Sept. 12, 2009
2009 Cal Football
This Week In Cal Football
CAL GAME NOTES vs. Eastern Washington in PDF Format
Cal No. 10 In Polls (Tuesday, Sept. 8)
Jahvid Best Up To Third In HeismanPundit.com Heisman Poll (Tuesday, Sept. 8)
Kevin Riley Named Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week (Tuesday, Sept. 8)
Jeff Tedford Press Conference Quotes (Tuesday, Sept. 8)
Jahvid Best Named CFPA Running Back Performer of the Week (Monday, Sept. 7)
Watch This Week's Cal Sports Report (Thur., 10 p.m./Fri., 8:30 p.m., Comcast SportsNet California
2009 CALIFORNIA FOOTBALL
Saturday, Sept. 12, 2:30 p.m. (PT)
California (1-0, 0-0 Pac-10) vs. Eastern Washington (1-0, 0-0 Big Sky)
Berkeley, Calif. - Memorial Stadium
TV: Comcast SportsNet California - Jim Kozimor (Play-By-Play), Mike Pawlawski (Analyst), Christine Nubla (sideline)
Radio: KGO 810 AM (San Francisco) - Joe Starkey (Play-By-Play), Troy Taylor (Anaylst), Todd McKim (Sideline) - and affiliate stations KGIL 1260 AM (Los Angeles), XSURF 540 AM (San Diego), KESP 970 AM (Modesto), KTKZ 1380 AM (Sacramento). Also Sirius XM Satellite Radio channel 211 (Sirius) and channel 194 (XM). The pre-game show begins 30 minutes before kickoff.
CalBears.com: Visit CalBears.com for complete coverage of Cal football, including a live play-by-play update via Gametracker.
GOLDEN BEAR FACTS
Head Coach: Jeff Tedford
Alma Mater/Year: Fresno State/`83
Record at Cal/Years: 60-30/8th
Career Record/Years: Same
Football SID: Kyle McRae
Secondary Contact: Anton Malko
Credentials: Herb Benenson
Ticket Info: 800-GO-BEARS
Games Played: 0
Series Record: first meeting
Tedord vs. Eastern Washington: 0-0
California continues its 114th season of football on Saturday, Sept. 12, with a 2:30 p.m. game against Eastern Washington at Memorial Stadium in Berkeley. The contest will be televised live on Comcast SportsNet California.
The Golden Bears kicked off their 2009 campaign in dominating fashion last Saturday with a 52-13 win over Maryland at Memorial Stadium as Cal redeemed a 35-27 loss to the Terps in College Park last season.
Kevin Riley threw a career-high four touchdown passes in the victory and completed passes to nine different receivers as part of his 17-of-26 performance and 298 passing yards.
Jahvid Best kicked off his campaign for the Heisman Trophy in grand fashion, running for 137 yards on only 10 carries for an average 13.7 yards per attempt. He also had a pair of touchdowns. Best's first score came on a 73-yard run that marked his ninth career run of 60 or more yards. After D.J. Campbell recovered a Maryland fumble on the ensuing kickoff and Riley completed a 20-yard pass to Marvin Jones on the first play of the drive to put the ball on the Terps' two-yard line, Best took it in from there for his 19th career rushing touchdown.
Cal's season-opening win has the Bears started in the right direction to extend current streaks of seven straight winning seasons, six consecutive post-season appearances and four bowl victories in a row - the latter two school records.
The victory over Maryland also improved head coach Jeff Tedford's all-time record at California to 60-30 one game into his eighth season at the helm. The team's 60 wins since 2002 are the second most in the Pac-10 behind USC, while the run under Tedford is also the best for Cal in nearly a century since legendary head coach Andy Smith led the Wonder Teams to a 63-7-5 mark over eight seasons from 1918-25.
Cal Moves Up To No. 10 In Polls
Cal has moved up two spots to No. 10 in the most recent Associated Press and USA Today Coaches' polls released this past Tuesday. Cal had been No. 12 in both polls in the preseason. The ranking is the team's highest since the club was also No. 10 in the AP poll heading into a game vs. UCLA on Oct. 20, 2007.
