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Football Prepares for Washington State
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  06/21/1999

Sept. 20, 1998

Game No. 4 : Washington State Cougars (3-0, 0-0 Pac-10) at California Golden Bears (2-1, 0-0 Pac-10)

Saturday, Sept. 26, 1998, Memorial Stadium (75,028 - Grass), Berkeley, CA.

Kickoff 4:00 p.m.

Television Televised live regionally by ABC Sports (locally on KGO Channel 7) with Mark Jones and Dean Blevins calling the action.

Attendance A crowd of 35,000 is expected.

Calbears.com

Complete Cal Football information can be found on Cal's official web site at www.calbears.com. WSU's web site is www.wsu.edu/athletics.

Cal Radio Network

The game will be aired live over KGO Radio (810 AM) San Francisco and the five-station Cal Radio Network. Other stations on the network are: KANM (660 AM) in Modesto, KRCK (1490 AM) in King City; KJAX (1280 AM) in Stockton, KGOE (105.5 FM) in Eureka, KYOS (1480 AM) in Merced; and KMET (1490 AM) in Riverside. The pre-game show begins 15 minutes prior to kickoff. KGO is in its 24th season as the Golden Bears flagship station. Sports Director Joe Starkey is in his 24th season handling play-by-play duties, and Lee Grosscup, who is in his 10th year in the booth, joins him with color commentary. The Tom Holmoe Show airs weekly on KGO Wednesdays at 5:20 p.m.

Cal Highlight Show

The weekly one-half hour Cal Football Highlight Show, hosted by Tim Sharp, will air each Sunday afternoon during the season on Fox Sports Bay Area. The program will be shown on Sundays at 4:30 p.m., with a repeat showing Mondays at 3 p.m.

Turnovers in Bears Favor

Through the season's first three games, Cal ranks tied for 19th in turnover margin at +1.33 per game. The Bears have already equaled their interception total of a year ago with four, while defense end Andre Carter recovered a pair of fumbles at Oklahoma. On the offensive side, quarterback Justin Vedder, who led the Pac-10 with 14 interceptions in 1997, has only two this year, but both came in the final four minutes of the Nebraska game when Cal was trying to rally from a 21-3 deficit and were practically meaningless. In addition, Cal has yet to lose a fumble.

Cal-Washington State: The Series

Cal and Washington State meet for the 62nd time Saturday, with Cal holding a 35-21-5 series lead. However, the Cougars have won five of the last six games and nine of the last 13 (including one tie in 1987). In Berkeley, the Bears are 24-9-3 on the Memorial Stadium turf, including a 27-11 victory in the most recent match-up in 1995. Last season in Pullman, the two teams combined for 100 points in a 63-37 Cougar victory - the fourth-highest scoring game in Cal history.

Douglas Breaks into Top 10

With six catches at Oklahoma last Saturday, senior wide receiver Dameane Douglas moved into Cal's career Top 10 receiving list with 116. Now ranking ninth in school history, Douglas needs five more to pass Dwight Garner (120 catches) for the eighth spot.

Cal Career Receiving List
                             Rec    Yards
5. Steve Rivera (1973-75)    138    2085
6. Steve Sweeney (170-72)    132    2043
7. Sean Dawkins (1990-92)    129    2124
8. Dwight Garner (1982-85)   120    1027
9. Dameane Douglas (1995- )   116   1498

