Cal Travels to Stanford for 112th Big Game Saturday
Nov. 21, 2009
2009 Cal Football
This Week In Cal Football
Cal No. 25 in Latest BCS Standings (Nov. 15)
2009 CALIFORNIA FOOTBALL
Saturday, Nov. 21, 4:30 p.m. (PT)
No. 25 BCS California (7-3, 4-3 Pac-10) vs. No. 14 AP/No. 17 USA Today/No. 17 BCS Stanford (7-3, 6-2 Pac-10)
Stanford, Calif. - Stanford Stadium/Foster Field
TV: Versus - Ron Thulin (Play-By-Play), Kelly Stouffer (Analyst), Lewis Johnson (Sideline)
Radio: *Cal Commercial Radio: KGO 810 AM (San Francisco) - Joe Starkey (Play-By-Play), Troy Taylor (Analyst), Todd McKim (Sideline). *Each broadcast begins with a 30-minute pregame show. The postgame show includes reaction from the Bears' locker room and the 'Postgame at the Paragon' program from the Paragon Bar & Cafe at the Claremont Resort & Spa hosted by Lee Grosscup and Kate Scott. ISP Sports/Cal Radio Network Affiliates: KGIL 1260 AM (Los Angeles), XSURF 540 AM (San Diego), KESP 970 AM (Modesto), KTKZ 1380 AM (Sacramento). Cal Student Radio: KALX 90.7 FM (Berkeley) - Danny Friesinger, Ben Schpringer. Sirius XM Satellite Radio: Cal fans can listen to the ISP Sports/Cal Radio Network broadcast feed on Sirius XM Satellite Radio on channels 220 (Sirius) and 194 (XM).
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: 66-33/8th
Career Record/Years: Same
Football SID: Kyle McRae
Secondary Contact: Anton Malko
Credentials: Herb Benenson
Ticket Info: 800-GO-BEARS
Games Played: 111
Series Record: Stanford leads, 55-45-11
First Meeting: 3/19/1892, 14-10 Stanford
Last Meeting: 11/22/08, 37-16 Cal
Current Streak: Cal win one
Tedford vs. Stanford: 6-1
Kickoff - California at Stanford (Saturday, Nov. 21, 4:30 p.m.) Both teams go into the highly anticipated contest with momentum. The Golden Bears have won four of their last five, including a hard-fought 24-16 victory over then No. 18 Arizona last Saturday to conclude their 2009 home slate. Cal's defense stepped up by holding a Wildcats' team that was averaging a league-leading 448.6 yards of total offense to only 274. Tailback Shane Vereen carried the load offensively rushing for 159 yards on 30 carries (both career highs), including a 61-yard touchdown run with 1:21 remaining in the contest for the game's final score. Giorgio Tavecchio kicked four field goals and had put Cal ahead, 18-16, on a 22-yarder with 4:46 to go. The Cal defense will need to be up to the task again against the Cardinal, who have won three straight games and put on an astonishing offensive display in back-to-back victories over highly regarded Oregon and at USC, scoring a combined 106 points in those two contests with the 55 points posted on the Trojans the most ever given up by a USC squad. Stanford has overtaken Arizona as the league's top offensive team, averaging 445.6 yards of total offense per contest. The Cardinal has done most of its damage on the ground, ranking second in the league in rushing yards per game (222.4). Stanford features tailback Toby Gerhart, who leads the Pac-10 and ranks third in the nation in rushing (1,395 yards, 139.5 yards per game). Cal-Stanford Series Notes Cal No. 25 In BCS Standings, Picks Up AP and USA Today Votes Cal in the 2009 National Rankings Simply The Best - Cal's Jahvid Best Best has 867 rushing yards on 141 carries for an average of 6.1 yards per attempt and 96.3 yards per game in 2009. He also has 16 touchdowns overall (12 rushing, 4 receiving), moving to within two TDs of the all-time school record and within one of the modern-era mark. His 12 TDs on the ground are three shy of the single-season record of 15 he equaled last year. Best set a single-game school record with five rushing TDs, to go along with 131 yards on the ground on a career-high 26 carries at Minnesota on Sept. 19. Best is among NCAA and Pac-10 leaders in several categories, including a scoring average of 10.67 points per game that ranks third in the Pac-10 and fourth nationally. He is also fourth in the Pac-10 and No. 28 in the nation in rushing (96.33 ypg), and No. 14 in the conference