Cal Faces Maryland for the First Time in School History
2008 CALIFORNIA FOOTBALL
Saturday, September 13, 9 a.m. (PT)
California (2-0, 1-0 Pac-10) vs. Maryland (1-1, 0-0 ACC)
College Park, Md. - Byrd Stadium
TV: ESPN. Broadcast Team: Dave Pasch (Px), Andre Ware (Analyst), Erin Andrews (Sidelines).
Radio: KGO Radio (810 AM) in San Francisco (Joe Starkey, Troy Taylor, Todd McKim) - and affiliate stations KGIL Radio (1260 AM Los Angeles), XSURF Radio (540 AM San Diego), KNTK Radio (102.3 Weed), KCBL Radio (1340 AM Fresno), KESP Radio (970 AM Modesto), KVBL Radio (1400 AM Visalia) and KTKZ Radio (1380 AM Sacramento). The pre-game show begins 30 minutes prior to kickoff.
GOLDEN BEAR FACTS
Head Coach: Jeff Tedford
Alma Mater/Year: Fresno State/1983
Record at Cal/Year: 52-26/7th
Career Record/Years: Same
Football SID: John Sudsbury
Office Phone: 510-643-4723
Ticket Info: 800-GO-BEARS
Games Played: First meeting
Series Record: 0-0
First Meeting: NA
Last Meeting: NA
Current Streak: NA
Tedford vs. Maryland: 0-0
The California football team had a very successful opening weekend in Pac-10 play - piling up an impressive 66 points in its victory over Washington State on Saturday. That win puts the Golden Bears in position to look for their fifth 3-0 start in seven years under head coach Jeff Tedford. Standing between the Bears and another 3-0 open is a 3,000-mile trip to the East coast and ACC member Maryland. The Bears have not been on the East coast since 2001 and Tedford has never faced an ACC team.
While the intersectional road game will be a challenge, the Bears should at least enter with confidence after Saturday's convincing win. While the offense clearly stood out, the defense was just as essential to creating the largest margin of victory for a Cal team since 1922. Defensively, Cal held the Cougars to just 167 yards and no touchdowns while picking up four passes. Two of the interceptions came from junior Syd'Quan Thompson, who now has three on the year. Thompson also set a school record with his 108 interception return yards. Other defensive standouts included senior linebacker Zack Follett (first sack of the year), sophomore linebacker Michael Mohamed (seven tackles), senior safety Bernard Hicks (five tackles, interception) and senior linebacker Worrell Williams (six tackles).
On the offensive side of the ball, the Bears piled up 391 rushing yards, the most by a Tedford-coached Cal team and the most by the Bears since 1991. Sophomore Jahvid Best was the top standout, piling up 200 rushing yards on just 14 carries (14.3 yards per carry) while scoring three touchdowns. Redshirt freshman Shane Vereen added 80 yards, including a pinballing 39-yard run for a score. Vereen had broken an 81-yard TD run in the opener, and Best needed a couple shots to best him. On the first play of the game, Best found a big hole and sprinted 80 yards to the end zone and then added an 86-yard TD burst on his final carry. Cal had never had two 80-yard runs in the same season prior to 2008, let alone the same game. The tandem of Best and Vereen are averaging 246 yards per game and 8.8 yards per carry.
Six different players found the end zone in Saturday's triumph as sophomore quarterback Kevin Riley ran one in from 27 yards out and sophomore tailback Tracy Slocum and redshirt freshman Brock Mansion both tallied their first career TDs. Riley also found senior Sean Young for the first touchdown catch of Young's career.
Special teams also was part of the action Saturday as defensive end Rulon Davis stuffed a field-goal attempt in the second quarter and the loose ball bounced neatly into the hands of Follett, who raced 65 yards to the end zone for his first career touchdown.
Poll PositionsAfter their dominating win at Washington State, the Golden Bears are back in the top 25 polls, checking in at No. 23 in the AP poll and No. 25 in the coaches poll. This is the first time Cal has been in the top 25 since Nov. 3 of last season when it was ranked No. 24.
The 2008 season marked the first time since 2003 that the Bears were not ranked in the preseason polls - Cal was 'Also Receiving Votes' in the AP preseason poll with 59 (28th overall) and No. 32 in the Coaches Preseason Poll. Last year, the Bears entered the season No. 12 in both polls -- Cal's fourth-highest preseason ranking of all-time. Under Jeff Tedford, the Bears have been No. 13 (2004), No. 19 (2005), No. 9 (2006) and No. 12 (2007) in the AP Preseason Polls. Cal was picked No. 4 in the Pac-10 in the preseason media poll for the league.
