Homecoming: Cal Hosts Arizona State

The California Golden Bears improved to 3-1 (1-0) on the season with a 42-7 win over Colorado State last Saturday. This week Cal welcomes Pac-10 rival Arizona State for Homecoming this Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at Memorial Stadium. The game will be televised on ABC. The Bears have won four of the last five meetings with the Sun Devils. However, Cal lost 31-20 last year in Tempe.

Cal-ASU Series
Games Played: 27
Series Record: Cal trails, 14-13
First Meeting: 9/25/76, Cal, 31-22
Last Meeting: 10/27/07, ASU, 31-20
Current Streak: Cal win four of five
Tedford vs. ASU: 4-1

The last time Arizona State won in Berkeley was in a 28-21 on Nov. 8, 1997. In the two most recent games in Memorial Stadium, Cal prevailed 27-0 in 2004 and 49-21 in 2006.

Cal has won 24 of their last 28 home games. Overall, Cal has out-scored opponents 1104-538 in these contests, including 272-152 in the fourth quarter. The only losses suffered in Memorial Stadium in that span, were to Oregon State (Oct. 15, 2005 and Oct. 13, 2007) and to USC (Nov. 12, 2005 and Nov. 10, 2007).


The Bears offense could not get started for the life of them in the first half against Colorado State. Nonetheless, special teams and defense gave Cal the lift they needed to the offense somewhat got on track in the third quarter. A blocked punt by freshman Mychal Kendricks led to a 30-yard return for a touchdown by sophomore Bryant Nnabuife in the first quarter. Junior safety Brett Johnson picked off a pass and returned it 43 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter. Junior Syd'Quan Thompson tallied his first career punt return touchdown, registering a 73-yard return early in the second half, to offset a solid defensive effort by the Rams. The Bears' defense totaled three interceptions total. Sophomore defensive end Cameron Jordan and sophomore Darian Hagan picked off the other two. As a whole, the defense recorded an impressive 12 tackles for loss, including four sacks.

Offensively, junior Nyan Boateng and sophomore Jeremy Ross both caught their first touchdown catches of their careers. For Ross, it was the first reception of his career. Junior Cameron Morrah also caught a 16-yard touchdown, his team-best third of the season. Sophomore tailback Jahvid Best began the day impressively with a 46-yard kick return, but left the game with an elbow injury in the third quarter. He finished his shortened day with 85 rushing yards (on 11 carries), three catches for 27 yards and the kick return f or 158 all-purpose yards. He is out for this week's game, and is slated to return for the October 18 at Arizona.

  • Cal has the second-best rush defense in the Pac-10 (101.0 ypg), and has the third-best total defense (304.2 ypg).
  • The Bears have not allowed a 100-yard rusher all season.
  • Thompson is tied for second in the nation (and tops in the league) in interceptions with three, including two against Washington State.
  • Cal has registered eight interceptions in four games this season. Cal totaled just 10 interceptions last season.
  • LB Anthony Felder leads the Bears with 31 tackles this season.
  • LB Zack Follett has team-highs with 6.5 tackles for losses and is tied with Thompson for the lead in sacks with two.

    Cal-CSU Post Game Notes
    Cal amassed a school-record 187 punt return yards vs. the Rams - previous record was 185 vs. Washington State on Sept. 17, 1966.

