October 2012 Archives
This week's edition focuses on the recent Baseball Alumni Game
Tight end Richard Rodgers speaks at Tuesday's weekly press conference:
Linebacker Robert Mullins speaks at Tuesday's weekly press conference
Football coach Jeff Tedford speaks at Tuesday's weekly press conference:
When senior Hillary Hayes runs in the Pac-12 Championships on Saturday morning at Robinson Ranch Golf Course in Santa Clarita, there will inevitably be a moment when pain creeps in. It's a way of life for distance runners. The successful ones have the mental toughness to conquer it.
After a harrowing experience during a trip to Australia and New Zealand last May, Hayes should have no problem pushing through.
Hayes made the trip Down Under primarily to visit her best friend, Melssa Olgun, another Cal student who was studying abroad in Australia. She also wanted to explore the running trails there in an effort to reclaim the passion she once had for the sport, a love for running that had been stymied by a series of injuries during her college career.
Another friend, Elizabeth Scott, joined Hayes on the trip. As they were exploring the exquisite Blue Mountains of Australia one day, they decided to stop at Scenic World, a tourist attraction that includes the Scenic Railway, regarded as the steepest passenger railway in the world.
It was late in the day, rainy and windy. During their travels, the three young women befriended three locals. The six of them boarded the train, in the front car, with nobody else on board.
About 30 seconds into the ride, a steep 52-degree descent, Hayes noticed a fallen tree branch lying across the track. The train was far enough away that Hayes couldn't determine how big it was. But as they got closer, her worst fears were realized - a branch thick enough to impede the train's progress was in their way, and there was nothing anyone could do to stop an inevitable impact.
The train hit the branch. Hayes and her friends came popping out of their seats, banging their heads against the train's roof. The train derailed, bouncing violently downhill until finally coming to a stop.
"We knew something was not right," Hayes said. "We were all screaming at that point."
The good news is Hayes and her friends had survived the initial incident. But the train was in a tenuous position, pointing steeply down hill. The group felt like they couldn't move, thinking it could topple the train completely over.
"I closed my eyes until we came to a final screech," Hayes said. "It was one of those moments where you think you could possibly die. You have no control. It's really hard to explain but I had so many flashbacks going through my head, about family, friends, Cal. I was looking at my friends thinking, 'Are we really going to die right now?'"
The train's engineer came on the loudspeaker and frantically told the group to stay put. The friends spent the next half-hour waiting for help, waiting to find out how they would get from the suspended train to safer ground.
"We just kind of sat there and talked each other through it," Hayes said. "We formed a bond I've never felt with anyone."
Finally, using a harness, the engineer made her way to the front of the train. One by one, the friends used rope to swing themselves over a ditch next to the track and land on solid ground. Now dark and still rainy and windy, the group was now forced to climb back up the slope the train had just unsuccessfully come down. There were no trails.
"We were holding hands and scaling the mountainside," Hayes said. "When we got to the top, it felt so good to get my feet on concrete."
Hayes and her friends were interviewed by Scenic World's management to find out what happened. They signed witness papers and went on their way.
Finally back in the car, the group didn't leave immediately. As the rain continued to crash down on the windshield, they sat there rehashing the experience.
"That was the scariest moment of my life," Hayes said. "When we got in the car, the feeling was so unreal. Did that just happen? We just sat in the car and talked for a few minutes. It changed my whole perspective on life, how precious life is and how you can lose it in a second."
The accident took place about one-third of the way into Hayes' three-week vacation, and she went on to do everything else she wanted to do. But she said her roller coaster career is over, and during a trip to Lake Tahoe in August refused to look out the window on a gondola ride.
"It was a moment where I thought I was going to die but I never felt more alive," Hayes said. "I've never felt that much adrenaline in my body, not even for a race. To have that experience this summer, no pain in a race will compare to what I felt. It was a crazy experience that I'm somewhat glad happened. It definitely altered my perception on life."
