2007 CALIFORNIA FOOTBALL
Saturday, September 29; 12:30 p.m. (PT)
#6/6 California (4-0, 1-0 Pac-10) vs. #11/12 Oregon (4-0, 1-0 Pac-10)
Eugene, Ore. - Autzen Stadium
TV: ESPN on ABC. Broadcast Team: Dan Fouts (PxP), Tim Brant (analyst), Todd Harris (sideline). ESPN College Game Day will also be stationed in Eugene as well. Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso and Desmond Howard anchor the broadcast.
Radio: KGO Radio (810 AM) in San Francisco (Joe Starkey, Troy Taylor, Todd McKim) - and affiliate stations KMZT Radio (1260 AM Los Angeles), XSURF Radio (540 AM San Diego), KNTK Radio (102.3 Weed), KCBL Radio (1340 AM Fresno), KESP Radio (970 AM Modesto), KVBL Radio (1400 AM Visalia) and KNRO Radio (1670 AM Redding).
Before And After: Each broadcast begins with a 30-minute pregame show that leads to the kickoff. The postgame includes reaction from the Bears' locker room and the "Postgame at the Paragon" live program from the Paragon Bar & Cafe at the Claremont Resort & Spa.
XM Satellite Radio: Cal fans can also track the Bears through XM Satellite Radio, a corporate partner of the Pacific-10 Conference. Football action can be heard on XM channels 193, 194 and 195.
GOLDEN BEAR FACTS
2006 Record: 10-3
2006 Pac-10 Record/Finish: 7-2/T1st
Head Coach: Jeff Tedford
Alma Mater/Year: Fresno State/1983
Record at Cal/Year: 47-20/6th
Career Record/Years: Same
Football SID: John Sudsbury
Office Phone: 510-643-4723
Ticket Info: 800-GO-BEARS
Games Played: 69
Series Record: Cal leads, 37-30-2
First Meeting: 11/18/1899, Cal, 12-0
Last Meeting: 10/7/06, Cal, 45-24
Current Streak: Cal win 2 of 3
Tedford vs. Oregon: 2-2
Cal opened its conference schedule with a solid 45-27 victory over the visiting Arizona Wildcats on Saturday in Memorial Stadium. Now the Bears look to do something they haven't done since 1987 -- win at Oregon. Cal faces the Ducks on Saturday, Sept. 29 in Autzen Stadium at 12:30 p.m. on ABC. This is the third straight season that Cal and Oregon have been ranked heading into their respective match-up. Cal has won four of its last five conference road openers and is 2-3 versus Oregon since 2002. Cal is 4-0 for the second time under the watch of head coach Jeff Tedford -- Cal's best start under Tedford is 5-0 in 2005.
With its No. 6 ranking in the most recent Associated Press poll, Cal has now been ranked for 22 straight weeks and 48 of the last 52 weeks. The Golden Bears have been ranked higher than No. 6 for just six weeks (all in 2004) in the last 54 years. Overall, Cal has been ranked in the top six 37 times in the history of the AP poll.
Cal on ABC; College Game Day
Since 2002, California is 5-7 when playing on ABC ... last win on ABC: 45-31 over Tennessee, Sept. 1, 2007 ... last loss on ABC: 23-9 at USC, Nov. 18, 2006 ... the only other time Cal was on a campus that featured ESPN's College Game Day was at USC in 2004.
Bears-Ducks: Cal Had Big Night Offensively in Berkeley in `06
California broke out some garish yellow jerseys for a pivotal game with Oregon, yet the Golden Bears' knack for big plays didn't change a bit. Jackson caught one of Nate Longshore's three touchdown passes and returned a punt 65 yards for a touchdown, leading No. 16 Cal to a 45-24 victory over 11th-ranked Oregon on Oct. 7. The Bears took control almost from the moment they ran out of the Memorial Stadium tunnel wearing the surprising shirts that looked just like something the inventive Ducks would wear, as Brandon Hampton had an early interception. But after Jackson's outstanding punt return put Cal ahead 28-3 in the second quarter, the Bears were perfectly dressed for their fifth straight blowout victory. Justin Forsett ran for 163 yards and a touchdown in place of injured Marshawn Lynch for the Bears. Robert Jordan and tight end Craig Stevens also caught TD throws from Longshore, who passed for 189 yards and rushed for a score in Cal's fifth win of the season.
