Cal Faces UCLA At Rose Bowl Saturday
ABOUT THE SERIES
— UCLA leads the series, 56-34-1.
— Cal and UCLA are playing the Rose Bowl for the third consecutive season. The Bears won, 28-18, in 2019 to end a four-game losing streak in the Rose Bowl, while the Bruins won last season, 34-10. Last year marked the first time in the history of the series, which dates back to 1933, that the teams played back-to-back years in the same venue.
— Cal is playing Stanford and UCLA in consecutive games for the fourth time in the last six seasons (also 2016, 2017, 2019).
A BIG GAME TO REMEMBER: Cal SETS RECORDS FOR TOTAL YARDS, LONGEST PASS
— Cal's 41-11 win at Stanford last Saturday marked the Bears' most decisive victory in the series since a 41-6 win in 2004. The Bears have won their past two games at Stanford, also prevailing 24-20 in 2019.
— Cal piled up 636 yards of total offense in the contest, breaking the Big Game mark of 603 yards by Stanford in 2013.
— An 84-yard pass from Chase Garbers to Trevon Clark for Cal's first score was the longest pass play in Big Game history. The previous record was 82 from Brian Johnson to Walter Batson (Stanford) in 1987. The play also matched the longest play for Cal in the Big Game - Jim Monachino had an 84-yard run in 1949.
— Cal's 352 rushing yards marked the first time the Bears surpassed 300 yards rushing in the Big Game since 2004 and were their most since rushing for 431 against Washington in 2008. The Big Game record is 390 yards by Cal in 1949.
— Marcel Dancy (76-yard touchdown) and Christopher Brooks (75 yards) both had runs of at least 75 yards, the first time the Bears have had two rushes of at least 75 yards in a game since Jahvid Best had runs of 80 and 86 yards at Washington State in 2008.
— Combine Clark's reception with the runs by Dancy and Brooks, and Cal became the first Pac-12 team to have three plays of at least 75 yards since Arizona State vs. UCLA on Sept. 25, 2014.
— For their efforts, Ben Coleman was named Pac-12 Offensive Lineman of the Week and Lu-Magia Hearns III (1 interception, 5 passes defended) was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week.
GARBERS LEADS PAC-12 IN TOTAL OFFENSE
— Chase Garbers leads the Pac-12 and ranks 18th nationally in total offense with 295.0 yards per game. If he can maintain his position, Garbers would become the second Golden Bear to lead the conference since 1996 (Davis Webb in 2016).
— Garbers has set career highs for both passing yards (2231 yards) and rushing yards (424 yards) this season. His passing average of 295.0 yards per game is also a career best, well ahead of his previous high (221.7 ypg as a sophomore in 2019).
— With 50 career touchdown passes, Garbers is tied for sixth all-time at Cal (also Kevin Riley, 2006-10). With one more TD toss, Garbers would match Troy Taylor (1986-89) and Nate Longshore (2005-08) for fourth in Cal history.
ALL-AMERICAN CANDIDATE ELIJAH HICKS MAKING HIS MARK
— Elijah Hicks added to a long list of prestigious honors when he was named a semifinalist for the Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year for his demonstrated record of leadership by exhibiting exceptional courage, integrity and sportsmanship both on and off the field. Hicks is a semifinalist for the award for the second consecutive season.— Hicks founded his non-nonprofit organization, Intercept Poverty Foundation, two years ago and then raised nearly $70,000 to help families feed their school-aged children during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through his foundation, he has also recently begun a program that awards emergency grants to Cal students in need of financial assistance.
— Hicks is also a national semifinalist for the Campbell Trophy and Wuerffel Trophy, as well as a candidate for several other national awards and All-American honors. .
— On the field, Hicks ranks second with a career-high 56 total tackles, including 5.5 for loss. He had an interception consecutive games against Colorado, Oregon State and Arizona.
DEFENSE MAKING A STAND
— After allowing 417.8 yards and 29.3 points per game through its first four games of the season, Cal's defense is giving up 312.3 ypg and 15.7 ppg over its last six contests.
