2007 CALIFORNIA FOOTBALL
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl
Monday, December 31; 9:30 a.m. (PT)
California (6-6, 3-6 Pac-10) vs. Air Force (9-3, 6-2 MWC)
Fort Worth, Texas - Amon G. Carter Stadium
TV: ESPN. Broadcast Team: Dan Fouts (PxP), Tim Brandt (Analyst), Todd Harris (Sideline).
Radio: KGO Radio (810 AM) in San Francisco (Joe Starkey, Troy Taylor, Todd McKim) - and affiliate stations KLAA Radio (830 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 hosted by Lee Grosscup and Eddy Kleinhans.
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: 49-26/6th
Career Record/Years: Same
Football SID: John Sudsbury
Office Phone: 510-643-4723
Ticket Info: 800-GO-BEARS
Games Played: 7
Series Record: Cal leads, 5-2
First Meeting: 11/11/61, Air Force, 15-14
Last Meeting: 9/4/04, Cal, 56-14
Current Streak: Cal win 5 of 6
Tedford vs. Air Force: 1-1
The California Golden Bears will make their fifth straight bowl appearance under the direction of head coach Jeff Tedford in the 2007 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl on Dec. 31 against the Air Force Falcons in Fort Worth, Texas. This will be the first time in school history that Cal has appeared in five consecutive bowl games, and the first trip to the state of Texas since 1997. Under Tedford, Cal is 3-1 in bowl games and 1-1 against Air Force. If the Bears defeat the Falcons, it would give the Bears their sixth consecutive winning season -- a feat that hasn't been accomplished since Pappy Waldorf's juggernaut teams reeled off six straight winning marks from 1947-52.
CAL OFFENSE QUICK NOTES
Senior runnng back Justin Forsett is the third Cal back with over 1,400 yards rushing in a season and the fourth with over 4,000 career rushing yards ... senior Lavelle Hawkins is ranked as the No. 3 senior receiver in the nation by Mel Kiper, Jr. ... senior Robert Jordan has receptions in a school-record 41 straight games ... junior center Alex Mack anchors an offensive line which has allowed a Pac-10-best 11 sacks this year ... junior quarterback Nate Longshore has thrown for over 5,000 career yards and his 41 career touchdown passes rank sixth all-time at Cal ... senior DeSean Jackson ranks third all-time at Cal in receiving yards and sixth in receptions ... true freshman tailback Jahvid Best has 21 plays of 10 yards or more and is averaging 12.3 yards per touch ... senior tight end Julian Arthur had his first career reception against Stanford ... Cal's 91-yard scoring drive against Stanford was its longest by yards of the season ... Cal has not been shut out in a school-record 106 consecutive games dating back to Sept. 11, 1999.
CAL DEFENSE QUICK NOTES
Senior safety Thomas DeCoud recorded his 100th tackle of the season against Stanford and leads the team with 106 takedowns ... junior linebacker Zack Follett leads the Bears with 11.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks ... with one more tackle for Anthony Felder and two more for Worrell Williams, Cal will have three players with 100 tackles for the second time in school history (1983) ... sophomore tackle Tyson Alualu's 51 tackles are the most by a defensive lineman at Cal since 2000 ... sophomore cornerback Syd'Quan Thompson has started every game in his career and leads the team with 10 pass break-ups ... senior corner Brandon Hampton has two interceptions, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery this year ... cornerback Chris Conte has 32 tackles, the most by a Cal true freshman since 2002 ... Cal has forced a fumble in 11 of its 12 games this year and recovered a fumble in 10 of those ... the defense leads the nation with three fumble-recovery touchdowns this year.
SPECIAL TEAMS QUICK NOTES
Senior DeSean Jackson has six career punt returns for touchdowns ... Cal foes have booted 20 field goals this year, the second-most in history - in 1983, opponents knocked home 21 three-pointers ... of Andrew Larson's 109 career punts, just 40 have been returned for 245 yards (6.1 yards per return) ... junior Jordan Kay has been perfect on PAT's (42-of-42) this year ... junior snapper Nick Sundberg has been perfect on 121-of-122 (99.2%) snaps this year.
