Sept. 29, 2002
This Week's Game
Cal looks to halt a pair of streaks this week when the Bears visit 12th-ranked Washington. Not only has Cal lost its last two outings after a 3-0 start to the 2002 season, but the Bears haven't defeated the Huskies in 26 years. Washington has won 19 straight games against its Berkeley rivals.
The past three meetings between Cal and UW have come down to the wire. In fact, the last time the Bears traveled to Seattle in 2000, they held a 24-13 lead with 11:00 minutes remaining in the game before the Huskies rallied for a 36-24 victory.
This season, Cal has rolled to a 3-2 record behind an offense that ranks seventh in the country in scoring with 41.8 ppg. The Bears have reached the 30-point barrier in four of their first five games - a feat they hadn't attained since the first five games of 1996.
Senior QB Kyle Boller, who entered the season as a career 45.1 percent passer, has completed 56.0 percent of his attempts in '02 for 1,212 yards with 11 touchdowns and only four interceptions. Coming off a 371-yard effort against Washington State, Boller moved into fifth place on Cal's career list with 6,377 yards. His 47 career TDs are fourth in the Golden Bear annals.
Sophomore WR Geoff McArthur has been Boller's favorite target with 30 catches, but junior WR Jonathan Makonnen had seven receptions for 136 yards vs. WSU and senior WR LaShaun Ward has snared a team-best four touchdown catches.
On the ground, Joe Igber topped 100 yards for the second time this season, finishing with 111 yards against the Cougars. The senior TB enters this week's game with 2,439 career yards, just 65 behind John Olszewski (2,504 ,1950-52), who holds down fourth place in Cal history.
In a series that dates back to 1904, Washington holds a 44-32-4 lead and enters Saturday's game having won 19 straight over the Bears. Six of the 19 setbacks have been by five points or less, including a 31-28 UW win last year in Berkeley. Cal led 21-17 through three quarters, but the Huskies put together a fourth-quarter rally for the third year in a row. The Bears' last victory over Washington was a 7-0 decision on Nov. 6, 1976 in Seattle.
A Quick Look at Washington
Washington enters this week's game rated 12th in the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll. The Huskies' lone loss was a 31-29 decision at Michigan in their season opener. Behind QB Cody Pickett, UW ranks second in the nation in passing yards (384.75 per game) and third in total offense (503.50 ypg). Pickett's passing efficiency rating of 160.70 holds the No. 5 position in Division I-A, and three of his targets are corralling at least four catches per contest - Rich Alexis (4.25), Kevin Ware (4.25) and Charles Frederick (4.00). On the ground, Alexis has rumbled for 381 yards.
Jeff Tedford, California (Fresno State '83) is in his first season as head coach of the Golden Bears, taking over as the program's 32nd head coach last December. Tedford, 3-2 as a head coach, arrived at Cal after four highly successful seasons at Oregon, where he served as offensive coordinator and helped the Ducks to a combined 38-10 record, including an 11-1 mark last fall when Oregon won the Pac-10 championship and earned a No. 2 national ranking. Tedford began his coaching career in 1989 as an offensive assistant with the CFL's Calgary Stampeders. In 1992, he returned to his alma mater, Fresno State, as quarterback coach. A year later, he was elevated to offensive coordinator, a position he held through 1997. A native of Downey, Calif., Tedford was a record-setting quarterback as a player at Fresno State, graduating with a degree in physical education in 1983.
Rick Neuheisel, Washington (UCLA '84) is in his fourth season as head coach at Washington and his seventh year as a head coach at the collegiate level. He owns an overall 62-25 record, including a 29-11 mark with the Huskies. Last season, he guided UW to an 8-4 record, a tie for second place in the Pac-10 and a berth in the Holiday Bowl. Prior to joining Washington, Neuheisel spent four seasons as head coach at Colorado (1995-98), compiling a 33-14 overall record and a 3-0 record in postseason bowl games. Neuheisel began his coaching career at UCLA as an assistant coach from 1988-93.
