Sept. 25, 2006
2006 CALIFORNIA FOOTBALL
Game 5: Saturday, September 30; 1:05 p.m. (PT)
No. 20 Cal (3-1, 1-0) vs. Oregon State (2-1)
Corvallis, Ore. - Reser Stadium
GOLDEN BEAR FACTS
2006 Record: 3-1
2005 Record: 8-4
2005 Pac-10 Record/Finish: 4-4/4th
Head Coach: Jeff Tedford
Alma Mater/Year: Fresno State/1983
Record at Cal/Year: 36-18/5th
Career Record/Years: Same
Football SID: John Sudsbury
Office Phone: 510-643-4723
Ticket Info: 800-GO-BEARS
Games Played: 58
Series Record: Cal leads, 32-26
First Meeting: 10/28/1905, Cal, 10-0
Last Meeting: 10/15/2005, OSU, 23-20
at Corvallis: 8-11
Current Streak: OSU win 6 of 7
Tedford vs. Oregon State: 1-3
The Golden Bears take their high-powered offense to Corvallis this weekend for another Pac-10 battle. The Beavers have allowed just one passing touchdown this season while Bears quarterback Nate Longshore has tallied 10 scores through the air. Cal is not just a passing attack however as the Bears have powerful running back Marshawn Lynch and a potent special teams attack paced by punt return star DeSean Jackson. This weekend's game will not be televised.
Recapping the Bears
California won its third straight game on Saturday as it opened the Pac-10 schedule with a convincing 49-21 victory over Arizona State at Memorial Stadium. The Bears were very impressive in all three phases of the game. Offensively, quarterback Nate Longshore completed 18-of-26 passes for 270 yards and four touchdowns while Marshawn Lynch ran for 124 yards, his third straight 100-yard game, and had his first receiving TD of the season. On defense, the Golden Bears intercepted four ASU offerings, including two by star cornerback Daymeion Hughes who returned one for a 47-yard score - the third INT return TD of his career. Sophomore linebacker Zack Follett piled up a career-high 10 tackles (tying with Hughes for the team lead), a pair of sacks and two forced fumbles. Senior linebacker Mickey Pimentel also had an INT return for a touchdown. And on special teams, DeSean Jackson was the most noticeable star, returning a Sun Devil punt 80 yards for a touchdown. However, junior punter Andrew Larson was also a standout, punting six times for 290 yards (48.3 average), with four of those punts being downed inside the 20. After ASU scored the first points of the game, Longshore connected on four TD strikes to four different receivers and Jackson had his big return and the Bears had a 35-7 advantage midway through the second quarter.
Bits on the Bears
Nate Longshore has completed 55-of-80 (68.8%) passes for 795 yards with 10 touchdowns and just two interceptions in the last three games ... over his last six games, DeSean Jackson has 566 receiving yards and 10 total touchdowns ... Daymeion Hughes is tied for first in the nation with five interceptions while Jackson is tied for first in the nation in receiving TDs ... as a team, the Bears rank second in the nation with eight interceptions ... Saturday's game was the Bears' first with two INT returns for TDs since Aug. 31, 2002 against Baylor (Jeff Tedford's first game) ... the four interceptions by Cal were its most in a game since 1998 against Washington State ... Andrew Larson and the Bears lead the Pac-10 in net punting at 39.0 net yards per punt ... Cal's opponent has scored first in every game this season ... the Bears have scored 84 in the first halves of its last two games and seven in the second half ... Cal has had a 100-yard rusher in 35 of 54 games under Tedford, meanwhile, its opponents have had just 14 games with 100-yard rushers ... the Bears have been over 50,000 fans for 14 straight home games ... Marshawn Lynch has three straight 100-yard rushing games for the first time in his career; he went over 2,000 career rushing yards against Minnesota, the ninth player in Cal history to reach that milestone ... Cal lost its season opener each of the last two years it won the conference championship (1958 and 1975) ... the Golden Bears led the Pac-10 in scoring defense in 2005, allowing just 21.2 points per game ... as in the past under Jeff Tedford, Cal will select game captains this season ... Tedford, now in his fifth year at Cal, ranks fourth in seniority among Pac-10 coaches.
