2007 CALIFORNIA FOOTBALL
Saturday, October 13; 4 p.m. (PT)
#2/2 California (5-0, 2-0 Pac-10) vs. Oregon State (3-3, 1-2 Pac-10)
Berkeley, Calif. - Memorial Stadium
TV: Versus. Broadcast Team: Ted Robinson (PxP), Kelly Stouffer (Analyst), Lewis Johnson (sideline). 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 Berkeley and Walnut Creek, it is Channel 75 (Ch. 81 in Oakland), while on Direct TV, it is Channel 603.
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 hosted by Lee Grosscup and Eddy Kleinhans.
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: 48-20/6th
Career Record/Years: Same
Football SID: John Sudsbury
Office Phone: 510-643-4723
Ticket Info: 800-GO-BEARS
Games Played: 59
Series Record: Cal leads, 33-26-0
First Meeting: 10/28/1905, Cal, 10-0
Last Meeting: 9/30/2006, Cal, 41-13
Current Streak: Cal win 2 of 3
Tedford vs. Oregon State: 2-3
Thanks to Stanford's 24-23 upset victory over the USC Trojans on Saturday night, the California Golden Bears jumped one spot to No. 2 in both the AP and USA Today polls, released on Sunday. With its bye week in the books, Cal begins its preparation for the Oregon State Beavers (October 13, Memorial Stadium, 4 p.m., Versus network). In a season filled with plenty of "firsts," Cal will look to defeat the Beavers in Berkeley for the first time since 1997. Another note of interest - Cal's seven-game winning streak is the longest in the Pac-10 and third-longest in the nation.
A bye week, coupled with a USC 24-23 loss to Stanford, helped the Golden Bears move up one spot in both the AP and USA Today polls to No. 2 in the country. The last time Cal was ranked higher than No. 2 was the Oct. 16th ranking in 1951 when the Golden Bears climbed to No. 1 following a victory over Washington State. The Bears held that ranking for one week before losing to USC. California has now been ranked in the AP poll for 24 straight weeks and 50 of the last 54 weeks of rankings. The Bears have been ranked in the top three just eight times in the last 68 years. Overall, Cal has been ranked in the top three 15 times, including seven straight weeks being ranked in the top two during 1937, the second year of the AP poll. The 1937 team, coached by legendary Stub Allison, captured Cal's last football national championship after defeating Alabama, 13-0, in the 1938 Rose Bowl.
A look at 5-0 starts in Cal history (26 times) ...
2005 (finished 8-4); 1996 (finished 6-6); 1993 (finished 9-4); 1991 (finished 10-2); 1952 (finished 7-3); 1950 (finished 9-1-1); 1949 (finished 10-1); 1948 (finished 10-1); 1947 (finished 9-1); 1938 (finished 10-1); 1937 (finished 10-0-1; Rose Bowl champions); 1935 (finished 9-1); 1927 (finished 7-3); 1924 (finished 8-0-2); 1923 (finished 9-0-1); 1922 (finished 9-0); 1921 (finished 9-0-1); 1920 (finished 9-0; Rose Bowl champions); 1914 (finished 14-1); 1912 (finished 10-2-1); 1911 (finished 11-2-1); 1910 (finished 12-0-2); 1904 (finished 6-1-1); 1902 (finished 8-0); 1898 (finished 8-0-2); 1893 (finished 5-1-1).
>> Cal has not started a season 6-0 since the 1950 team went 9-0-1 in the regular season, before falling to Michigan in the Rose Bowl.
We're Going Streaking!
A look at the nation's longest active win streaks (thru 10/7/07):
13 - LSU (6-0)
9 - Cincinnati (6-0)
7 - Cal (5-0)
7 - Boston College (6-0)
7 - Hawaii (6-0)
7 - South Florida (5-0)
6 - Arizona State (6-0)
6 - Ohio State (6-0)
Senior wide receiver Robert Jordan caught a pass on Cal's opening drive of the Oregon game, which gave him 35 straight games with at least one catch. With a catch on Saturday night against Oregon State, Jordan will tie the Cal school record of 36 games with at least one reception held by Brian Treggs (Nov. 19, 1988-Jan. 1, 1992).