in total offense with the same per-game average. In addition, he is eighth in the Pac-10 in all-purpose running with an average of 122.00 yards per game (1098 total - 867 rush, 213 receive, 18 kick return). Jahvid Best Rushing at Cal 2009 Jahvid Best Game-By-Game (Att-Yds-TD) Jahvid Best in the Cal Career Record Book Touchdowns 100-Yard Games Rushing Yards Scoring Facing Best Pac-10 Offense Second Game in a Row Offensive Output Has Been the Key to Winning Comparing Cal's Offensive Stats in Wins, Losses Big-Play Bears Cal's Fortunes Ride with Riley 2009 Kevin Riley Game-By-Game Passing Mohamed Remains Pac-10 Tackles Leader Vereen Very Good in Best's Absence Jones Paces Team in Receiving Bears Head into Big Game with Four Wins in Last Five Games Rushing Game Returns New Television Streak Started Tedford on Verge of Cal's Modern-Era Win Record in 100th Game Tedford and the Pac-10 Bowling Bears 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) Another Successful Home Season in the Books Last Big Game for 16 Golden Bears Much Improved on the Road Three Sellouts So Far this Season Bears Equal Consecutive Winning Seasons Streak Being the Best, Beating the Best Cal Leading Pac-10 in Turnover Margin, Tied for No. 16 NCAA Cal's Fourth-Quarter Dominance Cal In The Fourth Quarter Lack of Close Games String of 1,000-Yard Rushers on the Line Cal's 1,000-Yard Rushers Since 2002 Year - Player (Yards) Academic Prowess Cal Sports Report Cal's Stanford/South Bay/Peninsula Connections Offense Quick Notes Defense Quick Notes Special Teams Quick Notes
No. 25 BCS California (7-3, 4-3 Pac-10) travels to No. 17 BCS/No. 14 AP/No. 17 USA Today Stanford (7-3, 6-2 Pac-10) for the 112th edition of the Big Game to be played at Stanford Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 21 (4:30 p.m. PT). The contest will be televised nationally on Versus.
Cal has had the upper hand in the Big Game of late with six wins in the last seven annual matchups between the schools, including a 37-16 victory over the Cardinal the last time the clubs met in Berkeley on Nov. 22, 2008. Cal had won five in a row from 2002-06 to equal a school record (also 1919-23) before the Cardinal snapped the skid with a 20-13 victory at Stanford Stadium on Dec. 1, 2007. Prior to the Golden Bears' five-year run, Stanford had won seven straight from 1995-2001 for the longest winning streak by either team in a series that started in 1892 and is the ninth longest-running rivalry in college football. Stanford leads the all-time series, 55-45-1. For more information on Big Game history, see pages 31-33 of the Cal Football Game Notes.
Cal moved back into the BCS Standings on Nov. 15 at No. 25 and also picked up votes in the latest AP Top 25 (53 votes, No. 28) and USA Today (55 votes, No. 29), after a hard-fought 24-16 victory last Saturday at Memorial Stadium over Arizona (No. 17 BCS/No. 18 AP/No. 19 USA Today). Cal is 3-0 when playing as an unranked team in 2009, while posting a 4-3 mark when ranked. Below is a poll chronology of the 2009 Golden Bears.
Date AP USA BCS Date AP USA BCSPreseason 12 12 --- Oct. 11 NR NR ---Sept. 8 10 10 --- Oct. 18 NR NR NRSept. 13 8 7 --- Oct. 25 NR NR 24Sept. 20 6 6 --- Nov. 1 23 23 20Sept. 27 24 19 --- Nov. 8 NR NR NROct. 4 NR NR --- Nov. 15 NR NR 25
TB Jahvid Best is one of 16 semifinalists for Maxwell Award, which is given to the nation's top college football player. Best missed last Saturday's game vs. Arizona due to an injury sustained vs. Oregon State on Nov. 7 and the timetable for his return to the field is still uncertain. The injury happened in the second quarter when Best leaped high into the air and landed hard in the end zone. He was attended to by medical personnel on the field before being transported to Highland General Hospital's emergency room. Best remained at the hospital overnight for observation and tests. CT scans and x-rays came back normal, and he was released Sunday. Best served as an honorary team captain for the Arizona game and watched the contest from the Cal sideline.
