Oct. 3, 2009
2009 Cal Football
This Week In Cal Football
Cal Sports Report (Oct. 2, 2009)
Joe Roth Memorial Game Saturday (Oct. 2, 2009)
Wednesday's Jahvid Best Quotes (Sept. 30, 2009)
Heisman Trophy Candidate Jahvid Best To Appear On Live TV Shows Wednesday (Sept. 30, 2009)
Tuesday's Jeff Tedford and Kevin Riley Press Conference Quotes (Sept. 29, 2009
Garamendi Receives Seaborg Award (Sept. 29, 2009)
2009 CALIFORNIA FOOTBALL
Saturday, Oct. 3, 5 p.m. (PT)
California (3-1, 0-1 Pac-10) at USC (3-1, 1-1 Pac-10)
Berkeley, Calif. - Memorial Stadium
TV: ABC - Ron Franklin (Play-By-Play), Ed Cunningham (Analyst), Shelley Smith (Sideline Reporter)
Radio: KGO 810 AM (San Francisco) - Joe Starkey (Play-By-Play), Troy Taylor (Analyst), Todd McKim (Sideline). ISP Sports/Cal Radio Network Affiliates: KGIL 1260 AM (Los Angeles), XSURF 540 AM (San Diego), KESP 970 AM (Modesto), KTKZ 1380 AM (Sacramento). Cal Student Radio: KALX 90.7 FM (Berkeley) - Danny Freisinger, Beni Shpringer. Touchdown Radio: National - Roxy Bernstein (Play-By-Play), Gino Torretta (Analyst). Sirius XM Satellite Radio: Cal fans can listen to the ISP Sports/Cal Radio Network broadcast feed on Sirius XM Satellite Radio on channel 194 (XM).
CalBears.com: Visit CalBears.com for complete coverage of Cal football, including a live play-by-play update via Gametracker.
GOLDEN BEAR FACTS
Head Coach: Jeff Tedford
Alma Mater/Year: Fresno State/`83
Record at Cal/Years: 62-31/8th
Career Record/Years: Same
Football SID: Kyle McRae
Secondary Contact: Anton Malko
Credentials: Herb Benenson
Ticket Info: 800-GO-BEARS
Games Played: 96
Series Record: USC leads, 61-30-5
First Meeting: 11/28/12, Cal 18-0
Last Meeting: 11/8/08, USC 17-3
Current Streak: USC win five
Tedord vs. USC: 1-6
Kickoff - USC at California (Oct. 3, 2009)
No. 19/24 California (3-1, 0-1 Pac-10) returns to Memorial Stadium to host No. 7 USC (3-1, 1-1 Pac-10) this Saturday, Oct. 3 in a game to be televised live by ABC. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. With each team having already suffered a conference loss early in the season, the highly anticipated game has been transformed from one that most thought would determine the Pac-10 champion into one that both teams need to win to stay realistically in the Pac-10 title hunt.
The Golden Bears are looking to rebound from last Saturday's shocking 42-3 loss at the hands of Oregon in Eugene that ended their six-game overall win streak. Cal has still won nine in a row in Berkeley with its last defeat at Memorial Stadium coming against the Trojans the last time USC visited on Nov. 10, 2007. The nine-game home string of victories is only one shy of the longest under head coach Jeff Tedford.
The Golden Bears were dominant in their first three games of 2009, outscoring opponents by a 146-41 margin and moving up six spots from their No. 12 preseason ranking to the No. 6 spot in both the Associated Press Top 25 and USA Today poll prior to the Oregon game. After the loss to the Ducks, Cal fell to No. 19 in the USA Today poll and to No. 24 in the latest AP Top 25 rankings released on Sept. 27.
Cal started its season with home victories over Maryland (52-13) and Eastern Washington (59-7) - the Bears' first back-to-back 50-point efforts since 1973. The Golden Bears then took their show on the road with a convincing 35-21 win at Minnesota as Heisman Trophy candidate TB Jahvid Best broke a modern-era school record with five rushing TDs.
