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Cal Heads To UCLA For 9 AM Season Opener

Nov 14, 2020

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BERKELEY - Cal will open its 2020 football season by visiting UCLA on Sunday at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. The game will kick off at 9 a.m. and be televised on FS1. The date became available after both the Golden Bears' and Bruins' previously scheduled games were canceled. Neither of the teams' opponents – Arizona State for Cal, Utah for UCLA – were able to play due to COVID-19 protocols.

Cal and UCLA were not originally scheduled to play this season, which would have ended a streak of consecutive matchups that has stretched back to when the two schools first played in 1933. Cal won the 2019 meeting between the two schools at the Rose Bowl, 28-18, on Nov. 30, 2019.

The Bears did not play their scheduled season-opener vs. Washington on Nov. 7 following a single positive COVID-19 test and subsequent contact tracing. Cal has since received clearance from public health officials to play on Sunday. This will be the fifth season-opener on Cal's schedule for the 2020 season. They were previously scheduled to play Aug. 31 at UNLV, Sept. 26 vs. Oregon State, Nov. 7 vs. Washington, and Nov. 14 vs. Arizona State.

BEARS MOVE ON TO UCLA 
- Cal and Washington were scheduled to start the season on November 7, alongside the rest of the Pac-12. However, the game was not played as scheduled and was declared a no contest due to the Golden Bears' inability to field a competitive roster following the results of one positive COVID-19 test and subsequent contact tracing.
- Cal was scheduled to play Arizona State on Nov. 14, the game was canceled at 9 a.m. on Friday due to positive COVID-19 tests within ASU's team, at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, the Pac-12 announced that Cal would travel to UCLA for a rescheduled season opener. 
- This is the fifth season opener on Cal's schedule this year (8/31 at UNLV, 9/26 vs. Oregon State, 11/7 vs. Washington, 11/14 vs. Arizona State and 11/15 vs. UCLA) 
- Cal will be one of the final two FBS teams to begin the 2020 fall season (Utah is the only team to begin later). Washington and Arizona both are scheduled to play their first game on Saturday. 
- This rescheduled game will ensure that Cal and UCLA keep alive a streak of matchups that has seen the two UC system schools play in every season since their first game in 1933. 
- Cal ended up playing on Sunday in 2019, as their 8 p.m. kickoff vs. Washington was delayed due to a lightning storm, causing the Bears to play until 1:22 a.m. on Sunday morning. 
- This will be the fifth game that Cal has ever played on a Sunday, but the first since Sept. 26, 1926, when they played Santa Clara. The Bears previously played in the Rose Bowl on Sunday, January 1, 1922, when they tied Washington & Jefferson, 0-0. They also played Reliance Club (10/6/1895) and Victoria All-Stars (1/1/1911) on a Sunday.   
- The Bears previously kicked off at 9 a.m. PT/11 a.m. CT when they defeated Ole Miss, 28-20, on Sept. 21, 2019. 

STARTING THE SEASON STRONG
- Cal is 87-45-5 all-time in 137 season openers and has a current win streak of six straight dating back to 2014. The six-game win streak in season openers is tied for the second-longest in school history behind only the 14 in a row from 1919-32.
- Cal is 13-3 in its last 16 season openers since 2004. 
- Cal has opened every season under Justin Wilcox by winning at least the first three games (3-0 in 2017, 3-0 in 2018 and 4-0 in 2019) 
- Cal is 3-4 all-time when starting the season with a conference matchup. 
- The most recent season opener vs. a conference opponent was 1993, when Cal beat UCLA, 27-25. 
- Cal is picked to finish second in the Pac-12 North, the highest since the Pac-12 moved to divisions.
- Cal has defeated a top-15 team in four straight years heading into 2020: #14 Washington (2019), #13 Washington (2018), #8 Washington State (2017), #11 Texas (2016). 

2019 SEASON REVIEW
- Record: 8-5 (4-5 Pac-12)
- Won the Redbox Bowl by defeating Illinois, 35-20, at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. 
- The Bears won at UCLA for the first time since 2009, claiming a 28-18 victory at the Rose Bowl.
- Cal reclaimed The Axe by defeating Stanford for the first time since 2009, as they won, 24-20.  
- Cal has won back-to-back road games in Los Angeles, in 2018 at USC and in 2019 at UCLA, for the first time since 1970-71. The Bears also won in 1999-2000, but the 1999 win was later forfeited.  

UCLA CONNECTIONS 
- UCLA leads the all-time series 55-34-1.
- Since the series started in 1933 the two flagship schools of the UC System have played every single season.
- Cal quarterback Devon Modster attended UCLA from 2016-2018. He saw action in five games during the 2017 season and started the the team's bowl game vs. Kansas State, where he went 21-34 for 295 yards and two touchdowns. 
- Modster played for the Bruins against Cal, completing 14-18 passes for 191 yards as he entered in the second half for an injured Josh Rosen and led the Bruins to a 30-27 victory. 
- Cal TE coach Marques Tuiasosopo coached at UCLA in 2011 (GA), 2012 (TE) and 2016 (QB/Passing Game Coordinator).
- Cal OL coach Angus McClure coached at UCLA for 11 seasons, spending time coaching offensive line, defensive line, tight ends and special teams. 
- Cal defensive coordinator/ILB coach Peter Sirmon served as a graduate assistant at Oregon under Chip Kelly in 2009. 
- UCLA defensive coordinator Jerry Azzinaro served as the defensive line coach at Cal during Justin Wilcox's first season in 2017. 
- UCLA ILB coach Don Pellum coached at Oregon for 28 years, including throughout Justin Wilcox and Peter Sirmon's tenure with the team. Pellum was Sirmon's position coach in 1997-98.