Football Looks To Redeem Itself Against UCLA
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  10/10/1999

Oct. 10, 1999

Cal-UCLA: The Series
The Bruins lead the series, 45-22-1, and have won the last four times the teams have met. The Bears 27-25 victory over the Bruins in 1993 marked Cal's last win in Los Angeles. UCLA has won the last four years straight, including a 28-16 decision in Berkeley last fall.

Game No. 6
California Golden Bears (1-1, 2-3) at UCLA Bruins (1-2, 3-3)
Saturday, Oct. 16, 1999, Rose Bowl (94,000 - Grass), Los Angeles, CA
Kickoff 12:30 p.m. PT

ABC Regional with Roger Twibell and Nick Lowery

45,000 expected to attend
Complete Cal Football information, including releases, statistics, records and features, can be found on Cal's official web site at UCLA's web site is

Cal Radio Network
The game will be aired live over KGO Radio (810 AM) San Francisco and the five-station Cal Radio Network. Other stations on the network are: KRCK (1490 AM) in King City, KGOE (105.5 FM) in Eureka, KANM (970 AM) in Modesto and KYOS (1480 AM) in Stockton. The pre-game show begins 15 minutes prior to kickoff. KGO is in its 26th season as the Golden Bears flagship station. Sports Director Joe Starkey is in his 25th season handling play-by-play duties, and Lee Grosscup, who is in his 11th year in the booth, joins him with color commentary. The Tom Holmoe Show airs weekly on KGO Wednesdays at 6:20 p.m.

Cal TV Highlight Show
The weekly one-half hour Cal Football Highlight Show, hosted by Glen Kuiper, will air each Sunday afternoon during the season on Fox Sports Net Bay Area. The program will be shown Sundays at 4:30 p.m.

Sanyika Ties Willard in Career Tackles For Loss
Linebacker Sekou Sanyika's three tackles for loss against BYU brings his career total to 54.0 and ties him for first place in Cal history in the category with Jerrott Willard (1991-94). Sanyika came into the season fifth in the career tackles for loss with 45.0 and has added nine to his total this year. With six regular season games remaining, Sanyika is on pace not only to stand alone on the top of the list, but to leave a mark in the category that will not soon be broken.

1999 Cal Schedule, Results & Notes

Sept.  4 Rutgers              21-7      Marcus Fields scores on 49-yard run on game's first play
Sept. 11 at Nebraska (ABC)    0-45      Cal holds NU to 114 yards rushing, but loses Matt Beck to injury
Sept. 25 Arizona State       24-23      Kyle Boller's first start at QB (17-of-32, 213 yards, 2 TD)
Oct.   2 at Washington State  7-31      Jacob Waasdorp returns fumble 25 yards for TD
Oct.   9 at BYU (ABC)        28-38      Deltha O'Neal has two interceptions and two 31-yard kick returns.
Oct.  16 at UCLA (ABC)       12:30 p.m. After Cal won 5 straight from 1990-94, UCLA has won the last 4
Oct.  23 Washington          12:30 p.m. Bears looking for first win over Huskies since 1976 (16 games)
Oct.  30 USC                 12:30 p.m. Cal has won last 2 in L.A., USC has won last 3 in Berkeley
Nov.   6 at Oregon State      3:30 p.m. Bears have won 6 straight games vs. Beavers
Nov.  13 Oregon              12:30 p.m. Bears face Ducks for first time since 1996
Nov.  20 at Stanford         12:30 p.m. 102nd renewal of Big Game, 10th most-played rivalry in NCAA
Cal Radio on the Internet
All Cal football radio broadcasts can be heard live on the Internet. To listen, go to the football page at, click on the icon and hear Joe Starkey and Lee Grosscup call the action.

Cal Radio on 800 Service
All Cal football radio broadcasts during the 1998 season are available nationwide via telephone through the facilities of TRZ Telephone Broadcast Services. Fans can access the Cal Radio Network from anywhere in the country at 1-800-846-4700, ext. 5918. The cost is $.50 for the first minute, with decreasing rates for additional minutes.

