Cal Takes to Road Against Nation's Top Ranked Passing Team
California Golden Bears (2-1, 0-1 Pac-10) at Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (3-1)
KICKOFF/ATTENDANCE: Kickoff is at 7 p.m. CT/5 p.m. PT. Attendance is expected to be approximately 35,000.
TELEVISION: The game will be aired on tape delay locally by Sports Channel beginning at 6:30 p.m. PT. Joe Fonzi will call play-by-play with Matt Bouza providing analysis.
RADIO: In order to coincide with the television broadcast, the game will also air via tape delay over KGO Radio (810 AM) San Francisco and the five-station Golden Bear Radio Network. Other stations on the network are: KRCK (1490 AM) in King City; KGOE (105.5 FM) in Eureka; KFIV (1360 AM) in Modesto; and KJAX (1280 AM) in Stockton. The pre-game show begins 15 minutes prior to kickoff. KGO Radio is in its 24th season as the Golden Bears flagship station. Sports Director Joe Starkey is in his 23rd season handling play-by-play duties, and he is joined with color commentary by Lee Grosscup, who is in his ninth year in the booth. The Tom Holmoe Show airs weekly on KGO Radio each Tuesday at 6:20 p.m.
CAL MAKES FIRST TRIP TO STATE OF LOUISIANA WITH MATCH-UP AGAINST LOUISIANA TECH: For the first time in school history, the University of California football team ventures into the state of Louisiana to take on one of the nation's most prolific passing teams in Louisiana Tech. The game is the first of a 3-game contract between the 2 schools which sees Louisiana Tech making a pair of trips to Berkeley -- on Oct. 6, 2001 and on Sept. 27, 2003. It was negotiated this past March after Cal decided to replace Idaho, which was unsuccessful in achieving Division IA status. While nearly all of Louisiana Tech's games are played on its own campus in Rustin at Joe Aillet Stadium, Saturday's game has been moved to Shreveport 65 miles away to accommodate a larger crowd expected for the Bulldog's major intersectional game of the season. One of only 9 Division IA independents, Louisiana Tech's 1997 schedule also features Arkansas, Auburn and Alabama, but all 3 of those games are on the road. The Bears will be attempting to conclude its non-conference schedule with a perfect 3-0 record. Entering the Louisiana Tech game, the Bears have now posted a 25-7 record over non-conference foes over the last 10 years.
CAL SECONDARY GETS FIRST BIG TEST VS. NO. 1 RANKED PASSING TEAM IN LOUISIANA TECH: Although Cal's secondary has shown a tendency to give up the big play, the Bears have been relatively solid against the pass thus far this season. Cal enters the game ranked No. 46 nationally (fourth in the Pac-10) in pass efficiency defense with a 118.1 rating. However, the Bears will face their stiffest test this week in Louisiana Tech, which leads the nation in passing offense, averaging 382.5 yards per game. The Bulldogs pride themselves on a sophisticated passing attack under head coach Gary Crowton, who doubles as the team's offensive coordinator. A disciple of a wide-open attack that he began to learn as a student assistant coach at BYU in 1982, Crowton helped Louisiana Tech average 343.5 yards a game through the air last season in his first as head coach. That ranked the Bulldogs No. 3 in NCAA Division IA passing offense (they were also 14th in total offense last year with 455.9 yards a game). Thus far this season, Louisiana Tech is proving to be just as potent and proved it could throw the ball against just about anybody as the Bulldogs burned Arkansas last week for 388 passing yards in a hard-fought 17-13 loss in Fayetteville. New quarterback Tim Rattay, a transfer from Scottsdale CC in Arizona, has obviously taken to the passing scheme with great delight as he ranks No. 1 nationally in total offense with an average of 376.6 yards per game. (No. 10 in pass efficiency with a 159.4 rating) and had a career day 2 weeks ago against Central Michigan when he threw for 510 yards (31-for-40, 6 TDs) in a 56-28 victory. He has the help of the nation's leading receiver in junior Troy Edwards who is averaging 9.5 receptions per game and also ranks No. 2 in NCAA receiving yardage, averaging 158.5 yards per game.
CAL GAMES AVAILABLE NATIONWIDE BY 800 TELEPHONE SERVICE: All Cal football radio broadcasts during the 1997 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.
OFFICIAL CAL WEB SITE: All Cal releases, results, statistics, schedules, coach and player information, as well as historical data, can be found on the World Wide Web at www.calbears.com.
