November 1, 1998
Bears Return to Road for Fourth Time in Last Five Weeks at Arizona State
California will find itself in familiar territory this week as the Bears head back to the road for the fourth time in the last five weeks when Cal faces Arizona State in Tempe. The Bears have won two of the previous three road games and will be bidding for the team's fourth road victory of the season (Oklahoma, USC, Oregon State), which would be a noteworthy accomplishment after going 1-4 on the road last season and not having a winning road record since 1993 when the Bears were 4-2 away from home. Cal will have a challenge in facing an Arizona State team that has won five of the last six contests in the rivalry. Last season, ASU seemed in complete control with a 17-0 halftime lead and a 28-7 advantage heading into the fourth quarter. However, Cal scored twice in the final period to pull within a touchdown until the Sun Devils ran out the final 4:39 of the game with four straight first downs. Overall, ASU has an 11-8 series advantage and is 7-4 in games played between the two schools in Tempe. The series hasn't been a particularly exciting one as only three of the 19 games have been decided by less than a touchdown.
Cal in Middle of Wild Pac-10 Race for Second Place with 3 Games Left
UCLA's come-from-behind victory last week over Stanford puts the Bruins in dominant position to win the 1998 Pac-10 Championship, since they've already beaten the only team (Arizona) which is within a game of them. However, the race for second place in the league is wide open and Cal is right in the middle of that scramble entering the final three games of the season. The Bears may have some advantage with two of their remaining three games at home and having two of the three games against teams with non-winning records. However, with the parity in the league, every game whether it be against top-ranked UCLA or last place Stanford, figures to be an all-out fight for survival.
Pac-10 Race - The November Stretch Run
Record of Team Pac-10 Mark November Opponents Remaining Games Arizona 4-1 12-12 vs. 3-5 Washington State at 5-3 Cal, vs. 4-4 Arizona State USC 4-2 8-7 at 1-7 Stanford at 7-0 UCLA, (vs. Notre Dame) Cal 3-2 13-12 at 4-4 Arizona State vs. 8-1 Arizona, vs. 1-7 Stanford Washington 3-2 16-7 at 6-2 Oregon vs. 7-0 UCLA, at 3-5 Washington State Oregon 3-2 13-12 vs. 5-3 Washington vs. 4-4 Arizona State, at 4-5 Oregon State Arizona St. 3-2 19-6 vs. 5-3 Cal at 6-2 Oregon, at 8-1 Arizona
Cal Rates as One of the Top Turnaround Teams in College Football
After eight games, Cal at 5-3, is clearly one of the surprise teams in college football. That record is even more impressive considering the fact that two of the Bears three losses have come at the hands of teams which were ranked in the Top 4 nationally (UCLA, Nebraska) when they played Cal. Cal's schedule has been consistently ranked as one of the 10 toughest in college football all season long. The Bears have forged a 5-3 record after having been picked to finish ninth in the rugged Pac-10 this season by most pre-season polls. While Cal has clearly been the surprise team in the Pac-10 this season, several other schools across the nation have also enjoyed renaissance campaigns, including Alabama, Arkansas, Texas and Colorado. Below is a list of the top turnaround teams in college football thus far this season.