USC opened its 2009 season with a 56-3 thrashing of San Jose State but has struggled offensively since. The Trojans scored on their final drive to win 18-15 at Ohio State but were then knocked off 16-13 in Seattle by a Washington team that had won only one of its previous 16 games. USC righted the ship with a 27-6 victory over Washington State in its most recent contest last Saturday in Los Angeles.
Cal-USC Series Notes
USC leads the all-time series against Cal, 61-30-5, and has won five in a row since Cal's memorable 34-31 triple overtime victory over the Trojans at Memorial Stadium on Sept. 27, 2003, when a 38-yard field goal by Tyler Fredrickson on the Bears' second possession of the extra period provided the game-winning margin. Cal also had a recent run of success against the Trojans with three straight victories over USC from 1998-2000.
Cal Falls to No. 19 in USA Today Poll, No. 24 in AP Top 25
Cal dropped to No. 19 in the most recent USA Today poll and No. 24 in the Associated Press Top 25, both released Sept. 27. Cal had risen six spots from its preseason No. 12 to No. 6 in both rankings on Sept. 20 before falling at Oregon, 42-3, on Sept. 26.
Date AP USA Today Preseason 12 12 Sept. 8 10 10 Sept. 13 8 7 Sept. 20 6 6 Sept. 27 24 19
Simply The Best - Cal's Heisman Trophy Candidate Jahvid Best
TB Jahvid Best has solidly entrenched himself in the Heisman Trophy race after the first four games of the season. Last week, Best was the favorite on Heisman watches published by CBSSports.com and SI.com, TB Jahvid Best has solidly entrenched himself in the Heisman Trophy race after the first four games of the season. Last week, Best was the favorite on Heisman watches published by CBSSports.com and SI.com, while ranking second in the ESPN Experts' Poll and the HeismanPundit.com Heisman Poll. He was held to a season-low 55 yards on 16 carries in his most recent game at Oregon, but had rushed for a modern-era single-game school record and career-best five touchdowns against Minnesota in his previous contest on Sept. 19, when he carried the ball a career-high 26 times for 131 yards. Best has eight rushing touchdowns this season (9 overall including one TD reception) and is already more than halfway to the school record of 15 rushing TDs that he tied in 2008. He also has 25 rushing touchdowns in his career and is fifth on the school's all-time list. Best is also ninth on the all-time rushing yardage list at Cal with a total of 2,268 yards. After the first four games of 2009, Best leads the Pac-10 and ranks third in the nation in scoring (13.5 ppg). He is second in the conference and ninth nationally in rushing (116.75 ypg), as well as fourth in the league and No. 35 nationally in all-purpose running (139.5 ypg). He has rushed for 467 yards on 69 carries for an average of 6.8 yards per attempt. Best had posted seven consecutive games of 100 or more rushing yards dating back to the final four contests of 2008 before being held to 55 at Oregon. During that seven-game span, Best rushed for 1,228 yards and 17 TDs on 126 carries (9.7 yards per rush, 175.4 yards per game). Best started the 2009 season by picking up 137 yards and two TDs on only 10 carries against. Maryland and then followed that with another outstanding effort against Eastern Washington, carrying the ball 17 times for 144 yards and a score. In 2008, he set a pair of school records by averaging 8.1 yards per carry for the season and rushing for 311 yards in the regular-season finale vs. Washington. Best also has three career 200-yard games (first Cal player with more than one) to go with his 11 career 100-yard contests (sixth all-time at Cal). He has put his big-play capability on full display throughout his career with a total 30 rushes of 20+ yards, to go along with nine of 60+ yards and three of 80 or more.
