Cal Hosts Maryland Saturday to Open 2009 Season
Aug. 31, 2009
2009 CALIFORNIA FOOTBALL
Saturday, Sept. 5, 7:00 p.m. (PT)
California (0-0, 0-0 Pac-10) vs. Maryland (0-0, 0-0 ACC)
Berkeley, Calif. - Memorial Stadium
TV: ESPN2 - Lindsay Gannon (Play-By-Play), David Norrie (Analyst)
Radio: KGO 810 AM (San Francisco) - Joe Starkey (Play-By-Play), Troy Taylor (Anaylst), Todd McKim (Sideline) - and affiliate stations KGIL 1260 AM (Los Angeles), XSURF 540 AM (San Diego), KESP 970 AM (Modesto), KTKZ 1380 AM (Sacramento). Also Sirius XM Satellite Radio channel 220 (Sirius) and channel 93 (XM). Thye pre-game show begins 30 minutes before kickoff.
CalBears.com: Visit CalBears.com for complete coverage of Cal football, including a live play-by-play update via Gametracker.
GOLDEN BEAR FACTS
Head Coach: Jeff Tedford
Alma Mater/Year: Fresno State/`83
Record at Cal/Years: 59-30/7
Career Record/Years: Same
Football SID: Kyle McRae
Secondary Contact: Anton Malko
Credentials: Herb Benenson
Ticket Info: 800-GO-BEARS
Games Played: 1
Series Record: Cal trails, 1-0
First Meeting: 9/13/08, Maryland, 35-27
Last Meeting: Same
Current Streak: Maryland win one
Tedord vs. Maryland: 0-1
California will kick off its 114th season of football at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 5, against Maryland at Memorial Stadium in Berkeley. The contest will be televised nationally by ESPN2.
The Golden Bears begin a promising 2009 campaign looking to extend current streaks of seven straight winning seasons, six consecutive post-season appearances and four bowl victories in a row - the latter two school records.
In the first seven seasons under head coach Jeff Tedford, the Bears' 59-30 record is their best seven-year stretch in nearly a century since a seven-year run under legendary head coach Andy Smith when the Wonder Teams posted a 57-4-5 mark from 1918-24. The team's 59 wins over the past seven seasons are also the second most in the Pac-10 behind USC.
Enthusiasm for the 2009 season is high in Berkeley with the Golden Bears featuring one of the nation's top Heisman Trophy candidates in junior tailback Jahvid Best and an experienced starting quarterback in junior Kevin Riley. A total of four players have earned preseason All-American honors and been named to national watch lists: Best, senior defensive lineman Tyson Alualu, sophomore punter Bryan Anger and senior defensive back Syd'Quan Thompson.
The team's defense returns eight of 11 starters, including its entire defensive line and defensive backfield, from a year ago. All told, Cal has 17 starters back with seven on offense and two specialists accompanying the eight on defense.
Cal Ranked No. 12 Nationally
Cal heads into the 2009 campaign ranked No. 12 in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches' preseason polls. Since Jeff Tedford took over as head coach in 2002, the only time the Bears were rated higher in the preseason by AP came in 2006 when Cal was listed at No. 9. The Bears were also ranked 12th by AP in 2007, while they were voted 12th by the coaches twice previously, before the 2003 and 2006 campaigns.
Cal has an all-time record of 70-39-4 in season-openers and has won its first contest of the season in four of the last five years. Jeff Tedford is 5-2 in season-openers as the Bears' head coach and has never lost a season-opener at home, sporting a 4-0 mark in those contests - 2002 (70-22 vs. Baylor), 2005 (41-3 vs. Sacramento State), 2007 (45-31 vs. Tennessee) and 2008 (38-31 vs. Michigan State).
Cal-Maryland Series Notes
Cal and Maryland met for the first time last year when the Terps came up with a 35-27 victory on Sept. 13, 2008, in College Park, Maryland. The loss was the first of the campaign for Cal after it had opened the season with two victories. Kevin Riley's 423 yards in the air were the fourth-most ever by a Cal player, while his 58 attempts (33 completions) set a school record.
2009 Training Camp A Success
California conducted 24 practice sessions over 23 days during a successful 2009 training camp that culminated with approximately 5,000 fans attending Fan Appreciation Day on Saturday, Aug. 29. The line to get an autograph from junior tailback Jahvid Best extended nearly 140 yards at its peak.
Fans are encouraged to 'Be True, Wear Blue' for the Blue Out of the season-opener against Maryland at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 5. For more information, visit CalBears.com/blueout.
Cal Picked Second In Pac-10 Preseason Media Poll
California has been picked to finish second in the 2009 Pac-10 preseason poll of media members who regularly cover the league for the fifth time in the last six years. USC was the media's preseason choice to win the conference title for an eighth consecutive season (Cal shared the conference crown in 2006). The Trojans were listed in the top spot by 28 of the 32 voters participating in the poll, while Cal claimed three of the four other first-place votes. Oregon (one first-place vote) was picked third and followed by Oregon State, Arizona State, Stanford, UCLA, Arizona, Washington and Washington State.
