2007 CALIFORNIA FOOTBALL
Saturday, November 10; 5 p.m. (PT)
#24 California (6-3, 3-3 Pac-10) vs. #12 USC (7-2, 4-2 Pac-10)
Berkeley, Calif. - Memorial Stadium
TV: ABC.Broadcast Team: Terry Gannon (PxP), David Norrie (analyst), Jeannine Edwards (sidelines).
Radio: KGO Radio (810 AM) in San Francisco (Joe Starkey, Troy Taylor, Todd McKim, Steve Levy) - and affiliate stations KMZT Radio (1260 AM Los Angeles), XSURF Radio (540 AM San Diego), KNTK Radio (102.3 Weed), KCBL Radio (1340 AM Fresno), KESP Radio (970 AM Modesto), KVBL Radio (1400 AM Visalia) and KNRO Radio (1670 AM Redding).
Before And After: Each broadcast begins with a 30-minute pregame show that leads to the kickoff. The postgame includes reaction from the Bears' locker room and the "Postgame at the Paragon" live program from the Paragon Bar & Cafe at the Claremont Resort & Spa hosted by Lee Grosscup and Eddy Kleinhans.
XM Satellite Radio: Cal fans can also track the Bears through XM Satellite Radio, a corporate partner of the Pacific-10 Conference. Football action can be heard on XM channels 193, 194 and 195.
GOLDEN BEAR FACTS
2006 Record: 10-3
2006 Pac-10 Record/Finish: 7-2/T1st
Head Coach: Jeff Tedford
Alma Mater/Year: Fresno State/1983
Record at Cal/Year: 49-23/6th
Career Record/Years: Same
Football SID: John Sudsbury
Office Phone: 510-643-4723
Ticket Info: 800-GO-BEARS
Games Played: 93
Series Record: Cal trails, 58-29-5
First Meeting: 10/23/15, USC, 28-10
Last Meeting: 11/18/06, USC 23-9
Current Streak: USC win 3
Tedford vs. USC: 1-4
The Golden Bears snapped a three-game losing streak by upending Washington State, 20-17, at home on Saturday. Now Cal renews one of its biggest rivalries, hosting USC for the final Memorial Stadium game of the season. The Bears and Trojans were picked to finish one-two in the Pac-10 again this year, but an impressive year from top-to-bottom in the conference now has the two rivals battling to get back into the top three in the league standings. Offensive firepower has Cal and USC ranked No. 3 and No. 4, respectively, in the Pac-10 in scoring, but defense is expected to be the key to victory today - Cal's three losses have been by a total of 23 points while USC's two defeats have been by eight points. Cal has climbed back into the AP poll at No. 24 and has now been ranked in the top 25 for 53 of the last 58 weeks. USC is currently No. 12 in the AP rankings.
Looking to put an end to its three-game losing streak, Cal decided to go with its lucky gold alternate uniforms against Washington State. The result? a 20-17 win over the Cougars. The Golden Bears are a perfect 5-0 in games when they wear the alternate jersey (Oregon, UCLA, Texas A&M in 2006, and Tennessee and Washington State this season).
California will honor its senior class on Saturday as 18 players will be seeing their final action at Memorial Stadium. This Golden Bear class features 12 players who have spent five years with the Bears, four junior-college transfers and two players who completed their eligibility in the minimum of four years (Justin Forsett and Robert Jordan). In the five years that the bulk of this class has been part of the program, the Bears have posted 42 victories (to date). It is already the fourth-best five-year stretch in school history - the best is 46 wins in the five years from 1947-1951. Between the 18 members of the class, they have tallied 547 games played, 191 games started, 434 tackles, eight interceptions, 2,679 rushing yards, 345 receptions and 52 touchdowns.
Joe Roth Memorial Game
Joe Roth came to Cal as a junior-college transfer in 1975 and after winning the starting quarterback job, led the Golden Bears to an 8-1 record and a share of the Pac-8 Championship. Entering the 1976 season, Roth was considered a favorite for the Heisman Trophy. Described by some as the "best quarterback prospect since Joe Namath," Roth discovered he had cancer during that 1976 season. He passed away in February 1977, shortly after playing in two college all-star games. Roth's No. 12 is the only retired jersey in the history of Cal football and he is remembered with a special display in the Cal locker room. The University of California has designated each year's home game against its Southern California foe (USC or UCLA) as the Joe Roth Memorial Game. For this year's game, the first 15,000 fans will receive commemorative throwback caps with the old-style "block C" which appeared on Cal's helmets in 1975.
