Dec. 16, 2009
BERKELEY - Cal junior tailback Jahvid Best will not play in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl against Utah at Qualcomm Stadium on Wednesday, Dec. 23 (5 p.m. PT). Head coach Jeff Tedford made the announcement to a group of reporters following the team's workout at Memorial Stadium on Wednesday.
"Jahvid will not play," Tedford said when asked about Best's status for the Poinsettia Bowl. "Jahvid is doing excellent, but he's been out a long time and since this game is so early, to get him back in game-ready form I don't feel like that's something that we can get done to have him ready to play. He's doing excellent with his rehab, but this game is so early."
"Since the injury I have been rehabbing and progressing quite well, but unfortunately because of the game being so close the timing was thrown off a little," Best commented. "I will not have enough time to get into football shape by December 23."
Best was one of the nation's top candidates for the Heisman Trophy during the early stages of the 2009 campaign. He was well on his way to a second consecutive 1,000-yard rushing season before being injured when he landed hard in the end zone on a seven-yard touchdown run against Oregon State at Memorial Stadium on Nov. 7.
Best has not played or practiced since the injury that required medical personal to attend to him on the field and transport him to Highland General Hospital in Oakland for an overnight stay. He was released from the hospital on Nov. 8.
Despite missing the final three regular-season games of 2009, Best earned second-team All-Pac-10 honors and shared the club's MVP award. He finished the 2009 season with 867 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns (12 rushing, 4 receiving) that are only one shy of Cal's modern-era record and two short of the school's all-time mark. His scoring average of 10.67 points per game currently ranks second in the Pac-10 and third nationally. He is also among the conference per-game leaders in rushing (96.33 ypg, No. 4) and all-purpose running (122.0 ypg, No. 9). Best was the Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 19 after rushing for 131 yards and a school-record-tying five touchdowns on a career-high 26 carries to lead Cal to a 35-21 win at Minnesota. He was also selected by the College Football Performance Awards for weekly honors on five occasions.
In 31 games and 18 starts over his first three seasons at Cal, he ranks among the school's all-time leaders in 200-yard rushing games (3, No. 1), rushing touchdowns (29, No. 3-T), all-purpose running yards (4,045, No. 5), 100-yard rushing games (13, No. 6), rushing yardage (2,668, No. 7), touchdowns (35, No. 8) and scoring (210, No. 9).
Cal finished the 2009 regular season with an 8-4 overall record and a 5-4 Pac-10 mark to finish tied for fifth in the league standings. The Golden Bears will play Utah (9-3, 6-2 MWC) in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego on Dec. 23 (5:00 p.m. PT). The Utes are ranked No. 23 in the final regular-season AP Top 25 and BCS Standings, as well as No. 24 by USA Today. Cal is unranked. The game will be televised live on ESPN and also be broadcast online on ESPN360.
For San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl tickets and information, visit the Cal Bowl Central page or call (800) GO BEARS.