Aug. 31, 2002
It was the play heard around the world ... OK, well at least in Berkeley. Like the first sound of thunder that calls for the rains, so was Terrell Williams' touchdown strike to true freshman David Gray. In less than 20 seconds, the California Golden Bears were on the board, a precursor of what was to come As the points began to pour from the heavens, a statement was made to those who have been skeptical of the Bears offense.
"There was not a lot to it," said head coach Jeff Tedford. "It is was just a throw and catch. It was not meant to be a statement play, but if it is taken as that, so be it."
Whether it was meant to be a statement or not, it was taken by all who observed as the possible defining moment in the resurgence of the Cal Bear football program.
The Bears' head coach was "pleased" with the effort of his players, in a 70-22 lopsided affair at Memorial Stadium in Berkeley.
The Bears struck on the first play of the game with a beautifully design double pass play, which left the fans in awe, and the opposing defense wondering what happened.
"I knew about two and a half weeks ago that that would be the play that would open up our season," said Tedford.
Well, in the two and a half-weeks proceeding today's contest, Tedford could not even imagine the residual affects of his decision.
"It was, most definitely, a momentum maker," said Williams, who completed two passes for a total of seventy-eight yards from the tailback position.
The play began with Kyle Boller whistling a bubble screen out to Williams in the right flat. The Baylor defense swarmed to the ball, forgetting about Gray, who snuck through on a backside pass route. Seventy-one yards later, six points were on the board, and the Bears were on their way to equaling their win total of a year ago.
"The ball seemed like it was in the air forever," said Gray, "but once it finally came down and I got in the end zone, it seemed like I was at Disneyland."
"I am very happy, not for myself, but for the players and for the program" said Tedford. "The players worked very hard and deserved this victory."
The Bears scored 35 points in the first quarter and never looked backed. In all, nine different Bears found their way into the end zone in a variety of ways.
"We were just out there trying to have fun," said cornerback Jemeel Powell, who scored on one of his two interceptions. "I knew we would play well and we did."
Overall, the Cal defense created five turnovers, including four first-half interceptions.
"The defense created a good environment for the team as a whole," said Tedford.
Still, it was that first offensive play that set the tone for victory.