What Will He Do For His Fourth Time on ABC?
DeSean Jackson, who has been selected as one of 12 semifinalists for the 2007 Biletnikoff Award (the top receiver in the nation), has been very effective on ABC-televised games this year - 24 catches for 342 yards and four touchdowns, as well as a 77-yard punt return touchdown (in three games). He also had a sound game in his debut on FSN's broadcast of Cal-Arizona State. Jackson snared five catches for 88 yards and a touchdown.
Larson Named a Finalist For Ray Guy Award
Senior Andrew Larson has been selected as a finalist for the Ray Guy Award for the top punter in the nation. Larson is averaging 41.6 yards per punt with a net punting mark of 39.0 (best in the Pac-10 and fifth in the nation). He has 43 punts this season and 16 have been returned for just 50 yards (3.1 ypr). Thirteen of his boots have been downed inside the 20 and just three have gone for touchbacks. Two weeks ago against Arizona State, he averaged 44.8 yards on five punts with three downed inside the 20, but his best day came against Oregon State, when he set a school record with an average of 55.8 yards on four punts, including a career-long 73-yarder and a 64-yarder. Last season, Larson also keyed the Bears punt team which paced the Pac-10 with a net punting average of 38.3 yards per punt.
Mack a Lombardi Award Semifinalist
Alex Mack was selected as one of 12 semifinalists for the 38th Rotary Lombardi Award. The junior center was also on the award's preseason watch list; as well as preseason watch lists for the Rimington Trophy (most outstanding center) and the Outland Trophy (best interior lineman). He has lived up to his preseason billing as well, anchoring the Golden Bear offensive line which has opened holes for six 100-yard rushing games by Justin Forsett while allowing just eight sacks this season (best in the Pac-10). Mack has been selected as the top center in the nation at the midpoint of the season by Phil Steele's Magazine and ESPN's Mel Kiper, Jr., ranks him as the top junior center in the country.
Bears-Trojans: Second Half Surge Powers USC Past Cal in 2006
The California Golden Bears went toe-to-toe with the USC Trojans for over three quarters, but USC used a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns to foil Cal's hopes for its first Rose Bowl since 1959. Instead, USC won 23-9 and captured a share of the Pac-10 championship for a fifth straight season. Nate Longshore, who completed 17-of-38 passes for 176 yards in the loss, directed the go-ahead drive in the second quarter for the Golden Bears. After pinpoint passes to DeSean Jackson (36 yards) and Robert Jordan (29 yards), Longshore found Lavelle Hawkins, who managed to hold on despite a brutal sandwich from two Trojan defenders, for a six-yard score and a 9-6 advantage.
Cal-USC and Other Musings
Not counting the two rugby games played in 1912 and 1913, Cal trails its series with the Trojans, 58-29-5, dating back to 1915 ... USC has won five of the last six meetings. ... Cal has beaten USC 13 times at home ... the Trojans have outscored Cal by an average of 21-12 in 43 total games at Cal ... this week's game is the first time Cal will face USC when the Trojans aren't ranked No. 4 or higher since 2002 ... This is also the first time that USC will have two losses prior to its meeting with Cal since 2002 ... Cal wide receivers coach Dan Ferrigno and USC head coach Pete Carroll have almost come close to being on the same coaching staffs in their respective careers -- Carroll was a graduate assistant at Pacific from 1974-76, while Ferrigno was a graduate assistant at Pacific in 1979 ... Ferrigno was the wide receivers coach at USC in 2000, one year before leaving for Oregon in 2001 (Carroll became USC's head coach in 2001).
Last Five Games vs. USC (1-4)
2006: (4) USC 23, (17) Cal 9 -- USC scores a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns to foil Cal's hopes for its first Rose Bowl since 1959. Cal led 9-6 at halftime thanks to a Lavelle Hawkins touchdown grab.
2005: (1) USC 35, Cal 10 -- Matt Leinart passes for 246 yards and runs for two touchdowns, and LenDale White runs for three more scores in No. 1 USC's 22nd straight Pac-10 victory.