Cal-Oregon and Other Musings
The Bears lead their overall series with the Ducks, 37-30-2 ... Cal has won two of the last three meetings ... Oregon won seven straight meetings from 1994-2003 ... Cal hasn't won in Eugene since 1987 ... Jeff Tedford was the offensive coordinator for the Ducks from 1998-2001 ... defensive coordinator Bob Gregory graduated with a master's from Oregon and was the defensive coordinator with the Ducks from 1998-2000 ... he also served as the defensive backs coach from 1989-90 ... running backs coach Ron Gould served as a graduate assistant with Oregon from 1990-91 ... Oregon senior starting quarterback Dennis Dixon was born in Oakland and played his high school ball in San Leandro ... Oregon redshirt freshman cornerback Chad Peppars and Cal true freshman cornerback Chris Conte were high school teammates at Loyola (in Los Angeles) and both were on the 2005 CIF Division 1 championship team.
Last Five Games vs. Oregon (2-3)
2006: (16) Cal 45, (11) Oregon 24 -- DeSean Jackson returns a punt 65 yards for a touchdown ... Justin Forsett runs for 163 yards and a touchdown in front of 72,516 fans in Memorial Stadium.
2005: (13) Oregon 27, (23) Cal 20 (ot) -- Marshawn Lynch runs for 189 yards on 25 carries, but it wasn't enough to carry the Golden Bears.
2004: (4) Cal 28, Oregon 27 -- Cal snaps a seven-game losing streak against Oregon with coach Jeff Tedford's first victory over the school where he served as Mike Bellotti's offensive coordinator for four years; Aaron Rodgers passed for 275 yards and three TDs, and J.J. Arrington ran for 188 yards and a score.
2003: Oregon 21, Cal 17 -- Kellen Clemens throws a 31-yard touchdown pass to Tim Day with 4:19 remaining and Terence Whitehead scored on a 1-yard option run with 47 seconds left as the Ducks erased a 17-7 deficit.
2001: (5) Oregon 48, Cal 7 -- Joey Harrington passes for two touchdowns and ran for another as No. 5 Oregon got off to its best start since 1964.
Last Five Pac-10 Road Openers (4-1)
2006: Cal 41, Oregon State 13 -- Nate Longshore throws for 341 yards and four touchdowns, including two to Marshawn Lynch ... Lynch finished with three touchdowns for the Bears.
2005: Cal 56, Washington 17 -- Joe Ayoob throws for 271 yards ... Robert Jordan catches eight passes in the first half, three for touchdowns, finishing with 11 catches for 192 yards.
2004: Cal 49, Oregon State 7 -- Chase Lyman has five catches for a career-high 176 yards and three touchdowns, and Aaron Rodgers completes 12 of 16 passes for 140 yards and three scores.
2003: UCLA 23, Cal 20 (ot) -- Drew Olson throws for two touchdowns, Brandon Chillar ran 65 yards to score after a blocked field goal, then Justin Medlock kicked a 41-yard field goal in overtime as UCLA outlasts California.
2002: Cal 34, Washington 27 -- Kyle Boller throws for 266 yards and a career-high five touchdowns, snapping a 19-game losing streak in the series.
Cal won its fifth straight Pac-10 opener on Saturday ... it was Cal's 21st win in its last 23 games at home (tenth straight home win) ... it was Cal's 14th game with over 40 points in its last 23 home games ... Cal has scored 40 or more points 28 times since 2002, including nine of its last 16 games ... the Bears have now won 28 conference games over last six years under Jeff Tedford - the second-most in the league ... Tedford improved to 18-5 all-time in games played in the month of September, including eight straight dating back to Sept. 9, 2006 ... Cal's two touchdowns in the first 6:31 of the game is the fastest that Cal has two touchdowns in a game since it scored two touchdowns at UCLA on Oct. 8, 2005 in the first two minutes and 32 seconds of the game ... Cal's defense has now forced and recovered a fumble in all four games this season ... Cal tied a record with 28 first quarter points (28 vs. Temple in the first quarter on Sept. 18, 1993) ... the Bears also tied a record for most points in a quarter against a Pac-10 team (28 vs. Arizona State, Sept. 23, 2006) ... Thomas DeCoud recorded his first career forced fumble, sack and interception in the first half (Tyson Alualu scooped up the fumble for his first career touchdown) ... Nate Longshore surpassed 4,000 career passing yards -- now has 4,004 for his career ... Justin Forsett scored a rushing touchdown for the fifth consecutive game [dating back to last year's Holiday Bowl] in the first quarter to give Cal a 7-0 lead ... Cameron Morrah recorded a career-long 49-yard reception in the first quarter ... Lavelle Hawkins has scored a touchdown (reception or kick-off) in six of his last seven games dating back to last season, after his first quarter touchdown reception today ... freshman Jahvid Best scored his third touchdown of the season (second via rushing) ... Brandon Hampton recorded an interception for the second straight week after picking off Willie Tuitama in the second quarter (fifth career interception) ... Robert Jordan extended his consecutive reception game streak to 34 after his second quarter grab ... Jordan needs two more games with a reception to tie Brian Treggs (1988-1991).