Simply The Best - Cal's Heisman Trophy Candidate Jahvid Best
The College Football Performance Awards recognized tailback Jahvid Best with Running Back of the Week honors after the Heisman Trophy candidate started his season with 137 rushing yards on just 10 carries for a 13.7 yards per carry average against Maryland. Best had a pair of first-quarter touchdowns on the ground in the game with the first coming on a 73-yard run that was his ninth career jaunt of 60 or more yards. He later had a 40-yard gallop. His final rushing total marked the fifth straight game in which he has gained 100 or more yards dating back to the final four games of last season and the ninth in his career. His performance in the 2009 season-opener comes fresh off the heels of a pair of school records he set in 2008 by averaging 8.1 yards per carry for the season and running for 311 yards in the regular season finale vs. Washington. All told, Best has three 200-yard games (first Cal player with more than one) as part of his nine 100-yard contests. He has also put his big-play capability on full display throughout his career with 24 rushes of 20 or more yards, to go with nine of 60+ yards and three of 80 or more. In addition, he is moving up or approaching a couple of Cal's all-time rushing lists with 19 career TDs (No. 8 at Cal) and 1,938 career rushing yards (252 yards from Top 10).
Riley Shows He's Ready
Kevin Riley had a huge season opener against Maryland, completing 17-of-26 passes for 298 yards and a career-high four TDs without throwing an interception to earn Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week honors for the first time. He started the game 1-for-5 before tossing a pair of second-quarter scores to Skylar Curran (3 yards) and Nyan Boateng (39 yards). He later connected on TD passes to Marvin Jones (42 yards) and Shane Vereen (15 yards). Riley's 298 yards in the air were the second-highest total of his career (after the 423 yards at Maryland in 2008) and his 212.43 passing efficiency rating after the first game of the season is second in the Pac-10 and fourth nationally. Riley passed the 2,000-yard career mark in the contest.
Sack Happy - Cal Tied for National Lead
Cal is tied for the NCAA lead in sacks after recording six against Maryland. Ernest Owusu led the charge with the first two of his career. Cameron Jordan, Mike Mohamed and Jarred Price each had one, while Tyson Alualu and Devin Bishop shared one. Five of the six sacks came in the second quarter alone.
Other National Notables
Cal is also among the nation's Top 10 in tackles for loss (No. 6, 11.0), passing efficiency (No. 7, 204.60), scoring offense (No. 9, 52.0) and turnover margin (No. 10, 2.0). Individually, Ernest Owusu is tied for fourth in sacks (2.0) and tied for fifth in tackles for loss (3.0) to go with Kevin Riley's No. 4 national ranking in passing efficiency (212.43).
Cal's victory over Maryland last Saturday improved the Golden Bears to 71-39-4 all-time in season openers and marked the fifth time in the last six years that Cal has won its first game of the season. The 52 points scored was the second-highest total posted by a Jeff Tedford team at Cal in a season opener. The Bears improved to 6-2 in season openers with Tedford as their head coach with Tedford never having lost a season opener at home, sporting a 5-0 mark in those contests since 2002 (70-22 vs. Baylor), 2005 (41-3 vs. Sacramento State), 2007 (45-31 vs. Tennessee), 2008 (38-31 vs. Michigan State) and 2009 (52-13 vs. Maryland).
Cal-Eastern Washington Series Notes
Cal and Eastern Washington will be meeting for the first time. The Eagles are the only opponent on Cal's 2009 schedule that the Golden Bears have not played.
Cal Looking To Start 2-0 for Sixth Time under Tedford
Cal is looking to start a season with a pair of victories for the third straight year and the sixth time in eight seasons under head coach Jeff Tedford. During his tenure, the Golden Bears have won at least their first two games in 2002, `04, `05, `07 and `08.