Year G Att Yds TD Long Avg Avg/G2007 10 29 221 2 64 7.6 22.12008 12 194 1580 15 86 8.1 131.72009 9 141 867 12 93 6.1 96.3Totals 31 364 2668 29 93 7.3 86.1
Game Rush Receive Game Rush ReceiveMaryland 10-137-2 2-23-0 at UCLA 18-102-1 2-51-1EWU 17-144-1 2-19-1 Wash. St. 13-159-2 1-27-1at Minn. 26-131-5 3-17-0 at ASU 18-63-0 7-61-1at Oregon 16-55-0 2-14-0 OSU 9-29-1 1-(-4)-0USC 14-47-0 2-5-0 Arizona DNP DNP
1. Duke Morrison (1920-22) - 42
2. Russell White (1990-92) - 40
3. Chuck Muncie (2004-06) - 37
4. Jahvid Best (2007-Current) - 35
1. Marshawn Lynch (2004-06) - 17
4. Justin Forsett (2004-07) - 15
2. Chuck Muncie (1973-75) - 15
5. J.J. Arrington (2003-04) - 14
2. Russell White (1990-92) - 15
6. Jahvid Best (2007-Current) - 13
1. Russell White (1990-92) - 3367
2. Marshawn Lynch (2004-06) - 3230
3. Justin Forsett (2004-07) - 3220
4. Joe Igber (1999-02) 3124
5. Chuck Muncie (1973-75) - 3052
6. Paul Jones (1975, 77-79) - 2930
7. Jahvid Best (2007-Current) - 2668
1. Doug Brien (1991-93) - 288
2. Duke Morrison (1920-22) - 277
3. Jim Breech (1974-77) - 260
4. Tom Schneider (2004-06)- 257
5T. Mark Jensen (1999-02) - 244
5T. Robbie Keen (1987-90) - 244
7. Russell White (1990-92) - 242
8. Chuck Muncie (1973-75) - 224
9. Jahvid Best (2007-Current) - 210
Cal will be facing the Pac-10's top offense for the second game in a row when the Golden Bears travel to Stanford this Saturday, Nov. 21. The Cardinal is averaging a conference-best 445.6 yards of total offense. Arizona was leading the conference in total offense (448.6 yards per game) prior to California holding the Wildcats to 274 (72 yards rushing, 202 yards passing).
Cal's fate has largely rested on the performance of its offense this season. In the team's seven wins Cal is averaging 41.0 points per outing, while the club is scoring only 6.7 points per contest in its three losses. The team started the 2009 campaign with back-to-back 50-point games in victories over Maryland (52-13) and Eastern Washington (59-7) to mark the first time the Golden Bears had put together consecutive 50-point contests since the 1973 club accomplished the feat with a 51-6 victory over Army on Sept. 29 and a 54-49 win against Washington on Oct. 6. Cal had never before opened a season with back-to-back 50-point games and its combined 91-point margin of victory was also the largest in the first two games in school history. In addition, Cal defeated Washington State, 49-17, on Oct. 24 to fall just one point short of its first season with three games of scoring at least 50 points since the 1922 squad accomplished the feat. Cal has won its last 27 games when the Bears score at least 30 points, including five this season. The Bears are averaging 469.1 yards of offense in their seven victories, compared to 243.7 in the three losses. Overall, the Bears' 401.5 yards per game of total offense marks the sixth time in the last seven years that Cal is averaging better than 400 yards per game of total offense. Cal has gone over 400 yards of total offensive in a game six times in 2009 and been over 500 twice.
Category Wins LossesPoints Per Game 41.0 6.7Rushing Yards per game 226.0 67.3Passing Yards per game 243.1 176.3Total Offense per game 469.1 243.7
The Cal offense has posted 59 plays from the line of scrimmage of at least 20 yards in the first 10 games of 2009. The Bears have had 40 different passing plays go at least 20 yards to 11 different receivers (WR Marvin Jones - 10, TE Anthony Miller - 6, WR Jeremy Ross - 5, WR Verran Tucker - 5, TB Jahvid Best - 3, WR Nyan Boateng - 3, TB Shane Vereen - 3, FB Brian Holley - 2, TE Skylar Curran - 1, WR Jarrett Sparks - 1, WR Alex Lagemann - 1). On the ground, Best has accounted for 12 of the 19 runs for 20 or more yards, while Vereen has three, TB Covaughn DeBoskie-Johnson has two, and TB Isi Sofele and Ross have one apiece.
QB Kevin Riley has posted dramatically different statistics in the team's seven wins compared to three defeats. In the victories, Riley has completed 112-of-178 passes (62.9%) for 1,664 yards and 14 touchdowns with three interceptions for a passer efficiency rating of 164.03 and a per-game average of 237.7 passing yards. In the losses, Riley is 46-of-105 (43.8%) for 522 yards and one touchdown with two picks for a passer efficiency rating of 84.90 and a per-game average of 174.0 passing yards. Overall, Riley is fourth in the Pac-10 in pass efficiency (134.7), and fifth in passing average (218.6) and total offense (224.3 ypg) per game. He has completed 158-of-283 (55.8%) passes overall for 2,186 yards and has 15 passing touchdowns with only five interceptions.