Armed Forces Bowl Notes
The 2007 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, the fifth edition of the Fort Worth-based post-season intercollegiate football game, will match the Air Force Academy from the nine-school Mountain West Conference against California of the Pac-10 Conference. The previous four Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl games have featured an institution from Conference USA (TCU 2003, Cincinnati 2004, Houston 2005 and Tulsa 2006) against schools from the Western Athletic Conference (Boise State 2003), the Mid-American Conference (Marshall 2004), the Big 12 Conference (Kansas 2005) and the Mountain West Conference (Utah 2006). Conference USA will compete in the 2008 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl against the MWC with the Pac-10 scheduled to replace C-USA in 2009.
Deep in the Heart of Texas
While the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will be the 23rd intercollegiate football game for Air Force in the "Lone Star" state, Cal will be playing only for the seventh time in Texas with its last appearance in 1997 in Houston when the Bears posted a 35-3 win over the Cougars. It was one of three Cal wins in the state as the Bears posted a 19-17 win at Texas A&M in 1983 and 5-3 victory over Iowa in the 1993 Alamo Bowl in San Antonio. Air Force has a 12-9-1 mark for contests played in Texas, including 1-0-1 in bowl games. Air Force and TCU played to a scoreless tie at the 1959 Cotton Bowl in Dallas while the Falcons posted a 24-16 victory over Texas in the 1985 Bluebonnet Bowl in Houston on New Year's Eve.
Cal senior running back Justin Forsett and freshman quarterback Brock Mansion are both from the Dallas area. Forsett (Arlington) attended Grace Prep for two years (after moving to Texas from Florida), while Mansion (Dallas) attended the Episcopal School of Dallas. Linebackers coach Kenwick Thompson, a Houston native who attended Nimitz High School, was the defensive coordinator at Texas Southern from 1996-2000, as well as its defensive line coach in 1995 and running backs coach in 1994.
Bowling Lanes Both schools have the identical bowl record of 8-8-1. Air Force is appearing in its first bowl game since 2002 (a 20-13 setback to Virginia Tech in San Francisco), while Cal has posted wins over Virginia Tech (2003 Insight), BYU (2005 Las Vegas) and Texas A&M (2006 Holiday) while losing to Texas Tech (2004 Holiday) in its past four bowl appearances. Air Force's first bowl game resulted in a 0-0 tie with TCU at the 1959 Cotton Bowl. Cal's first appearance was at the 1921 Rose Bowl when the Bears shutout Ohio State 28-0.
Armed Forces Bowl History
Date : Result (Attendance)
December 23, 2006: Utah 25, Tulsa 13 (32,412)
December 23, 2005: Kansas 42, Houston 13 (33,505)
December 23, 2004: Cincinnati 32, Marshall 14 (27,902)
December 23, 2003: Boise State 34, TCU 31 (38,028)
Headquartered in Fort Worth, Bell Helicopter is an American helicopter (both commercial and military) and tiltrotor aircraft manufacturer. Bell Helicopter provides the various branches of service with the world's best military helicopters, including the V-22, the ARH-70A Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter and the AH-1Z and UH-1Y H-1 helicopters. A sister company, Textron Systems, produces the new M1117 Armored Security Vehicle, which is designed for speed and for deflecting rocket-propelled grenades and land mines.
A Look at the Falcons
First-year head coach Troy Calhoun has guided Air Force to a 9-3 record, including a second-place finish in the Mountain West Conference with a 6-2 record. The Falcons have won their last three games, including a 41-24 victory over Notre Dame on the road. Air Force features the No. 2 rushing offense in the nation at 298.5 yards per game. Do-everything star Chad Hall, a 5-8, 180-pound senior, leads the team in rushing (211 carries for 1,415 yards), receiving (46 catches for 488 yards) and kick returns (18 returns for 425 yards). He ranks third in the nation in all-purpose yardage and has also scored 15 touchdowns. Senior quarterback Shaun Carney may not have eye-popping numbers, but he has been very efficient, connecting on 62 percent of his passes for 1,423 yards and eight touchdowns with just five interceptions. Carney's first career start came as a freshman in the 2004 season-opener against Cal. Defensively, Air Force is allowing less than 20 points per game with senior linebacker Drew Fowler leading the way with 110 tackles.
Senior running back Justin Forsett and junior center Alex Mack headlined 12 individuals from Cal on the annual Pac-10 all-conference football teams announced by the league office. Both Forsett and Mack collected first-team honors, while wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Lavelle Hawkins garnered second-team honors. Freshman running back Jahvid Best earned first-team honors as a special teams player, while Jackson was a second-teamer as a punt returner. Zack Follett was also a second-team defensive choice at linebacker. Six Golden Bears were honorable mentions as well: Thomas DeCoud, Brian De La Puente, Anthony Felder, Mike Gibson, Robert Jordan, Craig Stevens.
