Oct. 20, 1997
California Travels to UCLA
CAL HOPES TO TURN MOMENTUM AGAIN IN ROLLER COASTER UCLA RIVALRY
California travels to UCLA to renew a rivalry that has seen a pattern of dominant streaks by the respective teams since the first game was played to a 0-0 tie in 1933. During the initial years of the series, Cal posted a 14-6-1 record in the young rivalry through the 1950 season. The Bruins then turned the tables by posting a 34-5 mark over the next 4 decades, which included an 18-game winning streak from 1972 to '89. Cal responded by posting a 5-game winning streak, becoming the first conference team in 6 decades to post 5 straight wins over the Bruins. UCLA now has 2 straight victories (despite being outgained in both games) and will be the strong favorite to post a third consecutive win. A year ago, the Bruins led 14-10 at halftime and then scored the first 14 points of the third quarter to break the game open and coast to a 38-29 victory. Skip Hicks accounted for 259 all-purpose yards, including 146 on the ground and 4 TDs. It spoiled a fine performance from Pat Barnes who set Cal records for most pass attempts (57) and most passing yards (435) in a regulation game. Bobby Shaw had a big day with 12 catches for 168 yards and 1 TD.
BEARS FACE MAJOR CHALLENGE IN ANOTHER EXPLOSIVE OFFENSE, RANKED QB
For a first-year head coach, Cal's Tom Holmoe faces enough challenges in building the Golden Bear program without having to endure a stretch like Cal has during the month of October. Counting this Saturday, Cal will have faced the nation's No. 1, No. 2 and No. 4 quarterbacks in the nation in a 3-game span. Last week, Cal went up against WSU's Ryan Leaf, who ranks first in NCAA pass efficiency, and he burned the Bears for 332 yards and 5 touchdowns. Two weeks ago, Washington's Brock Huard, who currently ranks second in pass efficiency, was held in check with 189 passing yards (but did throw 2 TD passes). This week, it's the nation's No. 4 ranked passer in UCLA's Cade McNown, who enters the game with a 166.0 pass efficiency mark. McNown leads an explosive Bruin offense that is averaging 43.3 points a game to lead the entire nation in that category.
CAL SAW A POSSIBLE GLIMPSE OF FUTURE IN VETERAN WASHINGTON STATE TEAM
It's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when a team is in the midst of a 4-game losing streak and struggling to stay out of the conference cellar. However, Cal should be heartened to have seen first-hand last week the development of a senior-laden Washington State team that suffered through 3-8 and 5-6 records the last 2 years as its younger players matured. The Cougars now feature a team with seniors in 15 of 22 starting positions and have ridden that veteran group to a 6-0 record and the top of the Pacific-10 Conference. Cal is in a developmental stage as the Bears start only 5 seniors among its starting units. Last week's game at WSU was a nightmare in many ways, but it did serve to highlight several of Cal's younger players. True-freshman Marcus Fields continues to show signs of his enormous potential as he led the Bears with 54 yards on 11 carries. At 6-2 and 205 pounds, he figures to play at 215 to 220 pounds next season and, with his 4.45 speed, he could evolve into a similar type back of former Cal great Chuck Muncie. Starting fullback Joshua White, although a sophomore, is in his first year of major college football and he had his best game thus far with 39 rushing yards on 8 carries, including a 5-yard TD run. True-freshman defensive end Andre Carter made his first college start at WSU and responded by recording a sack and forcing a fumble which Cal recovered in the endzone for a safety. Sophomore defensive end Mawuko Tugbenyoh also showed some big-play ability as he picked up a Washington State fumble and sprinted 60 yards for a Cal touchdown. Cal's soph tandem of Matt Beck and Sekou Sanyika top the Cal team with 10 tackles behind the line of scrimmage each, but both should benefit greatly as they mature and put on more weight.