Pac-10 Standings

                 Pac-10 Overall
                   W L    W L
Stanford           3 0    3 2
Washington         2 0    3 2
Arizona            2 1    4 2
California         1 1    2 3
Arizona State      1 1    2 3
USC                1 2    3 2
UCLA               1 2    3 3
Oregon             1 2    3 3
Washington State   1 2    2 4
Oregon State       0 2    3 2

Around the Pac-10
Oct. 16-USC at Notre Dame, Oregon State at Stanford, Arizona State at Stanford, Arizona State at Washington, Texas-El Paso at Arizona. Oregon and Washington State are idle.

The Coaches
Tom Holmoe, California (Brigham Young '83) is in his third year as head coach of the Bears and fourth with the Cal program. He has a career record of 10-17 with the Bears. A 1983 graduate of BYU, Holmoe was the Cougars starting cornerback from 1980-82 and led the WAC in interceptions as a sophomore in 1980. He earned first team WAC honors as a senior and later was drafted in the fourth round by the San Francisco 49ers. Holmoe went on to play seven years with in the NFL, all with San Francisco, and helped the 49ers win three Super Bowls. After retiring from pro football, he entered the coaching ranks, serving as a graduate assistant during the 1990 and '91 seasons under LaVell Edwards at BYU. In 1992, Holmoe was reunited with Bill Walsh after accepting an offer to become the Stanford secondary coach. After two years as a member of the Cardinal staff, he moved back to the pro ranks and his former team, the 49ers, as George Seifert's defensive backfield coach for the 1994 and '95 seasons. In 1996, Holmoe joined the Bears staff as the defensive coordinator and on Jan. 18, 1997, he was named head football coach at Cal.

Bob Toledo (San Francisco State '68) is in his third year as head coach and has led the Bruins to a 25-10 overall record and a 19-5 record in the Pac 10. Last year's Bruins climbed to No. 2 on the national polls and won their second straight conference championship with a 10-2 record and a Rose Bowl appearance. Before becoming UCLA's head coach, Toledo spent two years as the Bruins offensive coordinator. Before joining the Bruin staff, he spent five seasons as the offensive coordinator and quarterback coach at Texas A&M. From 1983-88, Toledo served as assistant head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterback coach at Oregon. He spent four seasons as head coach at Pacific, three seasons at USC and three seasons at UC Riverside. In years in collegiate coaching, he has taken his teams to 11 bowl games.

California Road Accommodations
The California travel party will depart from Oakland Airport Friday afternoon and will stay at the Glendale Red Lion (818-956-5466.) Associate Athletic Director Kevin Reneau will accompany the team.

IKON Office Solutions Play of the Week
Each week throughout the 1999 football season, IKON Office Solutions will salute the Golden Bear Play of the Week. For the BYU game, the play was Damian Marzett's 80-yard interception return for a touchdown.

The Times Player of the Game
Each week throughout the 1999 football season, the Contra Costa Times will recognize the Cal Player of the Game. The winner for the BYU game is Deltha O'Neal who had two interceptions and two 31-yard kick returns.

This Week Next Opponent

          UCLA (1-2, 3-3)          Washington (2-0, 3-2)
Sept.  4  Boise State, 38-7        Sept.  9 at Brigham Young
Sept. 11  at Ohio State, 20-42     Sept. 18 Air Force, 21-31
Sept. 18  Fresno State, 35-21      Sept. 25 Colorado, 31-24
Sept. 25  at Stanford, 32-42       Oct.   2 Oregon, 34-20
Oct.   2  at Arizona State, 27-28  Oct.   9 at Oregon State, 47-21
Oct.   9  Oregon, 34-29            Oct.  16 Arizona State
Oct.  16  California               Oct.  23 at California
Oct.  23  at Oregon State          Oct.  30 Stanford
Oct.  30  Arizona                  Nov.   6 at Arizona
Nov.  13  Washington               Nov.  13 at UCLA
Nov.  20  at USC                   Nov.  20 Washington State

Cal's Freshman Class Having a Huge Impact on 1999 Season
Cal is relying a good deal on freshman during the 1999 season. That inevitably means some growing pains, but it also bodes very well for the future. Cal has three freshmen in its starting offensive line-up (depending on the health of guard Scott Tercero) and has a total of 12 freshmen listed on it's 44-member two-deep depth chart on both sides of the football. Add in 10 sophomores into that equation and it's easy to see why the Bears will both suffer from youthful mistakes this fall, but also why the team has a major upside as those players show improvement.