On This Date: Sept. 29
Cal is 8-6 all-time in games played on Sept. 29 in team history ... Cal' s 45 total yards in a 13-2 loss to USC on Sept. 29, 1945 is the fourth-lowest output in program history ... Last win on a game played Sept. 29 was in 1990 at Arizona (30-25); last loss on a game played Sept. 29 was in 2001 in Berkeley vs. Washington (28-31).
Tedford in September
After Cal's 45-27 win on Saturday over Arizona, head coach Jeff Tedford improved his record in the month of September to 18-5 since taking over the program reigns in 2002. Tedford has now won eight straight games in the month of September.
In Their 40s
Cal's win over Arizona was 14th game with over 40 points in its last 23 home games. Cal has scored 40 or more points 28 times since 2002, including nine of its last 16 games and three times this season.
Not only has Cal been scoring a lot of points (averaging 41.5 points per game), but the Golden Bears have been scoring fast as well. The Bears have registered 11 scoring drives of under two minutes this season, including seven drives that lasted less than one minute. In addition, a punt return TD, a kickoff return TD and two fumbles returned for scores give Cal 15 "quick strike" scores in less than two minutes. Last year, Cal had 28 scores, including 19 scoring drives, that took less than two minutes.
Whose House? Our House!
Cal now has 21 victories in its last 23 home games, and 10 in a row after its 45-27 win over Arizona. The last time the Bears won 10 straight home games was Oct. 25, 2003-Oct. 1, 2005. Cal has averaged 40.5 points per contest, while limiting its opposition to just 18.9 points per game during the current nine-game streak. Overall, Cal is out-scoring opponents 859-428 (average of 37.3-18.6) over the last 23 games. In the fourth quarter of the last 23 games, Cal has topped foes, 223-99. The only two losses suffered in Memorial Stadium were to Oregon State (Oct. 15, 2005) and to USC (Nov. 12, 2005), who was ranked No. 1 at the time.
The Bears donned their gold uniforms for the season-opener vs. Tennessee, and improved to 4-0 in games when it wears the alternate jersey (Oregon, UCLA, Texas A&M, Tennessee).
Cal has won 28 league games over the last five years (Jeff Tedford's tenure), the second-most in the Pac-10 ... Cal has had at least one 100-yard rusher in 44 of 67 games under Tedford, meanwhile, its opponents have had just 16 games with 100-yard rushers ... Cal had 58 pass plays of 20 or more yards in 2006 ... the Golden Bears also had 49 other plays (rushing, punt returns, kickoff returns and interception returns) of over 20 yards in 2006 ... in four games this year, the Bears have 43 plays of 20 yards or more ... 2006 also marked the first time since 1949 that Cal started 6-0 in conference play.
Entering the season, many prognosticators rated Cal's special teams units as the best in the country. Thus far that lofty praise have been justified. Cal has scored on a punt return (DeSean Jackson's 77-yarder against Tennessee) and a kickoff return (Lavelle Hawkins game-opening 90-yarder against Louisiana Tech) and the Bears lead the Pac-10 in kickoff return average (31.7) and rank second in punt return average (17.1). In addition, Tyson Alualu recorded a blocked field goal and placekicker Jordan Kay is 4-of-6 in his field goal attempts while punter Andrew Larson continues to excel -- the Bears averaged 46.7 net yards per punt against Arizona.
Fourth Quarter Rushing
Cal has done a great job of protecting leads late in the game due in part to its fourth quarter rushing production. The Golden Bears have tallied 279 yards and four touchdowns in the fouth quarter of games this season -- Cal has scored a rushing touchdown in every fourth quarter this season.
First Half Surge
In their 4-0 start, the Golden Bears have outscored its opposition 107-51 in the first half this season. Cal tied a school record with 28 first quarter points [tied for third-most ever, tied for second-most ever in a first quarter] vs. Arizona, and has used big plays to boost its scoring in the second quarter. DeSean Jackson's 77-yard punt return against Tennessee came in the second quarter and Justin Forsett's career-long 39-yard touchdown run was in the second against Louisiana Tech. In the Colorado State game, Jordan Kay booted a career-best 47-yard field goal in the final seconds of the first half, which gave Cal a 17-14 lead.