Jahvid Best Rushing at Cal
Year G Att Yds TD Long Ypr Ypg 2007 10 29 221 2 64 7.6 22.1 2008 12 194 1580 15 86 8.1 131.7 2009 4 69 467 8 73 6.8 116.8 Totals 26 292 2268 25 86 7.8 87.2
Riley Jumps Out to Fast Start
QB Kevin Riley jumped out of the gates in 2009 with three solid performances before suffering through a tough game (12-31-0-123-0) in a 42-3 loss at Oregon when he was sacked four times. Still, Riley is third in the Pac-10 in completions per game (14.50) and has posted a 140.65 passing efficiency rating that is fourth in the league. He has completed 56.9% of his passes (58 of 102) for 821 yards with five touchdowns and is one of only seven quarterbacks listed among the NCAA's Top 100 highest-rated passers without an interception. Riley has not thrown an interception since having one picked off in the second quarter of a home game vs. Stanford on Nov., 22, 2008, a string of 115 consecutive passes. He had a huge season opener against Maryland, completing 17-of-26 passes for 298 yards and a career-high four TDs to earn Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week honors for the first time. Riley's 298 yards in the air were the second-highest total of his career (after the 423 yards at Maryland in 2008). He followed that up by completing 13-of-20 passes for 148 yards and one touchdown against Eastern Washington and then going 16-of-25 for 252 yards at Minnesota. Riley had a 59-yard completion to WR Verran Tucker in the first quarter against the Golden Gophers that was the longest passing play of the season for the Bears and hooked up with Tucker again for a 50-yard strike on the first play of the second half at Oregon. He also connected on a pair of clutch throws late in the Minnesota game with the score tied, hitting Jeremy Ross for a 35-yard gain on a third-and-16 situation, and then finding Ross again with a 31-yard strike to set up the go-ahead touchdown.
Kendricks Leads Pac-10 in Tackles and Fumble Recoveries
LB Mychal Kendricks paces the Pac-10 in tackles (10.0 per game) and is tied for the conference lead in fumble recoveries (0.50 per game) with five others, including teammate DB D.J. Campbell. Kendricks was the team leader in tackles in each of the first two games of 2009, including a career-high of 15 stops against Eastern Washington that were the most by a Cal player since Thomas DeCoud had 16 at Washington on Nov. 17, 2007. His first career fumble recovery came against Eastern Washington when he returned the ball 45 yards to the Eagles' 5-yardline. Kendricks also recovered a fumble in the second quarter at Oregon. His forced fumble came at Minnesota.
Alualu Coming on Strong
DL Tyson Alualu, a second-team All-Pac-10 choice in 2008, has posted big numbers in each of his last two games, combining for 14 tackles, 4.0 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks in road contests at Minnesota and Oregon. Alualu had six tackles, plus a career-high 2.0 sacks and a 2.0 tackles for loss at Minnesota. Then, he followed that game up with eight tackles, a sack and 2.0 tackles for loss at Oregon. For the season, he paces the team and is among conference leaders in sacks (3.5, No. 5 Pac-10) and tackles for loss (4.5, No. 6-T Pac-10). He is also third overall on the club in tackles with 22 and has twice many as the nearest defensive lineman on the team (Cameron Jordan, 11). Last year, Alualu's 62 total stops were the most for a Cal defensive lineman since Duane Clemons had 82 in 1995.
Mohamed Having Another Solid Season
LB Mike Mohamed is second on the club with 29 tackles and tied for ninth in the Pac-10 with an average of 7.2 per game. He also leads the team with a pair of interceptions (No. 6-T Pac-10), while ranking second on the club in TFL (4.0) and tied for second in sacks (2.0). Despite playing primary as a reserve in 2008 (2 starts in 13 games), Mohamed still finished second on the squad and 12th in the league with 87 tackles (6.7 per game).
Off the Road
Cal will be off the road for the next two weeks, returning home for a game against USC this Saturday, Oct. 3, and then taking its bye week the following Saturday.