A Look at the Beavers
Oregon State opens Pac-10 action this Saturday having posted a 2-1 non-league record. The Beavers' pass defense has been tremendous allowing just one touchdown and holding foes to 124.3 passing yards per game (first in Pac-10). OSU is third in the league in scoring offense (36.0) and they lead the league in punt return average (19.3). However, nine turnovers have hurt the Beavers. OSU has used two quarterbacks this year as senior Matt Moore is 35-of-62 for 372 yards and four TDs and redshirt freshman Sean Canfield is 22-of-30 for 277 yards and two TDs. Moore played the bulk of Oregon State's 38-0 victory over Idaho on Saturday. Running back Yvenson Bernard is averaging 110 yards per game and has four scores. Sammy Stroughter is averaging a league-leading 22.9 yards per punt return and also has a team-best 56.7 receiving yards per game. Defensively, the Beavers are led by junior linebackers Alan Darlin and Derrick Doggett, who have 18 and 17 tackles, respectively. Doggett also has an interception return for a TD. In OSU's lone loss, Boise State's Ian Johnson ran for 240 yards and five touchdowns as the Broncos scored 42 unanswered points in the 42-14 victory.
INT for TD - Hughes Leads the Nation
Senior Daymeion Hughes, who is known by his middle name of Dante, was rated as high as No. 1 among the nation's cornerbacks in the preseason and he is living up to the hype thus far in 2006. The Los Angeles native has been a glove in coverage and he now has a nation's best five interceptions this season. On Saturday against Arizona State, he added two more pickoffs, returning one 47 yards for a touchdown - the fourth INT return for a TD in his career. The game was Hughes' third career two-interception performance. The Los Angeles product now has 12 career interceptions to climb into a tie for second all-time at Cal. In addition, Hughes had 10 tackles and a pass-break-up on Saturday.
Longshore on the Loose
Quarterback Nate Longshore has guided California to three straight victories by tallying some fantastic numbers from under center. Over the last three games, the sophomore has completed 55-of-80 passes (68.8%) for 795 yards and 10 touchdowns with just two interceptions. His passing efficiency for the last three games is 188.48. In Saturday's victory over Arizona State in the Bears' Pac-10 opener, Longshore completed 18-of-26 passes for 270 yards and four touchdowns. For the season, Longshore has a Pac-10 best 166.92 efficiency rating (ninth in the nation).
DJ Playing Records
After a very impressive true freshman campaign in 2005, wide receiver DeSean Jackson is taking his game to another level this season. The Long Beach product has scored seven touchdowns in just four games - he has six through the air and tallied an 80-yard punt return TD on Saturday. This year, Jackson has 20 receptions for 371 yards after leading the Bears with 38 catches for 601 yards last year. In just 15 career games, Jackson has 15 touchdowns (13 receiving, two on punt returns). Dating back to last season, over the last six games, the six-foot speedster has 566 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. He is tied for tops in the nation with receiving touchdowns in six straight games.
Sophomore Zack Follett, a freshman All-American last season, posted the best game of his young career on Saturday against Arizona State. The 6-2 Clovis, Calif., product recorded 10 tackles, including a pair of sacks, to go with a pair of forced fumbles. His previous career-best was five tackles twice last year. His first forced fumble came on a sack and was recovered by the Bears who went on to score the go-ahead touchdown with 37 seconds to go in the first quarter. Follett's three forced fumbles is tied for the most in the nation so far this year.
California has tallied 133 points in its last three games - the most since the first three games of the 2004 season when it posted wins over Air Force (56-14), New Mexico State (41-14) and Oregon State (49-7). The 42 points by the Golden Bears on Saturday in the first half set a school record for most points scored in one half in a Pac-10 game.
Defense Goes on the Offensive
The Golden Bears had a pair of interception returns for touchdowns on Saturday against Arizona State. Late in the first half, senior cornerback Daymeion Hughes picked off a Rudy Carpenter offering and returned it 47 yards to the end zone. Then in the fourth quarter, Golden Bear senior linebacker Mickey Pimentel put the exclamation point on the win with a 20-yard INT return for paydirt. It is the first time Cal has had two pickoffs returned for TDs since Aug. 31, 2002 against Baylor in the first game of the Jeff Tedford era at California. In addition, DeSean Jackson registered an 80-yard punt return for a special teams touchdown.
