Wednesday, September 30, 2009

San Jose Mercury: The day Cal shocked USC

Jeff Faraudo

This time the ball went through the uprights for Tyler Fredrickson, whose two previous field-goal attempts against USC on that day six years ago were blocked.  The 38-yarder ended a triple-overtime thriller and gave Cal a 34-31 victory over the third-ranked and undefeated Trojans, triggering a stampede of humanity onto the Memorial Stadium turf. The Bears hadn't beaten a top-five team at home in 28 years, so Old Blues could hardly be blamed for going a little berserk.  "Some girl grabbed me at midfield and gave me the biggest French kiss of my life," Fredrickson recalled. "I have no idea who she is."

"What stays with me is the belief that they had, to keep playing hard and never be intimidated," said coach Jeff Tedford, who was in his second year after taking over a team that had gone 1-10 in 2001. "People made plays. To me it had more to do with where they had come from in their confidence and self-esteem from Day 1, when they were so low."  Cal fans, still hungering for their first trip to the Rose Bowl since Jan. 1, 1959, have sold out Memorial Stadium for Saturday's Pacific-10 Conference game against the Trojans.  Still, it's hard to imagine Saturday's game eclipsing what happened Sept. 27, 2003.

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