The No. 22 California football team didn't start the season the way it planned but has recovered in time for its matchup with the No. 20 Sun Devils Saturday. Both teams will be opening up Pac-10 play and are looking to establish an early lead in the conference. The Golden Bears were dominated in their first game of the season, 35-18, by No. 23 Tennessee on Sept. 2.
Garnering the most attention this year is Lynch. So far, he has rushed for 325 yards and three touchdowns on 45 carries in his Heisman campaign.
While Tedford said Lynch had a slight ankle sprain last week, he was fortunate to get rest for three quarters and looked great in the team's Sunday rundown. Handing the ball off to Lynch is sophomore quarterback Nate Longshore. Last season, Longshore won the starting job and quickly lost it after suffering a broken leg in the first game of the season. While senior quarterback Joe Ayoob finished the rest of the 2005 season, Longshore was able to win his spot back this fall. Helping Longshore put together the nation's 10th-ranked passing offense is a tandem of receivers led by
During his true freshman season last year,
After having such a productive season, Jackson said that he chose not to play baseball for Cal this past spring so he could work on his strength and chemistry with Longshore. Protecting Longshore this year is an offensive line that is welcoming the return of senior tackle Andrew Cameron. With senior offensive tackle Scott Smith out, sophomore offensive lineman Mike Tepper and junior Mike Gibson should split time opposite Cameron. Tepper got the start last week, a feat that almost didn't happen after he was injured while protecting a friend last year. When a car full of men was harassing a female friend of Tepper's in the summer of 2005, Tepper stepped in front of the car and shielded her only to be hit twice by the car.
After doctors decided not to amputate one of his feet, Tepper spent the past season rehabbing and returned this season. "What he did for the girl just shows you his character,"