The Bears have been ranked in the AP poll for 53 of the last 63 weeks of rankings.
First Time For Everything
This will be Cal's first meeting with Maryland in 113 seasons of football ... Jeff Tedford has never faced an ACC team as head coach at Cal, or as a coordinator at Oregon or Fresno State ... Cal is 1-1-1 all-time against teams from the ACC: 1-0 vs. Clemson (37-13 win in the 1992 Citrus Bowl); 0-1-1 vs. Duke (21-7 loss in 1962 and a 22-22 tie in 1963) ... the Bears have played other teams in the ACC that were not members of the conference at the time of the game, including Georgia Tech, Miami (Fla.) and Virginia Tech ... this is Cal's first trip to the East Coast since 2001 (def. Rutgers, 20-10).
The Other Coast
Cal has not made too many trips to the East Coast in its 113-year history (28 in all to be exact) to take on an opponent. But, the last three trips have resulted in victories for the Golden Bears.
Last 10 trips to the East Coast
11/23/01 at Rutgers W, 20-10
9/18/93 at Temple W, 58-0
1/1/92 vs. Clemson W, 37-13 (Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla.)
9/16/89 at Miami L, 3-31
9/13/86 at Boston College L, 15-21
9/12/81 at Georgia L, 13-27
9/13/80 vs. Florida L, 13-41 (game played in Tampa, Fla.)
9/20/80 at Army L, 19-26
12/15/79 vs. Temple L, 17-28 (Garden State Bowl in East Rutherford, N.J.)
9/16/78 at Georgia Tech W, 34-22
Cal WR Nyan Boateng and Maryland QB Josh Portis were both on the 2005 Florida Gator roster ... Cal CB Chris Conte and Maryland LB Stephen Hargett (both sophomores) attended Loyola HS in Los Angeles ... Maryland special teams/tight end coach Danny Pearman was an assistant coach with Virginia Tech in 2003 when Jeff Tedford earned his first bowl win at Cal (52-49 win over the Hokies in the Insight Bowl) ... star power will also be on display at Byrd Stadium, as Cal's Zack Follett and Alex Mack and Maryland's Dave Philistin and Edwin Williams are on the Lombardi Award Watch List ... Worrell Williams along with Follett and Philistin are all on the Butkus Award Watch List.
Cal Offense Quick Notes
Cal boasts the sixth-best ground attack in the nation (297.0 ypg) and the seventh-best scoring offense (52.0 points per game) ... Jahvid Best is tops in the Pac-10 and seventh in the nation in rushing yards per game (155.5) ... the 81-yard run by Shane Vereen against Michigan State and the 80-yard TD run by Best on the opening play against Washington State marked the first time in program history that Cal had two 80-yard runs in the same season - Best extended that mark by adding an 86-yard run as well against WSU ... Best and Vereen rushed for 100 yards against Michigan State, the seventh time Jeff Tedford has had two 100-yard rushers in the same game ... Vereen set the school record for rushing yards in a debut with 101 and also set a Cal freshman record for longest run with his 81-yard TD ... Cal had its fastest two touchdowns (1:31) and fastest three touchdowns (6:05) of the Jeff Tedford-era against WSU ... the Bears' 391 rushing yards at Washington State are a Tedford-era record and the most by a Cal team since 1991 ... Cal's 66 points at WSU were the second-most scored in the Jeff Tedford era and the third-most for Cal since World War II ... the 63-point margin of victory at WSU was Cal's largest since 1922 ... Cal is looking for its seventh straight season with a 1,000-yard rusher in 2008 after Justin Forsett ran for 1,546 yards last year ... Cal has not been shut out in a school-record 109 straight games dating back to Sept. 11, 1999 ... Cal has scored 2,632 points, the second most of any other team in the Pac-10 since 2002 (USC, 3005) ... the Bears have scored 90 total touchdowns at Memorial Stadium since 2004.