1998 Cal Schedule, Results & Notes Sept. 5 Houston 14-10 Douglas scores winning TD on 34-yard reception with 2:07 left. Sept. 12 #4 Nebraska (Fox) 3-24 Nebraska scores 10 points in final 3:54 to break open 14-3 game. Sept. 19 at Oklahoma (FSBA) 13-12 Wolleck kicks game-winning FG with 5:56 left; Bears rush for 178 yds Sept. 26 Washington State (ABC) 4:00 p.m. Cal has won 9 of last 12 in Berkeley, including 27-11 in '95. Oct. 10 at USC TBA In last visit in '96, Cal won at USC for first time since 1970 (22-15). Oct. 17 at Washington (Fox-Synd.) 3:30 p.m. Bears looking to break 15-game losing streak to Huskies. Oct. 24 UCLA 12:30 p.m. After Cal won 5 straight from 1990-94, UCLA has taken last 3 games. Oct. 31 at Oregon State 1:00 p.m. Cal built 33-0 lead before winning 33-14 last year. Nov. 7 at Arizona State 3:00 p.m. 15 of last 19 games have been decided by more than 7 points. Nov. 14 Arizona 12:30 p.m. Cal won, 56-55, in 4 OT in '96, but UA won, 41-38, in 2 OT last year. Nov. 21 Stanford (KGO TV 7) 12:30 p.m. 101st renewal of Big Game; 10th most-played rivalry in NCAA.

Cal Radio on the Internet

All Cal football radio broadcasts can be heard on the Internet at www.broadcast. com/sports/ncaa/california. Visit the site and download the necessary software, then log on at game time to catch the Bears live

Cal Radio on 800 Service

All Cal football radio broadcasts during the 1998 season are available nationwide via telephone through the facilities of TRZ Telephone Broadcast Services. Fans can access the Cal Radio Network from anywhere in the country at 1-800-846-4700, ext. 5918. The cost is $.50 for the first minute, with decreasing rates for additional minutes.

Pac-10 Video Feed

The Pacific-10 Conference provides a weekly satellite feed every Wednesday throughout the season, featuring game highlights and interviews. The feed, at Telstar 4, Transponder 20 (C-Band), airs from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. PT. In case of trouble with the feed, call the Pac-10 Conference office at (925) 932-4411.

Pac-10 Standings
                    Pac-10      Overall
                    W    L      W    L
Arizona             1    0      3    0
USC                 1    0      3    0
Washington          1    0      2    0
Oregon              0    0      3    0
Washington State    0    0      3    0
UCLA                0    0      2    0
California          0    0      2    1
Oregon State        0    1      2    1
Stanford            0    1      1    2
Arizona State       0    1      1    2

Around the Pac-10

Arizona at San Diego State (Sept. 24), Oregon State at Arizona State, Stanford at Oregon, UCLA at Miami, USC at Florida State, Washington at Nebraska.

The Coaches

Tom Holmoe, California (Brigham Young '83) is in his second year as head coach of the Bears and third with the Cal program. He has a career record of 5-9 with the Bears. A 1983 graduate of BYU, Holmoe was the Cougars starting cornerback from 1980-82 and led the WAC in interceptions as a sophomore in 1980. He earned first team WAC honors as a senior and later was drafted in the fourth round by the San Francisco 49ers. Holmoe went on to play seven years with in the NFL, all with San Francisco, and helped the 49ers win three Super Bowls. After retiring from pro football, he entered the coaching ranks, serving as a graduate assistant during the 1990 and '91 seasons under LaVell Edwards at BYU. In 1992, Holmoe was reunited with Bill Walsh after accepting an offer to become the Stanford secondary coach. After two years as a member of the Cardinal staff, he moved back to the pro ranks and his former team, the 49ers, as George Seifert's defensive backfield coach for the 1994 and '95 seasons. In 1996, Holmoe joined the Bears staff as the defensive coordinator and on Jan. 18, 1997, he was named head football coach at Cal.

Mike Price, Washington State (Puget Sound '85), who led the Cougars to a Pac-10 title last season, is in his 10th season at the helm of the WSU program, compiling a 56-49 record. Prior to moving to Pullman, Price was 36-44 in eight years at Weber State from 1981-88, giving him a 102-93 career mark. He first came to WSU in 1965 and played two years under head coach Bert Clark before transferring to Puget Sound. Price then served two coaching stints at WSU, first as a graduate assistant for coach Jim Sweeney from 1969-70. After two seasons as offensive coordinator at Puget Sound, Price returned to Sweeney's staff as the Cougar backfield coach and remained there until 1978 when he moved to Missouri as quarterbacks and receivers coach.