Bears-Beavers: Cal Controls Both Sides of the Ball in Corvallis Last Season
Nate Longshore threw for 341 yards and four touchdowns, including two to Marshawn Lynch, giving California a 41-13 win at Oregon State on Sept. 30 last season. Longshore connected on 39-yard TD pass to Lavelle Hawkins which gave Cal an early lead. Before the first quarter was over, Longshore found DeSean Jackson with a 27-yard scoring pass and Lynch's TD run made it 21-0. Lynch had his second touchdown reception of the season, a 27-yard pass from Longshore, midway through the second quarter. Tom Schneider kicked a 37-yard field goal to make it 31-0.
Cal-Oregon State and Other Musings
Cal is 33-26 all-time vs. Oregon State dating back to 1905 ... the Bears have won two of the last three meetings, but the Beavers have won six of the last eight since 1999 ... Cal's 35 first downs against Oregon State on Oct. 13, 1981 still stands as a school record ... Cal recorded 24 first downs via the rush vs. Oregon State on Oct. 24, 1959 - a school record ... Cal and Oregon State ran a combined 180 plays on Oct. 31, 1998 - a program record for combined offensive plays ... Jerry Drew rushed for a single-game record 283 yards (on 11 attempts) vs. Oregon State on Nov. 13, 1954
Last Five Games vs. Oregon State (2-3)
2006: (20) Cal 41, Oregon State 13 -- Cal gets a big boost from Nate Longshore's four touchdown passes, while the defense records four sacks and a forced fumble in the victory in Corvallis.
2005: Oregon State 23, (18) Cal 20 -- Yvenson Bernard rushes for a career-high 185 yards and the go-ahead touchdown with 6:41 to play; Oregon State snaps California's 10-game home winning streak.
2004: (9) Cal 49, Oregon State 7 -- The Golden Bears jump out to a 28-7 lead before halftime and never let up; 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 in Corvallis.
2003: Oregon State 35, Cal 21 -- Steven Jackson rushes for 227 yards on 35 carries and scores three touchdowns as Oregon State defeats California for the fifth straight time.
2002: Oregon State 24, Cal 13 -- Steven Jackson rushes for a career-high 239 yards and three touchdowns.
On This Date: Oct. 13
Cal is 8-6-1 all-time on games played on Oct. 13 in program history. Cal's first game played on Oct. 13 was in 1894, resulting in a 12-12 tie vs. the Reliance Club. Interestingly enough, the Golden Bears have played Oregon State three times on Oct. 13 (1956, 1979, 1984) and have a 1-2 record in those games.
Cal was without three of its starters at Oregon - Will Ta'ufo'ou, Rulon Davis and Zack Follett ... Cal did not score in the first quarter making it the first time since October 21, 2006 (vs. Washington) that the Bears did not score in the first quarter of a game ... it was also the first time since that game in Berkeley last season that the Bears failed to score a touchdown in the first half ... Cal's scoring drive of 5:34 in the second quarter (drive ended with a field goal) was the longest (in terms of time consumed) this season ... DeSean Jackson snared a career-high 11 catches for a career-high 161 yards ... he hauled in his first touchdown of the season in the third quarter (25-yard reception) ... Jackson had a season-long 31-yard reception in the third quarter as well ... Jackson added his second receiving touchdown of game (another 31-yard reception) in the fourth quarter ... Nate Longshore cracked Cal's career top 10 passing touchdowns list with his 31st to Jackson in the third quarter ... Longshore passed for a season-high 285 yards and had career-highs in completions (28) and attempts (43) ... after being slowed down in the first half, running back Justin Forsett had 82 yards and two touchdowns in the second half (101 for the game) ... he has now scored a touchdown in six straight games dating back to last season ... Robert Jordan caught a pass on Cal's opening drive giving him 35 straight games with at least one catch (needs one more game with a catch to tie the school record) ... Zach Smith made his first career start at fullback (replacing the injured Will Ta'ufo'ou) ... Smith recorded his first career reception (12-yard gain) in the second quarter ... Jahvid Best recovered his first career fumble recovery on a Cal kickoff in the fourth quarter.