Despite scoring three points in its Pac-10 opener at Oregon, Cal still ranks first in the Pac-10 and is No. 18 nationally in scoring offense with an average of 37.3 points per game. The team's back-to-back 50-point games in victories over Maryland (52-13) and Eastern Washington (59-7) to open the season marked the first time the Golden Bears had put together consecutive 50-point contests since the 1973 club accomplished the feat with a 51-6 victory over Army on Sept. 29 and a 54-49 win against Washington on Oct. 6. Cal had never before opened a season with back-to-back 50-point games and its combined 91-point margin of victory was also the largest in the first two games in school history.
The Cal offense already has posted 25 plays of at least 20 yards in the first four games of 2009. The Golden Bears have had 15 different passing plays go at least 20 yards to eight different receivers (TB Jahvid Best, WR Nyan Boateng, FB Brian Holley, WR Marvin Jones, WR Alex Lagemann, TE Anthony Miller, WR Jeremy Ross, WR Verran Tucker). On the ground, Best has accounted for eight of the 10 runs for 20 or more yards, while TB Covaughn DeBoskie-Johnson and TB Isi Sofele have one each. On the flip side, Cal's defense has been adept at preventing the big play, with only 13 allowed so far, seven of which came vs. Oregon.
Defense Stopping Opponents Behind Line of Scrimmage
The Cal defense is ranked among the Pac-10 and NCAA leaders in tackles for loss (8.5 per game, No. 2 Pac-10, No. 6 NCAA) and sacks (3.5 per game, No. 2 Pac-10, No. 8-T NCAA) and after recording totals of 14.0 sacks (100 yards) and 34.0 tackles for loss (135 yards) over the team's first four games of 2009. The Bears opened the season with 6.0 sacks vs. Maryland before registering another 4.0 against Eastern Washington and 3.0 at Minnesota.
Pac-10 Opener Winning Streak Snapped
Cal had won six straight Pac-10 openers before falling at Oregon last Saturday to open its 2009 conference slate. The only other time that head coach Jeff Tedford had lost his Pac-10 opener as Cal's head coach was in his first conference game against Washington State in 2002. Cal has not lost its first two league contests since before Tedford arrived, when the Bears were 0-8 in conference play in 2001.
Turn On Your Televisions
To date, six of Cal's 12 regular-season games have been picked up for television, including four of the first five. The Sept. 5 opener vs. Maryland was shown on ESPN2 before Comcast SportsNet California carried the Sept. 12 contest against Eastern Washington. The Sept. 19 game at Minnesota was aired on ESPN. ABC televised the Sept. 26 contest at Oregon and will also have this Saturday's matchup against USC from Memorial Stadium. The Golden Bears' regular-season finale at Washington will air on Comcast SportsNet California, while TV networks will announce their choices for remaining games later in the season. All 30 Golden Bear contests since 2007 have been televised live.
The Tedford Factor
Head coach Jeff Tedford has compiled a 62-31 (.667) record as the Golden Bears' head coach. Tedford, who ranks fourth on the school's all-time win list, needs only five more victories to equal the legendary Pappy Waldorf (67-32-4, 1947-56) for the most wins at Cal in the modern era and move into third on the all-time list behind Andy Smith (74, 1916-25) and James Schaeffer (73, 1909-15). Tedford is also eight games from becoming only the third coach in Cal history to have coached 100 games for the Golden Bears with Waldorf (103) and Stub Allison (102, 1935-44) the only two to have previously done so. He is on track to coach his 100th career game in the 2009 Big Game at Stanford on Nov. 21. Tedford is 6-1 in Big Games and has also led his teams to school records of six straight bowl games and four consecutive post-season wins, as well as seven consecutive winning campaigns. Since his arrival in 2002, Cal has posted an overall record of 5-1 in bowl games after the Bears had previously earned bowl bids just four times since 1979.
Tedford and the Pac-10
Head coach Jeff Tedford has compiled a 36-24 (.600) mark against Pac-10 opponents after taking over a team in 2002 that had not had a winning conference season since 1991. Tedford's 2006 club shared the Pac-10 crown with USC and six of his first seven teams have placed at least fourth with the 2004 squad taking second.
Cal's school-record six straight bowl appearances and four consecutive bowl wins are listed below.
