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Cal Accepts Bid to Play in Poinsettia Bowl
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  12/06/2009

Dec. 6, 2009

Dec. 6 Jeff Tedford Press Conference Quotes

BERKELEY - California, which will continue is school-record run of bowl appearances with its seventh consecutive postseason invitation, has accepted a bid to the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl and will face Utah on Wednesday, Dec. 23 at San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium. Kickoff will be at 5 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPN.

Cal finished the regular season with an 8-4 overall record and tied for fifth place in the Pac-10 with a 5-4 mark. The Bears own a 5-1 bowl record during their current run under head coach Jeff Tedford, including last year's 24-17 win over Miami in the Emerald Bowl.

Overall, Cal will be making its 20th bowl appearance, with the Bears owning a 10-8-1 postseason record. Cal has twice played in bowl games in San Diego in recent years, having participated in the Holiday Bowl in 2004 and '06.

"We are looking forward to going to San Diego and playing in the Poinsettia Bowl," Tedford said. "We've had great experiences in bowl games in San Diego in the past. We've always been treated very well, and the hospitality has been outstanding. We are looking forward to playing a quality opponent from the Mountain West Conference."

The Bears are 2-0 vs. Mountain West Conference schools in bowls. Cal defeated BYU, 35-28, in the 2005 Las Vegas Bowl and downed Air Force, 42-36, in the 2007 Armed Forced Bowl behind an MVP performance from quarterback Kevin Riley.

Riley, now a junior, has started all 12 games this year and completed the regular season 189-of-346 for 2,636 yards and 17 touchdowns, with just six interceptions. His passing yardage is the ninth most in school history and he can move into fourth place on the Cal season list with a 200-yard effort in the bowl game.

Riley's favorite target has been sophomore Marvin Jones, who has 38 catches for 607 yards and six scores. Jones had his first career 100-yard game at Washington last Saturday, finishing with six receptions for 107 yards.

In the backfield, Cal runners have combined to rush for 2,107 yards, the seventh straight year the Bears have accumulated at least 2,000 yards after not hitting the mark the previous 11 seasons. Junior Jahvid Best, who has missed the last three games after being injured against Oregon State Nov. 7, continues to pace the team with 867 yards (96.3 ypg). His replacement in the starting lineup, sophomore Shane Vereen, has 830 yards (69.2 ypg) and has averaged 148.0 ypg since taking over the lead role.

Defensively, junior linebacker Mike Mohamed tops the Pac-10 with 105 total tackles (8.75 per game), in addition to having picked off a team-high three interceptions.

"The University of California is excited to be a participant in the Poinsettia Bowl for the first time," Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour said. "The Golden Bears and all our fans are thrilled for the opportunity to continue our run of bowl-game success in a way that represents the excellence of our student-athletes, coaches and staff, as well as the loyalty of our program's supporters."

Utah enters the Poinsettia Bowl with a 9-3 overall record, finishing third in the MWC behind TCU and BYU with a 6-2 league mark. The Utes have the longest active bowl win streak in the nation, having claimed their last eight bowl games dating back to 1999. Last year, they upended Alabama, 31-17, in the Sugar Bowl to complete a 13-0 campaign and finish with a No. 2 national ranking. This year, the Utes are ranked 23rd in the Associated Press poll and 24th in the ESPN/USA Today ratings, and feature both a 1,000-yard rusher (Eddie Wide, 1,032 yards) and receiver (David Reed, 1,085 yards).

Cal owns a 4-2 series lead over Utah, but the teams haven't met since the Utes prevailed, 31-24, in Salt Lake City in 2003.

The Poinsettia Bowl is celebrating its fifth year this December. Navy defeated Colorado State, 51-30, in the inaugural game in 2005, and other results are: 2006 - TCU 37, Northern Illinois 7; 2007 - Utah 35, Navy 32; 2008 - TCU 17, Boise State 16.

Ticket Information
Cal football season-ticket holders and Cal Athletics donors at the Cal Club level and above receive priority on bowl tickets and may reserve their seats to the Poinsettia Bowl online at CalBears.com/bowl before 11:59 p.m. Sunday (Dec. 6). Any remaining tickets will go on sale to the general public starting at 9 a.m. Monday (Dec. 7) through the tickets link at CalBears.com or at the Cal Athletics Ticket Office (800-GO BEARS, 2223 Fulton St.).

Cal students who are either football or men's basketball season-ticket holders can purchase tickets to the game beginning at 9 a.m. Tuesday (Dec. 8). An e-mail explaining ordering details will be sent directly to each ticket holder.

Travel Packages
Special fan travel packages to the Poinsettia Bowl are available through GET Travel Sports, the official fan travel partner of Cal Athletics and the Cal Alumni Association. For more information, please call (888) 877-4445 or visit CalBears.com/bowl. The Cal Alumni Association will host the official bowl game tailgate. Visit alumni.berkeley.edu after Dec. 7 for more details.

Cal Bowl Facts
*Cal will be making its 20th appearance in a bowl game when the Bears play in the Poinsettia Bowl Dec. 23.

*Cal has earned a bowl berth for the seventh consecutive year, the longest streak in program history.

*Cal is 5-1 in bowl games under Jeff Tedford, giving him more bowl victories than any Cal coach.

*Cal is one of just two Pac-10 teams to advance to a bowl game each of the last seven years (also USC).

*Cal has a 10-8-1 all-time bowl record. The Bears' current four-game winning streak is their longest ever.

Cal's Bowl History

Date             Bowl                 Result                                    Cal Coach
Jan. 1, 1921     Rose Bowl            California 28, Ohio State 0               Andy Smith
Jan. 1, 1922     Rose Bowl            California 0, Washington & Jefferson 0    Andy Smith
Jan. 1, 1929     Rose Bowl            Georgia Tech 8, California 7              Nibs Price
Jan. 1, 1938     Rose Bowl            California 13, Alabama 0                  Stub Allison
Jan. 1, 1949     Rose Bowl            Northwestern 20, California 14            Pappy Waldorf
Jan. 2, 1950     Rose Bowl            Ohio State 17, California 14              Pappy Waldorf
Jan. 1, 1951     Rose Bowl            Michigan 14, California 6                 Pappy Waldorf
Jan. 1, 1959     Rose Bowl            Iowa 38, California 12                    Pete Elliott
Dec. 15, 1979    Garden State Bowl    Temple 28, California 17                  Roger Theder
Dec. 31, 1990    Copper Bowl          California 17, Wyoming 15                 Bruce Snyder
Jan. 1, 1992     Citrus Bowl          California 37, Clemson 13                 Bruce Snyder
Dec. 31, 1993    Alamo Bowl           California 37, Iowa 3                     Keith Gilbertson
Dec. 25, 1996    Aloha Bowl           Navy 42, California 38                    Steve Mariucci
Dec. 26, 2003    Insight Bowl         California 52, Virginia Tech 49           Jeff Tedford
Dec. 30, 2004    Holiday Bowl         Texas Tech 45, California 31              Jeff Tedford
Dec. 22, 2005    Las Vegas Bowl       California 35, BYU 28                     Jeff Tedford
Dec. 28, 2006    Holiday Bowl         California 45, Texas A&M 10               Jeff Tedford
Dec. 31, 2007    Armed Forces Bowl    California 42, Air Force 36               Jeff Tedford
Dec. 27, 2008    Emerald Bowl         California 24, Miami 17                   Jeff Tedford
Dec. 23, 2009    Poinsettia Bowl      California vs. Utah                       Jeff Tedford

Cal Bears Football


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