Former star wide receiver Geoff McArthur was serving as a counselor at one of Cal's summer camps in 2008 when he was made aware that a top recruit by the name of Keenan Allen was on the field.
He heard the Bears wanted him bad. Now he can see why, at the expense of one of his records.
Allen, now a junior at Cal, needs only three catches to pass McArthur and become the Bears' all-time leading receiver. McArthur caught 202 passes from 2000-2004.
"I remember watching him move around -- he was tall, fluid, very smooth," said McArthur, now the head football coach at the Niagara Academy, outside Toronto. "I had no idea he was going to be able to do what he has done so fast. He's just a phenomenal athlete. He has crazy ability. He's something special."
McArthur was pretty special himself during his tenure at Cal. He led the nation in receiving yards in 2003 with 1,504 and was second in touchdowns with 10. He was named a second team All-American. McArthur also is Cal's all-time leader with 3,188 receiving yards.
A knee injury derailed McArthur's NFL aspirations so he's taken to the coaching ranks. After leaving Cal, he became the offensive coordinator at Kennedy High School in Richmond. He then went on to work with DeBartolo Sports Academy, where he helped train elite high school athletes across the country.
Eventually, McArthur decided to return to school, so he attended Lindenwood University in the St. Louis area, where he was the wide receivers coach and earned his Master's in Education. That then took him to the Niagara Academy, which specializes in training and preparing Canadian high schoolers for NCAA competition.
"Right now, I'm trying to have as much fun as I can doing this," McArthur said. "Eventually, I want to get into college coaching again. But at the end of the day, I want to help kids. I like helping kids use athletics to achieve their goals."
McArthur says he is still a "diehard Bears fan" who follows the team whenever he can. He also welcomes Allen breaking his record, which could happen Saturday when Cal visits Utah.
"I encourage it and hope it happens," McArthur said. "Anytime you can bring that kind of attention to Cal -- anything that is pro-Cal -- I'm all for it. I'm blessed and happy that I got the records I did. But guys like Keenan and DeSean Jackson are just a different breed of cat. Keenan is just that good. He's got that X-factor. He looks like he's ready for the next level."
The No. 21 women's soccer teams heads to the Southland this weekend for arguably one of the biggest weekends in the program's history.
The Bears have won one conference championship since the Pac-12 started sponsoring women's soccer in 1995, and that came when they shared the title with UCLA and USC in 1998. It may be an uphill climb, but Cal is in position to win its first-ever outright conference crown if it can continue its hot play this weekend at UCLA and USC.
Cal enters the week in third place in the Pac-12 standings at 7-1-0 (14-3 overall). No. 1 Stanford leads the conference at 8-0-0 (14-1-1 overall) while No. 2 UCLA is in second place at 7-0-1 (14-0-2 overall). If the Bears can win twice this weekend, which would include a win over the Bruins, it would set up a mammoth regular season finale next Sunday at home against the Cardinal.
If the Bears were to beat the Cardinal as well, they would at the very least share the conference championship with Stanford, and could take it outright if the Cardinal beats UCLA on Sunday.
But first things first. Beating UCLA on Friday afternoon is a tall order. The Bruins have yet to lose all season, only settling for ties against Loyola Marymount and Washington State. UCLA leads the nation in defense, allowing just 0.365 goals per game.
But the Bears are on quite a roll of their own. Cal has won eight in a row and 12 of 13. The Bears also rank 12th nationally in scoring, averaging 2.47 goals per game.
This Week in Cal Athletics returns with a visit with some of the cast of characters involved with "The Play" in 1982.
Linebacker Nick Forbes speaks at today's weekly press conference
Offensive lineman Jordan Rigsbee speaks at today's weekly press conference.
Cal football coach Jeff Tedford talks about Saturday's game at Utah during Tuesday's weekly press conference.