Game C-A-I-Yds-TD Game C-A-I-Yds-TDMaryland 17-26-0-298-4 at UCLA 14-23-0-205-3E. Wash. 13-20-0-148-1 Washington State 12-18-1-229-3at Minn. 16-25-0-252-0 at ASU 27-44-0-351-2at Oregon 12-31-0-123-0 OSU 19-34-1-200-1USC 15-40-1-199-0 Arizona 13-22-2-181-1
LB Mike Mohamed leads the team with 90 tackles and the Pac-10 with an average of 9.0 stops per game (No. 35-T NCAA). Mohamed has 31 more tackles than his nearest teammate (Mychal Kendricks, 59) and is averaging 0.6 per game more than Washington's Donald Butler in the race for the Pac-10 crown. Mohamed has led or co-led Cal in tackles in six of the last seven contests. He has double-digit tackles four times this season, including a season-high-tying 12 on three occasions. He also had a pair of interceptions at Minnesota and co-leads the team with two picks.
TB Shane Vereen rushed for 159 yards on 30 carries (both career highs) filling in as a starter in the absence of injured TB Jahvid Best against Arizona in Cal's most recent contest last Saturday. Vereen, who was making his second start of 2009 and the fifth of his career, also had a 61-yard touchdown run to close out the game's scoring with 1:21 remaining. For the season, he has rushed for 545 yards and seven touchdowns on 105 carries (5.2 ypr, 54.5 ypg) to rank 10th in the Pac-10. He also leads Cal in all-purpose yardage (1,295 total, 129.5 ypg - 545 rush, 189 receive, 10 punt return, 551 kick return) and kick returns, ranking sixth and seventh in the Pac-10, respectively. In addition, Vereen came up big last year when Best missed the Arizona State contest (dislocated elbow), rushing for 93 yards and catching five passes for another 51 yards in a 24-14 Bear victory. For his career, the sophomore has 1,260 rushing yards on 247 carries. Also as a member of the Cal track & field team, Vereen posted the Bears' No. 3 time in the 100 meters last spring (10.66) and was a member of the 4x100 relay that had a season-best 40.43 time at the NCAA West Regionals.
WR Marvin Jones continues to lead the team in receptions (28), receiving yards (455) and receiving touchdowns (5). The steady Jones has at least three receptions in seven of 10 games this year, including a career-high five for 65 yards in his most recent contest vs. Arizona. Earlier in the season, Jones recorded the first multiple-touchdown game of his career with a pair of first-half TD grabs at UCLA.
Cal heads into the 2009 Big Game with four victories over its last five games with the only defeat a 31-14 loss to Oregon State (now No. 19 BCS/No. 20 AP/No. 20 USA Today) at Memorial Stadium Nov. 7. The Bears started the season with a three-game winning streak, beginning with home victories over Maryland and Eastern Washington before a road win at Minnesota. The Bears then dropped back-to-back games at Oregon and vs. USC before winning three straight again at UCLA, vs. Washington State and at Arizona State. The pair of three-game winning streaks marks the first time the Bears have won at least three games in a row twice in a season since the 2004 club won its first three games before losing once, and then peeled off seven straight victories to close the regular season.
Powered by Shane Vereen's 159 yards on 30 carries (both career highs), Cal's rushing game recovered with 176 rushing yards in last Saturday's win against Arizona. Cal had been held to an average of 48.0 rushing yards per game in its previous two contests, including a season-low 39 in the Bears' previous outing vs. Oregon State that followed a then season-low 57 yards in the prior game at Arizona State. The 2009 Bears had been averaging 216.0 yards per game on the ground through the first seven contests but are now down to an average of 178.4 yards rushing per game in an attempt to become the first Cal team to average 200 or more rushing yards per game since the 2004 (256.8 ypg) and '05 (235.2) teams broke a 28-year drought by leading the conference in rushing (first time for Cal since 1958). Cal has posted 200 or more rushing yards four times this season (vs. Maryland, vs. Eastern Washington, at UCLA, vs. Washington State) with a high of 342 against Eastern Washington and another 300-yard plus effort vs. Washington State (309). The Bears have averaged at least 150.0 yards per game on the ground every year since 2003 after not hitting the mark at all from 1993-2002. With 22 rushing touchdowns to date, Cal also has at least 20 rushing TDs for the seventh straight season.
Cal's string of 38 consecutive televised contests was broken on Oct. 24 when the Cal-Washington State game not televised, but the Bears have started a new streak with telecasts of their three most recent games and will extend the run to five by the end of the regular season with upcoming telecasts scheduled for road games at Stanford (Nov. 21, Versus) and Washington (Dec. 5, CSN California/FSN Northwest). Prior to this year's Washington State contest, the last time a Cal football game had not been telecast live was at Washington State on Oct. 14, 2006. Cal has had every game during a season televised only twice in school history, in 2007 and again in '08. A total of 85 games (including the upcoming broadcasts at Stanford and Washington) have been televised over the last eight seasons.