Third Quarter D
Cal has only allowed 20 points in the third quarter of games this season. At Colorado State, Cal registered three sacks, while surrendering just 23 total yards on 12 offensive plays to the Rams in the third period. Against Louisiana Tech, Cal picked off Zac Champion in the third quarter and limited the Bulldog offense to just 39 yards rushing in the stanza.
It is no secret that opposing defensive coordinator's devise game plans to bottle up Heisman Trophy candidate DeSean Jackson. More times than none however, Jackson continues to frustrate defenses with his game-breaking ability. Jackson helped Cal knot the score at 7-7 after his career-high 73-yard end-around in the first quarter. He finished the day with a team-high 141 all-purpose yards. In addition, four of his first five touches went for first downs. In his opening-day performance against Tennessee, Jackson took his first punt return 77 yards for a touchdown to give Cal a 21-14 lead in the second quarter. It was his sixth career punt return for a touchdown, both school and conference records. To put this record in further perspective, Jackson has scored six touchdowns on just 33 returns. NCAA record-holders Wes Welker (Texas Tech) had eight on 152 returns, and Antonio Perkins (Oklahoma) had eight on 113 returns. Jackson touched the ball only six times (one return, four catches, one run) for 143 yards vs. the Volunteers, but three of them went for first downs and one made it second-and-1. His third reception of the game (in the third quarter) gave him 100 for his career. Last season, Jackson had four punt return touchdowns, setting a school-record 18.2 punt return average.
Jackson's TDs on punt returns
Sept. 1, 2007: 77 yards vs. Tennessee
Nov. 11, 2006: 95 yards vs. Arizona
Nov. 4, 2006: 72 yards vs. UCLA
Oct. 7, 2006: 65 yards vs. Oregon
Sept. 23, 2006: 80 yards vs. Arizona State
Sept. 3, 2005: 49 yards vs. Sacramento State
The DeSean Effect
DeSean Jackson has returned six punts for touchdown in his California football career. Understandably, teams have opted to avoid the dangerous return man by punting away (pitching away?) from Jackson. However, in four of the last five games, Cal has benefited from the "intentional walks."
Dec. 28, 2006 Holiday Bowl vs. Texas A&M
Third quarter, Cal leads 14-10 with 12 minutes to go. Texas A&M punter Justin Brantley punts towards the left sideline, but mis-hits and Cal takes over possession at the A&M 41-yard line after the 0-yard punt. Four plays later, including a 28-yard Jackson reception, Cal hits the end zone and takes a 21-10 lead on route to the 45-10 victory.
Sept. 1, 2007 Season Opener vs. Tennessee
Second quarter, Cal leads 28-21 with 1:30 to go. Tennessee punter Britton Colquitt avoids Jackson, punting the ball out-of-bounds at the Cal 31 - just a 13-yard punt for the All-American candidate. Fifty-two seconds later, Cal settles for a 27-yard field goal to go up 31-21 on route to the 45-31 triumph.
Sept. 8, 2007 Road Opener vs. Colorado State
Second quarter, score tied at seven. After a four yard rush and a pair of sacks, CSU punter Jimmie Kaylor trots onto the field. From his own 22, Kaylor punts the ball out-of-bounds, 25 yards downfield, giving Cal the ball at the CSU 47. Five plays later, Justin Forsett plunges in from the one to give the Bears a 14-7 advantage on route to the 34-28 victory.
Sept. 22, 2007 Pac-10 Opener vs. Arizona
On the Wildcats' first punt of the game, Keenyn Crier tires to angle his punt to the sideline, but kicks it out of bounds for a 18-yard effort. Cal takes over at the 50-yard line and scores four plays later for a 7-0 advantage on route to the 45-27 victory.
Other Notes on DeSean ...
Needs four touchdowns to tie Geoff McArthur for fourth on the all-time career receiving touchdowns list (20)
>> Needs 187 yards receiving to crack Cal's top 10 career receiving yards chart
>> Has led the Bears in receiving the last two seasons
>> Ranks first in school history in career punt return average, touchdowns (6) and single-season average (18.12)
>> Owns three of the 11 longest punt returns for touchdowns in school history (95 at Arizona, 80 vs. Arizona State, 77 vs. Tennessee)
Nate Longshore, who stepped into the starting role at quarterback in 2006, has picked up right where he left off last season -- throwing with accuracy and efficiency. Longshore has completed 63 percent of his passes this season against just two interceptions, including a season-high 22 completions for 230 yards and two touchdowns in Cal's 42-12 win over Louisiana Tech. The junior signal caller surpassed 4,000 career passing yards in Cal's win over Arizona, and has now completed passes to 11 different targets this season. Longshore has also thrown for over 200 yards in eight of his last 10 contests. He has thrown just two interceptions and has been sacked just three times in his last six games. As a sophomore last season, he directed the California offense to a Pac-10 best 32.8 points per game and became just the second Golden Bear to pass for over 3,000 yards in a single season (3,021). He completed over 60 percent of his passes and ranked second in the Pac-10 in passing efficiency (141.64), touchdowns and third in yards per game (232.4) as he earned honorable mention all-league honors. The 6-5, 233-pounder was extra deadly with the long ball, completing 51 passes of 20 yards or more, including 19 to DeSean Jackson.