2004: (1) USC 23, (7) Cal 17 -- Top-ranked Trojans hold the seventh-ranked Bears out of the end zone after a first-and-goal with less than two minutes left and hold on for a 23-17 victory.
2003: Cal 34, (3) USC 31 (3 ot) -- Tyler Fredrickson boots a 38-yard field goal to end a third crazy overtime as Cal upsets No. 3 USC, 34-31, ending the Trojans' 11-game winning streak.
2002: (20) USC 30, Cal 28 -- Sultan McCullough's 2-yard touchdown run with 8:38 left in the third quarter gives the Trojans the lead for good at 24-21 lead after they fell behind 21-3.
Cal-Washington State Afterthoughts
With Justin Forsett going over 1,000 yards rushing, Cal has now produced a 1000-yard rusher every season under Tedford ... Cal's win over Washington State was the 22nd victory in its last 25 home games ... the game attendance of 55,711 marked the 23rd straight home game with over 50,000 fans ... Cal donned its alternate gold uniforms, marking the fifth time Cal has done so (the Bears are a perfect 5-0 when wearing the alternates) ... Forsett rushed for 132 yards and two touchdowns on a career-high 32 carries, with two rushing touchdowns -- his 12 rushing touchdowns on the season are tied for sixth-most for a season in program history ... his 23 career rushing TDs are the fourth-most in school history ... Forsett now has six 100-yard rushing games this season and 12 100-yard efforts in his career and he also moved into sixth place on Cal's all-time rushing list with 2,679 yards ... Robert Jordan hauled in a reception on Cal's opening drive in the first quarter, marking the 38th straight game with a least one reception for the senior ... DeSean Jackson moved to No. 5 all-time at Cal in career receiving yards (2,247) ... Worrell Williams registered his third forced fumble of the season in the third quarter ... true freshman Chris Conte made his first career start and led the team with 10 tackles.
Let's Go For a Drive
Cal put together its two longest scoring drives of the season versus Washington State. The Bears opened the game with a 17-play, 80-yard drive which ate 7:56 of clock before Justin Forsett's touchdown. Then in the second quarter, the Bears held the ball for an amazing 10:22, driving 91 yards on 20 plays for a Jordan Kay field goal. The previous long drive for Cal had been a 5:34 drive (13 plays) at Oregon. Not surprisingly, Cal decidedly won the time-of-possession battle vs. the Cougars, holding the ball for a season-best 37:27.
"The turnover battle is huge, I think that definitely plays into it. It does in football, I don't it's just us, I think that's the way football is," said Cal head coach Jeff Tedford. And though he was not aware of the official stats, in his six years at Cal, the Golden Bears are 27-2 (.931) when winning the turnover battle and 9-15 (.375) when losing that statistical comparison (as well as 12-6 when tied). In Pac-10 games, the stats are even more decisive, as Cal is 17-1 (.944) when winning the turnover battle and 5-13 (.278) when losing it (7-3 when turnovers are tied). Cal has lost the turnover battle in each of its last three games.
Whose House? Our House!
With its win over Washington State in Memorial Stadium, Cal has 22 victories in its last 25 home games. Overall, Cal is out-scoring opponents 1007-476 over the last 25 home games. In the fourth quarter of the last 25 games, Cal has topped foes, 244-121. The only three losses suffered in Memorial Stadium were to Oregon State (Oct. 15, 2005 and Oct. 13, 2007) and to USC (Nov. 12, 2005), who was ranked No. 1 at the time.
Thanks to a 44-yard sprint to the end zone in the final minutes of the game to seal a 20-17 victory over Washington State, Justin Forsett became the 11th Golden Bear in program history to rush for 1,000 yards in a single-season. Forsett, who has a rushing touchdown in eight of his last 10 games, leads the Pac-10 with 12 touchdowns this season, while also ranking second in the league in rushing yards per game. The 132-yard performance (on a career-high 32 carries) against Washington State was his sixth 100-yard rushing game of the season and the 12th of his career. Forsett now has 2,679 rushing yards, to move past J.J. Arrington into sixth-place on Cal's career rushing chart.
