California Golden Bear Preview

This Saturday, October 4th, the Beavers travel south to play the California Golden Bears. The Bears are coming off a huge victory at home against then-number-three ranked USC in triple overtime.

This week’s game matches the conference’s Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week. Cal tailback Adimchinobe Echemandu won the Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week award for the second time this season for his performance against the vaunted Trojan’s defense. Echemandu had 34 carries for 147 yards and two receptions for 35 yards.

Cal quarterback Aaron Rodgers has completed over 60% of his passes this season.

Oregon State’s Brandon Browner was the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week after his outstanding game against Arizona State. Browner intercepted Sun Devils quarterbacks three times, as well as racking up four tackle, three of which were solo, and one was a tackle-for-loss on a fourth and goal play that gave the Beavers offense the ball at there own five yard line.

The Bears are 3-3 on the season, with wins in each of their last two games over USC and Illinois. The quarterback tandem of Aaron Rodgers and Reggie Robertson leads Cal. The two quarterbacks have combined to throw for 1618 yards, 15 touchdowns, and only five interceptions. Each quarterback has completed over 60% of his passes.

The Cal running game is led by reigning conference Player of the Week, Echemandu, who has ran for 492 yards and three touchdowns so far this season. J.J. Arrington is a capable backup, providing 193 yards and a touchdown in a reserve role.

Cal has four players with 10 or more receptions, led by Geoff McArthur with 40 catches for 682 yards and 6 touchdowns. Burl Toler and Jonathan Makonnen have 19 and 14 catches respectively with a touchdown apiece. The Bears’ defense has only two returning starters from last year’s team, but they do have a number of players that have been stepping up throughout the season making big plays.

The Beavers are coming off a somewhat surprising blowout of then number 24 ranked Arizona State. OSU is led by the triple-threat combination of quarterback Derek Anderson, running back Steven Jackson, and wide receiver James Newson.

Cal running back Adimchinobe Echemandu earned Offensive Player of the Week for his performance against USC.

Anderson has been rocky at times so far this season, but over the last two or three weeks he has been very solid if not good. He has been inching towards the 50% mark for pass completions; in fact he is over 50% in each of his last three games.

Steven Jackson has been nothing less than spectacular. He has had over 100 yards in each of the first five games, and he is second on the team in receptions. He has also scored seven touchdowns. Dwight Wright has had a good year in a backup role as well, gaining 209 yards on 44 carries. Wright and Anderson each have two rushing touchdowns.

Newson and former walk-on Mike Hass lead the Oregon State receivers. Newson sat out the first game, but he has been on a tear ever since his return to the Beaver line-up. Through four games Newson has 30 catches for 550 yards and one touchdown. Hass started for Newson in the first game of the season, and since then he has earned his own starting spot opposite Newson. Hass has 11 catches for 266 yards and two touchdowns.

This should be a very exciting game and the winner has a very good opportunity to win the Pac-10 title. The Beavers should be playing with a chip on their shoulder after not being ranked despite beating the number 24 Sun Devils by four touchdowns.

Don’t expect them to take Cal lightly.


Last week.
Tyler Fredrickson's last two field goal attempts had been blocked, so the California kicker had terse instructions for the final try. Get the ball to the middle of the field. Get a good snap. Stand back for a celebration. Fredrickson made a 38-yard field goal to end a third crazy overtime as Cal upset No. 3 Southern California 34-31 Saturday, ending the Trojans' 11-game winning streak with a victory that stretched past dusk and decades of history...Third Time's A Charm!

The series.
Oregon State and California have played a total of 55 times with the Bears holding a 31-24-0 lead in the series. The Beavers are currently on a four-game winning streak in the series. OSU has a one-game win streak at Berkeley. All told, the Beavers have a 10-9 record vs. Cal at Corvallis, 2-3 in Portland and the Bears have a 19-12 advantage in games played at Berkeley. OSU won last year's game at Corvallis by a score of 24-13. Mike Riley is 0-2 in his coaching career vs. California, while the Bears' Jeff Tedford is 0-1 vs. the Beavers as a collegiate head coach.


2003 media/coaches outlook.
California is receiving votes in both polls where they are currently #43 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll and #41 in the Associated Press poll. The Bears were picked to finish eigth in the Pac-10 by the media.

2002 Recap.
California went 7-5 last year, 4-3 in Pac-10 play. The Bears did not make it to post season play.

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