IKON Office Solutions Play of the Week
Each week throughout the 2002 football season, IKON Office Solutions salutes the Golden Bear Play of the Week. For the Washington State game, OT Mark Wilson took a lateral from QB Kyle Boller into the end zone for a 3-yard touchdown rush.
The Times Player of the Game
Each week throughout the 2002 football season, the Contra Costa Times will recognize the Cal Player of the Game. For the Washington State game, QB Kyle Boller threw three TD passes and set personal career bests of 29 completions and 371 yards.
Bears Look to Sever 19-Game Losing Streak in State of Washington
It has been an agonizing 22 years since a Cal football team has tasted victory in the state of Washington. The Washington hex continued last season when the Bears absorbed a 51-20 loss at Washington State Sept. 22, marking the 19th consecutive setback for a Cal team in the Apple State. California has not won a game on Washington soil since 1979-a 45-13 triumph at WSU. The losing skeins in the northwest state have extended to 10 games in Pullman and nine in Seattle. The last time the Bears beat the Huskies in Seattle was 1976 by a 7-0 count.
Cal Also Gunning to End Washington's 17-Game Home Winning Streak
Washington enters this week's game with the longest active home winning streak in the Pac-10 at 17 games. That 17-game run ties the Huskies' modern day record, which was set between 1991-93. Besides wanting to halt personal losing streaks against the Huskies-and in the state of Washington-the Bears have additional incentive for scoring an upset win this Saturday. They will be trying to preserve the all-time Pac-10 home win streak record of 26 games... set by California from 1919- 23. The last time Washington lost a game in Seattle was Oct. 16, 1999, a 28-7 setback to Arizona State.
Bears Boast +11 Turnover Ratio After 5 Weeks to Rank 5th Nationally
Although they were dented for 48 points and 578 yards by WSU's high-octane offense last week, the Golden Bears continue to be one of the nation's best in the all- important turnover department. Thus far in 2002, Cal has forced 16 turnovers and committed only five for a TO ratio of +11-the fifth best margin (+2.20 per game) in NCAA Division 1-A play. The Bears lived on the other side of the turnover ledger in 2001, finishing 114th out of 115 Division 1-A schools with a woeful -17 figure. The club's 16 takeaways this fall are only two shy of last year's full-season total. Included in that total are 10 fumble recoveries this year, which equals last season's entire output and currently ranks second nationally (one behind leader Virginia Tech's 11). The TO wars have been particularly telling in first halves this year, when the bend-but-don't-break Bears have coughed up only one turnover all year in posting a collective +12 mark during the first 30 minutes of their games.
Quick-Start Bears Have Outscored Foes by Eye-Bulging 121-22 Margin in First Halves This Year
Roaring out of the gates like few others, the new-and-improved Cal Bears have feasted on 2002 opponents in the first half this year. The Bears, who took a modest 21-9 cushion into halftime last week against Washington State, have outscored their foes by a whopping 121-22 margin through their first five games. Cal, which has led at the end of the first quarter in every contest this year, has outscored its opponents, 69-13, in opening periods this season. Second quarters have also been good to the Berkeley club, holding a 52-9 edge. California owned a 38-0 mark in the stanza through four games, but Washington State became the first opponent to get on the board in the second quarter by scoring nine points on Saturday. While Jeff Tedford's squad has been lights out in the first two quarters, they experienced a 29- 7 meltdown in the third quarter last weekend against the Cougars and have now been outscored, 61-24, overall in third periods this year.