Forsett's March to 1,000
Justin Forsett's 1,005 yards rushing this season is even more impressive considering the fact that the Pac-10 boasts four teams (Oregon State, USC, Arizona State and UCLA) ranked in the top 20 in the nation in rush defense. Forsett pield up 150 yards (one of three 150-yard efforts this year fro the senior) against Oregon State, which ranks first in the Pac-10 and second in the nation in rushing defense. This week's opponent, USC, ranks seventh in the nation in rush defense and No. 3 in total defense.
The 1 To Watch
Even though DeSean Jackson had five catches for 45 yards against Washington State, it should be noted that three of those catches resulted in first downs to keep the Cal drive moving. Jackson also continued his climb up the Cal record book when he moved to fifth all-time in career receiving yards (2,247) after his performance against the Cougars. Despite a tough loss at Arizona State, Jackson continued to excel in the national spotlight, hauling in five catches for 88 yards and a touchdown at Arizona State. Jackson had another stout performance at UCLA when he posted nine catches for 136 yards and two touchdowns vs. the Bruins. In Cal's 31-24 win at Oregon, Jackson snared a career-high 11 catches for a career-high 161 yards and two touchdowns in Autzen Stadium. In his opening-day performance against Tennessee, Jackson took his first punt return 77 yards for a touchdown to give Cal a 21-14 lead in the second quarter. It was his sixth career punt return for a touchdown, both school and conference records.
The DeSean Effect
DeSean Jackson has returned six punts for touchdown in his California football career. Understandably, teams have opted to avoid the dangerous return man by punting away (pitching away?) from Jackson. However, in four of the last five games, Cal has benefited from the "intentional walks."
Dec. 28, 2006 Holiday Bowl vs. Texas A&M
Third quarter, Cal leads 14-10 with 12 minutes to go. Texas A&M punter Justin Brantley punts towards the left sideline, but mis-hits and Cal takes over possession at the A&M 41-yard line after the 0-yard punt. Four plays later, including a 28-yard Jackson reception, Cal hits the end zone and takes a 21-10 lead on route to the 45-10 victory.
Sept. 1, 2007 Season Opener vs. Tennessee
Second quarter, Cal leads 28-21 with 1:30 to go. Tennessee punter Britton Colquitt avoids Jackson, punting the ball out-of-bounds at the Cal 31 - just a 13-yard punt for the All-American candidate. Fifty-two seconds later, Cal settles for a 27-yard field goal to go up 31-21 on route to the 45-31 triumph.
Sept. 8, 2007 Road Opener vs. Colorado State
Second quarter, score tied at seven. After a four yard rush and a pair of sacks, CSU punter Jimmie Kaylor trots onto the field. From his own 22, Kaylor punts the ball out-of-bounds, 25 yards downfield, giving Cal the ball at the CSU 47. Five plays later, Justin Forsett plunges in from the one to give the Bears a 14-7 advantage on route to the 34-28 victory.
Sept. 22, 2007 Pac-10 Opener vs. Arizona
On the Wildcats' first punt of the game, Keenyn Crier tires to angle his punt to the sideline, but kicks it out of bounds for a 18-yard effort. Cal takes over at the 50-yard line and scores four plays later for a 7-0 advantage on route to the 45-27 victory.
Sept. 29, 2007 On the Road at No. 11 Oregon
With the score tied at 17 early in the fourth quarter, Oregon's Josh Syria miss-hits a 28-yard punt that is fair-caught by Jackson at the 50-yard line. Five plays later, Jackson takes a short Longshore pass and dashes past two Duck defenders for the go-ahead touchdown.
Oct. 13, 2007 at Home vs. Oregon State
With Cal down 20-14 in the third quarter, OSU is forced to punt out of its endzone. Alexis Serna only musters a 23-yard punt that sails out of bounds. Cal takes advantage of the excellent field position and promptly scores a touchdown in five plays to go ahead 21-20.
Over his last six games, DeSean Jackson is becoming the go-to-guy in the Cal offense. Jackson has amassed 435 yards receiving on 34 receptions and leads the team with five touchdowns.
Other Notes on DeSean ...