Turn On Your Televisions around the Nation
To date, six of Cal's 12 games have been picked up for television, including four of the first five on national TV. The Sept. 5 opener vs. Maryland was shown on ESPN2, while the Sept. 19 contest at Minnesota will be aired on either ESPN or ESPN2, followed by back-to-back games on ABC - at Oregon on Sept. 26 and vs. USC on Oct. 3. In addition to today's contest vs. Eastern Washington, the Golden Bears' regular season finale at Washington will air on Comcast SportsNet California. TV networks will announce their choices for remaining games later in the season. Every Golden Bear contest since 2007 has been televised live.
The Tedford Factor
Head coach Jeff Tedford has compiled a 60-30 (.667) record as the Golden Bears' head coach. Tedford, who ranks fourth on the school's all-time win list, has led his teams to school records of six straight bowl games and four consecutive postseason wins, as well as seven consecutive winning campaigns. Since his arrival in 2002, Cal has posted an overall record of 5-1 in bowl games after the Bears had previously earned bowl bids just four times since 1979. For good measure, Tedford is also 6-1 in Big Games against local rival Stanford. After a win over Maryland in the 2009 season-opener, Tedford became just the fourth head coach in Cal history to reach 60 wins and now needs only eight more victories to pass the legendary Pappy Waldorf (67-32-4, 1947-56) for most wins at Cal in the modern era and move into third on the all-time list behind Andy Smith (74, 1916-25) and James Schaeffer (73, 1909-15).
Cal's school-record six straight bowl appearances and four consecutive bowl wins are listed below.
2003 - Insight Bowl (Cal 52, Virginia Tech 49)
2004 - Holiday Bowl (Texas Tech 45, Cal 31)
2005 - Las Vegas Bowl (Cal 35, BYU 28)
2006 - Holiday Bowl (Cal 45, Texas A&M 10)
2007 - Armed Forces Bowl (Cal 42, Air Force 36)
2008 - Emerald Bowl (Cal 24, Miami 17)
Seven Straight 1,000-Yard Rushers
Jahvid Best's 1,580 yards rushing in 2008 ranked second all-time at Cal and marked the seventh consecutive season in which a Golden Bear running back has gained over 1,000 yards on the ground. Cal is one of only three Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) schools to have current seven-year streaks, along with Missouri and New Mexico. The Golden Bears are nearing USC's record 10-year run of 1,000-yard rushers from 1972-81. Joe Igber started the current trend in 2002 when he became the first Cal player to rush for more than 1,000 yards in nine years.
Cal's 1,000-Yard Rushers Since 2002
Year - Player (Yards)
2008 - Jahvid Best (1,580)
2007 - Justin Forsett (1,546)
2006 - Marshawn Lynch (1,356)
2005 - Marshawn Lynch (1,246)
2004 - J.J. Arrington (2,018)
2003 - Adimchinobe Echemandu (1,195)
2002 - Joe Igber (1,130)
Home Sweet Home
Cal has been both extremely successful and popular with fans at home over the past six seasons (2004-09). During this time period, the Golden Bears have posted an overall record of 28-4 (.875) in Berkeley and been unbeaten at home three times (2004, `06, `08). Cal has currently won eight straight home games and, dating back to the final two home contests of 2003, has actually won 30 of its last 34 contests at Memorial Stadium. The Golden Bears began their 2009 home season off with a bang last Saturday, dominating Maryland by a final score of 52-13 before a crowd of 62,637 to extend the string of 50,000-plus in attendance to all 32 games over the last six seasons. Last year, Cal averaged 61,634 fans per contest to mark the fourth time in the last five years the Bears have drawn more than 60,000 per game. In terms of pure numbers, Cal attracted its second-highest total ever in 2008 with 431,437 fans attending seven home dates. Only the 2006 season, which drew 450,223 fans and averaged a record 64,318 spectators per contest, has had a larger final total home attendance count.