Boller Reaching Rarified Air on Cal's Career Yardage List, Needs Only 190 Yards to Pass No. 4 Gale Gilbert
In one of the best performances of his collegiate career, senior quarterback Kyle Boller set personal bests for completions, attempts and yardage by carving up WSU's defense for 371 yards and three TDs on 29-of-47 passing. He's now thrown at least one TD pass in seven consecutive games dating back to the 55-14 loss to USC last Nov. 10 at Memorial Stadium. In 2002, Boller has threaded 56.0% of his attempts (98-of-175) for 1,212 yards, 11 touchdowns and four interceptions through five games. He has contributed to 15 TDs-an average of three per game-by the team, also rushing for three scores and catching a pass for another touchdown. His 18.0 points per game ties him for sixth nationally in Points Responsible For. And having stockpiled 6,377 yards and 47 TD passes during his four-year tenure at Cal, Boller currently ranks No. 5 and No. 4, respectively, in those school categories. He needs only 190 passing yards to climb past Gale Gilbert (6,566) into fourth place, while two more TD tosses will push him ahead of Dave Barr (48) for the third-most scoring passes in school history. In perhaps the only game last year in which Cal may have played to its potential, Boller played brilliantly at times in the Bears' 31-28 loss to then 13th-ranked Washington at Memorial Stadium. Boller rifled four touchdown passes and threw no interceptions in a 265-yard passing day (21-of-36) against the Huskies in a game he also rushed five times for 25 yards.
Banta-Cain Can Climb into 6th Place on Cal's Career Sack List This Week
Held sackless for two straight weeks, Cal senior end Tully Banta-Cain still rests in a three-way tie with Natu Tuatagaloa and Sekou Sanyika for seventh place on the school's career sack list with 19.5. Prior to the two-game drought, Banta-Cain had corralled at least one sack in five straight games dating back to last year. With a big day this Saturday, he can move up two rungs into fifth place on Cal's all-time chart, as he needs one sack to bypass No. 6 Joel Dickson (20) and three sacks to inch past No. 5 Ron Rivera (22).
Husky Nemesis Igber Within Range of 4th Place on Cal's All-Time Rushing List with 2,439 Yards
Cal's senior tailback Joe Igber has been a one-man wrecking crew against Washington in his career, rushing for 342 yards on 73 carries in three previous games. As a freshman, the Nigerian native scooted for a career-high 182 yards and one TD on 35 carries vs. the Huskies in Berkeley. And he followed that effort with a 116-yard, 17-attempt performance in Seattle in 2000. However, the UW defense was able to contain the elusive back, harnessing him to 44 yards on 21 carries in a 31-28 Cal loss at Memorial Stadium. Igber seems to make news virtually every week this year, as he continues to inch upwards on the Bears' all-time rushing chart. Last Saturday, he smoked the Memorial Stadium turf for 111 yards on 20 carries against the 16th-ranked Cougars, including a 95-yard outburst in the first half which propelled Cal to a 21-9 lead at intermission. It marked Igber's eighth 100-yard rushing performance of his career-the fourth most in Cal history. Only Russell White and Chuck Muncie, who both rushed for 100 yards 15 times, and John Olszewski, who accomplished the feat on 10 occasions, have hit the century mark more often in school history. After five weeks of 2002, Igber has rushed for 445 yards on 90 carries-the fourth-best yards-per-game average (89.0) in the Pac-10-to inflate his career total to 2,439 yards. His 445 yards this season already eclipses his entire output last year, when he rushed for only 399 yards on 94 carries before missing the Bears' final four games with a fractured clavicle. His career total perches him at fifth place on Cal's all-time list, only 65 yards shy of No. 4 Olszewski (2,504, 1950-52). In addition, the diminutive Igber has shot into Cal's Career Top 10 in all-purpose yardage with 3,036, the eighth highest total in school annuals. With 50 more all-purpose yards this Saturday in Seattle, he will vault ahead of Wesley Walker (3,085, 1973-76) into No. 7.
The One-Year Switcheroo: Cal Takes Dramatic Turn for the Better in '02
Very few college football programs have undergone such positive one-year transformations the likes of California. After five games last year, the Bears were saddled with a 0-5 record and were being outdistanced by an average score of 43.6 points to 17.6 points. Five games into this season, Cal sports its best start (3-2) since 1998 and is outscoring its opponents by a eye-popping margin 16.2 points (41.8 to 25.6).