Cal Defensive Quick Notes for 2008
Cornerback Syd'Quan Thompson is tied for the nation's lead in interceptions (3) after picking off two passes against Washington State ... Thompson's 108 interception-return yards against WSU are a school record ... Anthony Felder leads the Bears with 16 tackles this season ... Zack Follett's eight tackles against Michigan State matched his fourth-best career performance -- he has a team-high 3.5 tackles for losses ... Felder (101 tackles) and Worrell Williams (105 tackles) joined graduated safety Thomas DeCoud to give Cal three 100-plus tacklers for the second time in school history (1983) last season ... the 52 tackles by defensive tackle Tyson Alualu last year were the most by a defensive lineman at Cal since 2000 ... Williams is the fourth-leading returning tackler in the Pac-10 for 2008 ... the defense led the nation with three fumble-recovery touchdowns in 2007.
Special Teams Quick Notes for 2008
For the second straight week, Cal turned a blocked kick into seven points on the board ... Rulon Davis blocked a Washington State field goal and Zack Follett scooped the loose ball and returned it 68 yards for his first career touchdown ... in the opener, Brett Johnson blocked a Michigan State punt and Bryant Nnabuife recovered the ball for a touchdown - the first blocked punt return for a TD since Justin Forsett had one against Washington in 2004 ... true freshman David Seawright remains perfect on PATs (14-14) and field goals (2-2) including a career-long 37-yarder at Washington State ... the Golden Bears led the Pac-10 in net punting over 2006 and 2007 at 37.9 net yards per punt ... snapper Nick Sundberg, a three-year starter, was perfect on 128-of-129 (99.2%) snaps in 2007.
It's Best to Just Give Him the Ball
Sophomore Jahvid Best racked up a career-best 200 yards (14.3 yards per carry) and three touchdowns at Washington State. On the first play of the game, he broke a career-best 80-yard touchdown run, then on his final rush, he topped that with an 86-yard scoring rush.
Best's 200 rushing yards is the most by a Bear since Justin Forsett had 235 yards vs. New Mexico State in 2005. The sophomore also became the first player since J.J. Arrington in 2004 to open a season with back-to-back 100-yard rushing games.
The product of Vallejo is tops in the league and seventh in the nation in rushing yards per game (155.5). He has gained 311 yards on 38 carries this season with four rushing touchdowns, and also has 32 career plays (of 105) resulting in 10 or more yards.
Expected to take on a major role in 2008 after a break-out true freshman season in 2007, Best responded when he rushed a career-high 24 times for a 111 yards and a touchdown in Cal's 38-31 season opening win over Michigan State. He also added a career-long 42-yard reception against the Spartans.
In 2007, Best's highlights included a 64-yard touchdown run against Colorado State and a 54-yard kick return against UCLA. He ranked second in the Pac-10 with 27.0 yards per kick return and also established himself as one of the top gunners in the nation - a position he will not return to in 2008 with his increased offensive role. Best missed the final three games of 2007 with a hip injury.
Syd Snares `Em
Junior Syd'Quan Thompson is fast-developing into a true lockdown corner for the Golden Bears this season. Now in his third season as a starter (28 straight starts), the redshirt junior is tied for the national lead with three interceptions. This past Saturday, he picked off two passes against Washington State, the first Cal player since Daymeion Hughes in 2006 to have two interceptions in a game. He returned his second INT 90 yards (fifth-longest in Cal history) to set up a five-yard TD. Overall, he set a school-record with 108 interception return yards.
He was also instrumental in Cal's 38-31 win over Michigan State. He intercepted a pass at the end of the second quarter near the goal line, thwarting a Spartan scoring drive. The Sacramento product also swatted away three passes while adding five tackles. Two of his tackles came on third down plays and forced punts while one pass break-up came on a key third-and-18 play to force a punt as well.
Thompson has five career interceptions and 15 career pass break-ups - five shy of ninth all-time at Cal.
A Dash of Vereen Goes a Long Way
While Jahvid Best has received the bulk of the attention, redshirt freshman Shane Vereen solidifies Cal's 1-2 punch in the backfield. For the season, Vereen has racked up 181 yards on 18 carries (10.1 average) and two touchdowns. His rushing scores came on an 81-yard burst to ice the Bears' victory against Michigan State and a 39-yard tackle-breaking score against Washington State. He scored a rushing touchdown for the second straight week (a 39-yard dart) against Washington State, and finished the game with 80 yards on nine carries for an 8.9 yards per carry average.