Longest Home Winning Streaks under Tedford
10 - Oct. 25, 2003 - Oct. 15, 2005
10 - Sept. 9, 2006 - Oct. 13, 2007
8 - Aug. 30, 2008 to current
Cal has had 74 players claim Pac-10 All-Academic honors in seven seasons under head coach Jeff Tedford. Last year, Alex Mack earned the Draddy Trophy (since renamed the Campbell Trophy) honoring college football's top scholar-athlete.
Looking to Equal Consecutive Winning Seasons Streak
Cal has recorded seven consecutive winning seasons (2002-08) to move within one winning campaign of tying the school's football record of eight consecutive years from 1918-25. The Bears did record 10 consecutive winning campaigns from 1907-16 but those were split between rugby (8, 1907-14) and football (2, 1915-16).
During the Jeff Tedford era, Cal has played five road games in other time zones that have started before noon PT and the Golden Bears have a 4-1 record in those contests. Cal had won four straight early morning starts under Tedford with victories at Michigan State (2002), Illinois (2003), Air Force (2004) and Colorado State (2007) before falling at Maryland in 2008. This year, Cal's only current scheduled game to start before noon is at Minnesota on Sept. 19, a contest which has a starting time of 9 a.m. PT.
Winning Turnover Battle Crucial to Success
Winning the turnover battle has been emphasized since Jeff Tedford's arrival on campus in 2002. During his seven seasons at Cal, the Bears are 35-3 when committing fewer turnovers than their opponents compared to 13-19 when opponents win the battle (12-8 when tied). In Pac-10 games, the stats are even more decisive as Cal is 22-1 with a positive margin in turnovers and 7-17 with a deficit, while posting a 7-5 mark when the turnover table is tied. Last year, Cal ranked seventh nationally in turnover margin (+15 overall) and the Golden Bears are off to another excellent start in 2009 (No. 10 NCAA, +2 overall). Cal picked up a pair of fumbles and did not turn the ball over in its season-opening victory over Maryland.
Cal started the 2009 season with a significant advantage in 3rd-down conversions by converting on 8-of-14 (57.1%) chances, while Maryland was a mere 4-of-17 (23.5%). As a comparison, the Bears converted just 30 percent of their third-down situations last year (47-of-159) while holding opponents to 31 percent (61-of-197, No. 10 NCAA).
Time Of Possession Doesn't Always Tell the Story
Cal dominated Maryland in its season opener despite losing the time-of-possession battle. The Terrapins held the ball for 32:58 to Cal's final total of 27:02. The stat did even out significantly over the final three quarters when Cal actually edged Maryland after the Terrapins had possessed the ball for 11:09 in the first quarter.
Let's Get It Started
Six players made their first collegiate start against Maryland on Sept. 5 - senior Brian Holley (FB), sophomores Marvin Jones (Z), Anthony Miller (TE), D.J. Holt (ILB) and Mychal Kendricks (ILB), and redshirt-freshman Matt Summers-Gavin (LG). Kendricks put up big numbers with a game-high and career-high 12 tackles and 1.0 TFL, while Holt added a career-high six tackles. There were many other firsts in the contest, including the first four-year collegiate action for a total of 22 players (Ross Bostock, Covaughn DeBoskie-Johnson, Vince D'Amato, Dominic Galas, Josh Hill, J.P. Hurrell, Langston Jackson, Spencer Ladner, Alex Lagemann, Chris Little, Jerome Meadows, Chris Moncrease, Jarred Price, Matt Rios, Charles Satchell, Brian Schwenke, Jarrett Sparks, Isi Sofele, Eric Stevens, Summers-Gavin, Ryan Theimer and Aaron Tipoti).
DeBoskie-Johnson and D'Amato Debuts
Among the most notable collegiate debuts were those of redshirt-freshman Covaughn DeBoskie-Johnson and true freshman Vince D'Amato. DeBoskie-Johnson carried the ball nine times for 54 yards, while D'Amato made all eight of the kicks he attempted (31-yard field goal, 7-7 PAT) two days after he was named the starting placekicker.
Skylar Curran's first career catch went for a TD when Kevin Riley found the senior tight end in the end zone for a three-yard scoring strike in the second quarter. Curran began his Cal career in 2007 after playing for two seasons at Butte College.