Cal Cranking Out 41.8 Points Per Game to Rank 7th Nationally in Scoring
Talk about an about-face, the 2002 Cal Bears have already outscored last year's team by eight points. Spewing out 41.8 points per game to rank seventh in NCAA scoring, the Bears have cashed in 25 touchdowns and 209 points in their first five games of the season. In comparison, last year's Cal squad tallied 24 TDs and 201 points total over an 11-game schedule.
Saturday's Game to Feature Virtual Reunion of SF City College's 2000 National Title Team
Saturday's Bears-Huskies matchup will provide veritable alumni reunion for the City College of San Francisco's 2000 National Junior College Championship team. On the Washington side, quarterback Taylor Barton, linebacker Kai Ellis and offensive lineman Francisco Tipoti were all sophomores on that JuCo title club. They are joined by former teammate Jonathan Makonnen, now a starting wide receiver at Cal. Barton, who completed 62.5% of his passes for 2,059 yards and 24 TDs as the nation's top ranked JC player by SuperPrep magazine in 2000, has served as Washington's backup signal-caller behind Cody Pickett the past two years. He threaded 44 of 86 passes (57.2%) for 647 yards, five TDs and two interceptions for the Huskies last season. Ellis, who was named the California Defensive Player of the Year for the 12-0 club at CCSF in 2000, has started for the Huskies at outside linebacker the past two campaigns. He piled up 39 tackles in an injury-plagued year in '01, playing in only eight games, but entered this year as a pre-season All-Pac-10 first team choice by The Sporting News. Tipoti, ranked the nation's No. 1 JuCo offensive lineman by SuperPrep two years ago, has played in reserve as a Husky. Meanwhile, in his first season in Berkeley, Makonnen ranks second on the Bears in receptions with 22 for 337 yards and two TDs in five games.
Two of NCAA's Best Kickers Square off in Puget Sound This Saturday
Washington's John Anderson and Cal's Mark Jensen, both of whom have distinguished themselves with notable college careers to date, will be showcased at Husky Stadium on Saturday. Anderson, an All-Pac-10 second team selection as a junior, has drilled six of eight field goal attempts this year to increase his career total to 45 three-pointers-good for third place on Washington's all-time list for field goals. He still has a ways to go to surpass No. 2 Chuck Nelson (59, 1980-82) and leader Jeff Jaeger (NCAA-record 80, 1983-86), but he can already lay claim to having booted four of the 10 longest FGs in school history. Anderson, who also ranks third behind Jaeger (358) and Nelson (271) in career scoring with 257 points, has converted field goals from 56 (shares UW mark with Don Martin), 52, and twice from 50 yards. Meanwhile, Jensen has emerged as one of the country's most prolific kickers in 2002. The Pac-10 Special Teams Player of the Week two weeks ago when he reeled off a school-record five field goals in a 23-21 loss to Air Force, the Bears' senior currently ranks second in the Pac-10 and 10th nationally in kick scoring with 57 points (11.4 per game). He has nailed 11 of 14 FG attempts and 24-for-24 in PATs, and boomed a career-best 51-yard FG at Michigan State Sept. 14. With his scoring onslaught this year, Jensen has quickly moved into the school's career Top 10 in scoring. His current 194 points rank seventh on the list, with former Heisman Trophy runner-up Chuck Muncie (224 points, 1973-75) his next target.
Tedford's 2002 Club Eyeing One of Biggest Turnarounds in School History
When you finished last season with the worst record (1-10) by a Cal team in 104 years, you know there's only one way to go-up. But with their impressive 3-2 start, Tedford's Bears have a chance to produce one of the biggest one-year turnarounds in school history. They have already bettered last year's mark by two games, which is the best one-year turnaround at Cal since the 1996 posted a 6-6 mark following a 3-8 record the following year. The greatest one-year flip by a Cal team came in 1947, when a man named Lynn "Pappy" Waldorf assumed the head coaching reins and promptly led his Golden Bears to a 9-1 record-a six-and-a-half game improvement from the previous season (2-7 in '46 under Frank Wickhorst).
