Football: October 2012 Archives
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.
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."
Cal defensive back Kameron Jackson speaks at today's weekly press conference
Cal tight end Richard Rodgers speaks at today's weekly press conference
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.
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!
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.
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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