Nov. 29, 2006
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BERKELEY - California will face Texas A&M in the 29th annual Pacific Life Holiday Bowl on Thursday, Dec. 28 in at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. The Golden Bears accepted the official bid on Tuesday and Texas A&M was invited officially on Wednesday. This will mark the first time in program history that Cal has advanced to bowl games in four straight years. The Holiday Bowl will be televised nationally by ESPN with kickoff scheduled for 5 p.m. (Pacific).
"I have been very fortunate to be able to go to the Holiday Bowl a couple of times," Tedford said. "It's always been a great experience. They have a lot of rich tradition and they do a first-class job of putting on the game. The Red Coats are very hospitable and make it a very positive experience for the staff, the players and the fans."
Ticket information is currently available at CalBears.com. California and Texas A&M have a limited ticket allotment for the game.
"The University of California is excited about partnering with our friends at the Holiday Bowl for another great post-season bowl experience for the entire Cal community," Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour said. "San Diego is a great holiday destination, and as our student-athletes and staff know from experience, the Holiday Bowl really knows how to host a spectacular event. With our great presence in Southern California and the San Diego area, it is going to be an excellent opportunity to gather the Cal family to do battle with our Big 12 opponent."
California is led by junior running back Marshawn Lynch and senior cornerback Daymeion Hughes, who were named the Pac-10 Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, respectively. Lynch, an Oakland product, has turned out an impressive trifecta in the Pac-10 thus far this year, leading the conference in rushing yardage (107.1 yards per game), all-purpose yardage (142.3 yards per game) and touchdowns (13, tied with Jackson). The junior became just the second player in Cal history with two 100-yard rushing seasons and is the fourth Golden Bear to tally over 3,000 career rushing yards. Hughes, also a first-team selection in 2005, entered the season as one of the nation's top cornerbacks and only solidified that status during the year. He leads the Pac-10 and ranks second in the nation with eight interceptions, including two returned for touchdowns. The Los Angeles product also has 62 tackles and 11 pass break-ups this season. For his career, he has 15 interceptions to rank second all-time in Cal history.
In addition, the Golden Bears had four other fist-team all-conference selections. Senior linebacker Desmond Bishop, senior defensive tackle Brandon Mebane, sophomore wide receiver DeSean Jackson and sophomore center Alex Mack were all honored, with Jackson earning recognition as a first team punt returner as well as a wide receiver.
Prior to the current run of success, the Golden Bears advanced to three straight bowls from 1948-50.
The Golden Bears, currently 8-3 overall and 6-2 in Pac-10 play, have guaranteed a second-place finish in the league. It is the second time in three years that the Bears have finished second in the conference. In addition, Cal's 26-14 league mark over the last five years (Tedford's tenure) is the second-best record in the Pac-10. Tedford's Bears are one of three Pac-10 teams to have the opportunity to go to a fourth straight bowl game in 2006, joining USC and UCLA.
California has played Texas A&M on two other occasions in history. In 1981, the Aggies edged the Golden Bears, 29-28, in Berkeley, as A&M kicked a fourth-quarter field goal for the win. In 1983, in College Station, Texas, the Bears gained revenge in another tight contest. Cal opened a 17-0 lead in the first half, but the Aggies roared back to knot the game at 17 in the third quarter. After 14 scoreless minutes in the fourth quarter, Golden Bear All-American Ron Rivera burst through the line for a safety with 57 seconds on the clock to clinch the win for the Bears.
California Bowl Appearances:
January 1, 1921 - Rose Bowl: Defeated Ohio State, 28-0
January 1, 1922 - Rose Bowl: Tied Washington & Jefferson, 0-0
January 1, 1929 - Rose Bowl: Lost to Georgia Tech, 8-7
January 1, 1938 - Rose Bowl: Defeated Alabama, 13-0
January 1, 1949 - Rose Bowl: Lost to Northwestern, 20-14
January 1, 1950 - Rose Bowl: Lost to Ohio State, 17-14
January 1, 1951 - Rose Bowl: Lost to Michigan, 14-6
January 1, 1959 - Rose Bowl: Lost to Iowa, 38-12
December 15, 1979 - Garden State Bowl: Lost to Temple, 28-17
December 31, 1990 - Copper Bowl: Defeated Wyoming, 17-15
January 1, 1992 - Citrus Bowl: Defeated Clemson, 37-13
December 31, 1993 - Alamo Bowl: Defeated Iowa, 37-3
December 25, 1996 - Aloha Bowl: Lost to Navy, 42-38
December 26, 2003 - Insight Bowl: Defeated Virginia Tech, 52-49
December 30, 2004 - Holiday Bowl: Lost to Texas Tech, 45-31
December 22, 2005 - Las Vegas Bowl: Defeated BYU, 35-28