Nov. 18, 2001
California closes out the 2001 campaign with a cross-country trip to Rutgers. The game, which was originally scheduled for Sept. 15, was postponed to November following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the East Coast.
At 0-10 on the year, the Bears have one last opportunity to post a victory and send head coach Tom Holmoe and 13 seniors out with a victory. Holmoe announced his resignation Nov. 4, effective at the end of the season.
Despite its 35-28 loss in the 104th Big Game at then-No. 13 Stanford last Saturday, Cal played some of its most inspired football this year. The Bears forced five turnovers, sacked Cardinal QB Chris Lewis three times and had a chance to tie or win the game on the final play. However, QB Kyle Boller's Hail Mary from midfield was batted down in the end zone.
Boller still threw for a season-high 278 yards on the afternoon and should pass the 5,000-yard career mark this week, entering the game with 4.972 yards. His two favorite targets down the stretch have been Charon Arnold and LaShaun Ward. Arnold has 47 catches on the year, including 8 for 90 yards vs. Stanford, while Ward, who moved to receiver from cornerback the week of the Oregon State game, already has 15 receptions for 338 yards (22.5 ypc average). Both players are tied for the team lead with three touchdowns apiece.
In the backfield, true freshman Terrell Williams has filled in admirably for the injured Joe Igber (broken clavicle) the past three games. Williams, who has two 100-yard efforts this season, paces the squad with 503 yards on the ground. However, the Bears will be without the services of versatile FB Marcus Fields at Rutgers. Fields sprained his left knee at Stanford, ending his career as a Bear.
Cal-Rutgers: The Series
Cal and Rutgers meet for the second time this Saturday. In the first match-up on Sept. 4, 1999 in Berkeley, Fields dashed 49 yards for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage to give the Bears a 7-0 lead. He finished the game with 123 yards rushing - the second-highest total of his career - on 11 carries. Former Cal CB Deltha O'Neal returned an interception 75 yards for a score, and QB Kyle Boller also tossed a TD pass to cap a 21-7 victory.
A Quick Look at Rutgers
Similar to Cal, Rutgers has struggled through the 2001 season and enters the finale with a 2-8 overall record and a 0-7 mark in Big East action. The Scarlet Knights have been outscored 377-109 and out-gained by more than 170 yards per game (246.9 to 423.5). Ryan Cubit starts at quarterback and has set a Rutgers true freshman record with 1,291 passing yards. He has thrown eight touchdowns, but has also tossed 18 interceptions. L.J. Smith has been Cubit's favorite target, hauling in 28 catches for 262 yards and two scores, while Aaron Martin is the team's big-play threat with an average of 22.3 yards per catch.