Dec. 16, 2009
BERKELEY - Five Cal football players garnered postseason honors on Wednesday. Senior defensive lineman Tyson Alualu and junior linebacker Mike Mohamed were selected to the "OG All-American Team '09". Senior offensive lineman Mike Tepper was named an honorable mention All-American by Sports Illustrated. Kicker Vince D'Amato and cornerback Josh Hill were chosen to the Sporting News Pac-10 All-Freshman Team.
Alualu leads 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 and leads all Pac-10 defensive linemen with 60 tackles (two shy of his career-high of 62 in 2008).
Mohamed paces the Pac-10 with an average of 8.8 tackles per game and the team with 105 total stops. He was also responsible for one of the most dramatic plays of the 2009 season when he picked off Stanford quarterback 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. Mohamed was named the Pac-10's Defensive Player of the Week twice in 2009 for his efforts at Stanford and on Oct. 31 at Arizona State when he had a season-high-tying 12 tackles in a 23-21 Cal win.
Tepper started all 12 games at left tackle for the Bears in 2009. He moved to the position for his final collegiate season after he was granted a sixth-year of eligibility following a pectoral injury that caused him to miss his entire senior campaign in 2008.
The postseason national honors were the first for all three players, each of whom was first-team All-Pac-10 selections in 2009 also for the first time in their careers.
D'Amato played in nine games while sharing placekicking duties with sophomore Giorgio Tavecchio. He scored 49 points in the regular season to rank third on the club, making 7-of-12 field goal tries and all 28 of his extra-point attempts to tie for first in the nation in PAT percentage. His eight extra points made and attempted in a 59-7 win over Eastern Washington on Sept. 12 were both the most by a Pac-10 player during the 2009 regular season.
Hill started five of the 11 games he played in and contributed 34 tackles, two interceptions, three pass breakups, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
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 will play Utah (9-3, 6-2 MWC) in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego on Dec. 23 (5:00 p.m. PT). The Utes are ranked No. 23 in the final regular-season AP Top 25 and BCS Standings, as well as No. 24 by USA Today. Cal is unranked. The game will be televised live on ESPN and also be broadcast online on ESPN360.com.
For San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl tickets and information, visit the Cal Bowl Central page or call (800) GO BEARS.