>> Tied for third on the all-time career receiving touchdowns list (21) - needs six to move to second
>> Ranks No. 5 in career receiving yards and with 87 more yards will move into third all-time
>> Ranks first in school history in career punt return average, touchdowns (6) and single-season average (18.12)
>> Owns three of the 11 longest punt returns for touchdowns in school history (95 at Arizona, 80 vs. Arizona State, 77 vs. Tennessee)
Eye of the Ziger
Linebacker Zack Follett has spent much of this season with a hair dye job featuring tiger/lion stripes (artwork courtesy of Greg Van Hoesen), earning himself the nickname "Ziger" for the "Z" died into the back of his head amongst the stripes. While the hair was gone for last weekend's game against Washington State, the "ziger" mentality remained as he posted six tackles, a sack and three pass break ups. For the season, Follett has registered 3.5 sacks (team-best), 6.5 tackles for losses, five pass break ups, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in seven games played (he missed nearly three games due to injury).
Wor, What Is It Good For?
Another standout in Cal's linebacking corps is junior Worrell Williams, who has certainly a breakout season for the Golden Bears. From his opening day touchdown on a fumble recovery against Tennessee to his nine tackles and one forced fumble against Washington State, Williams has been an imposing force on the gridiron. Williams ranks second on the team (fifth in the Pac-10) in tackles with 82, while also registering team-highs in tackles for losses (7.5) and forced fumbles (3).
The Hawk Flies Towards Personal Bests
As much as he tries, it's hard for Lavelle "Hawk" Hawkins to stay out of the spotlight this season. In fact Hawkins has caught the attention of ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper who has the senior wideout rated No. 1 in his "top five seniors by position" rankings. Hawkins also appears on Kiper's Top 25 Big Board at No. 16 in the country. Hawkins, who has paced the Golden Bears in six of the nine games this season, set a personal-best for receptions in a season (53), eclipsing his previous best 46 set last season, after hauling in nine catches for 78 yards against Washington State. He had a career game against Oregon State, snaring nine catches for a career-best 192 yards and two touchdowns, including a career-long 64-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter. The 192 yards were sixth-most receiving yards in school history. Hawkins has scored a touchdown (reception or kickoff) in seven of his last 11 games, including a touchdown on the opening kickoff of the Louisiana Tech game. Hawkins leads the team with 1,212 all-purpose yards and 681 receiving yards.
Nate Longshore completed 26-of-39 passes for 213 yards against Washington State to become the 10th Golden Bear quarterback to surpass 5,000 passing yards. Tied with Craig Morton for seventh on Cal's all-time passing touchdowns list (36), Longshore has completed 62 percent of his passes in `07 for 1,857 yards and 11 touchdowns, despite battling an ankle injury for the last four games. After missing the Oregon State game entirely, he returned to the starting lineup against UCLA and completed 22-of-34 passes for 232 yards and a season-best three touchdowns. The best day of the year for the junior came in Cal's 31-24 win at Oregon, when he set career-highs in completions (28) and attempts (43) for a season-high 285 yards and two touchdowns. Longshore (5,009 career passing yards) has thrown for over 200 yards in 12 of his last 14 contests. As a sophomore last season, he directed the California offense to a Pac-10 best 32.8 points per game and became just the second Golden Bear to pass for over 3,000 yards in a single season (3,021).
Big Play RJ
A veteran of 39 games, Robert Jordan has 31 receptions for 335 yards and a touchdown this season, including a season-high 85 receiving yards in Cal's loss at Arizona State. Jordan is Cal's all-time leader with at least one catch in 38 straight games (still active) after hauling in four catches against Washington State. Jordan passed both Steve Rivera and Mike Caldwell for seventh on Cal's all-time receptions chart (140) after hauling those four catches vs. WSU. He had 43 receptions (career-high) for 511 yards (career-high) and four scores in 2006.
Riley Fills In For Longshore
Redshirt freshman Kevin Riley earned his first career start against Oregon State on Oct. 13, filling in for injured starter Nate Longshore, and performed admirably against a stout OSU defense. The rookie completed 20 passes for 294 yards -- the most by passing yards by Cal since Longshore threw for 341 at Oregon State on Sept. 30, 2006. He also tossed a pair of touchdowns and rushed for a score. With the Bears pinned deep on their own six-yard line with 1:27 left in the game, Riley drove Cal down the field 84 yards, completing a 4th-and-17 to Lavelle Hawkins and a 37-yard pass to Robert Jordan along the way. Unfortunatley, after reaching the OSU 10 with seconds remaining, the Bears were out of timeouts and the clock expired before Cal could muster one more play.