2003 - Insight Bowl (Cal 52, Virginia Tech 49)
2004 - Holiday Bowl (Texas Tech 45, Cal 31)
2005 - Las Vegas Bowl (Cal 35, BYU 28)
2006 - Holiday Bowl (Cal 45, Texas A&M 10)
2007 - Armed Forces Bowl (Cal 42, Air Force 36)
2008 - Emerald Bowl (Cal 24, Miami 17)
Home Sweet Home
Cal has been both extremely successful and popular with fans at home over the past six seasons (2004-09). During this time period, the Golden Bears have posted an overall record of 29-4 (.879) in Berkeley and have actually put up a 31-4 mark (.886) dating back to the final two home contests of 2003. Cal has also been unbeaten at home three times (2004, '06, '08) under head coach Jeff Tedford and has currently won nine straight home games to move within just one victory of equaling the longest home winning streak since Tedford's arrival in 2002. The Golden Bears' popularity is shown by a current streak of 33 games with at least 50,000-plus fans in attendance over the last six seasons. Cal is on pace to draw 60,000 or more fans per game for the fifth time in six years this season with an average of 60,225 in its first two home contests of 2009. In terms of total numbers, Cal attracted its second-highest total ever in 2008 with 431,437 fans attending seven home dates. Only the 2006 season, which drew 450,223 fans and averaged a record 64,318 spectators per contest, has had a larger final total home attendance count.
Longest Home Winning Streaks under Jeff Tedford
10 - Oct. 25, 2003 - Oct. 15, 2005
10 - Sept. 9, 2006 - Oct. 13, 2007
9 - Aug. 30, 2008 to current
Six-Game Overall Win Streak Snapped at Oregon
The Bears had recorded six victories in a row dating back to the final three contests of 2008, marking the fifth time that the Golden Bears had won at least six straight under head coach Jeff Tedford. The run ended just two games shy of their longest win streak during the Tedford era with a loss at Oregon on Sept. 26.
Longest Winning Streaks under Tedford
8 - Sept. 9, 2006 - Nov. 4, 2006
7 - Dec. 2, 2006 - Sept. 29, 2007
7 - Oct. 16, 2004 - Dec. 4, 2004
6 - Nov. 15, 2003 - Oct. 2, 2004
6 - Nov. 22, 2008 - Sept. 19, 2009
Looking to Equal Consecutive Winning Seasons Streak
Cal has recorded seven consecutive winning seasons (2002-08) to move within one winning campaign of tying the school's football record of eight consecutive years from 1918-25. The Bears did record 10 consecutive winning campaigns from 1907-16 but those were split between rugby (8, 1907-14) and football (2, 1915-16).
Being the Best, Beating the Best
The Bears are 15-8 when playing as a Top 10 team and 35-16 when the club is ranked in the Top 25 since head coach Jeff Tedford took over in 2002. Cal has played 22 nationally ranked teams during the Tedford era and posted an 11-11 record in those contests. The Bears have one game remaining on their 2009 schedule scheduled against teams currently ranked in at least one polls when Cal hosts No. 7 USC (No. 10 USA Today/No. 12 AP) this Saturday, Oct. 3.
Winning Turnover Battle Crucial to Success
Winning the turnover battle has been emphasized since Jeff Tedford's arrival on campus in 2002. During his eight seasons at Cal, the Bears are 37-4 when committing fewer turnovers than their opponents compared to 13-19 when opponents win the battle (12-8 when tied). In Pac-10 games, the stats are even more decisive as Cal is 22-2 with a positive margin in turnovers and 7-17 with a deficit, while posting a 7-5 mark when the turnover table is tied. Cal is currently ranked second in the Pac-10 and fifth nationally in turnover margin with a +1.75 average as the Bears have forced 10 turnovers in their first three games and committed three.