Top Turnaround Teams in College Football in 1998
Team '97 Record '98 Record Team '97 Record '98 Record Arkansas 4-7 7-0 Louisville 1-10 5-4 Alabama 4-7 7-0 Colorado 5-6 6-2 California 3-8 5-3 Texas 4-7 6-2 Kentucky 5-6 5-3 TCU 1-10 4-4 Rutgers 0-11 4-4 Miami 5-6 5-2 Minnesota 3-9 4-4 San Diego St. 4-7 4-4 Cent.Florida 5-6 7-1
Cal Offense May be Struggling, But Shows Ability To Produce in Clutch
Cal has obviously struggled in putting together a strong offensive attack in 1998 in ranking last in the league in all four offensive categories (scoring offense, total offense, rush offense, pass offense). However, nobody can dispute that the Cal offense has played a vital role in crucial fourth quarter situations that have turned the tide in all of Cal's five victories. The Bears have certainly struggled to move the football at times this season, but the offense seems to come to life when faced with crucial do-or-die situations. It all started in the opening game of the season when the Bears found themselves down 10-7 against Houston with 3:25 left in the game. Cal calmly drove 49 yards for the winning touchdown. Last week, Cal put together a 12-play, 71-yard fourth quarter drive to set up a winning field goal and then put together an impressive final drive that used 10 plays and 4:16 off the clock, moving from its own 12-yard-line to the Oregon State 43 with three first downs before punting the ball away with only 36 seconds left in the game. Below is a list of Cal's crucial fourth quarter offensive drives this season.
Crucial Cal Fourth Quarter Offensive Drives that Have Keyed Bears Five '98 Victories
Game Drive Notes Houston 49 yards, 5 plays Bears score TD with 2:07 in game to pull out 14-10 win Oklahoma 60 yards, 10 plays Cal takes over with 9:58 left and drives for winning FG in 13-12 win Oklahoma 19 yards, 5 plays Cal gets crucial first down, runs out all but last 1:22 of game in 13-12 win USC 37 yards, 5 plays Cal opens 4th quarterr with TD drive to pull Cal within 31-25 USC 43 yards, 10 plays Bears convert 3 crucial third down situations to score winning TD with 3:30 left Oregon St. 71 yards, 12 plays Bears drive from own 1-yard-line to set up winning 45-yd FG with 11:01 left Oregon St. 45 yards, 10 plays Cal takes over at own 12 with 4:52 left and runs out all but last 36 seconds
Dameane Douglas Taking Dead Aim at Keyshawn Johnson's Pac-10 Record
Cal senior Dameane Douglas put one Cal school record in his hip pocket last week, should nab another this week at Arizona State and is on pace to not only become Cal's all-time career leader but also to have the greatest receiving season in Pac-10 history. Last week, he set a Cal single-game record with 15 receptions (140 yards, 1 TD) against Oregon State. It was, by far, the best performance in the Pac-10 this season and ranks as tied for the second best single-game performance in league history (ASU's Ron Fair had 19 vs. WSU in 1989 and USC's Johnnie Morton had 15 vs. Houston in 1993). More importantly, several of his catches were critical to Cal's 20-19 come-from-behind victory. He caught three passes, including a 3-yard touchdown reception, in Cal's TD drive that pulled the Bears to within 19-17 late in the third quarter. Then he caught a 21-yard pass and a 20-yard-pass on critical third down situations in Cal's game-winning drive in the fourth quarter. With 71 catches through eight games, he needs just five this week to move past Bobby Shaw and become Cal's single-season leader. He also has dead in his sights the Pac-10 record of 90, set by USC's Keyshawn Johnson in 1995. If he can average seven catches per game down the stretch, Douglas will finish the year with 92 to climb atop the Pac-10 record books. Currently Douglas is averaging 8.8 catches per game, which ranks No. 3 nationally and his 100.9 yards per game average ranks No. 19 in the NCAA.
Cal Single-Season Receiving Cal Career Receiving 1. Bobby Shaw (1997) 75 1093 14.6 10 1. Bobby Shaw (1994-97) 180 2731 15.2 27 2. Dameane Douglas (1998) 71 807 11.4 4 2. Brian Treggs (1988-91) 167 2335 14.0 15 3. Sean Dawkins (1992) 65 1070 16.5 14 3. Dameane Douglas (1995-) 166 1992 12.0 13
Pac-10 Single-Season Receiving Pac-10 Career Receiving 1. Keyshawn Johnson (1995) 90 1. Darrin Nelson (1977-81) 223 T8. Dameane Douglas (1998) 71* 8. Dameane Douglas (1995-) 166**
*Could move into third place this week as three players are tied with 78 catches in third place (Johnnie Morton in '93, Dave Montagne in '86 and Brad Muster in '85) **Could move up this week as Keyshawn Johnson is No. 6 at 168 catches, Hugh Campbell is No. 5 at 176 and Bobby Shaw is No. 4 at 180.