In the opener, Vereen became the first Cal freshman in history to rush for over 100 yards in a single game and just the ninth freshman overall to break 100 yards on the ground. His 81-yard touchdown run is the longest run ever by a Cal freshman. In 1953, sophomore Jerry Drew had a 91-yard run against Penn in his debut game (freshmen were not eligible in 1952) and in 1902, Heine Heitmuller (class information not available) posted a 90-yard gain against the Perris Indians in his first year.
Lightning and Lightning
While many teams with two talented backs employ them in a 'Thunder and Lightning' style attack, the 2008 Golden Bears are using sophomore Jahvid Best and freshman Shane Vereen in more of a 'Lightning and Lightning' attack, as described by former Cal quarterback and current tv analyst Mike Pawlawski. In two games, the tandem of Best and Vereen are averaging 246 yards per game and 8.8 yards per carry and they have tallied three 80-yard runs between them. Cal is the only school in the nation with two players averaging over 90 rushing yards per game each.
I Love the 80s
The tailback duo of Jahvid Best and Shane Vereen are dazzling on the field and on the Cal record books. After Vereen's 81-yard touchdown run against Michigan State, Best logged an 80-yard touchdown run at Washington State to mark the first time in program history that Cal had two 80-yard runs in the same season. Best's 86-yard TD rush later in the WSU game extended that record, while obviously marking the first time two 80-yard runs had happened in the same game.
Best and Vereen both rushed for over 100 yards in the win over Michigan State, marking the seventh time in Jeff Tedford's tenure that two backs had broken the century mark in the same game. The last time was the 2006 Holiday Bowl victory against Texas A&M when Justin Forsett tallied 124 yards and Marshawn Lynch collected 111 yards. Forsett and Lynch also had a pair of games in 2005 when both went over 100 yards. In 2004, Lynch and J.J. Arrington both went over 100 rushing yards on two occasions, while Arrington and Adimchinobe Echemandu both hit for 100 once in 2003.
Mack and the Ground Hogs
Senior center Alex Mack continues to anchor Cal's offensive line - for the third consecutive season. Since Mack stepped into the starting center role for the 2006 opener, Cal has allowed just 25 sacks in 28 games, the third-best mark in the country in that time. And this year, the o-line is opening up some major holes for its running attack. Against Washington State in its 66-3 win, Cal tallied the most rushing yards (391) in the Tedford-era at Cal and the most by a Bear team since the 1991 season. In 2007, Cal had amassed 475 yards rushing and six rushing TDs after two games. This season, Cal has generated 594 yards on the ground and nine rushing TDs in two games with a younger offensive line.
Top Offensive Lines by Sacks Allowed (2006-present)
Team (2006 Sacks - 2007 Sacks - 2008 Sacks = Total)
West Virginia (15-13-3=31)
Oklahoma State (18-11-2=31)
The Bears sure love the month of September where they have posted a 20-5 record under Jeff Tedford, including 10 straight wins.
Last Six Games in September
Sept. 6, 2008: W 66-3 (at Washington State)
Sept. 29, 2007: W 31-24 (at Oregon)
Sept. 22, 2007: W 45-27 (vs. Arizona)
Sept. 15, 2007: W 42-12 (vs. Louisiana Tech)
Sept. 8, 2007: W 34-28 (at Colorado State)
Sept. 1, 2007: W 45-31 (vs. Tennessee)
September Scoring Sweepstakes
After putting up 66 points on the road against conference foe Washington State, California is now averaging 38.96 points per game (974 points/25 games) in the month of September since Jeff Tedford took over as head coach in 2002.
Cal-Washington State: Postscript
Jahvid Best, who made his first career start, ran for exactly 200 yards on 14 carries (14.3 avg.) and scored three touchdowns ... Best's 200 rushing yards is the most by a Bear since Justin Forsett had 235 yards vs. New Mexico State in 2005 ... Syd'Quan Thompson recorded two interceptions in the game (Daymeion Hughes was the last Cal player to record two INTs in a game) ... the 90-yard return on his second pick is tied for the fifth-longest return in Cal history ... Thompson set a school-record with 108 interception return yards (previous record was 100 yards held by four different players) ... Cal's 66 points were the second-most scored in the Jeff Tedford era ... Sean Young recorded his first career touchdown reception in the first quarter ... Cal had its fastest two touchdowns and fastest three touchdowns (at the start of the game) of the Jeff Tedford-era ... Kevin Riley scored a touchdown on a career long 27-yard run in the second quarter - it was the longest rush for a Cal QB since Aaron Rodgers had 36-yard rush back in 2004 ... sophomore Tracy Slocum and redshirt freshman Brock Mansion both tallied their first career rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter ... Mansion took his first career snap under center for the Bears in the fourth quarter and completed his first career pass to Zack Smith for 10 yards ... the last time Cal had four or more INTs in a game was against Washington on Oct. 21, 2006 ... Cal pulled off back-to-back wins in Pullman (2006 and 2008) for the first time since the Golden Bears reeled off back-to-back wins in Pullman in 1921 and 1923 ... the win was Cal's largest margin of victory (63 points) since 1922.