Cal has outscored its opponents 42-3 in the fourth quarter this season. The Golden Bears held a 7-0 advantage against Maryland, 21-0 in the victory over Eastern Washington and then snapped a 21-21 tie with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns against Minnesota. The Bears did not score at Oregon in the fourth quarter, while the Ducks picked up a field goal to mark the first fourth-quarter points against the Bears in 2009.
Fewest Flags Flying
Cal leads the Pac-10 in fewest yards penalized per game (38.8) with the team's 17 penalties also the fewest in the conference. The Bears have committed five or fewer penalties in each of their first four contests, with no more than 45 yards in penalty yardage in any game.
More Career Firsts
Among the Bears career firsts in their most recent game at Oregon were the first career starts for both LB Devin Bishop and DB Josh Hill, who also recovered the first fumble and recorded the first pass breakup of his career. DB Chris Moncrease also forced the first fumble of his career on the game's opening kickoff and DL Trevor Guyton picked up the first two tackles for loss of his career.
The Ugly Truth
Cal posted a couple of dubious numbers in the 42-3 loss at Oregon last Saturday, with its 42 points allowed the most the Bears have surrendered since a 47-40 loss at UCLA on Oct. 8, 2005, and the 39-point margin of defeat Cal's biggest since falling by 41 points (55-14) to USC at Memorial Stadium on Nov. 10, 2001.
Seven Straight 1,000-Yard Rushers
TB Jahvid Best's 1,580 yards rushing in 2008 ranked second all-time at Cal and marked the seventh consecutive season in which a Golden Bear running back has gained over 1,000 yards on the ground. Cal is one of only three Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) schools to have current seven-year streaks, along with Missouri and New Mexico. The Golden Bears are nearing USC's record 10-year run of 1,000-yard rushers from 1972-81 and Best is only 588 yards away from extending it to eight after rushing for 412 yards in the first three contests. TB Joe Igber started the current trend in 2002 when he became the first Cal player to rush for more than 1,000 yards in nine years.
Cal's 1,000-Yard Rushers Since 2002
Year - Player (Yards)
2008 - Jahvid Best (1,580)
2007 - Justin Forsett (1,546)
2006 - Marshawn Lynch (1,356)
2005 - Marshawn Lynch (1,246)
2004 - J.J. Arrington (2,018)
2003 - Adimchinobe Echemandu (1,195)
2002 - Joe Igber (1,130)
Cal has two new coaches on board in 2009 with the addition of offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Andy Ludwig and offensive line coach Steve Marshall. Ludwig had been the offensive coordinator at Utah for the past four seasons, leading one of the best offenses in the country that was largely responsible for a 13-0 record in 2008, the country's only unbeaten mark by a Football Bowl Subdivision team, and a No. 2 final national ranking. Marshall most recently coached for six seasons in the NFL with the Houston Texans (2002-05) and Cleveland Browns (2007-08).
Cal Picked Second in Pac-10 Preseason Media Poll
California was picked to finish second in the 2009 Pac-10 preseason poll of media members who regularly cover the league for the fifth time in the last six years. USC was the media's preseason choice to win the conference title for an eighth consecutive season (Cal shared the conference crown in 2006). The Trojans were listed in the top spot by 28 of the 32 voters participating in the poll, while Cal claimed three of the four other first-place votes. Oregon (one first-place vote) was picked third and followed by Oregon State, Arizona State, Stanford, UCLA, Arizona, Washington and Washington State.
Cal has had 74 players claim Pac-10 All-Academic honors in the first seven seasons under head coach Jeff Tedford. Last year, C Alex Mack earned the Draddy Trophy (since renamed the Campbell Trophy) honoring college football's top scholar-athlete.