Both "Overachieving" QBs in College, Tedford & Neuheisel Bring Winning Acumen to Their Schools
Both former quarterbacks who achieved beyond expectations on both the college and pro levels, head coaches Rick Neuheisel and Jeff Tedford have been surrounded by winning records and bowl games during their coaching careers. In head coaching stops at Colorado and Washington, Neuheisel has scrolled a 61-24 record (.718 winning percentage). As an assistant at Colorado and his alma mater UCLA, he was associated with teams that posted an equally impressive 52-28-1 record (.648). In his first year as a head coach, Tedford has steered Cal to a 3-2 record (.600) after 13 seasons as an assistant coach in the CFL (Calgary, 3 years) and college ranks (alma mater Fresno State, 6 years; Oregon, 4 years). During his assistant years, his teams produced a 105-64-2 ledger (.620) and advanced to the postseason in eight of those 13 seasons. As players, Neuheisel made the most of his one year as a starter at UCLA, completing 69.3% of his passes (185-of-267) for 2,245 yards, 13 TDs and 10 interceptions in 1983, capped by being named Rose Bowl MVP that year. He later played three seasons professionally with the USFL San Antonio Gunslingers (1984-85) and NFL's San Diego Chargers (1987), with his best season coming with the Gunslingers in 1985 when he connected on 239 of 321 passes (56.8%) for 3,068 yards, 18 TDs and 25 interceptions. Tedford-who played in the 1979 East-West Shrine High School All-Star Game at the L.A. Coliseum that also featured fellow prep QBs John Elway and Tom Ramsey-enjoyed a stellar playing career at Fresno State. He established several Bulldog passing records, including career marks for yardage (4,872) and touchdown passes (35), and earned honorable mention All-America notice in 1982 when he set school standards for passing yards (2,993) and TD passes (24). Tedford later played six seasons in the Canadian Football League with Hamilton, Calgary, Saskatchewan and Winnipeg. He completed 54% of his passes for his CFL career, appearing in the Grey Cup with Hamilton in 1984
McArthur, Makonnen & Ward Form Cal's WR Triumvirate
Cal's wide receiving corps has been upgraded considerably from last year, with sophomore Geoff McArthur leading the charges with 6.0 grabs per game to rank third in the Pac-10 and 21st nationally. Overall, he has chased down 30 passes for 359 yards-both team-leading figures-and one touchdown. He has hauled in seven passes three times this season (vs. Baylor, Michigan State and Washington State). Other key pass-catchers this year include City College of San Francisco transfer Jonathan Makonnen (22 for 337, 2 TDs) and senior LaShaun Ward, who has clawed 15 passes for 244 yards and a club-high four TDs. Senior tight end Tom Swoboda, who caught six passes in a game for the second time this year against WSU, has nabbed 13 passes for 116 yards and two TDs thus far. His 13 receptions almost equal the combined 16 catches made by the entire tight end group all of last year.
Cal's Special Teams Have Been Exactly That in Early Season of Big Play Bonanzas Mostly fueled by their vastly improved special teams unit, Cal has been the master of the big play in the early season. The Bears have uncorked no less than 10 plays that have measured 50 yards or beyond. Dave Ungerer's special teams have paved the way, ranking first in the Pac-10 in kickoff (25.8, 10th NCAA) and second in punt (15.2, 18th NCAA) return average. Kick returner LaShaun Ward owns a lofty 29.1 average, which ranks first in the Pac-10 and 10th nationally. Punt returner Jemeel Powell, the school's career punt return leader (13.7 avg.), averages 14.5 yards per attempt, which currently places him third in the conference and 23rd in the country. Kicker Mark Jensen is third in the NCAA with 11 field goals and ranks 10th in scoring nationally(11.4 ppg), while punter Tyler Fredrickson boots at a 38.7 clip-with seven of his 19 punts landing inside the 20-yard line-and was added to Ray Guy Award watch list two weeks ago by the Greater Augusta Sports Council. Meanwhile, the Bears' coverage units have been stingy, allowing 18.8 yards per kickoff return and 9.2 per punt return this year.