Cal's Freshman Players Making an Impact in 1999

Nnamdi Asomugha - Safety who has seen primarily special teams action thus far is a likely starter in 2000.

Tully Banta-Cain* - Mainly special teams performer who has fine pass-rushing skills at defensive end.

Atari Callen - Came out of redshirt status to help Cal beat ASU with late interception, starter in nickel alignments.

Kyle Boller - Highly recruited QB led Cal to win over Arizona State in first collegiate start.

Joseph Echema - A tailback with good size at 210 pounds who had four carries at Nebraska.

Jeremy Hershey - Cal's starting placekicker who won the ASU game with 25-yarder late in fourth quarter.

Calvin Hosey - Smart linebacker on several Cal special teams. Playing time at LB figures to increase.

Wayne Hunter - Massive defensive lineman made his debut at Nebraska and is expected to start next fall.

Joe Igber - Increasingly prominent tailback who broke loose for a scintillating 35-yard run on his first college carry.

Mark-Christian Jensen* - Has handled all Cal kickoff duties this year.

John Klotsche* - Named Cal's special teams Player of the Game vs. Rutgers.

Matt Nixon* - Coming off a knee sprain in fall camp, but will see increasing duty at LB in Beck's absence.

Daniel Nwangwu - Solidly in playing rotation at defensive tackle and many consider him a future star.

Jemeel Powell* - Saw a good amount of action in '99 opener before groin injury sidelined him.

Scott Tercero - A precocious offensive lineman who earned start vs. ASU until groin injury sidelined him last week.

Paul Ugenti* - Sees action on a few Cal special teams and provides depth at safety.

LaShaun Ward* - Superb athlete who coupled cornerback action with a 43-yard reception at WSU.

* indicates redshirt-freshman

Bears Hoping to Change Directions in Roller-Coaster UCLA Series
The question in every Cal fan's mind this week is whether the pendulum is ready to change again as Cal travels to Pasadena this week to meet UCLA in a game televised regionally by ABC. Clearly, the Bruins have been the dominant team in a series that dates back to 1933 with a 45-22-1 lead. However, it's been a rivalry that has seen vast swings of momentum. Currently, UCLA is working on a four-game winning string. However, immediately prior to the current skein, Cal posted five consecutive wins from 1990-94. Previous to that, it was an 18-game Bruin win streak from 1972 to '89. At the start of the series, Cal held a 14-6-1 record from 1933 to '50. Last season, Cal had its opportunities against No. 2 ranked UCLA, but a pair of offensive drives ended without a score at the Bruin 1-yard-line and UCLA escaped with a 28-16 victory in Berkeley. With UCLA already having two Pac-10 losses on the ledger and Cal being at 1-1 in league action, the loser of Saturday's game will not remain a viable contender in the topsy-turvy conference race in 1999.

Bears in Survival Mode On Final Leg of Three-Week Road Odyssey
Cal will finish off its final leg of a brutal three-game road trip this Saturday and, if the Bears can pull a victory out of the hat, they would claim they have survived the toughest part of a schedule that Sports Illustrated rated as the second toughest slate in all of college football. After trips to Pullman, where the Bears haven't won since 1979 and to Provo, Utah, where BYU is 20-4 over the last four years, Cal now faces a UCLA team that has gone 22-2 over the Bears in Los Angeles since 1951. Still, the Bears have victories over the Bruins in the Rose Bowl in both 1991and '93 and that should give them a small bit of confidence in preparations for the upcoming game. With three of Cal's subsequent four games at home in Berkeley's Memorial Stadium, where the Bears are 2-0 this season, a win this week could propel the squad back into bowl contention. However, the road can teach hard lessons to a team like Cal that has very little experience on the offensive side of the football. Cal has been outscored 114-35 in three road losses this fall. The Bears showed some signs they may have turned the corner last week, when the team refused to fold after giving BYU a 21-0 first half lead. After climbing back to within 3 points (24-21) entering the fourth quarter, Cal eventually succumbed, 38-28. However, it was viewed by the Cal coaching staff as a large step of improvement. Now, the task will be to raise the level of execution to a higher level and find a way to come away with a road victory.