Focus on Turnovers
Head coach Jeff Tedford has focused on turnovers as the No. 1 key to football since his arrival in 2002 and for this season, he and his staff have taken it a step further. Every practice in preseason camp featured a turnover circuit with each payer on the team working on drills related to protecting the football, recovering the football and forcing turnovers.
Those tutorials have paid off immensely thus far. Against Washington State, Cal snared four interceptions which led to 28 Golden Bear points, and in the win over Michigan State, Syd'Quan Thompson made a leaping interception at the five-yard line, preserving a 17-7 Cal lead.
A look at the stats in Tedford's tenure backs up his assertion of the value of turnovers. In his seven years at Cal, the Golden Bears are 28-2 (.933) when winning the turnover battle and 12-18 (.400) when losing that statistical comparison (as well as 12-6 when tied). In Pac-10 games, the stats are even more decisive, as Cal is 18-1 (.947) when winning the turnover battle and 6-16 (.272) when losing it (7-3 when turnovers are tied). Cal lost the turnover battle in each of its six losses in 2007.
Block That Kick!
For the second straight week, Cal turned a blocked kick into seven points. Zack Follett returned a blocked field goal attempt (Rulon Davis with the block) 68 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter - it was Cal's first blocked field goal returned for a TD since James Bethea did it against Arizona (60 yards) in 2002 (Lorenzo Alexander blocked the attempt). It was Follett's first career touchdown as well. Bryant Nnabuife scored a TD for the Bears when he scooped up the ball on a blocked punt by Brett Johnson against Michigan State in the season opener.
The Offensive Forecast Calls for Lightning
Cal had its fastest two touchdowns and fastest three touchdowns (at the start of the game) of the Jeff Tedford-era in its 66-3 win over Washington State. The Golden Bears scored two TDs in the first 1:31 and three in the first 6:05. The previous best came in Tedford's coaching debut against Baylor - two scores in the first 2:02 and three in the first 6:41.
In just his second career start as a Golden Bear, Kevin Riley was extremely efficient against a stout Michigan State defense, completing 17-of-24 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns. The sophomore found tight end Cameron Morrah for a four-yard score in the third quarter and then connected with fullback Will Ta'ufo'ou for a five-yard TD in the fourth quarter. For his career, Riley has completed 62.7 percent of his passes (59-94), while tossing eight touchdowns against one interception.
The Oregon product also likes to throw the deep ball -- Riley has thrown 11 passes for 25+ yards in six career games (he was in for one series against Louisiana Tech and Oregon and only attempted a combined three passes).
Riley's Long Balls
8/30/08: Michigan State 42, 42, 26
12/31/07: Air Force 40 (TD), 25, 52, 31
10/13/07: Oregon State 64 (TD), 35, 29, 37
Cal wide receiver Sean Young added another memorable moment in his sixth year with the Golden Bears when he caught his first career touchdown in the first quarter at Washington State. He finished the game with 23 yards on two catches, lifting his season total to six catches for 104 yards. He had entered the season with three catches for 27 yards.
In the season opener against Michigan State, Young hauled in four catches for 81 yards, including a career-long 42 yard reception in the second quarter helping Cal set up its second offensive touchdown.
A star at Berkeley High School who was ranked among the top players in California in 2002, Young enrolled at Cal and proceeded to battle injuries for five years. He underwent surgeries on both of his feet (severely sprained ligaments in his big toes) during separate years and appeared in a total of 13 games in five years. After discussing his options with his father, the coaching staff and his teammates (including younger brother Eddie, a junior linebacker), Sean applied and received a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA.