Bears Lead Pac-10 in Red-Zone Offense, Scoring on 23 of 24 Opportunities Inside 20-Yard Line
The Bears continue to lead the Pac-10 in red zone offense, having converted 23 of 24 scoring opportunities (95.8%) inside the opponents' 20-yard line this year with 14 TDs and nine field goals. Conversely, opponents have scored on only 11 of 17 red-zone chances (64.7%). Cal's early season red-zone success is one of three offensive categories the Bears have excelled in that's reminiscent of Tedford's Oregon team last year. Cal has also committed only five turnovers this season and has allowed Kyle Boller to be sacked only five times. In 2001, Tedford's Ducks turned the ball over a NCAA-low 11 times and led the Pac-10 in both fewest sacks allowed (11) and best red-zone offense (37-of-39, 94.9%).
Washington Series is Cal's 3rd Longest Running Pac-10 Rivalry
In the history of Cal football, the Bears-Huskies series is the school's third-longest running rivalry among Pac-10 opponents. This Saturday marks the 81st renewal of the series, with Washington holding a 32-44-4 edge. The only Cal series that feature more meetings are the Big Game with Stanford (104 games, Cardinal leading 54-39-11) and USC (89 games, Trojans leading 55-29-5).
This marks the second straight week that the Bears are playing a team which is opening their Pac-10 schedule against Cal. The Huskies christen their conference slate a week later than most Pac-10 schools, having played Michigan, San Jose State, Wyoming and Idaho in non-conference tilts leading into this week's game ... Thus far this season (prior to Monday's selections this week), Cal has landed more Pac-10 Players of the Week than any other school in the conference. QB Kyle Boller and PR Jemeel Powell were both cited for their play in Cal's upset win at Michigan State Sept. 14, and K Mark Jensen earned player of the week accolades after the Air Force game Sept. 21. USC and Washington have featured two Pac-10 Players of the Week this season ... Former Cal head coach Keith Gilbertson continues to serve as Washington's offensive coordinator. From 1992-95, Gilbertson registered a 20-26 record as the Golden Bears' skipper. The Huskies have fashioned a 33-5 mark during his two tenures as offensive coordinator, including a 12-0 record in 1991 and 11-1 ledger in 2000. Gilby's top season at the helm of California was 1993-the Bears' last winning season when they chiseled out a 9-4 record and shellacked Iowa, 37-3, in the Alamo Bowl ... The 2002 Huskies feature two players who are the younger brothers of notable quarterbacks. Redshirt freshman Casey Paus, the third-string QB for Washington, is the brother of UCLA quarterback Cory Paus, while sophomore fullback Zach Tuiasosopo's older sibling is QB Marques Tuiasosopo, former Husky star and current member of the NFL's Oakland Raiders ... There are three alums from Honolulu's Iolani High School who figure to play in this weekend's tilt-Cal's tailback Joe Igber and Washington's guard William Kava (redshirt freshman) and defensive lineman Donny Mateaki (freshman) ... Washington home games have been the biggest draw in the Pac-10 for more than a decade. The Huskies averaged 72,469 per game last year, the fifth highest average in conference history. UW's home attendance has ranked first in the Pac-10 in 11 of the last 12 seasons ... Eighty three-year-old Husky Stadium, the Pac-10's oldest stadium and the nation's fifth-oldest grid venue, was the first major college in the nation to install AstroTurf in 1968. After 32 years and several generations of AstrotTurf, another synthetic substance, FieldTurf, was installed in the stadium prior to last season ... Although it hasn't played in a Rose Bowl since the Joe Kapp-led team lost to Iowa, 38-12, in 1959, Cal has made a respectable showing in Rose Bowls with eight appearances through the years. In comparison, Washington has earned a trip to the Rose Bowl 14 times in its history ... Some of UW's more famous alumni included TV and motion picture stars Dyan Cannon and Patrick Duffy, martial arts legend Bruce Lee and Dennis the Menace cartoonist Hank Ketcham.