Cal Connections to USC/Los Angeles Area
Eight players - LB Keith Browner, DB Chris Conte, LB Ryan Davis, DB Darian Hagan, LB Robert Mullins, LS Clark Porter (Pacific Palisades, CA), OL Mitchell Schwartz (Pacific Palisades, CA), TE Eric Stevens (San Pedro, CA) - list Los Angeles or one of its districts as their hometown
Another six players - LB D.J. Holt (Santa Clarita, CA), LS Brandon Madueno (West Covina, CA), DB Vachel Samuels (Lynwood, CA), P Ryan Theimer (Monrovia, CA), WR Verran Tucker (Torrance, CA) and TB Shane Vereen (Valencia, CA) - have hometowns within Los Angeles County
Offensive line coach Steve Marshall spent one season (1996) coaching the offensive line at UCLA
Head coach Jeff Tedford's hometown is Moorpark, Calif.
Cal One of Many One-Loss Top 25 Teams
Cal is one of many one-loss teams in this week's Top 25. In the Associated Press Top 25, there are 14 teams that have lost one game. The USA Today Poll lists 13. In fact, five of the top 10 teams in the AP rankings have a loss, while four of USA Today's first 10 have been beaten once.
Pac-10 Teams Tough at Home
Pac-10 teams have combined for a 19-5 record at home over the first four weeks of the 2009 season. In fact, seven teams (Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, Oregon, Stanford, UCLA and USC) are unbeaten at home. By contrast, the league has struggled to a 6-8 mark on the road with only Oregon State (which has lost twice at home) and UCLA not have been beaten. UCLA is the only Pac-10 team who have yet to lose a game but the Bruins have yet to play a conference contest against competition that is 19-7 in non-conference games.
Offense Quick Notes
Cal has averaged at least 30.0 points per game in six of the last seven years and has started its 2009 campaign by averaging 37.2 points in its first four contests.
Cal has won 25 straight games in which the Bears have scored 30 or more points and have now scored 30 or more points 52 times in the Jeff Tedford era, posting a 48-4 record in those contests.
Cal has posted at least 400 yards of total offense in three of its first four games of 2009.
Cal has spread the wealth around in its passing game, connecting with a total of 11 different receivers in its first four contests.
The 59-yard pass play from QB Kevin Riley to WR Verran Tucker in the first quarter at Minnesota was the team's longest of the season, while TB Jahvid Best's 73-yard TD run on his second carry and the team's second rushing play of the season was its longest in 2009.
Senior WR Verran Tucker has 145 receiving yards on six catches in the last two games.
Cal had its longest drives of the season both in plays and yards at Minnesota. Cal's second drive of the game went a season-long 86 yards on only three plays with junior TB Jahvid Best scoring on a 2-yard run to cap the drive. The key play was a 59-yard hookup between junior QB Kevin Riley and senior WR Verran Tucker after Best had run for 25 yards on the first play of the drive. The Bears held the ball for 11 plays on their first drive of the second quarter and advanced 41 yards before PK Vince D'Amato missed wide right on a 47-yard field goal attempt.
Defense Quick Notes
LB Mike Mohamed had two of the picks against the Golden Gophers for his first career multi-interception contest.
Cal's stingy defense has allowed only three rushing touchdowns this season.
Cal has had a total of 19 different players contribute to its total of 34.0 tackles for loss and eight different players have taken part in the team's 14.0 sacks.
Cal forced a season-high four fumbles and recovered a season-best three in its most recent game at Oregon.
Special Teams Quick Notes
KR Shane Vereen had the best day of his career returning kicks at Oregon, bringing three back for a career-high 114 yards, with his 44-yard return in the second quarter the longest of his career.
P Bryan Anger punted a season-high seven times in Cal's most recent game at Oregon.
Joe Roth Memorial Game
Saturday's game against USC is the annual Joe Roth Memorial Game. Roth came to Cal as a junior college transfer in 1975 and after winning the starting quarterback job for the third game of the season, 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 of 1977, shortly after playing in two college all-star games. 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 as the Joe Roth Memorial Game. This Saturday, the first 10,000 fans in attendance at Fun Zone located on the Maxwell Family Field just north or Memorial Stadium will receive commemorative Joe Roth Caps courtesy of Bank of the West. Fun Zone opens at 2:00 p.m.
Saturday's game against USC will serve as Homecoming. Visit homecoming.berkeley.edu for more information.