3-4 Showcases Linebacker Strength
The California coaching staff changed its base defense from a 4-3 to a 3-4 to take advantage of its superior talent and depth at linebacker. Recognized among the best linebackers in the nation, the Cal contingent features three returning senior starters in Anthony Felder, Zack Follett and Worrell Williams.
Felder, who leads the team with 16 tackles, led the 'backers with 12 tackles against Michigan State - his fourth career double-digit tackle performance. Follett had another busy day for the Bears against Washington State as he had three tackles - two of them for losses and a sack, bringing his total tackles for losses to 3.5 for the season. He also chipped in with eight tackles against Michigan State. Williams has been active around the ball all season, recording 10 stops and a pass break up.Other Bear 'Backers have contributed as well in 2008. Junior Eddie Young, who started his first career game against Michigan State, has eight tackles on the young season. Sophomore Mike Mohamed led Cal with seven tackles (1.5 for losses) at Washington State. Junior Devin Bishop, the younger brother of former Cal star linebacker Desmond Bishop, has four tackles, while sophomore Charles Johnson (six total tackles), redshirt freshman D.J. Holt (four total tackles) and true freshman Mychal Kendricks (recorded his first career sack at Washington State) all are contributing as well.
Cal continued its impressive record at Memorial Stadium after its 38-31 victory over Michigan State. The Golden Bears have now won 23 of their last 27 home games. Overall, Cal has out-scored opponents 1062-531 in these contests, including 258-145 in the fourth quarter. The only losses suffered in Memorial Stadium were to Oregon State (Oct. 15, 2005 and Oct. 13, 2007) and to USC (Nov. 12, 2005 and Nov. 10, 2007).
50,000 Fans Again
The Michigan State attendance of 62,956 marked the 25th straight home game with over 50,000 fans - every home game over the last five years. The game was also the 14th game of 60,000+ fans under head coach Jeff Tedford; Cal had nine 60,000+ games in the 12 years prior to Tedford's arrival.
Opponents may be a little angry this season after freshman punter Bryan Anger enters the game. The Camarillo native booted his first career punt 56 yards, pinning Michigan State on their own 14-yard line (Cal forced a three-and-out and a punt, which was blocked and recovered for a TD). His second punt went even further at 59 yards, backing the Spartans up to their 17-yard line. MSU went three and out in that series as well. Anger finished the game with an average of 48.0 yards per punt, including three inside the 20.
Anger followed his debut with five punts for an average of 39.6 yards in the win over Washington State.
Youth is Served
Offensive linemen Alex Mack and Noris Malele are the odd men out when it comes to the youth movement on offense for the Golden Bears. The two elder statesmen have a combined 53 starts on the o-line, while the rest have a combined nine starts. Still, the o-line has given up just one sack and has paved the way for 594 rushing yards and nine rushing touchdowns this season. Defensively there are fewer first time starters, with most of the experience coming from the linebackers and secondary. Syd'Quan Thompson, who has the most starts of anyone on defense, leads the team with three interceptions.
Early Action Guys
Head coach Jeff Tedford has been very pleased by the performance of many of the newcomers on the squad this year. So far, the Bears have played nine newcomers in 2008 -- Anthony Miller (TE), Donovan Edwards (OL), Bryant Nnabuife (DB), Marvin Jones (WR), Mychal Kendricks (LB), David Seawright (PK), Kendrick Payne (DT), Giorgio Tavecchio (PK) and Robert Mullins (LB). Last year, Cal played four newcomers (true freshman Jahvid Best, Chris Conte and Cameron Jordan and Zach Smith, a transfer from Duke).
Cal's Sean Young (WR) and Eddie Young (LB) are not the only brothers currently starting together on the same college football team this season. For the season opener, eight sets of brothers, including the Youngs, were projected to start together on the same Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly NCAA Division IA) team. Below is the most recent listing of current brothers starting for the same college team.