Other Notes on Nate ...
>> Needs one more touchdown to crack Cal's top 10 career passing TDs list (has 30 career passing touchdowns)
>> Needs one more 300-yard passing game to move to eighth all-time in 300-yard career passing games
Forsett at the Forefront
Are there any questions left of whether or not productivity would drop in Cal's backfield this season after the departure of Marshawn Lynch? Senior tailback Justin Forsett has more than silenced any doubts with his stellar play in Cal's 4-0 start to the `07 campaign. As the Pac-10's second-leading rusher (121.0/gm), Forsett had a rushing touchdown for the fourth straight game this season (fifth game in a row, dating back to last season's Holiday Bowl) in Cal's 45-27 win over Arizona. Forsett produced his third 100-yard effort (ninth of his career) with 117 yards vs. the Wildcats. In Cal's 42-12 win over Louisiana Tech, Forsett recorded a career-long 39-yard scamper to the enzone, en route to a 152-yard, three touchdown performance. It marked the first time in his career that he had three rushing scores. in a single game. In just his fifth career start (season-opener vs. Tennessee), Forsett generated 156 yards on 26 carries (6.0 average). It was the fourth-highest rushing total for an opening day in program history. He also had a career-best 49-yard reception vs. the Volunteers towards the end of the first half. Forsett currently ranks 10th all-time with 2,158 career yards rushing. He has a career average of 6.2 yards per carry. Top 10 program rushers J.J. Arrington and Marshawn Lynch are the only two RBs to have a higher career yards per carry average (6.6) than Forsett.
Give Him the Ball
The Arizona game marked just the sixth time that Justin Forsett had more than 15 carries in a game. And, surprisingly, the 117 yards were his lowest output in one of those games. In six games with more than 15 carries, the senior back is averaging 168.3 rushing yards.
9/17/05: Illinois (6-187, 2 TDs)
9/23/05: New Mexico State (31-235, 1 TD)
10/7/06: Oregon (27-163, 1 TD)
9/1/07: Tennessee (26-156, 1 TD)
9/15/07: Louisiana Tech (23-152, 3 TDs)
9/22/07: Arizona (23-117, 2 TDs)
Some have questioned Justin Forsett's durability, but if they see some of the senior back's fourth-quarter numbers, they may rethink that. Against Tennessee, Forsett rushed 12 times for 92 yards (7.8 yards per carry) as he helped the Bears seal the victory. In the victory over Arizona, Forsett generated 55 yards on nine carries (5.9 ypc) and a touchdown. Last year, in the Oregon game, the 5-8, 196-pounder had 16 carries for 115 yards (7.2 yards per carry) in the fourth quarter of that victory over a ranked opponent.
As much as he tries, it's hard for Lavelle Hawkins to stay out of the spotlight this season. The senior wideout has paced the Golden Bears in all four games this season, including a six catch, 95-yard (and a touchdown) performance against Arizona. He has now scored a touchdown (reception or kickoff) in six of his last seven games. Hawkins scored a touchdown on the opening kickoff of the Louisiana Tech game, making it the first time since 2002 that a Golden Bear scored a touchdown on a kickoff (LaShaun Ward versus Arizona on Nov. 16). Deltha O'Neal was the last Cal player to return an opening kickoff of the game for a touchdown versus Navy (100-yard return in the 1996 Aloha Bowl). His 43-yard performance at Colorado State gave him 1,000 yards for his career. In the season opener vs. Tennessee, Hawkins had a team-high seven catches for 90 yards and a touchdown. That touchdown reception was his fourth straight game with a TD. Hawkins also returned four kicks for 87 yards to finish with a career-best 177 all-purpose yards against the Volunteers. He leads the team with 419 all-purpose yards. He was an honorable mention All-Pac-10 pick last season behind 46 grabs for 705 yards and five scores.
Big Play RJ
A veteran of 35 games and 30 starts, Robert Jordan has 12 receptions for 113 yards and a touchdown this season, including a season-high five catches in Cal's 42-12 win over Louisiana Tech. He has now caught at least one pass in his last 34 games, the third-longest run in the nation among returning players. Jordan passed Dwight Garner (against Arizona) for 10th all-time on Cal's career receptions chart (121). He had 43 receptions (career-high) for 511 yards (career-high) and four scores in 2006.
