Oct. 25, 1997
California-UCLA Game Notes
Cal, which has been hurt by penalties this season, was much better in that department in the UCLA game. The Bears didn't pick up their first penalty until 7:11 left in the first half when Cal was flagged for a holding penalty.
Cal made a change in its secondary with David Burnside getting the call over Pete Destefano at free safety, but it didn't stop the problem of allowing long pass plays in the middle of the field. Cal also had to play without starting linebacker Matt Beck, who missed his second straight game due to a shoulder injury, and starting defensive lineman Jerry DeLoach (calf injury).
Cal's determination to run the football was evident by the first half stats which showed the Bears ran the ball on 29 of its 34 offensive plays. The Bears had a major 19:38 to 10:22 time of possession advantage in that first half. Fullback Joshua White, who had career bests of 8 carries and 39 yards last week at Washington State, had 7 carries for 33 yards in the first half alone this week against UCLA. He ended the game with 10 carries for 39 yards.
Cal got a good look at its future with the expanded playing time of freshman tailback Marcus Fields. He didn't have a lot of running room in the first half, but broke loose on a 20-yard TD run early in the third quarter, which marked the longest run of his brief career. Fields' final totals were 16 rushes for 67 yards.
Cal converted only one of its first 10 third down situations, before Fields converted a 3rd-and-2 situation into a 20-yard TD run.
Cal continued to have problems, giving up the big play. Cal gave up passing plays of 54, 56, 58 and 28 yards, with the 56- and 58-yarders going for touchdowns. They marked the 30th through 33rd plays of 25 yards or longer that Cal has given up this season.
Bobby Shaw was probably disappointed that he played his final game against UCLA. After catching 8 passes for 100 yards as a sophomore in 1995 against the Bruins, he had 12 catches for 168 yards as a junior last year and came up big again this season as he had nine receptions for 122 yards. Shaw caught Cal's first six passes of the game until Vedder found Bruce Pierre for a slant pattern for an 18-yard TD with 2:25 left in the third quarter.