PAC-10 LEADING RECEIVER CLOSING IN ON ALL CAL RECEIVING RECORDS
Cal receiver Bobby Shaw continues an eye-catching senior season as he posted his fourth 100-yard receiving game of the first 6 games with 9 catches for 158 yards, including a 52-yard TD reception, at Washington State. In the process, he collected his second Cal receiving record as he became the school's all-time receiving yardage leader as he now has 2,437 yards in his career (besting Brian Treggs former mark of 2,335 yards from 1988-91). With ten 100-yard receiving games in his career, he has the Cal record in that category, besting the former mark of 8 by Wesley Walker. He now has 153 career receptions which puts him third on Cal's career list, needing just 15 to overtake Treggs' school record of 167 catches. Shaw's 153 catches puts him tied for 15th on the all-time Pac-10 list and he needs just 9 more catches to break into the conference Top 10 list in that category. Shaw currently ranks tied for 3rd this season in NCAA receiving with 8.0 catches per game and is 3rd by himself in receiving yardage, averaging 133.2 yards per game. He also ranks 21st in all-purpose rushing with 145.3 yards per game and is tied for 25th in scoring with 8.0 points a game. With 48 catches thus far, he may end up challenging the Pac-10 single-season record set by Keyshawn Johnson of USC in 1995 when he grabbed 90 catches. Shaw is on pace to end the season with 88 catches at his current rate of 8.0 catches per game. Shaw has now caught touchdowns in 8 of his last 9 games, dating back to last season and has 25 in his career (despite only starting 22 games in that time). Shaw is also closing in on several Cal single-season receiving records. Below is a list of the Cal receiving records.
Cal Receiving Records
Category Current Record Shaw's Mark (and amount needed set new mark)
Career Receptions 167 (Brian Treggs '88-91) 153 (needs 15 to set new record)
Career Receiving Yds 2,437 (Bobby Shaw '94-97) Already owns
Career Touchdowns 31 (Sean Dawkins '90-92) 25 (needs 7 to set new record)
Career 100-yd Games 10 (Bobby Shaw '94-97) Already owns
Single-Season Recept. 65 (Sean Dawkins '92) 48 (needs 18 to set new record)
Single-Seas. Rec. Yds 1070 (Sean Dawkins '92) 799 (needs 272 to set new record)
Single-Seas. TDs 14 (Sean Dawkins '92) 8 (needs 7 to set new record)
BEARS MID-SEASON REPORT CARD SHOWS A MIXED BAG
The bottom line in any evaluation of a team is the win-loss record and Cal is obviously not pleased with a 2-4 record heading into the final half of its 1997 season. However, many individual areas show the Bears have the ingredients to turn things around. The Bears rate as the nation's 16th rank offense, averaging 431.5 yards per game and are also 16th in NCAA passing, averaging 287.5 yards per game. The Bears are improved in nearly all defensive categories over the same period last season. Cal is hoping that it can reverse last year's trend that saw it lose 6 of its final 7 games and post a winning mark in the final 5 games of the 1997 season.
Cal's 6-Game Report Card and Comparisons with Recent Years
Category 1997 (6 gm) 1996 (6 gms/s) 1995 (6 gms/s) 1994
Record 2-4 5-1 (6-6) 1-5 (3-8) 3-3 (4-7)
Total Offense 431.5 ypg 458.7 (457.6) 350.3 (363.0) 354.7 (335.0)
Pass Offense 287.5 ypg 283.5 (321.5) 245.5 (250.6) 222.0 (209.2)
Rush Offense 144.0 ypg 175.2 (136.2) 104.8 (112.4) 132.7 (125.8)
Scoring 27.7 ppg 34.7 (31.3) 22.3 (22.1) 23.3 (19.3)
Total Defense 398.0 ypg 436.7 (460.3) 400.2 (381.6) 290.0 (299.9)
Rush Defense 152.8 ypg 159.3 (189.5) 172.2 (193.8) 132.5 (134.7)
Score Defense 33.3 ppg 25.8 (33.2) 29.8 (26.0) 15.7 (22.5)
CAL DEFENSE TAKES AIM AT STOPPING THE BIG PLAY
It is the bane of defensive coaches all over country and it's caused a few migraines in Berkeley this season -- The Big Play. Cal's defense has made some progress this season, but it's been obscured by the team's penchant for giving up big-gainers, many coming on crucial third-down situations. The Bears are giving up 398.0 yards a game, nothing to write home about, but certainly better than a year ago when the Bears gave up 460.3 yards per contest. However, Cal's opponents have used the big play to get into the endzone even more often than last season. Cal is giving up 33.3 points a game thus far (compared to 33.2 ppg last year). Thus far this season, Cal has given up 29 plays of 25 yards or longer. Over half of those plays (15 of the 29) have gone for touchdowns. (Actually two of the long plays were not the responsibility of the defense as one was a 65-yard interception return for a TD and another was a blocked PAT returned for a 2-point conversion). Last week, Cal vulnerability was at its crest as the Bears gave up 5 different touchdowns on plays of 43 yards or longer. The hope is that as Cal's youthful defense (5 sophomore and 1 freshman in the starting line-up) matures, they'll be less susceptible to giving up big plays. Below is a list of the big plays Cal has given up this season.
