Cal Football Post-Game Notes - at Minnesota (Saturday, September 19)
Cal improved to 3-0 for the fifth time in eight seasons under head coach Jeff Tedford. The Golden Bears also started the season with three consecutive victories in 2002, '04, '05 and '07.
Cal won its sixth straight game overall. The longest run of victories under head coach Tedford came in 2006 when the club ran off eight straight victories after dropping its season-opener at Tennessee.
Cal snapped a four-game road losing streak and won for only the second time in its last 10 road contests.
Heisman Trophy candidate TB Jahvid Best set a new modern-era (1937-current) single-game school record and a new career-high with five rushing touchdowns. Best now has eight touchdowns this season and is already more than halfway to the school record of 15 that he tied in 2008. He has 25 rushing touchdowns in his career and moved from a tie for seventh-place into sole possession of fifth-place on the school's all-time list after the five he recorded against Minnesota. Best ran for 131 yards on a career-high 26 carries on Saturday to move into 10th on the all-time rushing yardage list at Cal with a career total of 2,213. In the first three games of 2009, he has rushed for 412 yards on 53 carries for averages of 7.8 yards per carry and 137.3 yards per game. In addition, he had three rushes of 20 or more yards against Minnesota and now has 30 in his career. Best also has seven consecutive games of 100 or more rushing yards dating back to the final four contests of 2008 and has rushed for 1,228 yards and 17 TDs on 126 carries (9.75 yards per rush, 175.4 yards per game) during that seven-game span. He has also added a pair of receiving TDs over the last seven contests.
Cal recorded 10 plays (6 passing, 4 rushing) of 15 or more yards against Minnesota to run its total to 34 (20 passing, 14 rushing) this season. Best accounted for three of the four rushes of 15 or more yards against the Golden Gophers and has nine of the team's 14 on the season.
Cal has now won 25 straight games in which the Bears have scored 30 or more points and have now scored 30 or more points 52 times in the Tedford era, posting a 48-4 record in those contests.
Cal improved to 5-1 under head coach Tedford in road games that have started before noon Pacific Time.
WRs Verran Tucker (78 yards receiving) and Jeremy Ross (73 yards receiving both had career-highs with Ross also catching the longest ball of his career with career-long 35-yard reception from Kevin Riley on a Cal scoring drive that snapped a 21-21 tie in the fourth quarter before the two hooked up for another 31-yard strike on the drive three plays later.
The 14 points allowed by Cal in the second quarter and the first half, as well as the 21 points allowed in the game were the most the team has allowed in a quarter, half and game this season, respectively.
The three touchdowns passing allowed by Cal were the most the Bears have allowed since also giving up three against Tennessee at Memorial Stadium on Sept. 1, 2007.
LB Mychal Kendricks forced the first fumble of his career in the third quarter
DB Syd'Quan Thompson recorded a season-high eight tackles.
QB Kevin Riley went his third consecutive game in 2009 without an interception, finishing the contest 16-of-25 for 252 yards in the air.
Cal committed its first turnover of the 2009 season in the third quarter on a punt by Minnesota's Blake Hauden that hit off Charles Satchell and was recovered by the Golden Gophers' Jeff Tow-Arnett.
PK Vince D'Amato remained perfect in PATs by making all five of his attempts and is now 20-for-20 on the season. He also kicked off for the first time in his career on each of the Golden Bears' three second-half kickoffs.
P Bryan Anger punted a season-high six times, including a season-high punt of 60 yards in the third quarter and also dropped a pair inside the Golden Gophers' 20-yardline.
Cal won the time of possession battle for the first time in 2009, holding the ball for 33:26 compared to Minnesota's 26:34.
Cal improved to 4-2 all-time against Minnesota. The Bears were also winners over Minnesota in 1951 (at Cal 55, Minnesota 14), 1952 (Cal 49, at Minnesota 13) and 2006 (at Cal 42, Minnesota 17). The Golden Gophers won contests between the two teams in 1964 (Minnesota 26, at Cal 20) and 1987 (at Minnesota 32, Cal 23).
Cal remained perfect under head coach Jeff Tedford against the Big Ten, improving to 6-0. The Bears had previously defeated Michigan State (2002, '08) and Illinois (2003, '05) twice each, in addition to its 2006 victory over Minnesota.
Jeff Tedford improved to 62-30 all-time at Cal, continuing to move up the win column toward modern-era leader Pappy Waldorf (67-32-4, 1947-56). The only other head coaches to break the 60-win mark at Cal are all-time leader Andy Smith (74-16-7, 1916-25) and James Schaeffer (73-16-8, 1909-15).
Cal improved to 17-7 under head coach Jeff Tedford when they enter a game ranked in the Top 10 and 35-15 when the Bears are ranked in the Top 25.
Cal allowed only 37 yards rushing a week after giving up just 14 to Eastern Washington on Sept. 12.
Cal recorded its first three interceptions of the season (all in the second half), equaling the most the Golden Bears have recorded in a game since also picking off three passes vs. Stanford on Nov. 22, 2008.
LB Mike Mohamed picked off a pair of passes for the first multiple-interception game of his career.
KR Shane Vereen equaled a career-high with three kickoff returns.
DL Tyson Alualu recorded a career-high-tying 2.0 sacks and 2.0 tackles for loss.
LB Devin Bishop recorded the first solo sack of his career and also had a career-high 1.0 tackles for loss.
DL Kendrick Payne had the first fumble recovery of his career.
DB Josh Hill picked off the first pass of his career.
Cal converted on 7-of-15 (46.7%) of its third-down conversions and is now 20-of-38 (52.6%) on third downs in 2009 after converting on only 47-of-157 (29.6%) of its third-down tries last season.
Cal scored touchdowns on all three of its trips inside the red zone and has now scored on 15-of-16 (93.8%) visits to the red zone this season with 13 of those scores touchdowns for a red zone TD percentage of 81.3%.
Cal scored touchdowns on each of its first two possessions in the first and fourth quarters.
Cal had its longest drives of the season both in plays and yards during the game. Cal's second drive of the game went a season-long 86 yards on only three plays with TB Jahvid Best scoring on a 2-yard run to cap the drive. The key play was a 59-yard hookup between QB Kevin Riley and WR Verran Tucker after Best had ran for 25 yards on the first play of the drive. The Bears held the ball for 11 plays on their first drive of the second quarter and advanced 41 yards before PK Vince D'Amato missed wide right on a 47-yard field goal attempt.
The game was played in front of a sold-out crowd of 50,805.