Cal Freshman Kyle Boller: The Education of a Quarterback
Cal freshman quarterback Kyle Boller returns home to his roots this Saturday when he and his Cal teammates travel to Pasadena for Saturday's match-up against UCLA. Growing up in Newhall in the San Fernando Valley, just minutes away from the Rose Bowl, Boller had dreams of signing with and playing for the Bruins. However, his talents at quarterback were largely an unknown quality until his senior year at Hart HS last fall. By that time, UCLA had already accepted a verbal commitment from another prep quarterback and Boller had to explore different options, such as Tennessee, Florida State, Colorado, Oregon and ultimately Cal. He'll certainly have more than his share of motivation to perform well in front of family and friends that will number well over 100 on Saturday. His main focus,though, will be on continuing the take small steps of improvement in what will be just his fourth collegiate starting assignment. Everybody knew he would have to pay his dues as a first-year quarterback trying to absorb a new system and make the adjustment to the major-college level. Add to that transition the fact that Cal's receiving corps has been unstable and the Bears offensive line features a true freshman and a pair of sophomores and it all makes a recipe for slow progress. He has hardly been a disappointment, keying two Cal victories in the month of September, but his statistics are a far cry from the passes and incredible numbers he put up as a senior in high school. Through five games, he is completing just 41.5 percent of for only 122.4 yards a game. At Hart, he completed 63.9 percent of his passes for over 345 yards a game. His resiliency and will to succeed has the coaching staff convinced he will develop into the top quarerback in the Pac-10 before his college career is finished. The last two conference passing wizards, Cade McNown of UCLA and Ryan Leaf of Washington State, both had a similar learning curve which saw them struggle early in their careers before they started to dominate opponents and lead their schools to the Rose Bowl. Last week, was a good example of Boller's refusal to cave in mentally in the face of adversity. After completing just 6-of-23 passes for 51 yards in the first three quarters at BYU (thanks to a half-dozen drops by the receivers), Boller hit 5-of-10 passes for 122 yards in the final quarter. His comments after the game: "Each game I learn so much more. I see the good things that are going to happen." Below are the freshman statistics of McNown as a freshman at UCLA in 1995 and of Leaf in his first year with significant playing time as a sophomore at WSU in 1996.

The Learning Curve: How Future All-America QBs Cade McNown and Ryan Leaf Fared in First Year as Starter

Player       Season Class Comp. Att Int  Pct.  Yds TDs
Cade McNown    1995   FR.  122  245   8 .498 1,698   7
Ryan Leaf      1996   SO.  194  373  12 .520 2,811  21
Cal Coverage Teams Doing a Fine Job Pinning Opponents Deep
Cal's kickoff coverage team has done an excellent job in giving opponents long fields to deal with thus far in 1999. The starting positions for opponents after Cal's 17 kickoffs have been the following yard lines: 19, 6, 26, 20, 25, 20, 20, 20, 9, 19, 16, 35, 20, 20, 20, 35 and one onside kick last week that BYU recovered at the Cal 45-yard-line. Take away that onside kick and that's an average starting position at the 20.6-yard line. Cal's punt coverage has been equally effective as the Bears rank No. 8 in net punting (40.0 ypp), which is remarkable considering the fact that the Bears have had two punts blocked which has dropped the team aveage considerably.