Bears Turning Turnovers into Point Production
Putting points on the scoreboard hasn't been a particularly easy task this season for a Cal offense that is averaging only 290.6 yards a game. However, the Cal defense has taken matters into its own hands in creating scoring opportunities with turnovers. Last week, Cal recorded six turnovers (3 interceptions, 3 fumble recoveries) which keyed Cal's victory. The first came when the defensive end John McLaughlin hit Oregon State quarterback Jonathan Smith and the ball fluttered in the air until Jeremiah Parker made a diving interception at the Beaver 3-yard-line. One play later, Cal scored a TD. In all, Cal's defense has had a strong influence in eight touchdowns, two field goals and a pair of safeties (a total of 66 points). Considering the fact, that Cal has scored only 16 touchdowns and 135 points all season, that's a pretty important contribution. Cal now has 12 interceptions on the season, three times the amount the Bears had all of last season (4). With 13 fumble recoveries, Cal now has 25 take-aways, compared to 13 give-aways. Nationally, only NE Louisiana with 26 take-aways has more than Cal and only Florida State with 14 fumble recoveries has more than Cal. The Bears are now +12 in the turnover category. Its +1.5 turnover margin per game ranks tied for No. 7 in the nation. Below is a list of Cal's crucial turnovers this season.
Game Play Result - Impact UO Fumble recovery by A. Carter returned to OU 4-year-line TD gave Cal 7-6 lead WSU 76-yard int. return for TD by D. O'Neal Stopped WSU drive and gave Cal 17-7 lead WSU 26-yard int. return for TD by Drae Harris Clinched Cal win with final score in 24-14 win USC Safety by S. Sanyika Began Cal comeback, pulling Bears within 31-12 in third quarter USC Fumble returned 40 yards by D. Marzett Led to 37-yard TD drive to pull Cal within 31-25 in 4th qtr. USC Fumble recovery by P. Destefano Led to winning 43-yard TD drive in 4th qtr UCLA Fumble recovery by J. Waasdorp at UCLA 3-yard-line Led to TD and 7-0 Cal lead UCLA Safety by S. Sanyika Pulled Cal to within 14-9 in second qtr OSU Interception by J. Parker at OSU 3-yard-line Led to TD and a 7-0 Cal lead OSU Interception by D. Harris at Cal 26 Stopped drive and set up FG drive to pull Cal within 16-10 OSU Fumble recovery by M. Beck at Cal 12-yard-line Stopped potential game-winning drive with 4:52 left in game
Coordinator Lyle Setencich Returns to ASU With Dominant Defense
It will be a familiar site at Arizona State's Sun Devil Stadium this Saturday with Lyle Setencich as a key part of the braintrust of a dominant defensive team. However, this time Setencich will be on the other side of the football as Cal's defensive coordinator. He was a key part of ASU's defensive staff (linebacker coach) in 1996 when the Sun Devils led the Pac-10 in total defense (304.7 ypg), scoring defense (17.8 ppg), pass efficiency defense (104.2 rating) and rushing defense (98.0 ypg). Since coming to Cal last year, he has overseen a dramatic turnaround for a Cal defense that not only ranked near the bottom of the Pac-10, but was deep in the lower regions of the NCAA rankings in 1996. While Cal hasn't achieved the types of things ASU did in '96, Cal has earned a reputation as a dominant defense this fall. More importantly, Cal will return a minimum of eight players from this defense next season, including several potential All-America candidates (Matt Beck, Sekou Sanyika, Jerry DeLoach, Andre Carter). Other returning starters will be Jacob Waasdorp, Pete Destefano, Chidi Iwuoma and Mawuko Tugbenyoh, with Deltha O'Neal rating as a part-time starter.