The Golden Bears had four interceptions on Saturday; the first time since Sept. 26, 1998 (vs. Washington State) that California has tallied four picks in one game. The Bears now have eight interceptions this season (second in the nation), more than halfway to last year's total of 15. In addition to the two INTs by Daymeion Hughes and one by Mickey Pimentel, redshirt freshman Syd'Quan Thompson recorded his first career pickoff.
Low Key Lynch
Tailback Marshawn Lynch has quietly gone about his business on the field this season. The junior has 449 rushing yards in four games (112.2 yards per game) and is averaging 7.2 yards per carry. Following Saturday's 124-yard performance against Arizona State, he has now tallied three straight 100-yard games. He also added a pair of reception on Saturday, including a 23-yarder for a touchdown. Last week against Portland State, Lynch played just over one quarter, carrying six times for 113 yards, including a career-best 71-yard touchdown run. The Oakland product now has 12 career 100-yard rushing games and 2,323 career yards (eighth all-time at Cal).
Wide receiver Lavelle Hawkins, a product of Stockton, Calif., had a solid season in his 2005 debut with the Golden Bears by snaring 18 passes for 171 yards. However, with his strong showing thus far in 2006, Hawkins' 2005 stats look like small change. The 5-11 junior now has 15 receptions for 229 yards in the first four games of 2006. His top performance came against Minnesota when he had nine catches for 125 yards (his first career 100-yard game), but last week against Arizona State, the junior caught his first TD of the year, a 31-yarder from Nate Longshore to put the Bears ahead for good in the first quarter.
Stats Don't Lie?
The statistics from Saturday's Cal victory over Arizona State are quite deceiving. The Sun Devils dominated in time of possession, holding the ball for 36:47 to Cal's 23:13. The Golden Bears had three scoring drives of less than two minutes to go with an interception return TD and a punt return TD. In addition, the Bears ran just 53 plays while Arizona State had 82 efforts from scrimmage.
Ducks More Common Than Beavers at Cal
While the California football program employs numerous former staffers from the University of Oregon, the Oregon State contingent is much smaller in Berkeley. Golden Bear offensive line coach Jim Michalczik and wide receivers coach Dan Ferrigno are the only members of head coach Jeff Tedford's staff who have worked for the Beavers. Michalczik was an assistant from 1999-2001 in Corvallis and Ferrigno was with the Beavers from 1987-95.
Spread the Wealth
With junior tight end Craig Stevens snagging his first two receptions of the season on Saturday, the Golden Bears have now had 16 different players catch passes this season. Last year for the entire season, the Bears had just 14 players with receptions. The last time Cal had as many as 16 men with catches was 2004 when 18 had receptions. In the Portland State victory alone, Cal had 12 different players catch passes. Dating back to 1997, Cal has had just one game with as many as 10 different receivers catching passes.
More on Longshore
Nate Longshore's totals in the Minnesota game surpassed his career totals entering the game (19-of-31 for 216 yards and one touchdown). In fact, his stats through the first play of the second quarter (9-of-13, 134 yards, 2 TD) had already qualified as his best career game. His first touchdown of the game (to junior Robert Jordan) was his first TD delivery in 371 days and his 300 passing yards marked the first 300-yard game by a Bear QB since Aaron Rodgers threw for 394 yards vs. Virginia Tech in 2003.
50,000 Fans Again
Saturday's attendance against Arizona State of 58,024 marked the 14th straight home game that California has drawn over 50,000 fans. That streak includes every home game in 2004 and 2005 and is even more impressive when compared to the days before the current streak. In the first 13 home games under head coach Jeff Tedford (in 2002 and 2003), Cal attracted over 50,000 fans just twice. And, prior to Tedford's arrival at Cal for the 2002 season, Cal had a TOTAL of 13 crowds of 50,000 over the nine years from 1993-2001. The Portland State game was the seventh game of 60,000+ fans under Tedford. One must combine the 11 years prior to Tedford to surpass that as from 1991-2001 Cal had nine games with 60,000 or more in attendance (1991: 3; 1992: 1; 1994: 1; 1996: 1; 1998: 2; 2000: 1).