  • Syd'Quan Thompson recorded his first career punt return touchdown - 73 yards - in the third quarter. It was the first punt returned for a touchdown (not off of a blocked punt) since DeSean Jackson ran a 77-yard punt return for a touchdown vs. Tennessee last season. Thompson had 131 total punt return yards
  • Bryant Nnabuife returned a blocked punt 56 yards for a touchdown - the second time he has done so this season (also against Michigan State) in the first quarter
  • Brett Johnson returned an interception (his second of the season and career) 43 yards for a touchdown. It was the first interception returned for a touchdown since Mickey Pimentel vs. Arizona State on Sept. 23, 2006
  • Jahvid Best had five plays of 10 or more yards vs. the Rams, including a 46-yard kickoff return to start the game. He rushed for 85 yards on 11 carries and caught three passes for 27 yards.
  • Tracy Slocum had a career-long 21-yard run in the fourth quarter (finished with 35 rushing yards on four carries).
  • Darian Hagan recorded his first career interception in the third quarter, while Cameron Jordan recorded his first career interception in the fourth quarter at the Golden Bear 10-yard line to thwart a Colorado State scoring drive.
  • Nyan Boateng recorded his first career touchdown as a Golden Bear - an 11-yard reception.
  • Jeremy Ross caught his first career touchdown pass, a 14-yard pass from Nate Longshore. It was the first reception of his career and it was also Longshore's first touchdown pass this season.
  • Longshore finished the contest 9-for-13 for 100 yards and two touchdowns.
  • LB Eddie Young had a career-high seven tackles.
  • LB Michael Mohamed registered a career-best nine stops.
  • Cal's defense recorded four sacks, nine tackles for losses, six pass break-ups and three interceptions vs. the Rams.

    Arizona State

    The Sun Devils are coming off a bye week following a 27-10 loss to No. 3 Georgia. UGA RB Knowshon Moreno rushed for 175 yards and two touchdowns, while the Bulldog defense limited the Sun Devils to only four rushing yards in a 27-10 Georgia victory. Rudy Carpenter threw for 208 yards and a touchdown in the loss. It was the first meeting between the two schools and only the fourth time in school history ASU faced a team from the SEC.

    It was the second straight loss for Arizona State after falling 23-20 in OT versus UNLV. The Sun Devils are 2-2 (1-0).

  • Senior QB Rudy Carpenter is 23-12 as the starting quarterback for Arizona State.
  • Four of ASU's last five losses have come against teams ranked in the Top 20.
  • The Sun Devils were picked to finish second in the Pac-10 in the annual West Coast Media Poll. Cal was picked fourth.
  • Arizona State has now played 10 true freshmen this season, the most in school history.

    The 10 who have played this year are: OL Zach Schlink, WR Gerell Robinson, S Clint Floyd, RB Ryan Bass, CB Josh Jordan, LB Shelly Lyons, LB Brandon Magee, DL Lawrence Guy, SN Thomas Ohmart and DE Jamaar Jarrett. Seven redshirt freshmen have also played this year: OL Adam Tello, LB Oliver Aaron, DE James Brooks, TE Dan Knapp, WR T.J. Simpson, LB Colin Parker and OL Garth Gerhart.

    38 lettermen return from last year's team that beat Cal 31-20, including seven starters on both sides of the ball. Carpenter returns for his fourth season as the signal caller for the Devils. Carpenter will have an experienced and talented receiving corps, led by Mike Jones and Chris McGaha. The two combined for 107 catches, 1,599 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2007. Keegan Herring returns to lead the running attack, and he will be teamed with Dimitri Nance and Shaun DeWitty in the backfield. Herring enters 2008 as the 10th-leading rusher in school history, gaining 2,234 yards in his career. Dexter Davis will lead a stout defense that finished as the third ranked unit in the Pac-10 last year. Davis has totaled 18.5 sacks in his two plus seasons in maroon and gold. Travis Goethel and Mike Nixon will anchor the group of linebackers, after the two combined for 129 tackles a season ago. Troy Nolan is the leader of the defensive backfield after intercepting six passes in 2007, returning two of them for touchdowns. 2007 Lou Groza Award Winner Thomas Weber returns on special teams, looking to improve on a 2007 campaign that saw him go 24-25 on field goals and handle the punting duties.

    This season, Carpenter is 85-of-123 passes for 1,283 yards with 7 touchdowns and two interceptions. He is averaging 295.8 yards per game with a rating of 165.42 which is tops in the Pac-10. Nance is leading the charge on the ground but is averaging just 53.2 yards per game. As a team, the Sun Devils are averaging only 89 yards rushing per game. Jones, McGaha, and Kerry Taylor have combined for 48 receptions for 771 yards and 4 touchdowns.

    Defensively, Mike Nixon has recorded 35 tackles. Dexter Davis lead the Sun Devils with four sacks and six tackles for loss. PK Thomas is 8-for-9 on field goals and is a perfect 11-for-11 on PATs.

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