Nice read here in the San Francisco Chronicle, taking a look at Memorial Stadium during last week's Big Game.
Cal coach Jeff Tedford spoke to reporters after Thursday's practice.
Cal tight end Richard Rodgers spoke to reporters this week about Saturday's Big Game, including his father's role in "The Play" in 1982.
Cal star receiver Keenan Allen spoke to reporters this week about Saturday's Big Game.
Soccer doubleheader this afternoon at Edwards Stadium on the Pac-12 Networks. The Bears take on Washington in both men and women's soccer. The men's game starts at 1 p.m., followed by the women's contest at 3:30. Go Bears!
This week's Cal Sports Report, with Todd McKim
Cal kicker Vince D'Amato speaks at Tuesday's weekly press conference.
Cal center Brian Schwenke talked about The Big Game at Tuesday's weekly press conference.
Football coach Jeff Tedford talks about Saturday's Big Game during Tuesday's weekly press conference.
The Pac-12 announced today that the football game at Utah on Oct. 27 will begin at 6:45 PT and air on the Pac-12 Networks.
Yes, we know it's still only October, but The Big Game is here! The Bears host Stanford at Memorial Stadium on Saturday at Noon.
Click here for a list of Big Game events this week.
Cal's men's golf team advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Championships last season before bowing out against Alabama.
Need a little something to get over that final hump and take home the national title? How about adding in someone who came four feet away from being declared the top amateur in the nation?
The Bears return their entire NCAA lineup from last season in 2012-13 and welcome back junior Michael Weaver, who was a redshirt last season. Weaver had a potential tournament-winning four-foot putt horseshoe out on the final hole of the championship match of this year's U.S. Amateur, where he ended up losing on the first playoff hole.
Teammate Brandon Hagy advanced to the semifinals of the U.S. Amateur and the Bears had five players in the tournament overall. All five of those players are on this year's team.
Not surprisingly, Cal is the No. 1 team in the country early this season, winning all three tournaments it has entered. The Bears host their only event of the season Monday and Tuesday at the Meadow Club in Fairfax.
"We knew we were going to be at full strength coming into this year," said Cal coach Steve Desimone, now in his 34th season at Cal. "It's not a surprise. The developmental progression these guys have been on has continued in a positive way. These guys have been high-achievers all of their lives. They are used to success."
The Bears have four of Golfweek's top 31 players - No. 3 Max Homa, No. 5 Michael Kim, No. 20 Michael Weaver and No. 31 Brandon Hagy. Homa advanced to the Round of 16 at the U.S. Amateur.
Desimone thought his program might be able to take the next step to this level when Hagy, Homa and Weaver arrived on campus as part of a blue-chip recruiting class in 2009. The grand plan hasn't disappointed.
"We knew that was a special group when they came in," Desimone said. "There's been no plateau, no regression. That's really unusual. In college golf, there's usually some variability, even with the best teams. We have guys who want to work hard and learn and compete. When you have that, you have a chance to do great things, and that's what's happening with this program."
The Bears haven't just been good the last couple of years, they've been consistently good. Cal has won nine of the last 17 tournaments it has entered, and it has finished in the top-five of every single one of them.
"Just practicing with each other, we push each other a lot," Hagy said. "Through the years, we've gotten better together. We've all improved a lot since my freshman year, and some of that has to do with competing against each other and practicing together."
Weaver redshirted last season to prepare for entering the prestigious Haas School of Business. He was able to still enter amateur tournaments from time to time, which clearly helped him get ready for the U.S. Amateur in August. It was a big year for Weaver, and next year will be big, too. In addition to helping the Bears try to take home a national championship, Weaver gained automatic entry into The Masters and U.S. Open with his runner-up finish at the U.S. Amateur.
"It was a great week. The finish was obviously not what I had hoped," Weaver said of the U.S. Amateur. "It was a lot of fun, but the disappointing part is I didn't win. All in all, it was a great week. It kind of validated in my own mind that I could play with all the good players. I always thought I could, but thinking it and doing it are a lot different."
