Cal Game Factors

There is a long history between UCLA and Cal, and even though UCLA leads the series, no one has won on the other's home field since 1998. Cal Head Coach Jeff Tedford is setting school records, but is still trying to bring a conference championship to Berkeley for the first time in 33 years...

-- UCLA travels to Berkeley to take on California Saturday at 12:30. The game will be televised regionally by ABC, with Terry Gannon and David Norrie in the booth.

-- Cal is 4-2 overall and 2-1 in the Pac-10. They've beaten Michigan State (38-31), Washington State in Pullman (66-3), Colorado State (42-7) and Arizona State (24-14), while having lost at Maryland (35-27) and last week at Arizona (24-14).

-- The Bears are 3-0 at home, and 1-2 on the road.

-- It's the 79th meeting between the two schools, dating back to 1933. The Bruins lead the series by a 49-28-1 margin, while the two teams have split the last eight meetings, with each program winning on their respective home fields. Neither team has won back-to-back games in the series since UCLA won four straight between 1995 and 1998.

-- UCLA's last win in Berkeley came in 1998 (28-16), when UCLA went 10-2, won the Pac-10 and finished 8th nationally.

-- In the last 20 years, UCLA is 2-8 in Berkeley.

-- In those 10 meetings, Cal has averaged 32 points per game. In its last four games at home against UCLA, Cal has scored 38 points or more three times.

-- Last year in the Rose Bowl, UCLA upset then-ranked #10 Cal, 30-21. In that game, with UCLA leading 23-21 late in the fourth quarter, Cal drove the field and was at UCLA's 30-yard line when UCLA cornerback Alterraun Verner intercepted a Nate Longshore pass and returned it for a touchdown to seal the win.

-- In UCLA's last trip to Berkeley in 2006, the Bruins lost to the Bears, 38-24.

-- Cal has flirted with the Top 25 this season, only to be beaten back into the unranked. After starting the season 2-0, the Bears were ranked 23rd and 25th by the two national polls, but then lost to Maryland. The Bears then won two games in a row and edged their way back into the polls at #22 and #25, only to then lose at Arizona and be relegated again.

-- Last week against Arizona, Cal built a 24-14 halftime lead to then watch Arizona hit them with a 28-3 blitz in the third quarter.

-- Cal is coached by Jeff Teford, who is in his seventh season and is credited for one of the most dramatic turnarounds of any program in recent college football history. In the six years before Tedford arrived in 2002, the Bears had 18 total victories. Not including the four wins this season, the 50 wins he accomplished in his first six seasons are the most of any Cal coach in a six-year stretch in 50 years. The Bears have climbed into the AP Top 10 during each of the last four seasons, finishing in the Top 25 three times. The program under Tedford has advanced to five straight bowl games for the first time in Cal history, winning four of them, to make Tedford the first Cal coach with more than two bowl victories. Tedford, who grew up in Southern California and attended Fresno State, where he got his coaching start, made a name for himself as Oregon's offensive coordinator before coming to Cal, and is known for an inventive offensive scheme and being a guru of a quarterbacks coach. Just about the only occasional criticism you can hear of Tedford is some questioning of his in-game coaching and play-calling.

-- Since attaining success at Cal there has been consistent talk at the end of every season about Tedford going to the NFL or getting a higher-profile college job. But Tedford is being paid particularly well and has other periphery forms of income that actually put him among the best-paid coaches in college football. Reportedly, one of the conditions of Tedford staying in Berkeley was the Cal administration's continued investment in facilities, which it has tried to meet. In fact, Tedford has escape clauses built into his contract if facility upgrades aren't completed.

-- Cal is moving forward with a $124-million athletic training center and renovation of Memorial Stadium, which hit a number of court hurdles and setbacks, mostly over the dispute of cutting down redwoods around the facility. Protesters known as "tree-sitters" camped out in the branches of the trees for nearly two years in protest until they recently conceded after a state appeals court declined to block the university's construction plans.

-- The 82-year-old Memorial Stadium holds 67,537, and Cal fans are turning out in record numbers in recent years. In the 12 years before Tedford, Cal had only nine games of 60,000 fans or more. In Tedford's 6 ½ years, there have been 15 games of 60K+.

-- Tedford, known as an offensive guy, is also a coach who distinctly emphasizes turnovers as a key to the game. Tedford has greatly emphasized turnover drills in his practices, and it's paid off: the Bears are #1 in the Pac-10 and 12th in the nation in turnover margin at +6. In his six and a half years at Cal, Tedford is 30-3 when winning the turnover battle, and 19-1 in the Pac-10.

-- Of the 86 head coaches at Pac-10 schools over the last 50 years, Tedford is just one of four t0 have winning seasons in each of his first six years. Others: Frank Kush (ASU), John Robinson (USC) and Mike Bellotti (Oregon).

-- UCLA Head Coach Rick Neuheisel owns a 3-1 record against Cal, with each meeting coming while he was head coach at Washington.

-- Cal had six players selected in the 2008 NFL Draft. Despite the talent, though, Cal finished 7-6 in 2007.

-- Tedford, dissastisfied with the results, made it public that he consequently read a book called "Talent is Never Enough" that he then had distributed to all of the head coaches in Cal's athletic program.

-- Cal's 63-point margin of victory against Washington State was its largest since 1922.

-- Cal has not been shut out in a school-record 113 straight games dating back to 1999.

-- The Bear faithful are holding on to hope of winning the Pac-10, and, mathmatically, it's a reasonable hope. The Bears are 2-1 in the conferece, and just a half-game behind four other one-loss teams – Arizona, USC, Oregon and Oregon State. Among all of those teams, Cal has the most home games remaining in the conference.

-- Cal has not won a conference championship since it tied for one in 1975 (with UCLA), when the league was the Pac-8. Since 1950, it's only won three ('75, '58, '50).

-- After Cal's demoralizing come-from-ahead loss to Arizona last week, Cal's defensive veterans called a defensive player meeting to step up the team's effort in practice.

-- Saturday's game is designated the Joe Roth Memorial game, honoring the former Cal All-American quarterback who passed away at the age of 21 in 1977 after playing the 1976 season with cancer (melanoma). Each year the Cal home game against either UCLA or USC honors Roth's memory.

-- Saturday calls for a high of 79 degrees in Berkeley and clear, sunny skies.


Bruin Report Online Top Stories