Other Notes on Robert ...
>> Needs two more games with a reception to tie the program record of 36 games with a reception (Brian Treggs - Nov. 19, 1988 thru Jan. 1, 1992)
>> Division I-A Consecutive Reception Streak, 9/23/07 (Active)
1. Marcus Monk (Sr. Arkansas): 36
2. Brandon Allen (Sr. New Mexico St.): 35
3. Robert Jordan (Sr. California): 34
4. Dorien Bryant (Sr. Purdue): 31
4. Terrence Nunn (Sr. Nebraska): 31
6. Travis Brown (Sr. New Mexico) 29
LBs Making Impact
The Cal linebacking corps has shown why it should be considered one of the best in the nation. In four games, the LBs have combined for 132 tackles (9.5 for losses), 5.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and one interception. Junior Anthony Felder paces the corps with 41 tackles and two sacks, including a career-high 13 tackles and two sacks at Colorado State. Eddie Young recorded his first career sack vs. Louisiana Tech, while Worrell Williams tallied a career-high 14 tackles vs. Arizona to go along with a sack and a pass break up.
The Golden Bears graduated three starters from defensive line and came into the 2007 season looking for some players to step up into key roles. The task has become even more challenging as the injury bug has hit the line. Junior Mika Kane missed the Colorado State game and most of the Louisiana Tech game after suffering a concussion, while Rulon Davis and Matt Malele both missed the Arizona game due to injuries. A group of unheralded players have been given the opportunity to step up. Fifth-year senior John Allen recovered a key fumble in the Louisiana Tech game and sophomore Tad Smith has been a regular on the line. Redshirt freshman Derrick Hill snagged an interception in the Colorado State game and nearly added another against Louisiana Tech, and recorded his first career sack against Arizona. Sophomore Cody Jones has started the last three games and registered his first career sack against Louisiana Tech, while sophomore Tyson Alualu recovered a fumble for a touchdown versus Arizona. Alualu also has tallied a team-best 2.5 sacks this year. Cameron Jordan has also been a key contributor as just a true freshman in defensive line coach Ken Delgado's corps.
...And Don't Forget the Secondary
Senior Thomas DeCoud enjoyed a career day against Arizona when he recorded his first career forced fumble, sack and interception in the first half. Sophomore Marcus Ezeff has been a pleasant surprise, as he leads the secondary with 35 tackles, including a career-high 14 vs. Arizona. Senior Brandon Hampton has recorded an interception in two straight games (Louisiana Tech and Arizona) and sophomore Syd'Quan Thompson leads the team with three pass break ups.
Other Defensive Notes ...
>> Cal's defense has forced and recovered a fumble in all four games this season
>> Jahvid Best has recorded 12 plays of 10 yards or more this season (26 touches total in `07)
It didn't take long for true freshman Jahvid Best to score his first collegiate touchdown -- a career-long 64-yard run for paydirt at Colorado State -- in his second career game. Now Best can add his first career receiving touchdown to his resume after snaring a 16-yard reception versus Louisiana Tech -- his third career game. He added a one-yard rushing touchdown in the conference-opener vs. Arizona as well. Best gained 103 all-purpose yards in his collegiate debut vs. Tennessee, including a long run of 34 yards. For the season, Best has 165 yards on 13 carries (12.4 ypc) and two touchdowns.
K Is Okay
For the fourth straight week, junior Jordan Kay filled in for the injured Tom Schneider for the kicking duties. This season Kay has converted three 40+ yard field goals, including a career-long 47-yard field goal right before haltime at Colorado State, giving the Bears a 17-14 lead. Kay tacked on a 41-yarder in the third quarter of that game as well. Kay made his collegiate debut vs. Tennessee and connected on all six of his point-after attempts and also booting a 27-yard field goal in the victory. The Rolling Hills, Calif., product has battled multiple knee injuries, but has persevered after an All-American high school career.
The California Athletic Department and website partner CSTV (College Sports Television) launched a Heisman Trophy promotional website for junior wide receiver DeSean Jackson entitled the1towatch.com. "The 1 to Watch" features flash animation for the introduction before taking the viewer to the main page. Once on the site, fans can navigate eight tabs to find such information as up-to-date video highlights, a player profile and photo galleries. The four tabs at the top of the page include a "video" link which allows fans to see packaged highlights of Jackson. Fans can get to know Jackson on a personal level with the "1-on-1" tab, which allows the user to know what his life is like on and off the field. Finally, there is the "national attention" link which directs the viewer to see what other coaches, players, football analysts and teammates are saying about Jackson. Additional links provide navigation to CalBears.com, other Cal football all-star candidates, the Cal Bears football page and any breaking news on Jackson.