Cal players have received multiple honors prior to the 2009 season. The first-team preseason All-American selections of Bryan Anger, Jahvid Best and Syd'Quan Thompson highlight the list, while Tyson Alualu was an honorable mention preseason All-American choice. All four are also on preseason watch lists for various awards. A list of compiled 2009 honors is in the box on this page.
Turn On Your Televisions Around The Nation
To date, six of Cal's 12 games have been picked up for television, including the Sept. 5 opener vs. Maryland on ESPN2. The Sept. 19 contest at Minnesota will be shown on either ESPN or ESPN2, followed by back-to-back games on ABC - at Oregon Sept. 26 and vs. USC on Oct. 3. In addition, Cal's Sept.12 home date vs. Eastern Washington and Dec. 5 finale at Washington will air on Comcast SportsNet California. TV networks will announce their choices for remaining games later in the season. Every Golden Bear contest the past two years has been televised live.
The Tedford Factor
Cal head coach Jeff Tedford has compiled a 59-30 record during his first seven seasons at Cal. Tedford, who ranks fourth on the school's all-time win list, has led his teams to school records of six straight bowl games and four consecutive postseason wins. Since his arrival in 2002, Cal has posted an overall record of 5-1 in bowl games after the Bears had earned bowl bids just four times since 1979. For good measure, Tedford is also 6-1 in Big Games against local rival Stanford. Tedford needs just nine more wins to pass the legendary Pappy Waldorf (67-32-4, 1947-56) for most victories at Cal in the modern era.
Simply The Best
A quick look at Heisman Trophy candidate Jahvid Best's bio shows him as the nation's top returnee in both average per game all-purpose (187.3) and rushing (131.67) yards after ranking second and third in the country in the categories last season, respectively. He set a pair of school records by averaging 8.1 yards per carry for the season and running for 311 yards in a single-game vs. Washington. In addition, Best had three 200-yard games (first Cal player with more than one) and eight 100-yard contests. He showed off his big-play capability with 19 rushes of 20 or more yards, seven of 60+ yards and three runs of 80 or more.
Best Records Team's Seventh Straight 1,000-Yard Season
Jahvid Best's 1,580 yards rushing in 2008 ranked second all-time at Cal and marked the seventh consecutive season in which a Golden Bear running back gained over 1,000 yards on the ground. Cal is one of only three Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) schools to have current seven-year streaks, along with Missouri and New Mexico, and is nearing USC's record 10-year run of 1,000-yard rushers from 1972-81. Joe Igber started the current trend in 2002 when he became the first Cal player to rush for more than 1,000 yards in nine years.
Cal's 1,000-Yard Rushers Since 2002
Year - Player (Yards)
2008 - Jahvid Best (1,580) ... 2007 - Justin Forsett (1,546) ... 2006 - Marshawn Lynch (1,356) ... 2005 - Marshawn Lynch (1,246) ... 2004 - J.J. Arrington (2,018) ... 2003 - Adimchinobe Echemandu (1,195) ... 2002 - Joe Igber (1,130)
Home Sweet Home
Cal has been both extremely successful and popular with fans at home over the past five seasons. During the time period the Golden Bears have posted an overall record of 27-4 in Berkeley and been unbeaten at home three times (2004, `06, `08). Last year, Cal averaged 61,634 fans per contest to mark the fourth time in the last five years the Bears have drawn more than 60,000 per game. In terms of pure numbers, Cal attracted its second-highest total ever in 2008 with 431,437 fans attending seven home dates. Only the 2006 season, which drew 450,223 fans and averaged a record 64,318 spectators per contest, has had a larger total final home attendance count. Cal has also drawn at least 50,000 fans for each of its last 31 home games spanning the past five seasons.
Cal has had 74 players claim Pac-10 All-Academic honors in seven seasons under head coach Jeff Tedford. Last year, Alex Mack earned the Draddy Trophy honoring college football's top scholar-athlete.
Offense Quick Notes
Cal has averaged at least 30.0 points per game in six of the last seven years after averaging 32.6 in 2008 ... Cal has won 22 straight games in which the Bears have scored 30 or more points ... Cal features first-year offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig, who was at the helm of Utah's offense last year, when the Utes were 13-0 and finished ranked second in the nation.
Defense Quick Notes
Cal returns eight defensive starters from a team that ranked among the nation's best in nearly every defensive category last year ... The Golden Bears return their entire defensive line and defensive backfield, but will need to replace three of four starting linebackers ... Cal's 2009 defense features a first-team preseason All-American and a Lott Trophy candidate in Syd'Quan Thompson, while Tyson Alualu has also earned 2009 honorable mention preseason All-American recognition.
Special Teams Quick Notes
Cal returns all starting members from its kicking and return games in sophomore punter Bryan Anger, sophomore placekickers David Seawright and Giorgio Tavecchio, junior kick returner Jahvid Best and senior punt returner Syd'Quan Thompson ... Anger has earned first-team 2009 preseason All-America honors as a punter, while Best (tailback) and Thompson (cornerback) have picked up the same recognition at their primary positions.