Tedford in September
After Cal's 31-24 win on Saturday over Oregon, head coach Jeff Tedford improved his record in the month of September to 19-5 since taking over the program reigns in 2002. He has now won nine straight games in the month of September.
After completing the month of September 5-0, Jeff Tedford looks to win his fifth game in a row in the month of October when the Bears host Oregon State on Oct. 13.
Cal has now scored 30 or more points in six games dating back to last year's Holiday Bowl victory over Texas A&M. It is the first time in program history that the Golden Bears have surpassed 30 in six straight games. Last year, the Bears set a record with five straight 40-point games and they also had five straight 30+ games from the bowl in 2004 through the first four games of 2005. Prior to that, the last five-game run of 30-point games came during 1990's Copper Bowl campaign.
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.
A key to California's success this season has been protecting the football. The Golden Bears have just four turnovers this year (two interceptions, two fumbles) and are tied for third in the nation in turnover margin at 2.20 per game. More significant has been Cal's points off turnovers. The Bears have scored 49 points (seven touchdowns) on their opponents 15 turnovers while opponents have managed just one field goal on the four miscues by the Bears.
Not only has Cal been scoring a lot of points (averaging 39.4 points per game), but the Golden Bears have been scoring fast as well. The Bears have registered 13 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 17 "quick strike" scores in less than two minutes. Last year, Cal had 28 scores, including 19 scoring drives, that took less than two minutes.
>> Cal had its longest scoring drive of the season at Oregon (5:34) which resulted in a field goal.
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.
>> Historical Tidbit: Cal had its 10-game home win streak snapped by the Oregon State Beavers on Oct. 15, 2005 (23-20). The last 11-game home win streak was Oct. 6, 1990-Oct. 3, 1992.
Did you know that Cal hasn't been shutout in a school-record 99 consecutive games since Sept. 11, 1999?
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 29 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 45 of 68 games under Tedford, meanwhile, its opponents have had just 17 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 five games this year, the Bears have 47 plays of 20 yards or more ... 2006 also marked the first time since 1949 that Cal started 6-0 in conference play.
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 313 yards (62.6 avg) and six touchdowns in the fourth quarter of games this season. Cal has scored a rushing touchdown in every fourth quarter this season.
Third Quarter D
Cal has only allowed 27 points in the third quarter of games this season. 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. In their road win at Colorado State, Cal registered three sacks, while surrendering just 23 total yards on 12 offensive plays to the Rams.
>>Bucking the Trend I: Cal's fourth quarter defense at Oregon was extremely effective as well. The Bears tallied two interceptions against Dennis Dixon (Anthony Felder, Tyson Alualu) and came up with arguably the biggest defensive play of the season when Marcus Ezeff knocked the ball out of Cameron Colvin's hands at the goal line (the ball went out of bounds in the endzone), resulting in a touchback for the Bears.
First Half Surge
In their 5-0 start, the Golden Bears have outscored their opposition 107-54 in the first half. 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.
>>Bucking the Trend II: After being held without a touchdown in the first half at Oregon, the Golden Bears responded with 28 second half points, including 21 in the fourth quarter. Justin Forsett accounted for two of those scores in the fourth quarter, including the touchdown that gave Cal a 31-24 lead with 3:11 left in the contest.
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 5-of-8 in his field goal attempts.