Game Day Promotions

Saturday's Washington State contest is the 1998 Homecoming game for Cal Football with alumni activities planned all over campus before kickoff. In addition, it is High School Band Day, with the bands performing during halftime.

IKON Office Solutions Play of the Week

Each week throughout the 1998 football season, IKON Office Solutions will salute the Golden Bear Play of the Week. For the Oklahoma game, the honor goes to Tim Wolleck's game-winning 27-yard field goal with 5:56 left in the game. With Cal down, 12-10, Wolleck split the uprights to put the Bears ahead for good.

The Times Player of the Game

Each week throughout the 1998 football season, the Contra Costa Times will recognize the Cal Player of the Game. The winner for the Oklahoma game is tailback Marcus Fields, who rushed for a career-high 140 yards on 21 carries.

Depth Chart:

GOLDEN BEAR OFFENSE
    WR    81    DAMEANE DOUGLAS (6-1, 195, SR, 3V)
           6    Joel Young (6-2, 180, JR, 1V)
    LT    64    JOHN WELBOURN (6-5, 315, SR, 3V)
          68    Robert Truhitte (6-5, 290, JR, JC)
    LG    65    Brandon Ludwig (6-4, 275, FR, RS)
          76    Tate McCallister (6-3, 285, SR, 3V)
    C     73    John Romero (6-3, 315, JR, 1V)
          63    Caleb Brown (6-4, 305, SR, 3V)
    RG    71    Kevin Doherty (6-5, 300, JR, 1V)
          60    Reed Diehl (6-4, 285, SO, 1V)
    RT    66    Langston Walker (6-8, 340, FR, RS)
          71    Kevin Doherty (6-5, 300, JR, 1V)
    TE    45    A.J. KUNKLE (6-2, 230, SR, 1V) / OR
          32    Corey Smith (6-4, 250, FR, RS)
          87    Brian Surgener (6-4, 220, SO, 1V)
    WR    88     Phillip Pipersburg (5-10, 180, SO, 1V)
           1    Bruce Pierre (6-1, 195, SR, 1V)
    QB    10    JUSTIN VEDDER (6-0, 200, SR, 1V)
           5    Samuel Clemons (6-2, 210, FR, RS)
    FB    46    MIKE FREEMAN (6-1, 240, SR, 1V)
          39    Matt Peters (5-11, 210, SR, SQ)
    TB     4    Marcus Fields (6-2, 210, SO, 1V)
          35    Marcus Oliver (5-11, 200, SO, 1V)

GOLDEN BEAR DEFENSE DE 33 JOHN MCLAUGHLIN (6-4, 240, SR, 1V) 58 Mawuko Tugbenyoh (6-1, 235, JR, 2V) / OR 47 Josh Trowridge (6-5 225, SR, 3V) NT 94 Jacob Waasdorp ( 6-2, 250, SO, 1V) 99 Nate Geldermann (6-1, 245, SO, 1V) DT 98 Jerry DeLoach (6-4, 310, JR, 2V) 99 Nate Geldermann (6-1, 245, SO, 1V) DE 73 ANDRE CARER (6-4, 245, SO, 1V) 95 Jeremiah Parker (6-5, 300, JR, 2V) OLB 13 SEKOU SANYIKA (6-3, 230, JR, 2V) 49 Scott Fujita (6-5, 235, FR, RS) ILB 59 Matt Beck (6-4, 230, JR, 2V) 53 Keith Miller (6-2, 240, JR, RS) ILB 44 ALBERT DORSEY (6-2, 235, SR, 1V) 43 Jamaal Cherry (6-3, 255, FR, HS) LC 31 DERRICK GARDNER (6-0, 185, SR, 3V) 11 Drae Harris (5-10, 175, JR, RS) FS 2 Damian Marzett (6-0, 200, JR, JC) 37 Bert Watts (6-1, 200, FR, HS) / OR 36 Dewey Hale (6-0, 185, FR, RS) SS 9 MARQUIS SMITH (6-3, 220, SR, 3V) 19 Don Smith (6-2, 210, JR, 1V) RC 25 Chidi Iwuoma (5-9, 175, SO, 1V) 8 Deltha O'Neal (5-11, 190, JR, 2V)