Cal's school-record six straight bowl appearances and four consecutive bowl wins are listed below.
2003 - Insight Bowl (Cal 52, Virginia Tech 49)
2004 - Holiday Bowl (Texas Tech 45, Cal 31)
2005 - Las Vegas Bowl (Cal 35, BYU 28)
2006 - Holiday Bowl (Cal 45, Texas A&M 10)
2007 - Armed Forces Bowl (Cal 42, Air Force 36)
2008 - Emerald Bowl (Cal 24, Miami 17)
Seven Consecutive Winning Seasons
Cal has recorded seven consecutive winning seasons (2002-08) to move within one winning campaign of tying the school football record of eight consecutive years from 1918-25. The Bears did record 10 consecutive winning campaigns from 1907-16 but those were split between rugby (8, 1907-14) and football (2, 1915-16).
During the Jeff Tedford era, Cal has played five road games in other time zones that have started before noon, PT, and the Golden Bears have a 4-1 record in those contests. Cal won four in a row with victories at Michigan State (2002), Illinois (2003), Air Force (2004) and Colorado State (2007), before falling at Maryland in 2008. This year, Cal's game at Minnesota Sept. 19 has a starting time of 9 a.m. PT.
Winning the turnover battle has been emphasized since Jeff Tedford's arrival on campus in 2002. During his seven seasons at Cal, the Bears are 34-3 when committing fewer turnovers than their opponents compared to 13-19 when opponents win the battle (12-8 tied). In Pac-10 games, the stats are even more decisive as Cal is 22-1 with a positive margin in turnovers and 7-17 with a deficit, while posting a 7-5 mark when the turnover table is tied. Last year, Cal ranked seventh nationally in turnover margin (+15 overall).
Start Me Up
Based on Cal's depth chart as of Aug. 29, six players are slated to make their first collegiate start against Maryland on Sept. 5 - senior Brian Holley (FB), sophomores Marvin Jones (Z) and Anthony Miller (TE), and redshirt-freshman Matt Summers-Gavin (LG) on offense, and sophomores D.J. Holt (ILB) and Mychal Kendricks (ILB) defensively.
Cal has two new coaches on board in 2009 with the addition of offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Andy Ludwig and offensive line coach Steve Marshall. Ludwig had been the offensive coordinator at Utah for the last four seasons, leading one of the best offenses in the country that was largely responsible for a 13-0 record in 2008, the country's only unbeaten mark by a Football Bowl Subdivision team, and a No. 2 final national ranking. Marshall most recently coached for six seasons in the NFL with the Houston Texans (2002-05) and Cleveland Browns (2007-08).
Playing And Beating The Best
Cal has played 22 nationally-ranked teams during the Jeff Tedford era and managed an 11-11 record in those contests. The Bears have three games on their 2009 schedule against teams ranked in at least one of the two preseason polls. Cal will travel to Oregon (No. 14 USA Today, No. 16 AP) and host USC (No. 4 AP/USA Today) in back-to-back weeks on Sept. 26 and Oct. 3. The Bears will host Oregon State (No. 25 USA Today) on Nov. 7.
Bears Play On Sunday, Too
Alex Mack became the 23rd first round selection of a former Cal football player when the Cleveland Browns made him their first-round pick with the 21st selection overall of the 2009 NFL Draft. Zack Follett (Detroit Lions) and Cameron Morrah (Seattle Seahawks) were both seventh round selections in 2009. A total of 35 former Cal enter the 2009 season on an NFL. A complete list is below.
Lorenzo Alexander - DT: Washington
Nnamdi Asomugha - CB: Oakland
Tully Banta-Cain - LB: New England
David Binn - C: San Diego
Desmond Bishop - LB: Green Bay
Kyle Boller - QB: St. Louis
Andre Carter - DE: Washington
Brian De La Puente - G: Seattle
Thomas DeCoud - S: Atlanta
Anthony Felder - LB: San Diego
Zack Follett - LB: Detroit
Justin Forsett - RB: Seattle
Scott Fujita - LB: New Orleans
Mike Gibson - G: Philadelphia
Matt Giordano - S: Indianapolis
Tony Gonzalez - TE: Atlanta
Nick Harris - P: Detroit
Lavelle Hawkins - WR: Tennessee
Daymeion Hughes - CB: Indianapolis
DeSean Jackson - WR: Philadelphia
L.P. Ladouceur - C: Dallas
Ryan Longwell - PK: Minnesota
Marshawn Lynch - RB: Buffalo
Alex Mack - C: Cleveland
Brandon Mebane - DT: Seattle
Cameron Morrah - TE: Seattle
Ryan O'Callaghan - G: New England
Deltha O'Neal - CB: Houston
Marvin Philip - C: Buffalo
Aaron Rodgers - QB: Green Bay
Craig Stevens - TE: Tennessee
Byron Storer - FB: Tampa Bay
Will Ta'ufo'ou - FB: Chicago
Langston Walker - OT: Buffalo
Mark Wilson - OT: Oakland