Dec. 8, 2009
CLEVELAND - LB Mike Mohamed has been selected to the Phil Steele 2009 Postseason All-Pac-10 First-Team Defense announced on Tuesday. Other Cal players honored include second-team selections DE Tyson Alualu, TB Jahvid Best, CB Syd'Quan Thompson and OL Mike Tepper. C Chris Guarnero and OL Mitchell Schwartz were third-team choices, while OL Matt Summers-Gavin picked up a third-team spot on the organization's national All-Freshman Team.
Mohamed leads the Pac-10 with an average of 8.8 tackles per game and the team with 105 total stops. In addition, he has a team-high three interceptions that ranks tied for fifth in the Pac-10, as well as 2.0 sacks, 7.0 tackles for loss, three pass breakups, three quarterback hurries and one forced fumble. Mohamed was also responsible for one of the most dramatic plays of the 2009 season when he picked off Stanford QB Andrew Luck at the Cal 3-yard line late in the fourth quarter to preserve a 34-28 Cal victory in the Big Game at Stanford Stadium.
Alualu paces the team and ranks among Pac-10 leaders in sacks (7.5, 0.62 per game, No. 6 Pac-10) and tackles for loss (10.0, 0.83 per game, No. 11-T Pac-10). He also paces the club's defensive linemen and leads all Pac-10 defensive linemen with 60 tackles (two shy of his career-high of 62 in 2008). In addition, he has a team-high-tying two forced fumbles, one pass breakup and one quarterback hurry.
Best was one of the nation's top candidates for the Heisman Trophy during the early stages of the 2009 season and was well on his way to a second consecutive 1,000-yard rushing campaign before being injured on a seven-yard touchdown run against Oregon State on Nov. 7. Best has not played or practiced since the injury that required medical personal to attend to him on the field and transport him to Highland General Hospital in Oakland for an overnight stay. His status for the team's Poinsettia Bowl is uncertain. Despite missing the team's last three games of the regular season, Best continues to pace the club with 867 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns (12 rushing, 4 receiving) that are only one shy of Cal's modern-era record and two short of the school's all-time mark. His scoring average of 10.67 points per game ranks second in the Pac-10 and third nationally. He also ranks among the conference per-game leaders in rushing yardage (96.33 ypg, No. 4) and all-purpose running yardage (122.0 ypg, No. 9). Best was the Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 19 after rushing for 131 yards and a school-record-tying five touchdowns on a career-high 26 carries to lead Cal to a 35-21 win at Minnesota.
Tepper started all 12 games at left tackle after moving to the position for his final season with the Cal football program. He was granted a sixth-year of eligibility following a pectoral injury that caused him to miss his entire senior campaign in 2008.
Thompson also started all 12 games this season to run his streak to all 51 games possible over his four-year Golden Bear career. He regularly draws the assignment on opponents' top receivers and contributed 47 tackles, 4.0 TFL, one interception and a team-high eight pass breakups this season. Thompson is also Cal's active career leader in tackles (254), interceptions (7), passes defended (41) and pass breakups (34, No. 2 all-time at Cal).
Guarnero has started all 12 games at center after taking over the position following the graduation of 2008 All-American Alex Mack.
Schwartz started all 12 regular-season games this season to run his string of consecutive starts over the last two years to 25.
Summers-Gavin had a promising freshmen year with the Golden Bears going 7-1 in the eight starts he made with his absence felt and struggling to a 1-3 record in the four contests he missed due to injury.
Cal finished the 2009 regular season with an 8-4 overall record and a 5-4 Pac-10 mark to finish tied for fifth in the league standings. The Golden Bears have accepted a bid to play in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego on Dec. 23 (5:00 p.m. PT). The Bears will face Utah (9-3, 6-2 MWC), who is ranked No. 23 in the final regular-season AP Top 25 and BCS Standings, as well as No. 24 by USA Today. The game will be televised live on ESPN.
For bowl ticket information, visit CalBears.com/bowl or call (800) GO BEARS.