Another Tailback U?
USC has been widely recognized as tailback u (university) because of the legendary running backs it has produced. But Cal is starting to build that same reputation based on the track record of head coach Jeff Tedford. Under Tedford Cal has produced a 1,000-yard rusher every season since 2002. Here are four more Cal rushing factoids:
>> Cal has rushed for over 200 yards in four out of its last five games (dating back to last year's Holiday Bowl ... this season, the Bears are averaging 219.5 yards per game on the ground
>> J.J. Arrington is the last NCAA Division I running back to rush for 2000 yards in a season
>> The Golden Bears are the only Division I (BCS Conference) to have a 1,000 yard and a 600 yard running back four straight seasons (since 2003)
>> Prior to the start of the 2007 season, Cal had the most rushing yards in the Pac-10 over the past five seasons (11,668) from 2002-06
As of Sept. 17, nine Cal football games will be aired on television this season. Tennessee (9/1, ABC, 5 p.m.), Colorado State (9/8, CSTV, 11 a.m.), Louisiana Tech (9/15, Comcast Sports, 3:30), Arizona (10/22, Versus, 3 p.m.), Oregon (10/29, ABC, 12:30), Arizona State (10/27, FSN, 7 p.m.), Washington State (11/3, FSN, 7 p.m.), USC (Nov. 10, ABC/ESPN/ESPN2, 5 p.m.) and Stanford (12/1, Versus, 4 p.m.) will be televised. In the first five years of head coach Jeff Tedford's tenure, 47 Cal football games were televised; in the five years prior to that, 30 Cal games were televised. National television broadcasts have more than doubled in that time. The Colorado State game marked Cal's first game on CSTV while the Arizona game was Cal's debut on Versus. Versus is a national cable network that is available in 72 million homes. To find out if Versus is available in specific areas, visit www.versus.com and input the zip code for that area. On Comcast in the Bay Area, it is Channel 75, while on Direct TV, it is Channel 603.
50,000 Fans Again
The Arizona attendance of 56,021 marked the 21st straight home game with over 50,000 fans. That streak includes every home game in the last four years and is even more impressive when compared to the days before the current streak. In the first 13 home games under head coach Jeff Tedford (in 2002 and 2003), Cal attracted over 50,000 fans just twice. The Tennessee game was also the 11th game of 60,000+ fans under Tedford; Cal had nine 60,000+ games in the 12 years prior to Tedford's arrival.
The Golden Bears established a new record for average attendance in 2006 with an average of 64,318 fans per game. Including three sellouts. California had a total of 450,223 fans at seven home games. The previous record for the Bears was in 2004 when they averaged 64,019.
The Golden Ticket
Cal established a new season ticket sales record for the 2007 football season -- 41,336, eclipsing last seasons sales mark of 40,262. Since the arrival of head coach Jeff Tedford, California's season ticket count has been on a steady climb. The Bears sold 16,200 season passes in 2002 -- Tedford's first year. His second season resulted in sales of 22,500. In 2004, the number again jumped substantially, up to a then-school-record 34,100. In 2005, the Bears set another mark with 40,134 season tickets sold and again in 2006 (40,262).
2006 marked the first time since the 1975 season that California earned a share of the Pac-10 Conference championship ... Cal secured the co-championship after its 26-17 victory over Stanford (Dec. 2) coupled with a UCLA upset victory over USC in Pasadena also on Dec. 2 ... Both Cal and USC finished 7-2 in league play ... In 1975, Cal tied with UCLA for the league title, but the head-to-head loss to the Bruins denied a Rose Bowl bid. Here's a look at Cal's title teams:
Year: Overall (Conf) - Note
1918: 7-2 (2-0 Pacific Coast) - Beat Oregon and Stanford
1920: 9-0 (3-0 Pacific Coast) - First national championship for Cal
1921: 9-0-1 (4-0 Pacific Coast) - Brick Muller is first Cal All-American
1922: 9-0 (4-0 Pacific Coast) - Outscores opponents, 146-7
1923: 9-0-1 (5-0 Pacific Coast) - Wonder Team continues to roll
1937: 10-0-1 (6-0-1 Pacific Coast) - Thunder Team beats Alabama in Rose Bowl
1948: 10-1 (6-0 Pacific Coast) - Pappy's Boys return to Rose Bowl
1949: 10-1 (7-0 Pacific Coast) - No. 3 in final AP poll
1950: 9-1-1 (5-0-1 Pacific Coast) - Third straight Rose Bowl appearance
1958: 7-4 (6-1 Pacific Coast) - Last Rose Bowl for California
1975: 8-3 (6-1 Pac-8) - Chuck Muncie leads Bears to title
2006: 10-3 (7-2 Pac-10) - Beat Texas A&M, 45-10, in Holiday Bowl
The Tedford Era
Jeff Tedford, now in his sixth year at the helm of the Bears, has quickly brought the program into another "Golden" Age. The Bears' current five year record of 43-20 (.683) is among the best-ever at Cal.