Deltha O'Neal Closing in On All-Purpose Rushing Marks at Cal

Cal senior Deltha O'Neal continues to make big play after big play in his amazing Cal career. Last week, he keyed Cal's comeback bid against BYU when he returned on interception 19 yards for a touchdown and stopped another Cougar threat with a pick at the Cal 1-yard-line. He also set up another Cal touchdown when he returned a punt 31 yards to the BYU 30-yard-line. The explosive veteran now has produced a punt return, reception or run for 20 or more yards in 15 of his past 17 games. Thus far this season, he has opened two games with long kickoff return, a 50-yarder vs. Rutgers and a 53-yarder vs. Arizona State. He also has had a 61-yard kickoff return called back because of a holding penalty this season. He had a 35-yard punt return at Washington State. His 21-yard fourth quarter punt return vs. ASU that set the Cal offense up at the Sun Devil 27-yard-line keyed Cal's winning field goal drive. Earlier this season, he was named the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week after the win over Rutgers, thanks to a pair of interceptions (one of which he returned 75 yards for a TD). Two weeks ago, he was the conference Special Teams Player of the week for his influence on the Arizona State win. He now rankstied for No. 5 nationally in interceptions with 0.8 interceptions per game, tied for the Pac-10 lead in that category. He also ranks No. 18 nationally in kickoff returns with a 28.9 average. He is Cal's career leader in both kickoff return yards and punt return yards. During his career, he has 10 different kickoff returns over 40 yards or longer (plus a 39-yarder). He now has 4,238 all-purpose rushing to rank second on Cal's all-time list, behind only Russell White. Last year, he opened the UCLA game with a 40-yard kickoff return and also had a 27-yard reception in the game's opening series. Below is a list of O'Neal's long kickoff returns in his career, plus the breakdown of his all-purpose yardage.

Deltha O'Neal's Long Kickoff Returns     Deltha O'Neal on Cal Career All-Purpose Rushing List
12/25/96 vs. Navy 100           yards*   Player (years)              Rush Rec  Ret Total
 9/20/97 vs. Oklahoma        53 yards    1. Russell White (1990-92)  3367 364 1212  4943
 10/4/97 at  Louisiana Tech  45 yards    2. Deltha O'Neal (1996 - )   667 335 3236  4238
10/25/97 at  UCLA            45 yards
 9/12/98 vs. Nebraska        49 yards
 9/26/98 vs. Washington St.  49 yards
10/10/98 at  USC             57 yards
10/24/98 vs. UCLA            40 yards
  9/4/99 vs. Rutgers         50 yards
 9/25/99 vs. Arizona St.     53 yards
 *Aloha Bowl record

Cal's Opening Offensive Drives: A Study in Frustration
When Cal's offense opened the 1999 season with a touchdown run on the first play of the season (a 49-yard run by tailback Marcus Fields), many took that as a sign that the Cal offense would emerge quickly as an efficient, explosive unit. Since that first drive against Rutgers, there has been far more frustration than jubilation for a Golden Bear offensive unit that ranks only No. 110 among 114 Division IA teams in '99, averaging just 228.8 yards a game. Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of Cal's offense this season has been a familiar pattern of starting the game with a productive initial drive that deteriorates in opponent territory without a score. Getting a lead early would pay tremendous dividends in the confidence department for a Cal offense that starts four freshmen. In all five games thus far, the Cal offense has driven into opponent territory and have only the Rutgers touchdown to show for its efforts. Below is a list of the five opening drives and the results thus far.

Cal's Opening Offensive Drives of the 1999 Season

Opponent       Deepest Penetration  Cal Drive Starts  No. of Plays  First Downs  Result
Rutgers             Endzone            Rutgers 49         One           One      Touchdown
Nebraska            Nebraska 49        Cal     20         Five          Two      Punt
Arizona St.         ASU      20        ASU     43         Eight         Two      Missed FG (42 yards)
Washington St.      WSU      13        Cal     20         13            Four     Fumble
BYU                 BYU       3        Cal     20         13            Four     Missed FG (39 yards)
Bears Find Tailback of the Future in Freshman Joe Igber
In a season when the Cal offensive coaches have been looking for answers all over the field, they have appeared to come across at least one firm solution. Freshman tailback Joe Igber has been one of the most dynamic players on the Cal team from the first time he touched the football as a collegian. He broke an impressive 35-yard run on his first carry in a Cal uniform in the Rutgers opener and hasn't looked back since. Last week, he was inserted in the starting line-up at tailback for the first time and immediately had a major impact. On the first play of the BYU game, he broke a 55-yard run all the way to the Cougar 25-yard-line. He finished the starting debut as the game's leading rusher with 116 yards on 18 carries. In addition, he produced an 11-yard TD run and had a pair of receptions for 18 yards. The 116 yards rates as the third best freshman rushing performance in Cal history. Despite limited playing time in the first four games, Igber now has become Cal's leading rusher with 249 yards. His 49.8 yards per game average ranks eighth in the Pac-10. More impressive is the fact that he is averaging 6.2 yards per rush. He is one of only two players in the Pac-10 (the other being Delvon Flowers of Arizona State), and the only player among the Top 10 rushers, to have a rushing average over six yards a carry. He is clearly a big play performer. In addition to the 35-yard Rutgers run and the 55-yard BYU run, he also had a 34-yard run against Arizona State. Below is a list of the top freshman rushing performances in Cal history.