Felder Leads the LBs ... and Pac-10
The Cal linebacking corps has certainly made an impact this season. In nine games, the LBs have combined for 290 tackles (19.5 for losses), 7.5 sacks, six forced fumbles and two interceptions. Junior Anthony Felder paces the corps and ranks third in the Pac-10 with 86 tackles, two sacks and an interception. Felder, who has at least nine tackles in eight of the nine games played, is not the only backer putting up impressive numbers. Seniors Justin Moye (33 tackles, one INT) and Greg Van Hoesen (seven tackles) and redshirt freshman Mike Mohamed (three pass break ups) have all been impact players.
"The turnover battle is huge, I think that definitely plays into it. It does in football, I don't it's just us, I think that's the way football is," said Cal head coach Jeff Tedford. And though he was not aware of the official stats, in his six years at Cal, the Golden Bears are 27-2 (.931) when winning the turnover battle and 10-15 (.400) when losing that statistical comparison (as well as 12-6 when tied). In Pac-10 games, the stats are even more decisive, as Cal is 17-1 (.944) when winning the turnover battle and 6-13 (.316) when losing it (7-3 when turnovers are tied). Cal has lost the turnover battle in each of its three losses.
Did you know that Cal hasn't been shutout in a school-record 103 consecutive games since Sept. 11, 1999?
First Half Surge
In their 6-3 start, the Bears have outscored their opposition 162-80 in the first half. Cal tied a school record with 28 first quarter points (tied for third-most ever, tied for second-most ever in a first quarter) vs. Arizona, and has used big plays to boost its scoring in the second quarter troughout the season.
The Golden Bears graduated three starters from its defensive line unit last season and have been plagued with injuries this season. But a group of unheralded players have stepped up. Freshman Cameron Jordan returned to his home state of Arizona and made an immediate impact when he returned a fumble recovery for a touchdown at Arizona State. Fifth-year senior John Allen, who has had three starts this season, had two tackles and two quarterback hurries against Washington State. Redshirt freshman Derrick Hill, who snagged an interception in the Colorado State game and nearly added another against Louisiana Tech, recorded his first career sack against Arizona. Sophomore Cody Jones, who has started six games, registered three tackles for losses at Oregon. Sophomore Tyson Alualu recorded his first career interception in the fourth quarter at Oregon and recovered a fumble for a touchdown versus Arizona.
Freshman Chris Conte earned the start against Washington State and finished the contest with a team-best 10 tackles ... sophomore Syd'Quan Thompson leads the team with eight pass break ups, including two vs. Washington State ... Thompson also added his first interception of the season against the Cougars off a defelection by Bernard Hicks ... senior Brandon Hampton has two interceptions this season (Louisiana Tech and Arizona) and recorded his first forced fumble against Oregon State. Hampton can now add a fumble recovery to that list after he had one at UCLA ... senior Thomas DeCoud, who leads the Bear secondary with 67 tackles, enjoyed a career day against Arizona when he recorded his first career forced fumble, sack and interception in the first half ... sophomore Marcus Ezeff has racked up 44 tackles, including a career-high 14 vs. Arizona. But the biggest play of his career thus far was his hit on Oregon wide receiver Cameron Colvin in the final seconds at the one-yard line, jarring the ball loose into the end zone and out of bounds, resulting in a touchback, allowing the Bears to preserve their 31-24 lead. Unfortunately, Ezeff has missed three games due to injury.
Other Defensive Notes ...
>> Cal's defense has forced a fumble in all nine games has recovered a fumble in eight of the nine games this season ... the defense has also leads the nation with three fumble recovery touchdowns this season.
>> Jahvid Best has recorded 19 plays of 19 yards or more this season (53 touches total in `07)
Jahvid Best has stepped into the Golden Bear lineup as a true freshman and become a key part of the team. His biggest contributions have come on special teams, including a career-long 54-yard kickoff return at UCLA (see next note for coverage specifics). For the season, he leads the team and ranks third in the Pac-10 with 27.1 yards per kick return. In addition, the rookie has 26 carries for 203 yards (7.8 ypc), including a 64-yard run to paydirt against Colorado State for his first career touchdown. He has caught 13 balls for 74 yards - one of those a 16-yard TD reception against Louisiana Tech.