Era (Years): Record (Pct.) - Highlights
The Wonder Teams (1920-24): 44-0-4 (.958) - Three National Titles
The Thunder Teams (1937-38): 20-1-1 (.932) - One Championship
Pappy's Boys (1947-52): 53-9 (.855) - Three Rose Bowls
The Tedford Era (2002-current): 47-20 (.701) - Four bowls
Early 90s (1990-93): 30-17 (.638) - Three bowls
Mike White Era (1972-77): 35-30 (.538) - Last conf. title (`75)
Cal Corrals Fifth Straight Winning Season
Since posting the worst record at Cal in 104 years (1-10) in 2001, the Golden Bears have rolled to five straight winning seasons since the arrival of head coach Jeff Tedford. In Tedford's first season (2002), he guided the Bears to a 7-5 mark - the school's first winning record in nine years. The 2004 club climbed as high as No. 4 in the nation and finished 10-2. Last year, Cal won eight games and in 2006, the Bears finished 10-3, marking the first time the Golden Bears have had five straight winning seasons in over 50 years (Pappy Waldorf's juggernaut teams reeled off six straight winning marks from 1947-52).
In the five years under Jeff Tedford, the Golden Bears have averaged 34.1 points per game, by far the most in any five-year stretch in school history. In fact, Tedford-coached teams own five of the top six slots in single-season scoring in the modern era of football in Berkeley.
Juniors Alex Mack, Zack Follett, Nate Longshore and DeSean Jackson and seniors Craig Stevens, Justin Forsett, Tom Schneider and Andrew Larson have been prominent in many of the national Watch Lists. Mack is on three Watch Lists including the Outland Trophy (best interior lineman), the Rotary Lombardi Award (top lineman) and the Rimington Trophy (most outstanding center). Follett landed a spot on the Bednarik Trophy list (nation's top defensive player), the Butkus Award (best linebacker) and the Lott IMPACT Trophy, which recognizes athletic performance and the personal character attributes of the player. Jackson has secured spots on the Biletnikoff Award (top wide receiver), Maxwell and Walter Camp Trophy lists -- both of which honor the nation's best player. Longshore is also on three Watch Lists -- the Manning and Davey O'Brien Awards, which are given to the nation's top quarterback, and the Walter Camp Award Watch List, which honors the nation's best player. Stevens landed a spot on the John Mackey Award Watch List -- given annually to the nation's top tight end. Forsett secured a spot on the Doak Walker Award Watch List which is presented to the nation's top RB. Schneider is on the Lou Groza Watch List (nation's top kicker), while Larson found a spot on the Ray Guy Award Watch List, honoring the nation's top punter.
Cal Picked 2nd in Pac-10 Media Poll
For the fourth consecutive season the University of California football team was picked to finish second in the Pac-10 Media Poll released on July 26. Four-time defending Pac-10 champion USC was a unanimous selection to win the conference title as voted by West Coast media members who regularly cover the league. It marks the fifth consecutive year the Trojans have been the choice to win the title. The Trojans captured all 39 first-place votes. The Golden Bears garnered 323 points, while third-place pick, UCLA, collected 305 points, followed by Arizona State (242), Oregon State (237), Oregon (226), Arizona (162), Washington State (115), Washington (98) and Stanford (47).
Pac-10 Media Day Chatter
Jeff Tedford general remarks: "We are very excited about the upcoming season and to report to camp on the fifth of August. The players' commitment has been great through the summer. We have a lot of experience and I feel that the investment has been made to compete for a championship. We have great leadership, DeSean [Jackson] being one of them and a big part of what we do. Having to replace Daymeion Hughes and Marshawn Lynch, both Players of the Year, will be a challenge. We feel Justin Forsett can move right in and take over and we'll have some young guys competing at corner. We had a rough game at Tennessee last year, and we need redemption. It's not about revenge, we just need to focus on ourselves. This Conference is very balanced so we have to bring our "A" game. I have great confidence in our players and our staff to be prepared each and every week."