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Cal Hosts USC On Senior Day

Nov 30, 2021

Saturday game between Cal and USC marks the annual Joe Roth Memorial Game, and Cal will wear its mid-1970s throwback uniforms to honor the former Golden Bears' quarterback who passed away from cancer on Feb. 19, 1977, shortly after his 1976 senior season. Kickoff from FTX Field at California Memorial Stadium is at 8 p.m., and the game will be televised on FS1.

In an on-field pregame Senior Day ceremony, the Bears are scheduled to honor 28 players who are potentially playing in or have already played in their final game for the Golden Bears. The list includes Nick Alftin, Luc Bequette, Marqez Bimage, Christopher Brooks, Trevon Clark, Kekoa Crawford, Valentino Daltoso, Marcel Dancy, Kuony Deng, Josh Drayden, Daniel Etter, Chase Garbers, Ryan Glover, Cameron Goode, Elijah Hicks, Matt Horwitz, Isaiah Humphries, Collin Moore, Sami Nazzal, Nico Ramos, Gavin Reinwald, Nikko Remigio, Robby Rowell, Daniel Scott, Branden Smith and Jake Tonges, as well as student assistant coaches Michael Saffell and Gentle Williams. Several of the players being honored may have the opportunity to return for another season at Cal in 2022, mostly as part of the NCAA's blanket eligibility waiver for all 2020-21 student-athletes due to COVID-19. 

Several special presentations are scheduled during the evening, including the recognition of the 30-year reunion of the 1991 Cal team that finished 10-2 and defeated Clemson in the Citrus Bowl and Golden Bear Olympians from this past summer's Tokyo Games. The late Bud "Dog" Turner will also be honored for his more than a half-century of service to Cal football before he passed away in September of 2020, while three recipients of emergency grants from Elijah Hicks' Intercept Poverty Foundation and Scholarship America will be in attendance.

About the Series
— USC leads the series, 70-31-5 (not including a 2005 USC win that was vacated due to NCAA penalty).
— The series began in 1915 and had been played without interruption since 1926 before the teams did not play during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.
— Cal's last win against USC was a 15-14 decision on Nov. 10, 2018, in Los Angeles, while the Bears' most recent victory in Berkeley was a 34-31 triple overtime win in 2003.

Dynamic Nikko Remigio among Pac-12 and National Leaders in Returns
— Senior Nikko Remigio has totaled a career-best 796 all-purpose yards in 2021, including 475 yards on kickoff returns alone.
— Remigio leads the Pac-12 and ranks ninth nationally with 29.7 yards per kickoff return, while he is 27th in the NCAA in combined punt and kickoff return yards with 543.
— Remigio became the first Pac-12 player to return 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 had a career-high 150 kick return yards on a career high four returns at UCLA, including a 67-yarder in the fourth quarter and a 58-yard return in the first quarter that were the second and third-longest kick returns of his career. He also had a 26-yard reception in the second quarter that was his longest of the season and finished with 177 all-purpose yards (three shy of his career high of 180 at Stanford in 2019).

Garbers Leads Pac-12 in Total Offense
— Chase Garbers leads the Pac-12 and ranks 26th nationally in total offense with 280.0 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 (2356 yards) and rushing yards (444 yards) this season. His passing average of 235.6 yards per game is also a career best, 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.
— Chase Garbers has broken two Cal career quarterback rushing records this season, now with 1162 rushing yards and 11 rushing touchdowns. Joe Kapp (1956-58) held the old rushing mark (931 yards), while Dave Penhall and Brian Bedford co-owned the previous TD record with nine.
— Garbers has set a career high with 16 passing TDs this year (previous best: 14 in 2018 and 2019), and his 2800 total offense yards are also a career best (805 more than his 1995 in 2019).
— Garbers entered the 2021 season with a career per-game passing average of 162.0 ypg. This year, though, he is averaging 235.6 ypg through the air, which is third 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 yards at Ole Miss in 2019 and 315 and at Oregon State last season.
— Garbers' 188.1 passer rating vs. Oregon State was the highest of his career.
— Garbers has 60 plays of 15+ yards in 2021 (50 passes, 10 rushes).

All-American Candidate Elijah Hicks Making His Mark
— Senior safety Elijah Hicks ranks second on the Bears with 65 tackles, including 5.5 for loss, which leads all members of the Cal secondary. He had a career-high nine tackles in his most recent contest at UCLA, while his best of 2.5 TFL came against Colorado.
— Hicks is also tied for second in the Pac-12 in both forced fumbles (3) and interceptions (3). His interceptions came in consecutive games against Colorado, Oregon State and Arizona.
— Hicks founded a 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.
— This season, he is a national 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. The finalists are scheduled to be announced Dec. 15.
— Hicks was also a national semifinalist for the Campbell Trophy and Wuerffel Trophy.

Improved Defense
— After allowing 448.3 yards and 28.7 points per game through its first three games of the season, Cal's defense is giving up 330.8 ypg and 20.9 ppg over its last eight contests.
— For all games, Cal ranks among the top five in the Pac-12 in total defense (4th, 362.8 ypg), scoring defense (4th, 23.0 ppg), rushing defense (5th, 136.6 ypg), pass efficiency defense (5th, 123.5 rating) and red zone defense (5th, 78.5%), 
— 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 a Pac-12 leading 245.0 ypg.