Cal head coach Jeff Tedford will coach his 100th game against Stanford in the Big Game on Nov. 21 and is one win from equaling the legendary Pappy Waldorf (67-32-4, 1947-56) for the most wins at Cal in the modern era. Tedford has compiled a 66-33 (.667) overall record in his eighth season as Cal's head coach. He ranks fourth on the school's all-time win list behind Andy Smith (74, 1916-25), James Schaeffer (73, 1909-15) and Waldorf. When he coaches his 100th game at Stanford this Saturday, he will become only the third person in Cal history to coach 100 games with Waldorf (103) and Stub Allison (102, 1935-44) the only two to have previously done so. Tedford is 6-1 in Big Games and has also led his teams to school records of six straight bowl games (5-1 record), four consecutive postseason victories and eight consecutive winning campaigns (ties school record). Cal has been bowl eligible for each of the last eight years under Tedford for the first time in school history.
Head coach Jeff Tedford has compiled a 40-26 (.606) mark against Pac-10 opponents after taking over a team in 2002 that had not had a winning season in conference play since 1991. Tedford's 2006 club shared the Pac-10 crown with USC and six of his first seven teams (2002-08) have placed at least fourth in the final league standings with the 2004 squad taking second. His current squad is tied for fifth but within two games of the top of the conference standings. No other Cal coach has won at least 60 percent of his conference games since Pappy Waldorf was 40-21-4 (.646) from 1947-56.
Cal became bowl eligible for a school-record eighth consecutive season after its 23-21 win at Arizona State on Oct. 31. Cal was bowl eligible in 2002 with a 7-5 record in Tedford's first season as head coach but was not selected for a bowl. Cal's school-record six straight bowl appearances and four consecutive bowl wins since are listed below.
Cal has completed its six-game 2009 home schedule with a 4-2 record and an average attendance of 59,472 to continue an extremely successful and popular run at Memorial Stadium over the past six campaigns (2004-09). During this time period, Cal has posted an overall record of 31-6 (.838) in Berkeley and has actually put up a 33-6 mark (.846) dating back to the final two home contests of 2003. In fact, Cal is a perfect 33-0 at home during this period against teams other than Oregon State (0-4) and USC (0-3), who have combined to go 7-0 at Memorial Stadium since the Bears knocked off the Trojans at home in 2003. Cal has been unbeaten at home three times (2004, '06, '08) under head coach Jeff Tedford and has won 11 its last 13 overall at Memorial Stadium. The Golden Bears' popularity is shown by a current streak of 37 games with at least 50,000-plus fans in attendance at Memorial Stadium (every contest over the last six seasons). Cal just missed averaging 60,000 or more fans per game for the fifth time in six years this season with its average crowd of 59,472 over its six dates of 2009. The Bears did attract a sellout of 71,799 vs. USC on Oct. 3, 2009. The team's best attendance numbers during the Tedford era came in 2006 when the Bears drew 450,223 fans and averaged a record 64,318 spectators per contest.
A total of 16 players who suited up for their final home game at Memorial Stadium against last Saturday are now preparing for their last Big Game this Saturday at Stanford. The list includes LB Tyson Alualu, DL Kevin Bemoll, LB Devin Bishop, WR Nyan Boateng, OL Mark Boskovich, DB Jesse Brooks, TE Skylar Curran, DB Marcus Ezeff, FB Brian Holley, DB Brett Johnson, TE Tad Smith, OL Chet Teofilo, OL Mike Tepper, DB Syd'Quan Thompson, WR Verran Tucker and LB Eddie Young.
Cal will play its final two regular-season contests of 2009 on the road and has a 3-1 mark in its first four road contests of 2009, with victories at Minnesota (Sept. 19), UCLA (Oct. 17) and Arizona State (Oct. 31) sandwiched around a loss at Oregon (Sept. 26). Cal hasn't had a winning road record since 2005, when the Bears were 3-2. The club was 1-4 on the road last year and 2-4 in 2007. During one stretch spanning both seasons, the Bears lost eight of nine road contests.
Cal played three consecutive games in front of sold-out crowds at Minnesota (50,805), at Oregon (58,975) and vs. USC (71,799). Overall, Cal has drawn 577,586 fans to its first 10 games this season, averaging 57,759 spectators per contest (59,472 for six home dates; 55,189 for four road dates).