Forsett's March to 1,000
Justin Forsett's 1,406 yards rushing this season is even more impressive considering the fact that the Pac-10 boasts four teams (Oregon State, USC, Arizona State and UCLA) ranked in the top 20 in the nation in rush defense. Forsett piled up 150 yards (one of four 150+ yard efforts this year for the senior) against Oregon State, which ranks No. 2 in the nation in rushing defense. He generated 209 all-purpose yards, including 164 yards on the ground against USC, which ranked seventh in the nation in rush defense and No. 3 in total defense at the start of the game.
The Fouts Factor
Cal is hoping to improve its luck with Dan Fouts in attendance. The NFL Hall of Famer, who will be handling play-by-play duties for the Armed Forces Bowl, has been on the tv broadcast of 13 Golden Bear games in the last five years - and Cal has posted a 5-8 record. Fouts has handled play-by-play duties the last two years and was the color analyst for the three years before that. This season, Fouts (along with Tim Brandt and Todd Harris) has covered the Oregon (W), UCLA (L) and Washington (L) games. The same crew was on duty for the Holiday Bowl last year for ESPN Radio.
After generating 96 yards on the ground at Stanford, Justin Forsett cleared 3,000 rushing yards for his career (3,080) -- a remarkable feat considering the fact that this is his first year in the starting tailback role (he served as the back up to Marshawn Lynch for two seasons). The 141-yard performance against Washington was his eighth 100-yard rushing game of the season and the 14th of his career. After a 44-yard sprint to the end zone in the final minutes to seal a 20-17 victory over Washington State, Forsett became the 11th Golden Bear in program history to rush for 1,000 yards in a single-season. Despite a tough loss to USC the following week, Forsett generated a season-best 164 yards vs. the Trojans. Forsett, who has a rushing touchdown in nine of his last 13 games, is tied for the Pac-10 lead with 13 rushing touchdowns this season, while also ranking second in the league in rushing yards per game. Forsett is rapidly approaching another program milestone - single-season rushing attempts. The senior tailback needs just seven more attempts to tie J.J. Arrington's 289 attempts in 2004.
Cal has suffered some key injuries this year with probable starters missing a total of 33 games this year. While Nate Longshore's injured ankle has drawn the most attention, an often-forgotten key injury has been that to senior placekicker Tom Schneider. A top candidate for the Lou Groza Award entering the year, Schneider, who missed just two field goals inside 50 yards in 2006, was also slated to be Cal's kickoff man. Another critical injury-loss has been junior defensive end Rulon Davis. After winning the starting job in fall camp, Davis has played in just five games. He hurt his foot in the third game of the year and came back for limited action against Arizona State, tallying 1.5 sacks, before injuring his knee. Safety Marcus Ezeff has missed five games due to a quad injury; linebacker Zack Follett missed nearly three games with a neck injury; starting tackle Matt Malele has missed three full games due to an injured knee; fullback Will Ta'ufo'ou has missed two full games and parts of others due to knee injuries; receiver Robert Jordan missed one game with an injured shoulder; tackle Mika Kane was out one game after a concussion; tailback/return specialist Jahvid Best has not played since the USC game due a hip injury; and receiver DeSean Jackson missed the second half of the Washington game and the entire Stanford contest, while also being hampered by a thumb injury in the first half of the season.
41 and Climbing
With over 5,000 career yards passing to his credit, Nate Longshore reached another milestone when he tossed his 41st career touchdown pass against Stanford. That mark places him in sole possession of sixth all-time at Cal. Longshore has completed nearly 60 percent of his passes this year for 2,544 yards and 16 touchdowns.After missing the Oregon State game entirely, he returned to the starting lineup against UCLA and completed 22-of-34 passes for 232 yards and a season-best three touchdowns. The best day of the year for the junior came in Cal's 31-24 win at Oregon, when he set career-highs in completions (28) and attempts (43) for a season-high 285 yards and two touchdowns. Longshore has thrown for over 200 yards in 14 of his last 17 contests. 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).