Cal's Dramatic Turnaround over the Last Three Years
1996 (11 games)* 1997 (11 games) 1999 (7 games) Scoring Defense 33.2 ppg (9th in Pac-10) 30.8 ppg (10th in Pac-10) 19.9 ppg (3rd in Pac-10) Total Defense 460.3 ypg (10th in Pac-10) 381.4 ypg (8th in Pac-10) 336.6 ypg (2nd in Pac-10) Pass Eff. Defense 137.8 rating (10th in Pac) 139.9 (10th in Pac-10) 93.3 rating (2nd in Pac-10) Rushing Defense 189.5 (9th in Pac-10) 144.4 ypg (7th in Pac-10) 156.6 ypg (7th in Pac-10) Turnover Margin -0.6 topg (9th in Pac-10) +0.0 topg (7th in Pac-10) +1.5 topg (2nd in Pac-10)
* does not include bowl game
Bear Defenders Get Stronger in the Second Half as Opponents Disappear
A mark of a good defense is one that gets stronger as the game goes on, and dominating play in the second half has been a hallmark of the Golden Bear defense this season. Last week, Cal needed to shut out an Oregon State team that held a 19-10 lead at halftime and that's exactly what the Bears did, allowing the Beavers to average only 18.5 yards on 8 drives in the second half. In holding Oregon State to 161 yards in the second half, it continues a trend that has seen the Bears hold opponents to fewer yards in the second half in six of Cal's eight games thus far, including four straight games. Cal has now outscored opponents by a 40-to-20 margin in the fourth quarter this season. Below is a comparison of what opponents have gained in the first half vs. the second half and a list of Cal's opponent drives in the second half this season.
Cal Defensive Performance First Half vs. Second Half and Opponent 2nd Half Drives
Opponent 1st Half Yards 2nd Half Yards 2nd Half Drives (yards and result) Houston 145 yards 76 yards -10 (punt), 35 (punt), 26 (fg) / 5 (punt), 13 (punt), 8 (punt), -1 (punt), 0 (downs) Nebraska 284 yards 150 yards -16 (punt), 0 (punt), 31 (punt) / 64 (missed FG), -1 (punt), 64 (TD), 9 (downs), -1 (fg) Oklahoma 162 yards 170 yards 47* (fg), 1 (punt), 31 (interception) / 83 (fg), 2 (punt), 16 (game over) *roughing punter penalty WSU 64 yards 269 yards 75 (td), 50 (interception), 4 (punt), 60 (td) / 5 (punt), 37 (punt), 9 (punt), 17 (downs), -4 (interception), 16 (game over) USC 296 yards 69 yards 7 (punt), -8 (safety), 50 (fumble) / 7 (punt), 13 (fumble), 0 (punt) Washington 176 yards 70 yards 9 (punt), -1 (punt), 27 (punt), 20 (punt) / 14 (punt), 1 (fumble), 0 (interception), 3 (punt), 7 (punt), -10 (downs). UCLA 208 yards 173 yards -5 (punt), 7 (punt), 8 (punt), 67 (TD) / 57 (punt) 31 (game over) Oregon St. 220 yards 161 yards 1 (punt), 1 (punt), 44 yards (interception), 48 (punt), -2 (fumble), 0 (punt), 46 (fumble), 10 (end of game)
Sanyika and Beck May Rate as Top Linebacker Duo in the Pac-10
Sekou Sanyika continued his streak of having at least one tackle for loss in every game this season with a stop behind the line of scrimmage for a two-yard loss, in addition to a pair of pass deflections at Oregon State last week. He has a stranglehold on the Pac-10 lead in tackles for loss with 20 for minus 103 yards. The closest competitor is Oregon State's Bryan Jones, who has 12 tackles behind the line for minus 36 yards. The Cal single-season record for tackles for loss is 26.5 held for the past 15 years by Ron Rivera (1983). However, teammate Matt Beck is also having a sensational season and together they could form the best linebacking duo in the Pac-10. The interesting fact is that fellow linebacker Albert Dorsey is the team leader in tackles and he, himself, should contend for some type of conference recognition this year. Still, Sanyika and Beck are the Bears big play performers. Despite playing with a sore foot on Oregon State's hard artificial turf and sitting out portions of the game, Beck had a huge day with 8 tackles, with three behind the line of scrimmage (for minus 13 yards), including one sack. He forced a fumble on that sack that Cal recovered, and later he recovered a key fumble in the fourth quarter at the Cal 12-yard-line to preserve Cal's victory. Below is a list of the impact games Sanyika and Beck have had during their Cal careers.