Cal's 24-16 victory over Arizona in its most recent game last Saturday guarantees the Bears eight straight winning campaigns (2002-09) to tie the school mark of eight in a row that was established from 1918-25. The Bears did record 10 straight winning seasons from 1907-16 but those were split between rugby (8, 1907-14) and football (2, 1915-16).
The Bears are 15-8 when playing as a Top 10 team and 35-18 when the club is ranked in the Top 25 since head coach Jeff Tedford took over in 2002. Cal has played 24 nationally ranked teams during the Tedford era and posted a respectable 12-13 record in those contests. The Bears have one game remaining on their 2009 schedule against a team currently ranked when they travel to Stanford (No. 14 AP/No. 17 USA Today/No. 17 BCS) for the Big Game this Saturday, Nov. 21.
Winning the turnover battle has been emphasized since Jeff Tedford's arrival in 2002 and the Golden Bears are having another excellent season in 2009, leading the Pac-10 and ranking tied for No. 16 nationally with a +.80 margin (19 takeaways, 11 turnovers). The Bears are 38-4 when committing fewer turnovers than opponents during the Tedford era, compared 14-9 when tied and 14-20 when opponents win the battle. In Pac-10 games, the stats are even more decisive as Cal is 23-2 with a positive margin in turnovers, 9-6 when the turnover table is tied and 8-18 with a deficit. The Golden Bears are on track to set a school record for fewest turnovers in a full season with their current total of 11 still seven shy of the school low of 18, which was set in 1964 and matched under Tedford teams in 2002 and '04. Cal is 5-1 when winning the turnover battle this year, 1-1 when it ties and 1-1 when it loses.
Cal has outscored its opponents 78-30 in the fourth quarter this season and is hoping the final period may be a factor this Saturday against Stanford as the Cardinal is an even 73-73 with opponents in the fourth quarter this season. The Bears did not allow a point in the final period until USC managed a touchdown in the fifth game of the campaign. Cal also outscored Minnesota, 14-0, in the fourth quarter - on two of Jahvid Best's five TDs against the Golden Gophers - as the Bears broke open a 21-21 game to win 35-21.
Sept. 5 - Maryland (Cal 7-0) Oct. 17 - at UCLA (Cal 7-0)Sept. 12 - E. Wash. (Cal 21-0) Oct. 24 - vs. WSU (Cal 7-0)Sept. 19 - at Minn. (Cal 14-0) Oct. 31 - at ASU (ASU 7-3)Sept. 26 - at Oregon (Ore. 3-0) Nov. 7 - OSU (Tied 7-7)Oct. 3 - USC (USC 7-3) Nov. 14 - Arizona (Cal 9-6)
Nine of Cal's 10 games in 2009 have been decided by at least a touchdown (eight of 10 have been decided by 14 points or more) with the only exception coming when the Golden Bears drove down the field in the final minutes for a thrilling 23-21 victory at Arizona State on Oct. 31 and won on a Giorgio Tavecchio 24-yard field goal with 0:21 remaining. On the Bears' final drive, Kevin Riley completed 5-of-6 passes for 85 yards, including a 26-yard completion on a 1st-and-25 situation following a facemask penalty. The kick by Tavecchio was the first game-winner of his career at any level.
TB 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 has gained over 1,000 yards on the ground. Best is closing in on the 1,000-yard mark again in 2009 with a current nine-game total of 867 rushing yards, but is currently out of action and his timetable to return uncertain after suffering an injury against Oregon State on Nov. 7. TB Shane Vereen is more than halfway to the mark with 545 rushing yards but would need to average 155.0 yards per game over the final two regular season contests and a bowl to reach the mark. Cal is one of only three Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) schools to have current seven-year streaks, along with Missouri and New Mexico. The Golden Bears are also only three from USC's record 10-year run of 1,000-yard rushers from 1972-81. TB 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.
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)
Cal has had 74 players earn Pac-10 All-Academic honors in the first seven years under head coach Jeff Tedford, second-most in the conference during the span. Last year, C Alex Mack earned the Draddy Trophy (renamed the Campbell Trophy) honoring college football's top scholar-athlete. This season, OL Mark Boskovich and LB Mike Mohamed have earned CoSIDA/ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District 8 First-Team honors and are currently being considered for Academic All-America honors. DB Syd'Quan Thompson was named one of 22 national winners of the Academic Momentum Award as part of the Scholar-Baller Program, in conjunction with the National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS). After a period on academic probation following his first year at Cal, his GPA improved to 2.995 during the spring of 2009.