The Bears lost to Alabama on the final hole of its NCAA semifinal last season. With the firepower remaining on this year's team, there is only one goal talked about among Cal's players.
"Last year provides motivation and it was a good experience, too," Hagy said. "We have to continue to make our statement, and we do that by winning tournaments. This is the fall season. These three wins are a good step for us, but we want to win the last three tournaments."
The men's basketball team held its first practice of the 2012-13 season this evening. With starters Allen Crabbe, Justin Cobbs and David Kravish returning along with a strong nucleus around them, excitement is high for the Bears.
But Cal did lose stalwarts Jorge Gutierrez -- the 2012 Pac-12 Player of the Year -- as well as Harper Kamp. And coach Mike Montgomery said one of the tasks early on in practice is to find out who will fill the leadership void left by Gutierrez and Kamp.
"We'll be looking for some leadership to develop, guys that can help the others out and establish the leadership that Jorge and Harper gave us," Montgomery said. "That's important for us. Then we have to find out who can learn, who can pick up what we are trying to do as quickly as we can."
Some sights from Practice No. 1:
Tough loss for men's soccer today. The Bears went double overtime with Washington before losing on the road, 1-0. Luis Fuentes had three shots for Cal.
The women's soccer team won its sixth straight and 10th of the last 11th match this afternoon, defeating Arizona State on the road, 2-0. The Bears are now 12-3 overall, 5-1 in the Pac-12 Conference. Cal can move into second place in the conference standings if UCLA does not beat Washington on the road tonight. The Bears have just five regular season matches remaining, including showdowns with UCLA and first-place Stanford.
When Cal women's soccer coach Neil McGuire watched a handful of freshmen make an impact in 2010, he knew he might have something special on his hands down the road.
That road has reached the 2012 season, and McGuire and the Bears are starting to reap the benefits.
That freshman class has turned into a core of experienced juniors, and they are a big reason why Cal takes a five-match winning streak into Friday afternoon's Pac-12 Conference game at Arizona State at 1 p.m.
"When you have a seed and you pour water on it, it's eventually going to flourish," McGuire said. "They've definitely grown in maturity and stature, and they also have tremendous leadership qualities."
Several of those freshmen from 2010 are making an impact for this year's Bears, who not only have won five in a row, but have taken nine of 10 and are smack-dab in the middle of the Pac-12 race at 11-3 overall, 4-1 in conference play. Junior Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick leads the team with 34 shots and ranks third with 11 points. Emi Lawson, who has five points, is a top defender who was a Pac-12 All-Freshman Team selection along with Fitzpatrick two years ago.
Junior Emily Kruger has been the team's starting goaltender since midway through her freshman season. Fellow juniors Rachel Mercik and Genessee Daughetee are also entrenched in the starting lineup.
Throw in another productive freshman class, led by explosive forward Ifeoma Onumonu's team-best eight goals and 19 points, as well as senior and New Zealand Olympian Betsy Hassett, and it's easy to see why Cal is in the thick of the Pac-12 race.
"This team is playing well together," McGuire said. "The team is fit, for the most part it's healthy, and we're playing good soccer. When you have those three components working in your favor, it's a benefit."
While the Bears are talented and experienced, McGuire says just as important is the chemistry he's observed between teammates.
"They are a very caring group for each other," McGuire said. "We don't have any divide by class. They are incredibly close -- the most I've ever experienced in my coaching career."
Anyone who follows Cal Athletics on an even casual basis knows that football coach Jeff Tedford discovered quarterback Aaron Rodgers only after recruiting tight end Garrett Cross at Butte College in Chico.
What people might not know is that, in his own way, Cross helped recruit Rodgers to Cal as well.
When Tedford visited Chico to watch Cross in person, he already knew all about Rodgers. That's because when Cross sent Cal a highlight tape of his play, he made sure to include the best highlights of Rodgers as well.