Best Freshman Rushing Performances in Cal History

Player            Att-Net Yards Opponent     Date
1. Marc Hicks        14-139     at Missouri  October 5, 1985
2. Deltha O'Neal     14-126     at Oregon    November 16, 1996
3. Joe Igber         18-116     at BYU       October 9, 1999

Sekou Sanyika Should Break Cal's All-Time Tackle-for-Loss Mark Saturday
Linebacker Sekou Sanyika had a relatively quiet first few games of the 1999 season. However, he has returned to his dominant style of play the last two weeks and appears again to be on the path to garner All-America honors during his senior campaign. He registered three tackles behind the line of scrimmage among his 9 tackles against BYU, and forced a pair of fumbles. Sanyika now has tied the Cal school career record with 54 tackles behind the line of scrimmage for a total loss of 264 yards. That ties him with prolific Cal linebacker Jerrott Willard, who registed 54 stops for loss from 1991-94. After having just three tackles for loss in the first three games this season, Sanyika registered three in each of the past two games. Last season, he had two tackles for loss in the UCLA game, including a tackle of Durrel Price in the endzone for a safety.

The Roll Call Gets Long When The Cal Wide Receiver Group Gets Together
When opponent coaches get Cal game films to study, the defensive staff must do a lot of scratching of their respective heads. That's because Cal's wide receiver group has been in flux since the start of the season. In the first five games, a back-up quarterback (Sam Clemons), a converted tailback (Joseph Echema), a former starting tailback (Marcus Fields), a starting cornerback (Deltha O'Neal), and back-up cornerback (LaShaun Ward) have all lined up at the receiver positions. That type of change is hardly condusive to building any consistency in the passing game, particularly with an inexperienced quarterback.

Miscellaneous Notes, Three-Dot Data, Et Cetera
Cal punter Nick Harris continues his push for All-America honors as he is currently ranked No. 4 in the nation with a 47.11 yards per punt average, that is over one yard better than the existing Cal season record...In a match-up of what the statistics say is a fairly even match-up, the Cal offense, which ranks No. 110 in the NCAA rankings (228.8 ypg) faces a UCLA defense which ranks No. 110 in the NCAA rankings (451.2 ypg)...In a remarkable stat, four of Cal's first five field goal attempts (all unsuccessful) hit either the right or left upright and bounced away, a fifth field goal attempt bounced off the left upright last week, but it was negated by a BYU roughing the kicker penalty...BYU had only three penalties last week (two on Cal's opening drive) while Cal was whistled for 14 infractions...In data released by the NFL office, Cal had 23 players on opening day rosters of the various pro teams, that ranks as tied for No. 17 among all colleges, Notre Dame is rated No. 1 with 42 athletes, and other Pac-10 teams ranked high are Washington (33), USC (26), UCLA (25), Arizona (22), Stanford (21) and Oregon (19)...Marcus Fields has 1,343 career rushing yards is currently No. 16 on Cal's all-time rushing chart...the Bears are 40-8-1 in games it has rushed for over 150 yards on the ground since the beginning of the 1990 season...UCLA offensive coordinator Al Borges began his major college coaching career at Cal as a volunteer assistant in 1982 and '83.