Impact Games for Sekou Sanyika and Matt Beck (1996-98)
Sekou Sanyika's Impact Games
Matt Beck's Impact Games
San Diego State 9/14/96 Had 5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, including three sacks for -29 yards Oklahoma 9/20/97 Had 4 tackles behind the line of scrimmage for -23 yards Arizona 11/15/97 Had 8 tackles, including 6 unassisted, and caused a fumble on sack that was returned for TD Houston 9/5/98 Had 2 interceptions, which gave Cal the ball at the Houston 40- and 30-yard lines Oklahoma 9/19/98 Had 3 tackles for loss for -20 yards, and caused a fumble recovered at OU 4-yard-line USC 10/10/98 Had 3 tackles for loss for -20 yards, including a sack of QB for safety that started Cal comeback Washington 10/17/98 Had 4 tackles for loss for -20 yards, including a pair of sacks, one of which caused a fumble UCLA 10/24/98 Had 2 tackles for loss for -6 yards, including one for a safety
Miscellaneous Notes, Et Cetera, Three-dot Data
San Jose State 9/7/96 Had 13 tackles (2 for loss) and caused fumble that Cal recovered at SJS 9-yard-line Oregon State 9/28/96 Had 11 tackles and intercepted two passes, returning one 31 yards for a TD Oklahoma 9/20/97 Had a school record 6 tackles for loss for -17 yards Arizona 11/15/97 Had 11 tackles, 8 unassisted, including 4 behind the line of scrimmage Oklahoma 9/19/98 Had a career high 14 tackles, one for loss, and returned an interception 9 yards USC 10/10/98 Had 7 tackles (6 unassisted) including 3 tackles for loss for -16 yards Oregon State 10/31/98 Had 8 tackles, including 3 behind the line (1 sack), forced one fumble & recovered one
Cal quarterback Justin Vedder is a close friend of former Saddleback JC teammate and current Arizona State starting middle linebacker Joe CestaArizona State head coach Bruce Snyder, who spent five seasons as head coach at Cal from 1987-91, has had a huge amount of personal success in the Cal-ASU series as he was 3-0 against the Sun Devils, while the Cal coach and is 5-1 against the Golden Bears while the head coach at Arizona StateASU assistant coaches Dick Arbuckle, Dan Cozzetto and Phil Snow all were assistants at Cal before leaving with Snyder to go to ASU, while secondary coach Ron English lettered at Cal as a defensive back from 1987-90 Deltha O'Neal continues to be on pace to break a Cal school record for kickoff returns that has stood for almost 50 years (29.5 ypr by Frank Brunk in 1949); his 30.3 ypr average ranks No. 7 in the NCAA; he also is nationally ranked (No. 33) in punt returns with a 10.5 averageCal ranks 36th nationally in total defense (336.6 ypg) and is 28th in scoring defense (19.9 ppg).Cal may only rank seventh in the league in rushing defense, but an analysis of the stats shows that Cal has held opponents to two yards or fewer on 53.4 percent of their rushing attempts (173 of 324 rushes).