GOLDEN BEAR SPECIALISTS P 89 Nick Harris (6-3, 205, SO, 1V) PK 29 TIM WOLLECK (6-0, 220, SR, 1V) KO 29 TIM WOLLECK (6-0, 220, SR, 1V) HOLD 89 Nick Harris (6-3, 205, SO, 1V) SNAP 94 Jacob Waasdorp (6-2, 250, SO, 1V) PR 8 Deltha O'Neal (5-11, 190, JR, 2V) KOR 8 Deltha O'Neal (5-11, 190, JR, 2V) 81 DAMEANE DOUGLAS (6-1, 195, SR, 3V)

COUGAR OFFENSE SE 80 ADAM DAVIS (6-0, 166, FR, RS) 89 Jerry Roquemore (5-11, 180, JR, JC) LT 79 ROB RAINVILLE (6-6, 315, SR, 2V) 64 Lincoln Walden-Schulz (6-4, 274, JR, RS) LG 74 RYAN TUJAGUE (6-6, 294, JR, RS) 79 Rob Rainville (6-6, 315, SR, 2V) C 72 MICKEY LONG (6-4, 305, SR, 2V) 71 Mike Schwarz (6-3, 295, SR, SQ) RG 60 JOE CRISCIONE (6-3, 293, JR, RS) 83 Jason Littleton (6-5, 256, FR, RS) RT 70 REED RAYMOND (6-8, 301, SO, 1V) 69 Phillip Locker (6-5, 290, FR, HS) TE 20 LOVE JEFFERSON (6-3, 256, SR, 2V) 84 Corey Scott (6-3, 250, JR, 1V) SB 81 LEAFORD HACKETT (5-9, 174, JR, JC) 40 Jason White (5-11, 171, FR, RS) QB 13 STEVE BIRNBAUM (6-5, 216, JR,2V) 12 Paul Mencke (6-5, 226, SO, SQ) RB 1 DeJUAN GILMORE (5-8, 201, JR, 2V) 24 Jason Clayton (5-9, 189, SR, 2V) RB 8 KEVIN BROWN (6-2, 218, SO, JC) 33 Jeremy Thielbahr (6-2, 231, FR, RS) FL 82 NIAN TAYLOR (6-2, 197, SR, 2V) 94 Troy Woody (6-3, 200, JR, SQ)

COUGAR DEFENSE WE 99 JONATHAN NANCE (6-4, 246, SR, 2V) 57 Serign Marong (6-2, 225, FR, RS) T 95 GARY HOLMES (6-7, 320, SR, 3V) 92 Joey Hollenbeck (6-4, 265, FR, HS) T 87 ROB MEIER (6-6, 267, JR, 2V) 55 Eboni Wilson (6-2, 260, JR, SQ) SE 67 JESSE RATCLIFF (6-2, 258, JR, SQ) 51 Austin Matson (6-3, 251, SO, SQ) WLB 34 STEVE GLEASON (5-11, 210, JR, 2V) 44 Grady Emmerson (6-0, 200, JR, 2V) MLB 54 JAMES PRICE (5-11, 214, SO, 1V) 30 Raonall Smith (6-2, 238, FR, RS) SLB 22 BRAD PHILLEY (6-2, 208, SO, 1V) 38 Brandon Brown (6-2, 218, SO, SQ) RCB 6 DEE MORONKOLA (5-9, 196, SR, 3V) 28 Jermaine Hunsaker (5-9, 175, SO, 1V) SS 2 EARL RILEY (6-2, 209, JR, RS) 10 Billy Newman (5-11, 200, FR, RS) FS 19 LAMONT THOMPSON (6-2, 214, SO, 1V) 45 Virgil Williams (6-1, 176, FR, HS) LCB 25 CHRIS MARTIN (5-11, 186, JR, JC) 21 Anthony Matthews (5-9, 180, FR, RS)