Senior punter Andrew Larson was another unsung hero in Cal's 31-24 win at Oregon. Of his seven punts, four landed inside the 20-yard line. His sixth punt of the game in the fourth-quarter pinned the Ducks on their own 11-yard line. On Oregon's first play of that drive, quarterback Dennis Dixon threw a pass that was picked off by Cal linebacker, Anthony Felder. That interception led to a Golden Bear touchdown. And with two minutes to go, Larson uncorked a 48-yarder which was downed at the Oregon 23.
It seems like every time that the Bears are on national television, DeSean Jackson seems to have his best performances. Jackson reclaimed his standing as a Heisman Trophy frontrunner with a career performance at Oregon (which was televised on ABC). Jackson snared a career-high 11 catches for a career-high 161 yards and two touchdowns in Autzen Stadium. 9 of his 11 catches went for first downs. In his opening-day performance against Tennessee (on ABC), 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. 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.
Sept. 29, 2007 On the Road at No. 11 Oregon
With the score tied at 17 early in the fourth quarter, Oregon's Josh Syria miss-hits a 28-yard punt that is fair-caught by Jackson at the 50-yard line. Five plays later, Jackson takes a short Longshore pass and dashes past two Duck defenders for the go-ahead touchdown.
Other Notes on DeSean ...
>> Needs two touchdowns to tie Geoff McArthur for fourth on the all-time career receiving touchdowns list (20) >> Needs 26 yards receiving to crack Cal's top 10 career receiving yards chart >> 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 is at it again this season -- throwing with accuracy and efficiency. Longshore has completed 64 percent of his passes in `07 against just two interceptions. Longshore produced a career day in Cal's 31-24 win at Oregon, completing a career-high 28 passes on a career-high 43 attempts (no interceptions) for a season-high 285 yards and two touchdowns. The two TD tosses vaulted Longshore into Cal's top 10 career passing touchdowns chart with 31. The junior signal caller surpassed 4,000 career passing yards in Cal's win over Arizona, and has now completed passes to 12 different targets this season. Longshore (4,289 career passing yards) has also thrown for over 200 yards in nine of his last 11 contests. He has thrown just two interceptions and has been sacked just four times in his last seven 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). 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 300-yard passing game to move to eighth all-time in 300-yard career passing games
Forsett at the Forefront
Heart. Determination. Warrior. Leader. All words that should be used to describe senior tailback Justin Forsett for his stellar play for the Golden Bears this season. As the Pac-10's second-leading rusher (117.0/gm), Forsett had a rushing touchdown for the fifth straight game this season (sixth game in a row, dating back to last season's Holiday Bowl) in Cal's 31-24 win over Oregon. It was also Forsett's fourth 100-yard effort (tenth of his career) with 101 yards vs. the Ducks. What was even more impressive in the victory over Oregon was Forsett's 82 yards and two touchdowns in the second half, after being held to just 19 in the first half. In Cal's 42-12 win over Louisiana Tech, Forsett recorded a career-long 39-yard scamper to the endzone, 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. Forsett currently ranks eighth all-time with 2,259 career yards rushing. He has a career average of 6.1 yards per carry.
Anybody will tell you that in order to have a productive offense, you must have an successful running game. Cal can stick to that philosophy because of Justin Forsett. The Oregon game marked just the seventh time that Forsett had more than 15 carries in a game. And, surprisingly, the 101 yards were his lowest output in those games.
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)
9/29/07: Oregon (23-101, 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. In Cal's 31-24 win over Oregon, Forsett generated 28 yards and two touchdowns. In the victory over Arizona, Forsett generated 55 yards on nine carries (5.9 ypc) and a touchdown. Against Tennessee, Forsett rushed 12 times for 92 yards (7.8 yards per carry) as he helped the Bears seal the victory.