— Cal now leads the Pac-12 and ranks 24th in the NCAA in rushing defense, allowing 122.0 ypg. The Bears have held five opponents to less than 100 yards rushing - Nevada (61), Sacramento State (59), Washington (92), Colorado (35) and Stanford (43).
— In a 26-3 win over Colorado, Cal limited the Buffaloes to only 104 yards of total offense - lowest for a Cal opponent since Presbyterian had 48 on Sept. 17, 2011. It also marked the first time the Bears held a conference opponent under 200 yards since Utah managed only 178 yards on Oct. 22, 2011.— In Cal's 39-25 victory over Oregon State, the Bears limited OSU to 134 rushing yards after the Beavers entered the game averaging 245.0 ypg.
— Over its past two games, Cal limited Arizona to 10 points and Stanford to 11 points.
— Cal also ranks among the top 30 nationally in passes intercepted (13, 17th), red zone defense (75.8%, 25th) and scoring defense (21.1 ppg, 29th).
GARBERS BREAKS TWO CAREER QB RUSHING RECORDS
— Chase Garbers has broken two Cal career quarterback rushing records this season, starting with a 38-yard scamper on his first carry of the game against Colorado Oct. 23. The play gave him the Cal mark for most rushing yards by a Golden Bear quarterback, previously held by Joe Kapp (931 yards). Garbers has 1,142 rushing yards, which includes a career-high 96 yards (on 10 carries) vs. Colorado.
— Garbers scored on a 2-yard rush in the first quarter vs. Oregon State for his 10th career rushing touchdown, a school record for a quarterback. Garbers had shared the old record of nine with Dave Penhall and Brian Bedford.
— Garbers has set a career high with 16 passing TDs this year (previous best: 14 in 2018 and 2019), while his 2,231 passing yards and 2,655 total offense yards are also career bests for a season.
— Garbers entered the season with a career per-game passing average of 162.0 ypg. This year, though, he is averaging 247.9 ypg through the air, which is second the Pac-12.
— Two of Garbers' four career 300-yard passing games have come in 2021 at Washington (319) and TCU (309). He also threw for a career-high 365 at Ole Miss in 2019 and 315 yards and at Oregon State last season.
— Garbers' 188.1 passer rating vs. Oregon State was the highest of his career.
— Garbers has 59 plays of 15+ yards in 2021 (49 passes, 10 rushes).
THE LOWDOWN ON TURNOVERS
— With only eight turnovers this season (2 fumbles, 6 interceptions), Cal ranks second in the Pac-12 and sixth in the country for fewest total turnovers.
— The Bears are first in the Pac-12 and third in the NCAA with their two fumbles.
— The Bears have not committed a turnover in five of 10 games this season - at TCU, then four in a row vs. Oregon, Colorado, Oregon State and Arizona.
— The school record for fewest turnovers in a full season is 13 from the 2019 season (13 games) when the Bears last played a full campaign. The school record for fewest fumbles lost over a full season is three in 2016.
— Cal also ranks first in the Pac-12 and 11th nationally in turnover margin (+0.90 per game, +9 overall). The Bears have forced 17 turnovers, including at least one in every game.
— Marqez Bimage is second in the Pac-12 and tied for second nationally with three fumbles recovered this year - at Washington, at Oregon and vs. Washington State. In the Oregon State game, he forced and recovered a fumble on the first play from scrimmage, leading to a Cal touchdown and 7-0 lead.
— Daniel Scott, Elijah Hicks and Nate Rutchena all rank second in the Pac-12 with three interceptions apiece.
HEARNS DEFENDING THE PASS
— True freshman CB Lu-Magia Hearns III intercepted his first career pass on the second play of the game at Stanford. He finished the day with five passes defended, which ties for the third most in the country in a game this season (most by a Pac-12 player). He was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Week.
— Hearns now ranks second in the Pac-12 with 0.90 passes defended per game (8 total in 9 games).
JOSH DRAYDEN SETS CAL CAREER GAMES PLAYED RECORD
— Josh Drayden broke Cal's career record for games played when he played in his 53rd game against Stanford last week. He had been tied for the lead at 52 with Syd'Quan Thompson (2006-09).