Cal Opponent Big Plays This Season
Houston (32 p, 25 r)
Louisiana Tech (52 p, 27 p, 36 p TD, 39 p, 28 r, 25 p, 42 p TD)
Oklahoma (54 r TD, 65 int TD, 73 p TD, 33 p TD, 26 p, 27 p, 98 y blocked PAT)
Washington (43 p TD, 25 p)
USC (25 p, 33 p TD, 65 p TD)
Washington State (54 r TD, 72 p TD, 28 r TD, 57 p TD, 55 p TD, 26 r, 43 p Td, 36 r)
TWIN BROTHERS SERWANGA RENEW COLLEGE RIVALRY FOR THE FINAL TIME
For the second consecutive season, twin brothers Kato Serwanga of Cal and Wasswa Serwanga of UCLA will bid for bragging rights on opposite sides of the field. The twins played together at the Univ. of Pacific in 1995 and then transferred to Cal and UCLA, respectively, and are currently playing major roles for their teams. Kato is Cal's starting cornerback and is Cal's seventh leading tackler with 17 stops, one behind the line of scrimmage, has one interception and leads the team with 7 pass deflections. Wasswa is the starting rover for the Bruins and is having a great year. He is UCLA's 4th leading tackler with 26 stops, including 6 stops behind the line of scrimmage (4 of those being sacks). He also has an interception. A year ago, both had their moments in UCLA's 38-29 victory. Kato made a diving interception and finished the game with 5 tackles (4 unassisted). Wasswa came off the bench in nickel alignments and delivered one 7-yard sack of Pat Barnes.
BEARS HOPE THAT TURNOVER DROUGHT IS OVER AND FLOODGATES OPEN
California will face a good role model in the turnover category this week as UCLA ranks No. 1 in the country in turnover margin. The Bruins have created an amazing 30 turnovers this year (14 interceptions, 16 fumble recoveries) and are averaging +2.57 more turnovers per game than their opponents. Cal meanwhile ranks tied for 80th nationally with a minus .33 turnover per game margin, having created 9 turnovers this season (3 interceptions, 6 fumble recoveries). The Bears were in a major turnover drought until late in the WSU game when the Bears created a couple of take-aways. After creating 6 turnovers in the first 10 quarters this year, the Bears failed to come up with a turnover over the next 16 quarters. From halftime of the Oklahoma game until halftime of the WSU game, Cal didn't have a single mark in the turnover category. However, in the second half at WSU, the Bears caused and recovered 3 fumbles. One was returned by defensive end Mawuko Tugbenyoh for a TD and the two others resulted in 23- and 80-yard TD drives.
ODDS AND ENDS, ET CETERA, MISCELLANEOUS, THREE-DOT DATA
For the first time all season, Cal scored first last week at Washington State, but it obviously was not an omen as the Cougars went on to post an easy victory...Cal defensive line coach Mike Waufle coached the UCLA defensive line in 1989...UCLA offensive coordinator Al Borges was a volunteer assistant coach at Cal in 1982 and '83...Cal's Justin Vedder is currently ranked 39th nationally in pass efficiency with a 132.3 rating; he's also 14th in total offense with 281.8 yards per game...Nick Harris has moved into the No. 49 spot nationally in punting with a 41.9 yards per kick average.