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 four of the five games this season. But Hawkins' value was truly measured in Cal's 31-24 win over Oregon. He had two catches for 27 yards, but both of those catches came on third-and-long situations, keeping a Cal drive going. Hawkins caught a 16-yard pass on 3rd-and-7 in the third quarter which led to Cal's second touchdown of the game to tie the score at 17-17. His second catch (an 11-yarder) came on a 3rd-and-6 (in the fourth quarter) and led to another Cal score and a 24-17 lead. "The Hawk" has scored a touchdown (reception or kickoff) in six of his last eight games. He 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. 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. Hawkins is second on the team with 634 all-purpose yards, and leads the team with 342 receiving 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 36 games and 31 starts, Robert Jordan has 17 receptions for 146 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 35 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 one more game 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, 9/30/07 (Active)*
1. Brandon Allen (Sr. New Mexico St.): 37
2. Marcus Monk (Sr. Arkansas): 36
3. Robert Jordan (Sr. California): 35
4. Dorien Bryant (Sr. Purdue): 33
5. Travis Brown (Sr. New Mexico): 30
* - The NCAA record is 51 straight games with a reception by Texas Tech's Taurean Henderson (2002-05)
LBs Making Impact
The Cal linebacking corps has shown why it should be considered one of the best in the nation. In five games, the LBs have combined for 164 tackles (9.5 for losses), 5.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and two interceptions. Junior Anthony Felder paces the corps with 50 tackles, two sacks and an interception. Felder's fourth quarter interception at Oregon was even nominated as a Pontiac Game Changing Performance. Felder also turned in a career-high 13 tackles and two sacks at Colorado State. Worrell Williams tallied a career-high 14 tackles vs. Arizona to go along with a sack and a pass break up. Michael Mohamed tallied a career-best eight tackles at Oregon.
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 has missed the Arizona and Oregon games. Matt Malele also missed the Arizona game due to injury. A group of unheralded players, however, 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 four games and registered three tackles for a loss at Oregon, while sophomore Tyson Alualu recorded his first career interception in the fourth quarter at Oregon. Alulalu, who also recovered a fumble for a touchdown versus Arizona, has tallied a team-best 2.5 sacks this year. In addition 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
Sophomore Marcus Ezeff has been a pleasant surprise this season, as he leads the secondary with 44 tackles, including a career-high 14 vs. Arizona. But the biggest play of his career thus far was his hit on Oregon wide receiver Cameron Colvin in the final seconds at the one-yard line, jarring the ball loose into the endzone and out of bounds, resulting in a touchback, allowing the Bears to preserve their 31-24 lead. Senior Thomas DeCoud enjoyed a career day against Arizona when he recorded his first career forced fumble, sack and interception in the first half. Senior Brandon Hampton has recorded an interception in two 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 five games this season ... the defense has also scored two touchdowns (both on fumble recoveries) this season.
>> Jahvid Best has recorded 13 plays of 10 yards or more this season (30 touches total in `07)
Is there anything true freshman Javid Best can't do? Best has been utilized plenty in special teams and he came up with his first career fumble recovery on a kickoff in the fourth quarter at Oregon. Cal capitalized on the ensuing drive and scored a touchdown. It didn't take long for Best to score his first collegiate touchdown -- a career-long 64-yard run for paydirt at Colorado State -- in his second career game. Best added 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 173 yards on 16 carries (10.4 ypc) and two touchdowns.
K Is Okay
For the fifth 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 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 48-20 (.706) 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): 48-20 (.706) - Four bowls
Early 90s (1990-93): 30-17 (.638) - Three bowls
Mike White Era (1972-77): 35-30 (.538) - Last conf. title (`75)
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 six games (dating back to last year's Holiday Bowl ... this season, the Bears are averaging 198.6 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 Oct. 8, a record-tying 11 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 (9/29, ABC, 12:30), Oregon State (10/13, Versus, 4 pm), UCLA (10/20, ABC, 12:30 pm), 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
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 six years under Jeff Tedford, the Golden Bears have averaged 34.3 points per game, by far the most in any six-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."