"They asked for some tape, and I put in a couple of game films where I didn't have that great of a game, but Aaron had a phenomenal game," Cross said during Saturday's win over No. 25 UCLA, in which he participated in the rededication of Memorial Stadium. "The one game in particular was when we played Fresno City College. I had one touchdown but Aaron threw for five. Sure enough, they called and asked about him."
The rest is the proverbial history. Rodgers and Cross both came to Cal and helped the Bears to a special season in 2004, when they went 10-1 and were ranked No. 4 in the country before losing to Texas Tech in the Holiday Bowl.
Cross said there was enough on the game tapes he sent to Cal to showcase his skills, but he wanted to make sure Rodgers, a fellow Chico native, was seen at the same time.
Shortly after sending the tape, Cross received a phone call from then-Cal tight ends coach Dave Ungerer.
"Coach Ungerer went through the formalities, asking me about school and my family. Then he said, "Hey, who's your quarterback?'" Cross said. "I knew the question was coming. I was just sitting there smiling. He asked me if Aaron was a freshman or a sophomore. I said, 'He's a freshman, but he's not going to be around next year. Somebody is going to snag him up.'"
While Rodgers has carved his own meaningful path as an NFL superstar with the Green Bay Packers, Cross has done the same serving his country. Cross, who had a brief stint with the Packers after leaving Cal, is an infantry officer with the 2nd battalion, 5th Marines from Camp Pendleton in Southern California. When Cross appeared at Saturday's game, he had only been back in the U.S. less than two months after a six-month deployment in Musaqua'la, in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan.
Cross also returned home in time to be with his wife, Kim, for the birth of his first child, Mason Sean Cross.
"When I left, my wife looked like she always does. When I got back, she was nine months pregnant," Cross said. "We had a little time to relax and have fun. Then she went into labor and Mason was born. I was off work for about a month so was able to spend a lot of time with my family and son, and just be with my family."
Cross has been part of two deployments in the Marines. The first was part of a Marine Expeditionary Unit in Southeast Asia in which he was stationed on a Navy ship with the purpose of reacting to any potential conflict. The second deployment took him to Afghanistan, where he was part of a team that trained and advised the Afghan National Police.
Cross said last weekend marked the first time he has spent any extensive time at Cal since his playing days were over.
"The first thing I did was go down Telegraph Ave.," Cross said. "I had to pick up some tickets at Haas Pavilion so I just walked around. Bancroft and Telegraph was incredible."
Cross said Saturday's game reminded him of a night game he played against UCLA in 2004 in which he made a diving catch that became a "Top Ten" play on ESPN's SportsCenter. The Bears won big that night, one week after a heartbreaking loss in a heralded game at USC.
"Being back here at the stadium is incredible," Cross said. "Seeing what they've done with the stadium is remarkable. The special thing was just being down on the field and hearing the crowd. It brought back so many memories."
This week's Cal Sports Report with Todd McKim:
Cal defensive back Kameron Jackson speaks at today's weekly press conference
Cal tight end Richard Rodgers speaks at today's weekly press conference
Jeff Tedford speaks at today's weekly press conference.
With a big week of volleyball ahead on the schedule, there are a slew of activities and promotions that should make for an exciting atmosphere at Haas Pavilion as Cal welcomes No. 6 USC and No. 7 UCLA to town.
The Bears, who are 9-7 and 3-3 in the Pac-12 Conference, host the Trojans on Friday at 8 p.m. As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it will be "Think Pink, Dig Pink Day" at Haas Pavilion, meaning all fans wearing pink get in for just $3. Also, the first 500 fans will receive a free pink ribbon courtesy of Zeta Tau Alpha. The festivities will also include a special Greek Challenge at halftime where members of Cal fraternities and sororities will compete in a "pink" yogurt eating contest.