The Hawk Soars for Success
As much as he tries, it's hard for Lavelle "Hawk" Hawkins to stay out of the spotlight this season. In fact, Hawkins has caught the attention of ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper who has the senior wideout rated No. 3 in his latest "top five seniors by position" rankings. Hawkins also appears on Kiper's Top 25 Big Board at No. 22 in the country. Hawkins, who has paced the Golden Bears in receiving eight of the 12 games this season, has posted personal and team-bests of 69 catches for 855 yards to go with five touchdowns. He had a career game against Oregon State, snaring nine catches for a career-best 192 yards (sixth-most in school history) and two touchdowns, including a career-long 64-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter. Hawkins has scored a touchdown (reception or kickoff) in seven of his last 13 games, including a touchdown on the opening kickoff of the Louisiana Tech game. He leads the team with 1,770 all-purpose yards.
Big Mack On Campus
Junior center Alex Mack has been a top candidate for All-America honors this season for the Golden Bears. Mack entered the 2007 campaign on three preseason Watch Lists - Lombardi Award (best center), Rimington Trophy (most outstanding center) and the Outland Trophy (best interior lineman) - and met that billing by finishing third in the running for the Rimington Trophy, Cal's second straight center to be a finalist (Marvin Phillip was a two-time finalist). Mack has anchored the Golden Bear offensive line which has opened holes for eight 100-yard rushing games by Justin Forsett while allowing just 11 sacks this season (best in the Pac-10 and fifth in the nation). Mack was also selected as the top center in the nation at the midpoint of the season by Phil Steele's Magazine and ESPN's Mel Kiper, Jr., ranks him as the top junior center in the country. He was one of just three players to be unanimous first-team All-Pac-10 selections.
Eye of the Ziger
Linebacker Zack Follett has spent much of this season with a hair dye job featuring tiger/zebra stripes (artwork courtesy of Greg Van Hoesen), earning himself the nickname "Ziger" for the "Z" dyed into the back of his head amongst the stripes. Even though the hair has gone back to normal for the past four games (WSU, USC, UW, Stanford), the "ziger" mentality remained after he recorded seven tackles (two for losses) and a forced fumble at Stanford, seven tackles and two sacks at Washington, six tackles and a pass break up vs. USC and six tackles, a sack and three pass break ups vs. Washington State. For the season, Follett has registered 5.5 sacks (team-best), 11.5 tackles for losses (team-best), six pass break ups, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery in 10 games played (he missed nearly three games due to injury).
Senior safety Thomas DeCoud has developed into the heart and soul of the Cal defense this season. As a team captain and the leader of the defense with 106 tackles, he produced a career-best 16 tackles at Washington and enjoyed a career day against Arizona when he recorded his first career forced fumble, sack and interception in the first half. He has posted double digits in tackles three times this season, and has registered six or more tackles 10 times.
The 1 to Watch
Despite suffering a thigh injury in the Washington game which kept him out of action in the second half, and entirely out of the Stanford contest, DeSean Jackson is third all-time in career receiving yards at Cal with 2,342. Jackson had a stout performance at UCLA when he posted nine catches for 136 yards and two touchdowns vs. the Bruins. In Cal's 31-24 win at Oregon, Jackson snared a career-high 11 catches for a career-high 161 yards and two touchdowns in Autzen Stadium. 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.
The DeSean Effect
DeSean Jackson has returned six punts for touchdowns in his California football career. Understandably, teams have opted to avoid the dangerous return man by punting away (pitching away?) from Jackson. However, in seven of the last 12 games, Cal has benefited from the "intentional walks" as short and misdirected punts (0 yards, 13 yards, 25 yards, 18 yards, 28 yards, 23 yards, 31 yards) have led directly to Golden Bear scores.
Felder Leads the LBs
The Cal linebacking corps has certainly made an impact this season. In 11 games, the LBs have combined for 371 tackles (26.5 for losses), 10.5 sacks, seven forced fumbles and two interceptions. Junior Anthony Felder paces the corps and ranks seventh in the Pac-10 with 99 tackles, two sacks and an interception. Felder, who has at least nine tackles in eight of the 12 games played, is not the only backer putting up impressive numbers. Seniors Justin Moye (42 tackles, one INT) and Greg Van Hoesen (14 tackles), Juniors Zack Follett and Worrell Williams (see next notes), and redshirt freshman Mike Mohamed (41 tackles, three pass break ups) have all been impact players.