— Right behind Drayden, Elijah Hicks has played in 52 games, and Luc Bequette has played in 51 games at Cal.
GRINDING THE CLOCK
— The Bears are second the Pac-12 in time of possession with an average of 30:47 per game, including 38:30 vs. Colorado.
— Cal has held the ball for at least 32 minutes five times, including in three straight contests before the Arizona game - Nevada (32:18), Washington (32:36), Oregon (32:10), Colorado (38:30) and Oregon State (33:59) - with each time resulting in at least a 4:20 edge.
GOODE PLAYING MUCH BETTER THAN GOOD
— Cameron Goode leads the Bears and ranks second in the Pac-12 with 0.72 sacks per game (6.5 total). He has four combined sacks over his last three game (1.5 vs. Oregon State, 1.0 vs. Arizona, 1.5 vs. Stanford).
— Goode has career totals of 35.0 tackles for loss and 20.0 QB sacks. The sack total ties him for ninth all-time at Cal (Joel Dickson, 1986-90).
— Goode had two sacks for a combined minus-27 yards at TCU. The 2.0 sacks tied a career high (also at UCLA in 2019). Goode added another tackle for loss, giving him 3.0 TFLs (-30 yards) for the game.
— Against Colorado, Goode had 1.5 TFLs and sacks as part of a five-tackle performance. He has 38 total tackles this season and tied for team honors with eight at Washington.
NICK ALFTIN HAS A BLOCK PARTY
— Nick Alftin has blocked two punts this season - vs. Washington State and vs. Oregon State. The total puts him in a tie for second in the NCAA.
— Alftin's block vs. OSU set Cal up on the OSU 38-yard line, and Chase Garbers connected with Trevon Clark on the next play for a TD pass and a 31-17 Golden Bear lead.
— The last time Cal had multiple blocked punts in one season was in 2015 when the Bears had three.
REMIGIO AMONG PAC-12 AND NATIONAL LEADERS IN RETURNS
— Nikko Remigio is proving to be one of the top returners in the Pac-12 if not the country.
— His 27.1 yards per kickoff return are third in the conference and 13th in the nation.
— Remigio is the only Pac-12 player to have returned a kickoff for a touchdown this season, going 99 yards against Sacramento State. It was Cal's longest return since Trevor Davis had a 100-yarder at Washington State in 2014 (one of two for Davis in that game) and the first for a touchdown since Ashtyn Davis went 89 yards against Idaho State in 2018.
— Remigio also leads in receptions with 32 (168 yards, 2 TD).
'UNCLE LUC' BEQUETTEBequette ONE OF MOST EXPERIENCED PLAYER IN HISTORY
— Luc Bequette, now in his seventh collegiate season - five at Cal, one at Boston College last year, back to Cal for 2021 - continues to be a productive force along the defensive line. Through nine games (he did not play at Arizona), he has 35 tackles, including 3.0 tackles for loss (-17) and 2.5 sacks (-15 yards).
— Bequette has played in 62 games (51 at Cal) and made 58 starts (47 at Cal) during his career. He is tied for third among active FBS players in career starts and only two behind Thomas Hennigan of Appalachian State (59) while his 61 career games played are tied for eighth and four behind tri-leaders James Skalski, Will Spiers and Will Swinney of Clemson (65). The totals are also believed to be the most ever in FBS history.
— Bequette, whose first season in Berkeley was in 2015 when many of his current teammates were in middle school, has 183 career tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss, 13.0 sacks and six forced fumbles (includes Cal and BC).
HUNTER, CLARK, CRAWFORD: BIG-PLAY RECEIVERS
— Cal receivers Trevon Clark Jeremiah Hunter and Kekoa Crawford each rank among the top 10 in the Pac-12 in yards per catch.
— Clark is first in the Pac-12 and seventh nationally with 20.83 yards per reception, buoyed by his 3-catch, 135-yard performance at Stanford (29 rec., 604 yds., 4 TDs). Hunter is third at 18.5 ypr (21 rec., 388 yds., 1 TD), while Crawford is ninth at 14.5 ypr (31 receptions, 449 yards)
— Crawford leads the team with 13 catches of 15 or more years, while Hunter and Clark have 11 each.