The Best Tackler
Ranking 18th on a team in tackles may not seem like an impressive stat, however, for true freshman Jahvid Best, who doesn't even play defense, 12 tackles in nine games is outstanding. With five solo takedowns of punt returners (who have tallied a total of one-yard on those five plays), Best, with his 10.32 100-speed, has established himself as one of the best special team's gunners in the country with his play this season. He also has seven tackles on kickoff returns and one of the key plays of the year with a fumble recovery on a kickoff late in the game against Oregon.
The Tedford Era
Jeff Tedford, now in his sixth year at the helm of the Bears, has quickly brought the program into another "Golden" Age. The Bears' current five year record of 49-23 is among the best-ever at Cal.
Era (Years): Record (Pct.) - Highlights
The Wonder Teams (1920-24): 44-0-4 (.958) - Three National Titles
The Thunder Teams (1937-38): 20-1-1 (.932) - One Championship
Pappy's Boys (1947-52): 53-9 (.855) - Three Rose Bowls
The Tedford Era (2002-current): 49-23 (.681) - Four bowls
Early 90s (1990-93): 30-17 (.638) - Three bowls
Mike White Era (1972-77): 35-30 (.538) - Last conf. title (`75)
Cal Looks For Sixth Straight Winning Season
If Cal can post its sixth straight winning season in 2007, it will mark the first time the Golden Bears have reached these levels of consistency since Pappy Waldorf's juggernaut teams reeled off six straight winning marks from 1947-52. Since posting the worst record at Cal in 104 years (1-10) in 2001, the Golden Bears hired head coach Jeff Tedford and have rolled to marks of 7-5 (2002), 8-6 (2003), 10-3 (2004), 8-4 (2005) and 10-3 (2006). In addition, Cal has been ranked in the top 10 in each of the last four years.
The California Athletic Department and website partner CSTV (College Sports Television) launched a Heisman Trophy promotional website for junior wide receiver DeSean Jackson entitled the1towatch.com. "The 1 to Watch" features flash animation for the introduction before taking the viewer to the main page. Once on the site, fans can navigate eight tabs to find such information as up-to-date video highlights, a player profile and photo galleries. The four tabs at the top of the page include a "video" link which allows fans to see packaged highlights of Jackson. Fans can get to know Jackson on a personal level with the "1-on-1" tab, which allows the user to know what his life is like on and off the field. Finally, there is the "national attention" link which directs the viewer to see what other coaches, players, football analysts and teammates are saying about Jackson. Additional links provide navigation to CalBears.com, other Cal football all-star candidates, the Cal Bears football page and any breaking news on Jackson.
This year, for the first time in program history, every Cal football game will be televised. ABC will televise the USC game this weekend and the Washington game on Nov. 17. Then Versus will air the Big Game at Stanford on Dec. 1. In Jeff Tedford's six years at the helm of the Bears, 59 Cal football games were televised; in the six years prior to his arrival, 35 Cal games were televised. National television broadcasts have more than doubled in that time.
50,000 Fans Again
The Washington State attendance of 55,711 marked the 23rd straight home game with over 50,000 fans - every home game over the last four years. The streak is even more impressive when compared to the days before the arrival of head coach Jeff Tedford - the Oregon State game was the 12th game of 60,000+ fans under Tedford; Cal had nine 60,000+ games in the 12 years prior to Tedford's arrival.
The Golden Ticket
Cal established a new season ticket sales record for the 2007 football season -- 41,336, eclipsing last season's sales mark of 40,262. Since the arrival of head coach Jeff Tedford, California's season ticket count has been on a steady climb. The Bears sold 16,200 season passes in 2002 -- Tedford's first year. His second season resulted in sales of 22,500. In 2004, the number again jumped substantially, up to a then-school-record 34,100. In 2005, the Bears set another mark with 40,134 season tickets sold and again in 2006 (40,262). Last year, the Golden Bears established a new record for average attendance in 2006 with an average of 64,318 fans per game. Including three sellouts. California had a total of 450,223 fans at seven home games. The previous record for the Bears was in 2004 when they averaged 64,019.