Cal has two new coaches on board in 2009 with the addition of offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Andy Ludwig and offensive line coach Steve Marshall. Ludwig had been the offensive coordinator at Utah for the past four seasons, leading one of the best offenses in the country that was largely responsible for a 13-0 record in 2008, the country's only unbeaten mark by a Football Bowl Subdivision team, and a No. 2 final national ranking. Marshall most recently coached for six seasons in the NFL with the Houston Texans (2002-05) and Cleveland Browns (2007-08).
Playing and Beating the Best
Cal has played 22 nationally ranked teams during the Jeff Tedford era and posted an 11-11 record in those contests. The Bears have three games on their 2009 schedule against teams ranked in at least one of the two preseason polls. Cal will travel to Oregon (No. 14 USA Today, No. 16 AP) and host USC (No. 4 AP/USA Today) in back-to-back weeks on Sept. 26 and Oct. 3. The Bears will also host Oregon State (No. 25 USA Today) on Nov. 7.
Offense Quick Notes
Cal has averaged at least 30.0 points per game in six of the last seven years and started its 2009 campaign with 52 points in the season-opening win over Maryland.
Cal has won 23 straight games in which the Bears have scored 30 or more points and have now scored 30 or more points 45 times in the Jeff Tedford era, posting a 41-4 record in those contests.
Cal's 537 yards of total offense in the season-opening 52-13 win over Maryland marked the second consecutive regular-season game in which the Bears have posted 500 or more total yards of offense as Cal concluded its 2008 regular season with 549 total offense yards in a 48-7 win over Washington.
Cal rushed for 244 yards against Maryland to mark the fourth consecutive game in which the Golden Bears have rushed for 200 or more yards dating back to the final three contests of 2008.
Cal's 298 passing yards versus Maryland were the club's most since a 315-yard performance in a 42-27 loss at Arizona on Oct. 18, 2008, while its 8.5 average per play was the team's highest since the Golden Bears averaged 9.4 yards per play at Washington State on Sept. 6, 2008.
Cal spread the wealth around in its passing game against Maryland with Kevin Riley connecting on passes to nine different receivers.
Cal's 25 first downs were the most for the Golden Bears since they had 26 against the Terrapins in 2008.
Marvin Jones had career-highs with three catches and 74 yards receiving, and also caught his first career TD on a 42-yard reception in the third quarter.
Defense Quick Notes
Cal is tied for the NCAA lead in sacks after recording six in the season opener, while ranking sixth nationally in tackles for loss after collecting 11.0 against the Terrapins.
Cal had 26 different players make tackles in its season-opener vs. Maryland with Mychal Kendricks leading the way with a game-high 12 in his first collegiate start.
Special Teams Quick Notes
Freshman placekicker Vince D'Amato had a big college debut, scoring 10 points with a 31-yard field goal and also making all seven of his extra point tries.
Sophomore punter Bryan Anger, who has earned first-team 2009 preseason All-America honors as a punter and is on the watch list for the Ray Guy Award, opened his season by hitting three punts for an average of 43.7 yards per punt, two of which landed inside the 20-yard line.
Cal used five different kickers vs. Maryland. In addition to Anger (punter) and D'Amato (placekicker), David Seawright and Giorgio Tavecchio kicked off and Ryan Theimer handled the night's final punt.
Syd'Quan Thompson was forced to call for a fair catch on each of the five Maryland punts.
Cal Picked Second In Pac-10 Preseason Media Poll
California was picked to finish second in the 2009 Pac-10 preseason poll of media members who regularly cover the league for the fifth time in the last six years. USC was the media's preseason choice to win the conference title for an eighth consecutive season (Cal shared the conference crown in 2006). The Trojans were listed in the top spot by 28 of the 32 voters participating in the poll, while Cal claimed three of the four other first-place votes. Oregon (one first-place vote) was picked third and followed by Oregon State, Arizona State, Stanford, UCLA, Arizona, Washington and Washington State.