Big Play RJ
A veteran of 42 games, Robert Jordan has 41 receptions for 541 yards and two touchdowns this season, including a season-high 99 receiving yards in Cal's loss at Stanford. Jordan is Cal's all-time leader with at least one catch in 41 straight games (still active) after hauling in four catches (for 99 yards and a touchdown) against Stanford. Jordan passed both Steve Rivera and Mike Caldwell for seventh on Cal's all-time receptions chart (142) after hauling in four catches vs. Washington State. He had 43 receptions (career-high) for 511 yards and four scores in 2006.
The Golden Bears have a chance to finish this year with three different players recording more than 100 tackles. Thomas DeCoud was the first to cross the century mark after he recorded 11 tackles at Stanford to give hime 106 on the season. Lnebacker Anthony Felder currently has 99 takedowns, while junior linebacker Worrell Williams has 98 stops. The only other time in Cal history that the Bears had three players with 100 or more tackles was 1983 when Ron Rivera paced the squad with 138 tackles and Eddie Walsh (109) and John Haina (100) also reached the milestone. The only other years that Cal has had as many as two triple-digit tacklers were in 1987 (David Ortega, 143; and Ken Harvey, 103) and 1988 (Steve Hendrickson, 134; and Ortega, 132).
Cal has been victimized by deadly accuracy by opponents on field goals as The Golden Bears have seen its foes drill 20-of-22 (91%) of their three-point attempts this year. The last time Cal's opponents buried field goals at this rate was in 1985 when they connected on 18-of-19. Only one time in school history have opponents knocked home more than 18 field goals - in 1983, Cal foes scored 21 field goals (on 30 attempts). Cal ranks eighth in the nation in field goals allowed this season (North Carolina State leads the nation as its opposition nailed 26 field goals). Three schools have seen their opponents miss just one field goal this year: Georgia (18-of-19), Clemson (13-of-14), Wake Forest (12-of-13).
Wor, What Is It Good For?
Another standout in Cal's linebacking corps is junior Worrell Williams, who has had a breakout season for the Golden Bears. From his opening day touchdown on a fumble recovery against Tennessee and throughout the season, Williams has been an imposing force on the gridiron. Williams, whose older brother D.J. is a middle linebacker with the Denver Broncos, is third on the team (ninth in the Pac-10) in tackles with 98, while also registering a team-high in forced fumbles with three.
"The turnover battle is huge, I think that definitely plays into it. It does in football, I don't it's just us, I think that's the way football is," said Cal head coach Jeff Tedford. In his six years at Cal, the Golden Bears are 27-2 (.931) when winning the turnover battle and 10-18 (.357) when losing that statistical comparison (as well as 12-6 when tied). In Pac-10 games, the stats are even more decisive, as Cal is 17-1 (.944) when winning the turnover battle and 6-16 (.272) when losing it (7-3 when turnovers are tied). Cal has lost the turnover battle in each of its six losses this year.
Larson a Finalist For Ray Guy Award
Senior Andrew Larson was selected as a finalist for the Ray Guy Award for the top punter in the nation. Larson is averaging 41 yards per punt with a net punting mark of 37.5 (third-best in the Pac-10 and 18th in the nation). He has 54 punts this season and 19 have been returned for just 114 yards (6.0 ypr - 19th in the nation). Nineteen of his boots have been downed inside the 20 and just four have gone for touchbacks. Against USC, four of his seven punts were downed inside the 20. Against Arizona State, he averaged 44.8 yards on five punts with three downed inside the 20, but his best day came against Oregon State, when he set a school record with an average of 55.8 yards on four punts, including a career-long 73-yarder and a 64-yarder. Last season, Larson also keyed the Bears punt team which paced the Pac-10 with a net punting average of 38.3 yards per punt.
Despite missing the Washington and Stanford games due to an injury, Jahvid Best has stepped into the Golden Bear lineup as a true freshman and become a key part of the team. His biggest contributions have come on special teams, including a career-long 54-yard kickoff return at UCLA and 12 coverage tackles. A first-team All-Pac-10 special teams player, he leads the team and ranks second in the Pac-10 with 27.0 yards per kick return. In addition, the rookie has 29 carries for 243 yards (7.6 ypc), including a 64-yard run to paydirt against Colorado State for his first career touchdown. He has caught 13 balls for 74 yards - one of those a 16-yard TD reception against Louisiana Tech.