Cal then welcomes the Bruins to Haas Pavilion on Sunday at 2 p.m., and it will be Beach Day as well as Girl Scout Day. There will be beach-themed activities for all fans on Spieker Plaza outside Haas Pavilion from 1-2 p.m., including photo opportunities with a beach backdrop and accessories such as oversized sunglasses and hula skirts. There will also be face painting, Cal script tattoos, and a chance for kids to dig through a sand-filled kiddie pool to win cool Cal Volleyball prizes.
Girls Scouts will take part in pre-match poster making and also have the opportunity to participate in all of the Beach Day activities.
The first 1,000 fans will receive free leis, and all fans that bring a beach towel will get to sit courtside for the match.
Also Sunday, Cal Coach Rich Feller will hold a "Chalk Talk" session in the Haas Pavilion Club Room from 1:15-1:30 p.m. where he will preview the match and field questions from fans.
Finally, all Cal players will be available for autographs following each match this week.
For more information or to buy tickets, call 800-GO-BEARS.
Cal defensive back Kameron Jackson and quarterback Zach Maynard have been nominated for national awards for their performances against UCLA on Saturday, and fans can vote to help them win.
Jackson, who today was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week after intercepting three passes during a 43-17 win over the Bruins, has also been nominated for the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas Pac-12 Player of the Week. Maynard, who was 25-for-30 for 295 yards and four touchdowns and also added a rushing touchdown, is one of eight quarterbacks selected as a Manning Award Star of the Week.
Fans can vote for Jackson on the official Facebook page of the MAACO Las Vegas Bowl by clicking here. The deadline to vote is Noon PT on Wednesday
Fans can vote for Maynard on the official Facebook page of the Allstate Sugar Bowl by clicking here. The deadline to vote is 9 a.m. PT on Thursday.
The Pac-12 announced today that this year's Big Game between Cal and Stanford on Oct. 20 at Memorial Stadium will air at Noon and be televised nationally by Fox.
Meet Richard Rodgers, Keenan Allen's new best friend.
Check that. Meet a healthy Richard Rodgers. That's a welcome development for Allen and the rest of Cal's offense.
Rodgers, finally healed from a foot injury, exhibited just what he can do for the Bears' offense Saturday night during a 43-17 rout of No. 25 UCLA. Rodgers caught seven passes for 129 yards, drawing the attention of the Bruins' defense and thus diverting at least some of the attention away from Allen, Cal's All-American wide receiver. Allen, benefitting from the presence of Rodgers, led the Bears with eight catches for 79 yards and two touchdowns.
"They double Keenan a lot and now they have to account for Rich," said Cal quarterback Zach Maynard, who was an efficient 25-for-30 for 295 yards and four touchdowns. "He can make plays out there. He was huge out there tonight. He played strong and physical and that's what we needed this week."
The Bears have expected much of Rodgers since he arrived in Berkeley last season, the son of Richard Rodgers Sr., who was best remembered for his role in "The Play" during the Big Game against Stanford in 1982. Cal coach Jeff Tedford has said Rodgers has the potential to be the best tight end in the country.
Rodgers played primarily special teams as a true freshman last season and had been limited this season because of the foot. He entered Saturday with just three catches for 28 yards on the season.
But it was obvious from the outset Saturday that Rodgers would be a big part of the offensive game plan. Two of Maynard's first three completions were to Rodgers.
"It was nice to see him running full speed tonight," Tedford said. "That's more of what you expect from him because he's a very good player, but he's been injured all season. He's finally back. It gives us one more weapon to be able to use on offense."
The highlight of Rodgers' night came early in the fourth quarter when he broke free down the field on a post pattern and Maynard found him for a 50-yard gain.
"My foot is definitely feeling better," Rodgers said. "I wouldn't say I am 100 percent, but whatever I can do for the team to help us, I'm going to do. That's what I did tonight, contributing in the pass game."