School: Brothers (Positions)
California: Eddie Young (Jr., LB) and Sean Young (Sr., WR)
Ole Miss: John Jerry (Jr., OL) and Peria Jerry (Sr., DT)
Rutgers: Twin brothers Devin McCourty (Jr., CB) and Jason McCourty (Sr., CB)
San Jose State: Carl Ihenacho (Jr., DE) and Duke Ihenacho (So., LB)
Temple: Twin brothers Elijah Joseph (So., OLB) and Elisha Joseph (So., DT)
Utah State: Twin brothers Caleb Taylor (Sr., FS) and Joshua Taylor (Sr., CB)
Virginia Tech: Cam Martin (Jr., OLB) and Orion Martin (Sr., DE)
Wyoming: Marcell Gipson (So., CB), Tashaun Gipson (Fr., CB)
Talent Is Never Enough
Despite having six players selected in the 2008 NFL Draft, the Golden Bears slipped to 7-6 during the 2007 campaign. In the midst of a thorough review of the program, Jeff Tedford picked up a book that Athletic Director Sandy Barbour had distributed to all of Cal's head coaches and senior staff members - 'Talent Is Never Enough' by John C. Maxwell.
'I started reading it and I found myself highlighting half of pages, or full pages. It was so relevant to what our situation was,' Tedford told the Contra Costa Times. 'I felt like we needed to spend time on a lot of the things in the book and go back and redefine who we are.'
The book focuses on 13 things which affect talent and allow a team to go beyond its talent: Belief, Passion, Initiative, Focus, Preparation, Practice, Perseverance, Courage, Teachability, Character, Relationships, Responsibility and Teamwork.
Running Back Replacements
While replacing running back Justin Forsett and his 1,500+ yards may seem like quite a challenge for the Golden Bears, it has become nearly an annual occurrence for Jeff Tedford and running backs coach Ron Gould. In 2002, senior Joe Igber became Cal's first 1,000-yard rusher in nine years. With his departure, senior Adimchinobe Echemandu stepped into the primary back role and surpassed Igber's rushing total. For 2004, Cal simply handed the ball to J.J. Arrington, who promptly led the nation in rushing with over 2,000 yards on the ground. After Arrington's early departure to the NFL, local product Marshawn Lynch tallied a pair of 1,000-yard seasons and then jumped to the NFL himself, leaving the Bears to rely on Forsett. Prior to his own move to the NFL, the Texas product produced his big year, recording more rushing yards than any other back in Cal history besides Arrington. For 2008, Cal will look to sophomores Jahvid Best and Tracy Slocum and redshirt freshman Shane Vereen to fill the latest void.
We're Men, We Won 40
The Bears won 43 games over five seasons (2002-07). It is the most victories by California over a five-year period since the 1948-1949-1950-1951-1952 teams combined to win 44 games.
The California football team has a new look for the 2008 season. Head coach Jeff Tedford, the players and the staff worked with Nike to develop an overall new look, which incorporates aspects of the previous uniforms with new stream-lined patterns.
'I think the new look will help us build a new image,' Cal senior linebacker Worrell Williams said. 'It keeps us up to date and it shows the dedication that our coaches, administration and Nike have to the Cal program. A change in uniform always adds excitement to the team.'
Cal, which has changed its uniforms periodically over the years, will still easily be recognized by the script 'Cal' logo on the helmets, as it has been in one form or another since 1979. Since World War II, the Bears have sported at least 15 different helmet versions and countless variations on its uniforms. Last year, the Golden Bears battled USC in a driving rainstorm while wearing throwback uniforms, replicas of Cal's 1976 uniforms as a tribute to former Bear All-American Joe Roth.
The Tedford Era
Jeff Tedford, now in his seventh year at the helm of the Bears, has quickly brought the program into another 'Golden' Age. The Bears' seven-year record of 52-26 is among the best-ever at Cal.
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): 52-26 (.667) - Five straight bowls
Early 90s (1990-93): 30-17 (.638) - Three bowls
Mike White Era (1972-77): 35-30 (.538) - Last conf. title (`75)
Cal Posts Sixth Straight Winning Season
Cal's sixth straight winning season in 2007 marked the first time the Golden Bears have reached that level of consistency since Pappy Waldorf's juggernaut teams reeled off six straight winning marks from 1947-52. Since posting the worst record at Cal in 104 years (1-10) in 2001, the Golden Bears hired head coach Jeff Tedford and have rolled to marks of 7-5 (2002), 8-6 (2003), 10-3 (2004), 8-4 (2005), 10-3 (2006) and 7-6 (2007).
In 2007, for the first time in program history, every Cal football game was televised. In Jeff Tedford's six years at the helm of the Bears, 60 Cal football games were televised; in the six years prior to his arrival, 35 Cal games were televised. National television broadcasts have more than doubled in that time.