Since the arrival of 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. Last year, California set another mark with 40,134 season tickets sold and again this season, the record has been broken. The program surged past 40,134 on Sept. 8.
California's tailback tandem of Marshawn Lynch (1,246 yards) and Justin Forsett (999) combined for 2,245 yards in 2005 - 385 yards more than their closest competition returning from last year (Rutgers' top two running backs had 1,860 rushing yards last season). On Sept. 9, Minnesota received a strong dose of the duo. Lynch bulled his way for 139 yards while Forsett darted for 77 yards; it was the fifth time that the Bear pair combined for over 200 yards (tops is a combined 288 yards against UCLA last year).
Tailback Triple Threat
While Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett gain the bulk of the attention as California tailbacks, it is best not to overlook senior Marcus O'Keith, known as Mo-Deuce by his teammates. The Carson, California, product had 10 carries for 77 yards, including a five-yard TD run on Sept. 16 against Portland State. For his career, O'Keith has 97 carries for 673 yards (6.9 yards per carry). Combine his career numbers with his better-known counterparts and Cal's tailback triple threat has 602 carries for 4,152 yards (6.90 yards per carry) and 36 touchdowns.
Junior-college transfer Andrew Larson has stepped right into the Division I game and shown some serious punting ability for California. The newcomer has punted 18 times for 791 yards - an impressive average of 43.9 yards per punt. However, his net punting is the true measure of his value. Opponents have returned just seven punts for a total of 49 yards, giving Cal a Pac-10 best net-punting mark of 39.0 yards. Last season, with veteran David Lonie handling punting duties, the Bears had a net average of 36.7 yards per punt.
Back to the Pac-10
California has posted an all-time mark of 15-13-1 (.534) record in Pac-10 opening games and a 54-33-4 (.604) all-time record in conference openers. Under head coach Jeff Tedford, the Golden Bears are 4-1 in league openers, including wins in each of the last four years (Arizona State in 2006; Washington in 2005; Oregon State in 2004; and USC in 2003). The Bears now own a 4-1 advantage over the Sun Devils in Pac-10 openers.
Cal fans and the media can keep up with all the highlights of Marshawn Lynch's junior season by visiting www.Marshawn10.com. The star tailback is a top candidate for numerous awards, including the 2006 Heisman Trophy. The website features highlight video from his first two seasons in Berkeley and will include highlights from each game of the 2006 campaign as the season progresses. Statistics, a complete bio and other information will offer fans and media the opportunity to get to know the running back. In addition, his honors and records and a list of quotes from college football experts, coaches and players from around the nation are available for perusal.
While California does not have any players on the team who have already earned their undergraduate degrees from Cal, 12 players are expected to earn degrees in December: Eric Beegun, Randy Bundy, Andrew Cameron, David Gray, Steve Kelly, Taylor Kunzi, Abu Ma'afala, Tim Mixon, Marcus O'Keith, Erik Robertson, Scott Smith and Byron Storer. Tyler Krieg has his undergraduate degree from Duke and is currently pursuing his master's degree at Cal.
More TV Time
This weekend's Oregon State game will not be televised, the first Golden Bear game of the year that will not be aired. The first four games were televised by four different networks (Tennessee was on ESPN, Minnesota on TBS, Portland State on Comcast Sports and Arizona State on Fox Sports Net). In addition, Oregon (ABC), UCLA (ABC), USC (ABC) and Stanford (Fox Sports Net) will be televised. The remainder of the games could be televised. Full broadcast schedules have not been determined.
The Portland State game was the final non-league contest of the year for California. The Golden Bears have posted a 15-6 (.714) record against non-Pac-10 foes under head coach Jeff Tedford.
Despite opening the season with a loss, history has shown success can still follow. The last two conference championship teams at California lost their season openers. In 1975, the Golden Bears fell to Colorado on the road in their opener, but rebounded to finish 8-3 and share the Pac-8 Championship in 1975 behind star running back Chuck Muncie. In 1958, Cal lost to Pacific at home in the opener, but went 6-1 in league play to win the title and advance to the 1959 Rose Bowl behind star Joe Kapp.