An all-around great night for the Bears. Cal wins 43-17. Bears forced six turnovers. Zach Maynard was 25-for-30 for 295 yards and four touchdowns with one interception. He also rushed for a touchdown. Tight end Richard Rodgers, finally healthy, caught seven passes for 129 yards. Kam Jackson recorded three interceptions. Cal is now 2-4, 1-2 in the Pac-12. Next up: At Washington State next Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
Zach Maynard scores on a 1-yard run and Cal now leads 36-17 with 6:32 remaining. Maynard now has four TD passes and one TD run. UCLA has committed five turnovers.
After a 50-yard completion, tight end Richard Rodgers now has seven catches for 129 yards.
UCLA has cut Cal's advantage to 29-17 on a 29-yard field goal by Ka'imi Fairbairn with 14:31 left in the game.
Cal and UCLA have exchanged touchdowns. UCLA scored on a 3-yard pass from Brett Hundley to Joseph Fauria, but the Bears answered on a 34-yard touchdown pass from Zach Maynard to Keenan Allen. After having the PAT blocked again, the Bears lead 29-14.
Cal now in front 23-7 after 32-yard touchdown pass from Zach Maynard to Brendan Bigelow. Bigelow displaying impressive burst of speed after the catch.
Time of possession: Cal 17:17, UCLA 12:43.
Total offense: Cal 205, UCLA 177
Turnovers: Cal 1, UCLA 3
Richard Rodgers: 5 catches, 74 yards.
Cal is now up 16-7 after Zach Maynard throws 8-yard touchdown pass to Keenan Allen. PAT was blocked.
Cal has taken a 10-7 lead on a 5-yard touchdown pass from Zach Maynard to C.J. Anderson. Scoring play culminates an 8-play drive. Bears now have held the ball for 14:22; Bruins just 7:05 of possession time.
End of the first quarter with UCLA leading 7-3. Cal dominated the time of possession in the period, holding on to the ball for 10:53. Bears also doubled Bruins in the amount of offensive plays ran, 24-12.
Cal gets on the board on a 26-yard field goal by Vince D'Amato. FG ends 16-play, 66-yard drive.
UCLA has taken a 7-0 lead on a 4-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Brett Hundley to Cassius Marsh.
Cal's captains tonight are center Brian Schwenke, wide receiver Keenan Allen, defensive back Michael Lowe and defensive back Josh Hill.
Both teams are warming up on the field with about 30 minutes to go before kickoff. Cal is going with the gold jerseys and blue pants tonight.
Tonight's halftime festivities should provide some memorable moments. Memorial Stadium will be rededicated with a stadium-wide card stunt. The card stunt is a long Memorial Stadium tradition, originally instituted by Cal's student section. The first card stunt took place in 1910 during a rugby match between Cal and Stanford.
While the original inscription that dedicated the opening of the stadium in 1923 still exists in the north tunnel -- "In memory of Californians who gave their lives in the World War 1914-1918" -- a new message will be revealed tonight on the opposite wall of the tunnel: "In memory of all Californians who have sacrificed their lives in service to our nation."
Also at halftime, Cal and UCLA's band will join forces for a performance and a large American flag will be unveiled that spans the length of the field. There will then be a rededication ceremony that will feature comments by athletic director Sandy Barbour, Air Force Lt. Gen. Susan Helms and Chancellor Robert Birgeneau. Additional guests from the U.S. Armed Forces include Maj. Gen. Angela Salina of the U.S. Marine Corps, Rear Admiral John F. Weigold of the U.S. Navy and California Secretary of Veteran Affairs Peter Gravetet.
Another special guest is former Cal tight end Garrett Cross, who is now an infantry officer with the Second Battalion, Fifth Marines out of Camp Pendleton, California. Cross recently returned from deployment in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan to be home in time to be with his wife, Kim, for the birth of their first child, Mason Sean Cross.