The Cal Sports Report will air three times this week on Comcast SportsNet California on Thursday, Nov. 19 (5:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. PT), and Friday, Nov. 20 (3:30 p.m. PT). The one-hour television program is hosted by Todd McKim and Kate Scott. This week's show includes a preview of this Saturday's Big Game against Stanford, a review of last Saturday's win over Arizona, a reunion of past Oski's, senior day with the volleyball team and a look at the most recent men's and women's basketball national letters of intent signings.
Seven Cal players - OL Mark Boskovich (Los Altos, CA/St. Francis HS), OL Richard Fisher (Ben Lomond, CA/Scotts Valley HS), LB J.P. Hurrell (San Mateo, CA/Juniperro Serra HS), FB Will Kapp (Los Gatos, CA/Los Gatos HS), WR Alex Lagemann (Saratoga, CA/Saratoga HS), TE Anthony Miller (San Jose, CA/Archbishop Mitty HS), WR Charles Satchell (Milpitas, CA/Milpitas HS) - played prep football and list hometowns in the South Bay or the Peninsula near Stanford.
Defensive backs coach Al Simmons spent two seasons (2003-04) on the staff of the San Francisco 49ers, while football athletic trainer Wes McGaugh and assistant football athletic trainer Matt Havranek both spent time on the 49ers training staff (the 49ers headquarters are in Santa Clara, which is just less than 15 miles south of Stanford).
Recruiting coordinator/linebackers coach Kenwick Thompson spent six seasons on the coaching staff at San Jose State, which is just over 15 miles southeast of Stanford.
Cal has averaged at least 30.0 points per game in six of the last seven years and is currently averaging 30.7 points per game in its first 10 contests of 2009 to rank fourth in the Pac-10 and No. 32 nationally.
Cal has won 27 straight games in which the Bears have scored 30 or more points and has scored 30 or more points 54 times in the Jeff Tedford era, posting a 50-4 record in those contests.
Cal has posted at least 400 yards of total offense in six of its first 10 games in 2009 and has been over 500 yards twice. The Bears are averaging 401.5 yards per contest, which is up from 376.0 in 2008.
Cal has spread the wealth around in its passing game, connecting with a total of 14 different receivers in its first 10 contests with a season-high 11 of the receivers making at least one catch vs. Washington State.
TB Jahvid Best's 93-yard run at UCLA was the longest of his career and the third-longest in school history, while the 61-yard pass play from QB Kevin Riley to WR Jeremy Ross in the third quarter vs. Washington State was the team's longest pass play of the season.
Cal's longest two drives of the season in yards both came in the second quarter at UCLA with TB Jahvid Best scoring touchdowns to cap both drives. The Bears moved a season-best 94 yards on six plays with Best's career-long 51-yard touchdown reception from QB Kevin Riley capping the drive. Two drives later, Best's 93-yard touchdown run was part of a two-play, 91-yard drive. The team's longest drive of the season in terms of number of plays also concluded with a Best touchdown when Cal moved the ball 81 yards on 15 plays over 7:33 in the second quarter vs. Oregon State, with Best leaping into the end zone on a seven-yard run. In terms of time, Cal held onto the ball for 7:35 on a 13-play, 72-yard drive that concluded with a 22-yard Giorgio Tavecchio field goal to put the Bears ahead late in the game against Arizona, 18-16.
Cal has scored a touchdown on its opening drive four times in 2009 (vs. Eastern Washington, at Minnesota, at UCLA, vs. Washington State) and picked up a field goal on its first drive of the game on another occasion (vs. Arizona).
Cal scored a season-high-tying 35 points in the first half in back-to-back games at UCLA and vs. Washington State.
Cal's 28 first-quarter points vs. Washington State were the most the Bears have scored in the first quarter since they also scored 28 against Arizona on Sept. 22, 2007.
After yielding at least 436 yards of offense in five of its previous six games, Cal's defense held Arizona to 274 in its most recent outing last Saturday.
Cal recorded 3.0 sacks in its most recent game at Arizona against a Wildcat team that had allowed a league-low 4.0 sacks in its first eight games, while also ending a two-game stretch without a sack. Cal's next opponent Stanford now leads the Pac-10 in fewest sacks allowed (6.0), while Cal ranks third in the conference and tied for No. 25 in the nation in sacks by (26, 2.60 per game).
Cal's defense has stiffened up near its own red zone in 2009, allowing just 16 touchdowns on 31 visits to the red zone by its opponents (52%).
Cal has held four straight opponents (Washington State, at Arizona State, Oregon State, Arizona) to under 100 yards rushing and six (add Eastern Washington, at Minnesota) for the season.
Kickoff coverage could be a key for Cal against Stanford as the Cardinal leads the nation in kickoff returns with an average of 30.78, while Cal is eighth in the Pac-10 and No. 89 nationally (20.16) at covering kickoffs.
