Cal-USC Postgame Notes
Sept. 27, 2003
Attendance: Today's attendance of 51,208 was the largest non-Big Game crowd at Memorial Stadium since 53,000 saw the Golden Bears defeat UCLA, 46-38, in triple overtime Oct. 14, 2000.
Cal Defeats No. 3 Opponent for First Time in 52 Years: Cal defeated USC today, 34-31, in three overtimes to record its first win over a Top 5 opponent in 28 years. Led by Chuck Muncie and Joe Roth, that '75 Co-Pac-10 champion Cal team led the nation in total offense and downed the No. 4 Trojans, 28-14, at Berkeley's Memorial Stadium. This also marks the first time the Bears have knocked off a team ranked this high in 52 years, when the Bears upset No. 3 Stanford, 20-7, in the 1951 Big Game on The Farm. Cal is 2-2 in its last four games, all of which have been decided by seven points or less.
Bears In OT: Cal is now 5-2 in overtime games. This marked the Bears' first overtime game since Nov. 18, 2000 Big Game - Stanford won 36-30. Cal's last overtime win was against UCLA, 46-38, also in a 3OT contest on Oct. 14, 2000.
Fredrickson Kicks Career-Long Field Goal: P/PK Tyler Fredrickson's 38-yard field goal sealed the victory for the Bears in the third overtime. In the first overtime, Fredrickson had a field goal attempt blocked. His 51-yard field goal with 9:04 left in the fourth quarter to put Cal up 24-21, was a career-long. Fredrickson's previous long was 32 yards. The kick was just four yards short of Cal's school record, a 55-yarder by Robbie Keane kicked against Washington in 1988.
Cal Totals Season-Best Total Yards: Behind seven receivers catching passes and Adimchinobe Echemandu rushing for a career-high 147 yards, Cal totaled a season-high 469 yards of total offense. This surpassed the 440 total yards in a loss to Kansas State. Four receivers caught four passes or more as Jonathan Makonnen and Garrett Cross led the pack with seven catches apiece (104 yards for Makonnen and 41 for Cross). Both receivers each caught a TD, with Cross' being his first as a Bear in the second quarter.
Rogers/Robertson Split Time at QB to Seal Bears Victory: Making his second collegiate start, JC transfer Aaron Rogers recorded another stellar outing for Cal. Rogers was 18-of-25 for 217 yards, including throwing 2 TDs, rushing for 1 TD and throwing 2 interceptions. Rogers threw 98 passes as a Bear before throwing an interception with 2:37 to play in the first half and the Bears deep in USC territory. Reggie Robertson also saw time in the game, coming in for Rogers with 7:16 to play in the third quarter and completed the game. Robertson finished the game 9-of-12 with 109 yards and 1 touchdown.
Echemandu Posts Second 100-Yard Rushing Game: After running for 80 yards in the first half, senior TB Adimchinobe Echemandu totaled a career-high 147 yards on the ground to post his second 100+ running game of the season. He was the first player to rush for 100 yards or more against USC in 17 games. The senior also caught 2 passes for 35 receiving yards. This season, Echemandu has totaled 492 yards on 80 rushes with 3 touchdowns. This is the most rushing yards for a Bear since former TB Joe Igber rushed for 226 in last season's 31-7 Big Game victory.
Toler Has Career Game: Former walk-on wide receiver Burl Toler turned in a career performance today for Cal. The El Sobrante, Calif., product caught four passes for a career-best 81 yards and caught his first career TD. In the first half, Toler caught passes for 17, 21 and 27 yards. His previous best yardage game came at Utah this year when he caught 3 passes for 75 yards. Toler was awarded a scholarship three weeks ago after two seasons as a walk-on.
Cross Catches Ties Swoboda for Most Passes by a TE Since 1996: JC transfer TE Garrett Cross tied former Bear Tom Swoboda for the most catches by a Cal tight end since Tony Gonzales caught nine passes for 69 yards vs. Navy in the 1996 Aloha Bowl. Cross caught seven passes for 41 yards against the Trojans today.
Cal's Defense Keyed By Big Plays: Cal recorded three interceptions against USC today, which doubles its season total. The Bears' picks were by DB Donnie McCleskey, LB Sid Slater and FS Matt Giordano. The interceptions were a career first for both Slater and Giordano. With 5:48 to play in the first quarter, Smith also blocked a USC punt for the Bears' third blocked punt of the season. Smith also tipped the ball that McCleskey intercepted. Wendell Hunter, last week's Pac-10 Player of the Week, contributed to another big play, coming up with a fumble recovery on USC's first OT possession (Brian Tremblay and Josh Beckham caused the fumble).
More Keys to Cal's Victory: Cal led in first downs by a 24-18 margin...The Bears also held an impressive edge in the time of possession category, holding the ball for 53:26 compared to USC's 21:34 time...Cal also was 11-of-18 in third down efficiency, while the Trojans were 3-of-12.
Cal Snaps USC's Streak of 22-Straight Quarters Without Surrendering A Rushing TD: Aaron Rogers' three-yard rushing TD with 11:02 to play in the first quarter snapped USC's streak of 22-straight quarters without allowing a rushing TD. The TD also was the Rogers' first career rushing TD.
Bears Rush For Well Over USC's Defensive Average: USC entered today's game surrendering only 50.7 yards per game on the ground to its opponents. The Golden Bears rushed 48 times for 143 yards.
First Quarter Quandary / Second Quarter Stealers The first quarter hasn't been kind to Cal compared to the 2002 season. This year, the Bears have trailed their opponents in the first four games and have been tied 7-7 in the last two contests. Today, however, Cal did score first for the first time in six games this season. In 2002, Cal outscored its opponents 116-43 in the first quarter. The Bears have held their opponents scoreless in the second quarter in each of their three victories this season, while they have posted 48 points.