2006 marked the first time since the 1975 season that California earned a share of the Pac-10 Conference championship ... Cal secured the co-championship after its 26-17 victory over Stanford (Dec. 2) coupled with a UCLA upset victory over USC in Pasadena also on Dec. 2 ... Both Cal and USC finished 7-2 in league play ... In 1975, Cal tied with UCLA for the league title, but the head-to-head loss to the Bruins denied a Rose Bowl bid. Here's a look at Cal's title teams:
Year: Overall (Conf) - Note
1918: 7-2 (2-0 Pacific Coast) - Beat Oregon and Stanford
1920: 9-0 (3-0 Pacific Coast) - First national championship for Cal
1921: 9-0-1 (4-0 Pacific Coast) - Brick Muller is first Cal All-American
1922: 9-0 (4-0 Pacific Coast) - Outscores opponents, 146-7
1923: 9-0-1 (5-0 Pacific Coast) - Wonder Team continues to roll
1937: 10-0-1 (6-0-1 Pacific Coast) - Thunder Team beats Alabama in Rose Bowl
1948: 10-1 (6-0 Pacific Coast) - Pappy's Boys return to Rose Bowl
1949: 10-1 (7-0 Pacific Coast) - No. 3 in final AP poll
1950: 9-1-1 (5-0-1 Pacific Coast) - Third straight Rose Bowl appearance
1958: 7-4 (6-1 Pacific Coast) - Last Rose Bowl for California
1975: 8-3 (6-1 Pac-8) - Chuck Muncie leads Bears to title
2006: 10-3 (7-2 Pac-10) - Beat Texas A&M, 45-10, in Holiday Bowl
Juniors Alex Mack, Zack Follett, Nate Longshore and DeSean Jackson and seniors Craig Stevens, Justin Forsett, Tom Schneider and Andrew Larson have been prominent in many of the national Watch Lists. Mack is on three Watch Lists including the Outland Trophy (best interior lineman), the Rotary Lombardi Award (top lineman) and the Rimington Trophy (most outstanding center). Follett landed a spot on the Bednarik Trophy list (nation's top defensive player), the Butkus Award (best linebacker) and the Lott IMPACT Trophy, which recognizes athletic performance and the personal character attributes of the player. Jackson has secured spots on the Biletnikoff Award (top wide receiver), Maxwell and Walter Camp Trophy lists -- both of which honor the nation's best player. Longshore is also on three Watch Lists -- the Manning and Davey O'Brien Awards, which are given to the nation's top quarterback, and the Walter Camp Award Watch List, which honors the nation's best player. Stevens landed a spot on the John Mackey Award Watch List -- given annually to the nation's top tight end. Forsett secured a spot on the Doak Walker Award Watch List which is presented to the nation's top RB. Schneider is on the Lou Groza Watch List (nation's top kicker), while Larson found a spot on the Ray Guy Award Watch List, honoring the nation's top punter.
Cal Picked 2nd in Pac-10 Media Poll
For the fourth consecutive season the University of California football team was picked to finish second in the Pac-10 Media Poll released on July 26. Four-time defending Pac-10 champion USC was a unanimous selection to win the conference title as voted by West Coast media members who regularly cover the league. It marks the fifth consecutive year the Trojans have been the choice to win the title. The Trojans captured all 39 first-place votes. The Golden Bears garnered 323 points, while third-place pick, UCLA, collected 305 points, followed by Arizona State (242), Oregon State (237), Oregon (226), Arizona (162), Washington State (115), Washington (98) and Stanford (47).
Pac-10 Media Day Chatter
Jeff Tedford general remarks: "We are very excited about the upcoming season and to report to camp on the fifth of August. The players' commitment has been great through the summer. We have a lot of experience and I feel that the investment has been made to compete for a championship. We have great leadership, DeSean [Jackson] being one of them and a big part of what we do. Having to replace Daymeion Hughes and Marshawn Lynch, both Players of the Year, will be a challenge. We feel Justin Forsett can move right in and take over and we'll have some young guys competing at corner. We had a rough game at Tennessee last year, and we need redemption. It's not about revenge, we just need to focus on ourselves. This Conference is very balanced so we have to bring our "A" game. I have great confidence in our players and our staff to be prepared each and every week."