P Bryan Anger has punted the ball at least 50 yards on nine of his last 24 punts, and averaged 50.0 yards or more in two of his last four games, including a season-best 53.0 on five punts at Arizona State.
WR/RET Jeremy Ross is averaging 22.2 yards per punt return on eight tries this season. Ross had a career-best 76-yard punt return for the first return touchdown of his career in the first quarter (he also brought the game's opening kickoff back a career-best 54 yards). Both returns were the longest by a Cal player in 2009 and he was rewarded by being selected a College Football Performance Awards Punt Returner Performer of the Week. In addition, he returned a punt 46 yards against Arizona.
Cal had a season-high 92 punt return yards against Washington State.
Both teams go into the highly anticipated contest with momentum. The Golden Bears have won four of their last five, including a hard-fought 24-16 victory over then No. 18 Arizona last Saturday to conclude their 2009 home slate. Cal's defense stepped up by holding a Wildcats' team that was averaging a league-leading 448.6 yards of total offense to only 274. Tailback Shane Vereen carried the load offensively rushing for 159 yards on 30 carries (both career highs), including a 61-yard touchdown run with 1:21 remaining in the contest for the game's final score. Giorgio Tavecchio kicked four field goals and had put Cal ahead, 18-16, on a 22-yarder with 4:46 to go.
The Cal defense will need to be up to the task again against the Cardinal, who have won three straight games and put on an astonishing offensive display in back-to-back victories over highly regarded Oregon and at USC, scoring a combined 106 points in those two contests with the 55 points posted on the Trojans the most ever given up by a USC squad. Stanford has overtaken Arizona as the league's top offensive team, averaging 445.6 yards of total offense per contest. The Cardinal has done most of its damage on the ground, ranking second in the league in rushing yards per game (222.4). Stanford features tailback Toby Gerhart, who leads the Pac-10 and ranks third in the nation in rushing (1,395 yards, 139.5 yards per game).
Cal-Stanford Series Notes
Cal No. 25 In BCS Standings, Picks Up AP and USA Today Votes
Cal in the 2009 National Rankings
Simply The Best - Cal's Jahvid Best
Best has 867 rushing yards on 141 carries for an average of 6.1 yards per attempt and 96.3 yards per game in 2009. He also has 16 touchdowns overall (12 rushing, 4 receiving), moving to within two TDs of the all-time school record and within one of the modern-era mark. His 12 TDs on the ground are three shy of the single-season record of 15 he equaled last year. Best set a single-game school record with five rushing TDs, to go along with 131 yards on the ground on a career-high 26 carries at Minnesota on Sept. 19. Best is among NCAA and Pac-10 leaders in several categories, including a scoring average of 10.67 points per game that ranks third in the Pac-10 and fourth nationally. He is also fourth in the Pac-10 and No. 28 in the nation in rushing (96.33 ypg), and No. 14 in the conference in total offense with the same per-game average. In addition, he is eighth in the Pac-10 in all-purpose running with an average of 122.00 yards per game (1098 total - 867 rush, 213 receive, 18 kick return).
Jahvid Best Rushing at Cal
2009 Jahvid Best Game-By-Game (Att-Yds-TD)
Jahvid Best in the Cal Career Record Book
Facing Best Pac-10 Offense Second Game in a Row
Offensive Output Has Been the Key to Winning
Comparing Cal's Offensive Stats in Wins, Losses
Cal's Fortunes Ride with Riley
2009 Kevin Riley Game-By-Game Passing
Mohamed Remains Pac-10 Tackles Leader
Vereen Very Good in Best's Absence
Jones Paces Team in Receiving
Bears Head into Big Game with Four Wins in Last Five Games
Rushing Game Returns
New Television Streak Started
Tedford on Verge of Cal's Modern-Era Win Record in 100th Game
Tedford and the Pac-10
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)
Another Successful Home Season in the Books
Last Big Game for 16 Golden Bears
Much Improved on the Road
Three Sellouts So Far this Season
Bears Equal Consecutive Winning Seasons Streak
Being the Best, Beating the Best
Cal Leading Pac-10 in Turnover Margin, Tied for No. 16 NCAA
Cal's Fourth-Quarter Dominance
Cal In The Fourth Quarter
Lack of Close Games
String of 1,000-Yard Rushers on the Line
Cal's 1,000-Yard Rushers Since 2002
Year - Player (Yards)
Cal Sports Report
Cal's Stanford/South Bay/Peninsula Connections
Offense Quick Notes
Defense Quick Notes
Special Teams Quick Notes
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