Start Me Up
Ten different Golden Bears have earned their first career starts in the first four games this year. Redshirt freshmen Cameron Morrah (TE) and Syd'Quan Thompson (CB) were both starters in their first collegiate games at Tennessee, while sophomore Alex Mack (C), senior Bryan Deemer (OG), junior Justin Moye (LB), junior Brandon Hampton (ROV) and junior Thomas DeCoud (FS) also had starting debuts against the Volunteers. In the Minnesota game, redshirt freshman Cody Jones (DL) started at defensive end for the first time. Last week against Arizona State, junior-college transfer Mike Gibson and senior Mickey Pimentel both made their first career starts.
Bears No. 9 Preseason AP Ranking is Highest Since 1952
California's No. 9 ranking in the 2006 Associated Press Preseason College Football Poll was its highest preseason ranking since the 1952 team was ranked No. 8 in the nation. The No. 9 ranking is the third-highest overall preseason ranking for Cal behind Pappy Waldorf's 1951 and 1952 teams. The 1951 club was ranked No. 5 in the nation in the preseason. This season marks just the 10th year that Cal has held a preseason ranking from the AP, including the current stretch of three straight years. From 1955 to 2003, the Bears appeared just twice in the poll. Under head coach Jeff Tedford, California has been ranked No. 13 (2004), No. 19 (2005) and now No. 9 in AP Preseason Polls.
Cal in Preseason AP Poll
1950: No. 14
1951: No. 5
1952: No. 8
1953: No. 14
1954: No. 12
1976: No. 15
1992: No. 20
2004: No. 13
2005: No. 19
2006: No. 9
Pac-10 Preseason Poll
California was picked to finish second in the Pacific-10 Conference in a preseason poll of West Coast media members who regularly cover the league. It is the third consecutive year that the Golden Bears have been tabbed to finish second, which is the highest that Cal has ever been picked, dating back to 1961. Three-time defending Pac-10 champion USC is the favorite to win the conference. USC garnered 18 of 29 first-place votes in the poll, but California, Oregon and Arizona State also received first-place support.
In the four years under Jeff Tedford, the Golden Bears have averaged 34.4 points per game, by far the most in any four-year stretch in school history. In fact, Tedford-coached teams own four of the top five slots in single-season scoring in the modern era of football in Berkeley.
Cal Players on Preseason Watch Lists
Bednarik Award (Top Def. Player): Daymeion Hughes, Brandon Mebane
Butkus Award (Top Linebacker): Desmond Bishop
Doak Walker Award (Top Running Back): Marshawn Lynch
Hendricks Award (Top Defensive End): Nu'u Tafisi
Lott Trophy (Top Def. Player): Daymeion Hughes, Brandon Mebane
Maxwell Award (Player of the Year): Marshawn Lynch
Nagurski Trophy (Top Def. Player): Daymeion Hughes, Brandon Mebane
Outland Trophy (Top Lineman): Brandon Mebane
Walter Camp Award (Player of the Year): Marshawn Lynch
Finishing in a Rush
As Marshawn Lynch became healthier in 2005, his productivity took off. Over the final four regular-season contests and the bowl game in Las Vegas, Lynch rushed for an average of 150.6 yards (753 yards over five games). His only game under 100 yards during that period came against top-ranked USC when the sophomore carried the ball just 13 times but still reached 87 yards.
The Bears have won 26 games over the past three seasons (26-12). It is the most victories by California over a three-year period since the 1949-1950-1951 teams combined to win 27 games. Nationally, Cal's 18 wins over the last two years rank 13th, and the 26 wins during the three-year period is No. 18 in the country.
The 'All' Guys
California returns five players off of last year's All-Pac-10 squad. Returning first-teamers include cornerback Daymeion Hughes and defensive lineman Brandon Mebane. Second-team all-league choices that are back in the fold include linebacker Desmond Bishop, special teams standout Byron Storer and defensive end Nu'u Tafisi. Storer was also a second-team Pac-10 All-Academic selection.
California enters 2006 with an excellent chance of recording its fifth consecutive winning season. That note is significant because Cal has not strung together five straight seasons over the .500 mark since 1948 through 1952. From 1967 through 1971, the Bears did not have a losing season, but two of those records were exactly .500 (5-5).