ROV) and junior Thomas DeCoud (FS) also had starting debuts against the Volunteers. In the Minnesota game, redshirt freshman Cody Jones (DL) started at defensive end for the first time. Sophomore offensive tackle Mike Tepper made his starting debut against Portland State. Against Arizona State, junior-college transfer Mike Gibson and senior Mickey Pimentel both made their first career starts, while sophomore Bernard Hicks and true freshman Tyson Alualu each made their starting debuts last weekend against Oregon State.
Bears No. 9 Preseason AP Ranking is Highest Since 1952
California's No. 9 ranking in the 2006 Associated Press Preseason College Football Poll was its highest preseason ranking since the 1952 team was ranked No. 8 in the nation. The No. 9 ranking is the third-highest overall preseason ranking for Cal behind Pappy Waldorf's 1951 and 1952 teams. The 1951 club was ranked No. 5 in the nation in the preseason. This season marks just the 10th year that Cal has held a preseason ranking from the AP, including the current stretch of three straight years. From 1955 to 2003, the Bears appeared just twice in the poll. Under head coach Jeff Tedford, California has been ranked No. 13 (2004), No. 19 (2005) and now No. 9 in AP Preseason Polls.
Cal in Preseason AP Poll
1950: No. 14
1951: No. 5
1952: No. 8
1953: No. 14
1954: No. 12
1976: No. 15
1992: No. 20
2004: No. 13
2005: No. 19
2006: No. 9
Pac-10 Preseason Poll
California was picked to finish second in the Pacific-10 Conference in a preseason poll of West Coast media members who regularly cover the league. It is the third consecutive year that the Golden Bears have been tabbed to finish second, which is the highest that Cal has ever been picked, dating back to 1961. Three-time defending Pac-10 champion USC is the favorite to win the conference. USC garnered 18 of 29 first-place votes in the poll, but California, Oregon and Arizona State also received first-place support.
Cal Players on Preseason Watch Lists
Bednarik Award (Top Def. Player): Daymeion Hughes, Brandon Mebane
Butkus Award (Top Linebacker): Desmond Bishop
Doak Walker Award (Top Running Back): Marshawn Lynch
Hendricks Award (Top Defensive End): Nu'u Tafisi
Lott Trophy (Top Def. Player): Daymeion Hughes, Brandon Mebane
Manning Award (Top Quarterback): Nate Longshore
Maxwell Award (Player of the Year): Marshawn Lynch
Nagurski Trophy (Top Def. Player): Daymeion Hughes, Brandon Mebane
Outland Trophy (Top Lineman): Brandon Mebane
Thorpe Award (Best Defensive Back): Daymeion Hughes
Walter Camp Award (Player of the Year): Marshawn Lynch