— With two catches for 122 yards (61.0 ypr), Clark broke the Cal record for average yards per catch in a game. Wesley Walker had held the mark at 45.3 ypr with four catches for 181 yards at Georgia in 1976.
9 SUPER SENIORS
— Nine members of the Cal roster are "super seniors" - student-athletes who took advantage of an extra year of eligibility granted by the NCAA due to COVID-19. All were set to play their final collegiate seasons at Cal in the fall of 2020 but decided to return for one additional year.
— The group includes Trevon Clark, Kekoa Crawford, Valentino Daltoso, Marcel Dancy, Kuony Deng, Josh Drayden, Cameron Goode, Elijah Hicks and Luc Bequette.
PILING UP YARDS ON THE GROUND
— As a team, Cal is averaging 179.1 yards per game rushing, the Bears' highest since averaging 183.0 ypg in 2012.
— Cal's average of 5.3 yards per rush in the team's best since averaging 5.6 ypr in 2008. Each of Cal's top seven rushers is averaging 5.2 yards per rush or more.
— Three Bears are averaging more than 45 ypg - Damien Moore (51.7 ypg), Christopher Brooks (49.7 ypg) and Chase Garbers (47.1 ypg).
— Cal has rushed for at least 250 yards in two of its last three games - 255 vs. Oregon State and 352 at Stanford.
— Dario Longhetto ended the first half vs. Colorado with a 51-yard field goal, the second longest of his career and tied for the longest by a Pac-12 kicker in 2021. He had a 52-yarder at Oregon State in 2020. Longhetto was 4-of-4 on field goals against the Buffaloes, also hitting from 30, 33 and 49 yards. The last time a Cal kicker made four field goals in a game was Matt Anderson vs. UCLA in 2017.
— Five student-athletes have started 30 or more games at Cal: Luc Bequette (47), Valentino Daltoso (44), Elijah Hicks (44), Cameron Goode (35) and Chase Garbers (32).
— Valentino Daltoso has made at least 10 starts at four different positions on the offensive line (12 left tackle, 12 left guard, 10 right guard, 10 right tackle).
— Josh Drayden and Cameron Goode, Cal's only two sixth-year seniors who have been teammates all six years, have also been roommates during their entire time in Berkeley.
— Cal has scored on its opening drive in six of 10 games this season, helping the Bears to a 74-30 scoring advantage in the first quarter.
— Cal has had at least 400 yards of total offense in seven of 10 games, and the Bears have 79 plays of at least 15 yards this year (27 rush, 52 pass).
24 BEARS MAKE CAL DEBUTS IN 2021
— Twenty-four Golden Bears have made their Cal debuts this year, including seven in the opener against Nevada: Marqez Bimage, Ricky Correia, Lu-Magia Hearns III, Jeremiah Hunter, Keleki Latu, Stanley McKenzie and Raymond Woodie III.
— At TCU, four more players made their Golden Bear debuts in Matt Horwitz, Darius Long, Femi Oladejo and Jermaine Terry II.
— Nate Rutchena became the fifth true freshman to see action in 2021 when he made his debut against Washington State. He is now tied for the team lead with three interceptions.
— Eight Cal players made their first appearances of the 2021 season at Arizona: S Hunter Barth, QB Ryan Glover, C Bastian Sweeney, WR J. Michael Sturdivant, OL Bastian Swinney, FB Beau Tagaloa and DE Derek Wilkins.
— Other to see their first action for Cal are: Everett Johnson (Colorado), Andy Alfieri (Oregon State), Dejuan Butler (Oregon State) and Kaleb Higgins (Stanford).
TRAVERS FAMILY ENDOWS HEAD COACH POSITION
— The Travers Family made a $10 million commitment from the Travers Family Foundation to UC Berkeley's Light the Way campaign, including a $7.5 million commitment to endow the Travers Family Head Football Coach position, providing essential resources for Cal football to ensure a world-class program, an exceptional coaching staff and a continued positive impact on student-athletes. In addition, the Travers have also made a $2.5 million commitment to augment their endowment for the Charles and Louise Travers Department of Political Science that supports this preeminent, nationally-ranked department.