We have about two hours until kickoff at Memorial Stadium as the Bears host No. 25 UCLA tonight . It's a gorgeous early evening here in Berkeley with a nice breeze. Sure to get a little cooler later so bring those jackets or cardigans.
Stay tuned pregame and throughout the evening for updates!
Here is this week's Cal Sports Report with Todd McKim
The No. 15 women's soccer team looks to maintain its momentum with a road swing through Colorado and Utah this weekend.
The Bears (9-3-0, 2-1-0 Pac-12) are coming off their first conference sweep in two years and have won seven of their last eight. Last weekend, Cal beat both Oregon and No. 19 Oregon State at home.
Cal plays Colorado (6-3-3, 0-2-1) this afternoon and then visits Utah (7-2-2, 2-1-1) on Sunday. The Bears are 4-0 on the road this season.
Former Cal star basketball player Jorge Gutierrez will continue his career in Mexico. The 2012 Pac-12 Player of the Year has signed with Pioneros de Quintana Roo of Cancun. The team plays in the National Professional Basketball League.
Former Cal swimmer and Olympian Anthony Ervin just started competing in the 2012 World Cup, which will take him to Dubai, Doha, Stockholm, Moscow, Berlin, Beijing, Tokyo and Singapore. At the first stop yesterday in Dubai, Ervin swam a lifetime best 21.07 to win the 50 freestyle. He also swam a personal-best 47.04 to finish second in the 100 freestyle.
You can follow Ervin's journey here, which also has information on how to support the former Bear with his travel expenses.
The volleyball team's showdown against No. 2 Oregon tonight at Haas Pavilion will be nationally televised by the Pac-12 Networks. The match begins at 7 p.m.
Cal is 8-6, 2-2 in conference play while the Ducks are 13-0, 4-0 in the Pac-12. Oregon has dropped just three sets all season.
Still, the Bears are feeling good after their four-set win at Arizona last Sunday. It's been an up-and-down season so far for Cal, with key injuries having a lot to do with that. But Cal played its best all-around match of the season against the Wildcats. If the Bears can duplicate the same kind of performance, they should be able to give Oregon a challenge.
Tonight is the first of four home matches in a row for the Bears, who started the season by playing 10 of their first 14 on the road. Cal welcomes Oregon State to Berkeley on Friday night. Next week, it's No. 5 USC coming to Haas Pavilion on Friday and No. 6 UCLA in on Sunday.
Cal's women's basketball team has started practicing for the 2012-13 season. Here's a look at the Bears getting after it today:
The Bears lost no seniors from last year's team that went 25-10 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Cal is ranked 14th in the country in Lindy's 2012-13 preseason poll.
Last week was National Championship Week on campus. Part of the festivities included a reception at the home of Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau. Here's a look:
Defensive back Michael Lowe speaks to the media at today's weekly press conference.
Linebacker Dan Camporeale spoke at today's weekly press conference.
Football coach Jeff Tedford spoke at today's weekly press conference, looking back at last week's loss to Arizona State and ahead to this Saturday's game against UCLA.
A big week by the women's soccer team highlighted the Bears in action last week.
The No. 19 Cal women swept their Pac-12 home matches against the Oregon schools, including an impressive 3-1 victory Sunday over Oregon State, which came in ranked No. 12 in the country.
The Bears held a staggering 25-7 advantage in shots against the Beavers, which entered the week with a 9-1 record. Ifeoma Onumonu scored her team-best fifth goal of the season as Cal scored two second-half goals to take command.
In the win over the Ducks on Friday, Kaitlyn Fitzpatrick and Celeste Boureille scored goals as Cal registered it second straight shutout, 2-0. Fitzpatrick has five career goals against Oregon, including a hat trick last season.
In other Cal action last week:
The Pac-12 has announced that Cal's football game at Washington State on Oct. 13 will begin at 7:30 p.m. and air on the Pac-12 Networks.
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