COUGAR SPECIALISTS P 9 KAREEM ANDERSON (5-11, 192, JR, JC) PK 27 RIAN LINDELL (6-3, 242, JR, 1V) KO 27 RIAN LINDELL (6-3, 242, JR, 1V) HOLD 9 KAREEM ANDERSON (5-11, 192, JR, JC) SNAP 68 ERIK LARSON (6-4, 265, FR, RS) PR 82 NIAN TAYLOR (6-2, 197, SR, 3V) KOR 82 NIAN TAYLOR (6-2, 197, SR, 3V) 6 DEE MORONKOLA (5-9, 196, SR, 3V)

Cal-Washington State Media Notes

Cal Opens Tough Conference Schedule with Defending Pac-10 Champ WSU

California opens its 1998 Pacific-10 Conference schedule with a crucial encounter against defending league champs Washington State on Saturday afternoon in a 4:00 p.m. game televised regionally by ABC-TV. The Bears have a substantial 35-21-5 edge in a series that dates back to 1919, but the Cougars have dominated in recent years - winning five of the last six games (and going 11-4-1 since 1980) between the schools. However, Cal has managed to win three of the past four games played in Memorial Stadium, dating back to 1986. Overall, Cal is 24-9-3 (.708) against Washington State in games played in Berkeley. Facing the defending Pac-10 Champion to open the conference schedule may not be an enviable task for the most part, but Washington State is the only unranked team the Bears will face over the course of the next month with USC, Washington and UCLA looming around the corner.

After Two Weeks of the Option, Cal Now Faces Wide-Open Passing Team

After facing two of the few schools in college football that run an option offense, Cal's defense now faces the other end of the spectrum in a Washington State team that makes its living throwing the football. WSU is averaging 35.3 pass attempts per game and ranks 28th nationally in passing offense (247.0 ypg). Last week's opponent, Oklahoma, threw only 10 passes, and six of those attempts came in the final minute of the game as the Sooners tried to move the length of the field. Last season, the Cougars spread the Cal defense across the field and then chewed the Bears up. WSU ended the game with 363 passing yards, including touchdown passes of 72, 14, 57 and 55 yards. In all, the two teams combined for 1059 yards of total offense (WSU-619, Cal-460) last season and 835 yards in 1996 (WSU-420, Cal-415). However, both teams have geared up their offensive attacks much more on the artificial turf in Pullman, rather than at Memorial Stadium. In fact, Washington State is averaging almost 20 points less per game and over 210 yards of total offense per game fewer when it travels to Berkeley than when it stays at home in Martin Stadium over the last 12 years. Below is a comparison of recent games played in Pullman and Berkeley.

Offensive Output Comparisons between Pullman and Berkeley in Cal-WSU Series (Since 1986)
    Games Played in Pullman                             Games Played in Berkeley
    (5 games - 88, 90, 93, 96, 97 / WSU 5-0 record)    (4 games - 86, 89, 94, 95 / Cal 3-1 record)
                   WSU       CAL                         WSU    CAL
Scoring Average    40.6     21.2                        21.0    29.8
Passing Offense   287.2    288.8                       191.3   230.5
Total Offense     533.6    406.6                       321.9   362.0

Bears Bid for 3-1 Start as Murderous Pac-10 Schedule Begins on Saturday

For the fourth consecutive game, Cal will take on an undefeated team when 3-0 Washington State comes to Memorial Stadium on Saturday. When you consider that Cal's following three opponents, USC, Washington and UCLA, are also all undefeated, it will be interesting to see how long Cal's unique streak continues into October. More important this week is the opportunity to get to 3-1 with a win over the Cougars. The Bears have been quick starters in recent years, getting out of the blocks with a 3-1 record or better in five out of the last eight seasons. Cal is bidding for its fifth bowl berth of the current decade and with all of the ranked teams looming on the schedule (WSU is No. 31 in the coaches poll, USC is No. 17, Washington is No. 8, UCLA is No. 5, Arizona is No. 16 and Arizona State is No. 30), the Bears need to pile up as many wins as they can and then see if they can carve out enough victories down the stretch to earn a bowl invitation. In the WSU game, Cal has the chance to beat a defending Pac-10 Champion for the third time in the last five years. Cal also defeated '93 champ UCLA in 1994 (26-7) and '95 champ USC in 1996 (22-15).

