Sept. 16, 2009
BERKELEY - California junior running back Jahvid Best has remained third in this week's HeismanPundit.com Heisman Poll. Quarterback Tim Tebow of Florida grew his lead over fellow signal-caller Colt McCoy from Texas. Tebow captured nine of the 13 first-place votes and totaled 59 points to McCoy's 52. McCoy had three first-place nods.
Best picked up the final first-place vote in this week's poll and gained six more points than he had last week to run his point total to 41, which is more than twice the 20 he had in a preseason poll released two weeks ago.
"I don't think Cal RB Jahvid Best is getting enough respect," said one voter, according to a press release issued by Heismanpundit.com. "I am ready to move him up my ballot. Few legit candidates have been as impressive the first two weeks."
Best posted his sixth consecutive 100-yard rushing game dating back to the final four contests of 2009 by rushing for 144 yards and a touchdown on only 17 carries in a 59-7 victory over Eastern Washington last Saturday. He also caught a touchdown pass.
Best had rushed for 137 yards and two touchdowns on only 10 carries to lead the Golden Bears to a 52-13 win over Maryland in the first game of the 2009 season on Sept. 5.
For the season, he ranks second in the Pac-10 and sixth in the country with an average of 140.5 rushing yards per game (281 total) and is averaging 10.4 yards per carry. He is also third in the conference and No. 21 nationally in all-purpose running (170.5 yards per game). In addition, he has scored four touchdowns (3 rushing, 1 receiving) to tie for third in the Pac-10 and tie for No. 10 nationally with an average of 12.0 points per contest. He also moved past the 2,000-yard mark in career rushing yards in his most recent outing and now has 2,082 to move within 108 of cracking the school's all-time Top 10.
Best is a 2009 preseason All-American and on watch lists for the College Football Performance Awards Player of the Year and Running Back of the Year, Doak Walker Award, Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Award. He is the country's leading returning rusher after averaging 131.67 yards per game last year when he ran for 1,580 yards to record the second-highest single-season total ever at Cal. His 8.1 yards per carry in 2008 set a new single-season school record while his 15 rushing touchdowns tied the Bears' single-season mark. Best was a first-team All-Pac-10 selection as a running back in 2008 after earning the same honor on special teams as a true freshman the previous campaign.
The HeismanPundit.com Heisman Poll is in its fourth season and is released every week during the college football season. The poll is comprised of 13 Heisman voters from across the country.
No. 7/8 Cal (2-0) faces its first road test of the 2009 campaign when the Golden Bears travel to Minnesota this Saturday for a 9 a.m. PT kickoff (11 a.m. CT). The contest will be televised live nationally by ESPN.
Cal will also be on the road for its Pac-10 season-opener at Oregon on Saturday, Sept. 26 (12:30 p.m. PT), before returning to Memorial Stadium for a showdown with No. 3 USC on Saturday, Oct. 3 (5 p.m.). Both contests will be televised live by ABC.
For tickets to all 2009 Cal football games, visit CalBears.com or call (800) GO BEARS.