CAL BROADCASTS AVAILABLE OVER THE INTERNET: All Cal football radio broadcasts can be heard on the Internet at www.audionet.com/schools/berkeley. Visit the site and download the necessary software, then log on at game time to catch the Bears live.
THE SERIES: This game will be the first between the Bears and Bulldogs. In fact, Cal has played only one team from the state of Louisiana. In 1960, Cal lost to Tulane, 7-3, in Berkeley.
TRAVEL PLANS: The California travel party will depart from Oakland Airport Friday at 11:30 a.m. on a Champion Airlines charter and will stay at the Sheraton Hotel (318/797-9900) in Shreveport. Associate Athletic Director for Communications Kevin Reneau will accompany the team. Cal will return to Berkeley immediately after the game.
AROUND THE PAC-10: The remainder of the Pac-10 schedule for the week of Oct. 4 is: San Diego State at Arizona; Arizona State at Washington; Washington State at Oregon; San Jose State at Oregon State; Notre Dame at Stanford; UNLV at USC; Houston at UCLA.
RELEASE AVAILABLE ON FAXBACK: All California releases, statistics and rosters are available to the media on the Pacific-10 Conference FaxBack system. To access FaxBack, dial (503) 614-4044 from the handset of your fax machine. The Bears release is in directory 121050 and is generally available late Sunday afternoon. The rest of Cal's directory is as follows: notes and depth chart only (121051); stats only (121052); latest game stats (121053); latest game book (121054); and roster (121056).
WEEKLY PRESS CONFERENCE: California's weekly press luncheon will begin at 12 noon on Tuesday, Sept. 30 in the Hall of Fame Room in Memorial Stadium. Head coach Tom Holmoe and several Cal players will be in attendance for interviews. In addition, Louisiana head coach Gary Crowton will be available via a speakerphone beginning at 12.
THE COACHES: Tom Holmoe, California (Brigham Young '83) enters his first year as head coach of the Bears and second with the Cal program. 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 went on to earn 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 his alma mater, BYU. In 1992, Holmoe was reunited with Bill Walsh after accepting and 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. Last year, Holmoe joined the Bears staff as the defensive coordinator and on Jan. 18, 1997, he was named head football coach at Cal.
Gary Crowton, Louisiana Tech (Brigham Young '83), now in his second season, is the Bulldog's 29th head coach. In his one plus years at the helm of the program, he has posted a 9-6 overall mark. Last year, he led the team to its first winning season since 1994 with a 6-5 record, including a win over Mississippi State of the Southeastern Conference. Crowton came to Louisiana Tech as the Bulldog's offensive coordinator in 1995. Prior to arriving at Tech, he served as co-offensive coordinator at Georgia Tech. Like Holmoe, Crowton got his start in coaching on LaVell Edwards' staff at BYU where he was a student assistant in 1982. He has also served as an assistant coach at Show Junior College, Western Illinois, New Hampshire and Boston College.
PAC-10 FEED: The Pacific-10 Conference provides a weekly satellite feed every Wednesday throughout the season. The weekly feed will air from 11:30 a.m. to 12 noon PT on Telstar 5, Transponder 23 (C-Band). In case of trouble with the feed, call Master Control at (310) 286-3800 or Renee Lyall at (510) 932-4411.
HIGHLIGHT SHOW: The weekly one-half hour California Football Highlight Show, hosted by Tim Sharp, is in its 12th season on KPIX-TV (Channel 5) in San Francisco. The show will be aired each Sunday on KPIX in San Francisco at 5 p.m. In addition, the program will be rebroadcast on SportsChannel on Mondays, usually at 6:30 p.m. each week. In addition, Cal football will also be featured in SportsChannel's weekly Cal Sports Magazine show this fall. The show is scheduled to air each Thursday at 8:30 p.m. with occasional airings earlier the same evening at 6 p.m. There will be re-airings throughout Friday and Saturday mornings.
IKON OFFICE SOLUTIONS PLAY OF THE WEEK: Each week throughout the 1997 football season, IKON Office Solutions will salute the Golden Bear Play of the Week. For the USC game, defensive end John McLaughlin's blocked punt is the choice. The block came in the third quarter and set up Cal's first touchdown of the game.
THE TIMES PLAYERS OF THE GAME: Each week throughout the 1997 football season, the Contra Costa Times will recognize the Cal Player of the Game. This week's player is wide receiver Dameane Douglas, who had a team-high six receptions for 67 yards, including a 14-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.