Cal Finds Running Game As Fields Begins to Show His True Potential

Probably the most significant development in the win over Oklahoma was the performance by sophomore tailback Marcus Fields and the Cal rushing game. The Bears had averaged only 8.5 rushing yards per game in the first two contests of '98 and were facing an Oklahoma defense that rated No. 3 nationally in total defense (168.5 ypg) and No. 35 against the run (111.5 ypg). That's not a combination that breeds a lot of confidence about how well Cal would run the football. However, Cal rushed for 178 yards against a staunch Oklahoma defense, a total the Bears topped only twice in their previous 20 games, dating back to Oct. 5, 1996 at USC. Cal is now 37-7-1 in games it has rushed for at least 150 yards dating back to 1990. Fields had a sensational day against the Sooners, ending the game with a career-best 140 yards on 21 carries. His previous best game was a 90-yard performance at Louisiana Tech last season. Fields broke runs of 27, 24 and 24 yards on the night against OU. He also had a 20-yard reception on a swing pass. Most importantly, Fields was the key figure in Cal's game-winning drive in the fourth quarter after the Bears had fallen behind 12-10. Fields started Cal's winning 60-yard drive with a 24-yard run and added another 24-yarder that took the ball into field goal range to the Oklahoma 19-yard-line. The coaching staff believed he would emerge as one of the league's top runners this season as a 208-pounder who would break a lot of tackles. However, during the first two games, Cal's revamped offensive line had trouble opening any holes and Fields managed only 43 net yards. That changed last Saturday as the Bears blocked much better and Fields showed a slashing style of running that included several broken tackles.

Cal Defense Continues to Build Case as One of Nation's Elite Groups

One of the more remarkable facts about Cal's young season thus far is that the Bears have scored only 30 points all year, yet they are still 2-1 on the season. That's a testament to the superb job the Cal defense has done thus far. The Bears have held opponents to an average of 15.3 points a game to rank 24th nationally in scoring defense. Cal could be almost untouchable if it can just figure out a way to stop opponent's opening drives of the season (Houston had 86 yards of total offense on its opening drive, Nebraska went 67 yards for a TD to open the game, and Oklahoma went 73 yards for a TD on its opening drive. Of the five TDs Cal has given up this season, two have come on opening drives and a third came on a 7-yard TD drive following a blocked punt. Still, to rank in the Top 25 and fourth in the Pac-10 in scoring defense is a notable accomplishment even after just three games. Remember that this is the same Cal defense that ranked dead last in the league in scoring defense last season, giving up 30.8 points a game. Just as significant is the great field position that the Bears have been able to provide to the offense. Last week, defensive end Andre Carter recovered one fumble to help stop an Oklahoma drive at the Cal 36, but he picked up another fumble at the Oklahoma 10-yard-line and rambled six yards to the Sooner 4-yard-line to set up Cal's only touchdown of the game. In all, Cal has intercepted four passes thus far (which ties the team's entire total from last season) and has recovered two fumbles. In addition, to the 4-yard-line, other Cal turnovers have given the offense the ball at the opponent 40- and 30- yard lines.