Joe Roth Honored
The California football team donned special "throwback" uniforms in its game vs. USC to pay honor to one if its all-time greats. The uniforms and helmets, which reflect the gear worn by All-American quarterback Joe Roth in 1975, were designed specially by Nike. Roth came to Cal as a junior-college transfer in 1975 and after winning the starting quarterback job for the third game, he led the Golden Bears to eight wins in their final nine games and a share of the Pac-8 Championship. Entering the 1976 season, Roth was considered a favorite for the Heisman Trophy. Described by some as the "best quarterback prospect since Joe Namath," Roth discovered he had cancer during that 1976 season and passed away in February 1977. Roth's No. 12 is the only retired jersey in the history of Cal football and he is remembered with a special display in the Cal locker room. Cal has designated each year's home game against its Southern California foe (USC or UCLA) as the Joe Roth Memorial Game.
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 49-26 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): 49-26 (.653) - Four bowls
Early 90s (1990-93): 30-17 (.638) - Three bowls
Mike White Era (1972-77): 35-30 (.538) - Last conf. title (`75)
More Uniform Musings
Looking to put an end to its three-game losing streak, Cal decided to go with its lucky gold alternate uniforms against Washington State. The result? a 20-17 win over the Cougars. The Golden Bears are a perfect 5-0 in games when they wear the alternate jersey (Oregon, UCLA, Texas A&M in 2006, and Tennessee and Washington State this season).
Let's Go For a Drive
The Bears have shown the ability to consume large chunks of yardage and time this season on scoring drives. Against Stanford, Cal posted its longest touchdown drive of the season (by yards - 91) in the first quarter. Against USC and Washington State, the Bears put together some other long scoring drives. Versus the Trojans, Cal drove 86 yards on 15 plays and consumed 8:16 on the clock, before a Jordan Kay field goal. The Bears opened the Washington State game with a 17-play, 80-yard drive which ate 7:56 of clock before Justin Forsett's touchdown. Then in the second quarter, the Bears held the ball for an amazing 10:22, driving 91 yards on 20 plays for a Jordan Kay field goal. The previous long drive for Cal had been a 5:34 drive (13 plays) at Oregon. Not surprisingly, Cal decidedly won the time-of-possession battle vs. the Cougars, holding the ball for a season-best 37:27.
This year, for the first time in program history, every Cal football game will be televised. ESPN will televise the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl on Dec. 31. In Jeff Tedford's six years at the helm of the Bears, 60 Cal football games were televised; in the six years prior to his arrival, 35 Cal games were televised. National television broadcasts have more than doubled in that time.
Pick Up Six
If Cal can post its sixth straight winning season in 2007, it will mark the first time the Golden Bears have reached these levels of consistency since Pappy Waldorf's juggernaut teams reeled off six straight winning marks from 1947-52. Since posting the worst record at Cal in 104 years (1-10) in 2001, the Golden Bears hired head coach Jeff Tedford and have rolled to marks of 7-5 (2002), 8-6 (2003), 10-3 (2004), 8-4 (2005) and 10-3 (2006). In addition, Cal has been ranked in the top 10 in each of the last four years.
The Golden Ticket
Cal established a new season ticket sales record for the 2007 football season -- 41,336, eclipsing last season's sales mark of 40,262. The 2007 home attendance average was 63,136 in six games played in Memorial Stadium. 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). Last year, 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.
Seniors Say Goodbye
California honored its senior class vs. USC as 18 players saw their final action at Memorial Stadium. This Golden Bear class featured 12 players who spent five years with the Bears, four junior-college transfers and two players who completed their eligibility in the minimum of four years (Justin Forsett and Robert Jordan). In the five years that the bulk of this class has been part of the program, the Bears have posted 42 victories (to date). It is already the fourth-best five-year stretch in school history - the best is 46 wins in the five years from 1947-1951.
Despite a loss in its final home game of 2007 to USC, Cal has 22 victories in its last 26 home games. Overall, Cal has out-scored opponents 1024-500 over the last 26 home games. In the fourth quarter of the last 26 games, Cal has topped foes, 244-128. The only four losses suffered in Memorial Stadium were to Oregon State (Oct. 15, 2005 and Oct. 13, 2007) and to USC (Nov. 12, 2005 and Nov. 10, 2007).