Building a Defense: From Bad to Improved to Good - The Setencich Way

Regarded as one of the premier defensive strategists in college football. Moreover, Setencich had a reputation as a coach who could help transform a desultory defense into a respected force. He was instrumental as part of an Arizona State defensive staff that saw the Sun Devils go from 10th in the league in total defense in 1995 to first in the same category in 1996. Now he is working the same magic with a Cal defense that seems to be improved dramatically from two years ago when the Bears gave up over 460 yards a game. Cal has given up only five touchdowns all season to rank 24th nationally in scoring defense and the Bears are 12th in NCAA pass efficiency defense. Having a Cal team show up anyplace in the national defensive rankings is a major undertaking for a program that has made its mark on offense over the last several years. The one category that doesn't look particularly impressive is the rush defense, but that is somewhat deceptive in that Cal has been forced to play against two of the nation's Top 10 rushing teams (Nebraska is 6th at 259.7 ypg and Oklahoma is 10th at 247.3 ypg). Cal's statistics in that area should come down as the Bears begin to face more balanced attacks, as Cal has looked more than adequate for the most part against the run. In fact the Bears have held 69 of their opponents 148 rushing attempts to two yards or less, a superb ratio of 46.6%. One of the most encouraging facts is that the Cal two-deep depth chart shows only four of the 21 players listed on that depth chart are seniors, giving even more reason for optimism a year from now. Below is a list of how Cal has improved in the major defensive categories over the last three seasons.

Cal's Dramatic Turnaround over the Last Three Years
                   1996 (11 games)*              1997 (11 games)              1998 (3 games)
Scoring Defense    33.2 ppg (9th in Pac-10)      30.8 ppg (10th in Pac-10)    15.3 ppg ( 4th in Pac-10)
Total Defense      460.3 ypg (10th in Pac-10)    381.4 ypg (8th in Pac-10)    329.0 ypg (5th in Pac-10)
Pass Eff. Defense  137.8 rating (10th in Pac)    139.9 (10th in Pac-10)       85.09 rating (4th in Pac-10)
Rushing Defense    189.5 (9th  in Pac-10)        144.4 ypg (7th  in Pac-10)   201.3 ypg (10th in Pac-10)
    * does not include bowl game

Cal O-Line Showing Signs of Developing into a Strength for Bear Offense

It is no surprise that Cal's offensive line struggled early this season with its expected anchor center Jeremy Newberry leaving early for the NFL draft (second round draft choice of the SF 49ers) and another key player guard Yauger Williams retiring in August due to recurring knee problems. That combined with the temporary loss of expected starter Brandon Ludwig to a fall camp knee sprain wreaked havoc on new coach Monte Clark's plans. The first two game stats portrayed deep problems as the Bears not only gave up 11 sacks, but also managed only 17 net rushing yards. However, having the veteran offensive line coach on board this season seems to be paying dividends as Cal's line actually played credibly against Nebraska and made a quantum leap forward last week in a tough environment in Norman. The return of Ludwig to a guard position (he shared playing time with Tate McCallister) was one factor, but another was the improved play by the other players on the line who appear to have benefited from the experience of playing together and learning from Clark's instruction. At Oklahoma, Cal not only rushed for 178 yards, against the nation's No. 3 defense, but also only gave up two sacks against a blitzing Sooner defense. With Ludwig assuming increased playing time in coming weeks, Cal's future looks bright as the Bears feature two redshirt-freshmen in their starting offensive line (Ludwig and Langston Walker) along with juniors John Romero and Kevin Doherty.

Miscellaneous Notes, Three-Dot Data, Et Cetera

Cal quarterback Justin Vedder has now thrown for 3,317 career passing yards and is on the verge of moving into Cal's career Top 10 list as he is just 324 yards behind J. Torchio (3,641 yards, 1980-83)...Cal linebacker Sekou Sanyika continues to establish a reputation as a big-play performer; his sack of Oklahoma QB Brandon Daniels caused a fumble that the Bears recovered at the Sooner 4-yard-line which set up the Bears only touchdown; he finished the night with three tackles behind the line of scrimmage which gives him 8 for minus 34 yards on the season and 30 in his career...Cal is expected to be without a pair of starters against WSU in free safety Pete Destefano and fullback Joshua White, who both suffered sprained knees in the Oklahoma game...Although he missed almost all of the first two games (he played briefly in first quarter vs. Houston before retiring with the injury) and didn't start due to a hamstring injury, linebacker Matt Beck managed to tie his career high with 14 tackles against Oklahoma and picked up his third career interception...Cal receiver Phillip Pipersburg celebrates his 20th birthday on Thursday, Sept. 24 while freshman cornerback LaShaun Ward turns 18 on Tuesday.


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