Tuesday, October 31, 2006

AP: Cal UCLA Preview

California finally has been given the opening it has waited for nearly all season. The 10th-ranked Bears look to start taking full advantage Saturday when they host a reeling UCLA squad in a Pac-10 matchup.  California (7-1, 5-0) is alone atop the Pac-10 following No. 9 Southern California's shocking 33-31 loss at Oregon State last Saturday.  While spending their bye week watching the Trojans lose, the Bears remained 10th in the latest BCS standings. However, they still have an outside chance to play for the national championship, having won seven in a row since their season-opening loss at Tennessee. Cal will face reigning three-time conference champion USC on Nov. 18.  Marshawn Lynch has been at the forefront of Cal's bid for its first Pac-10 championship and first conference title of any kind since sharing the Pacific Eight crown with UCLA in 1975. The junior tailback is leading the Pac-10 with 907 rushing yards and 11 total touchdowns, including eight on the ground, while taking on a more vocal leadership role.

Read the entire article here.

Birmingham News: It's Wins, Not Diplomas, That Matter to Fans

Here is the link.


“The San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News ran a financial model a few weeks ago to determine University of California running back Marshawn Lynch's economic value to the school. Using an economic model based on the same market factors that govern the NFL, economists determined Lynch's value to Cal this season is worth between $800,000 and $1 million. Or roughly 50 times the value of Lynch's $16,800 scholarship.  The argument could be made that Lynch is in college polishing his skill as a running back for future compensation as a pro. But that's an argument the colleges reject, because that would be to admit they are little more than a minor league for the NFL.”

Monday, October 30, 2006

Orlando Sentinel:

USC's shocking loss to Oregon State - a Beavers team missing star tailback Yvenson Bernard - merely rushed the inevitable this season: This Trojans team was going to lose. It was just a matter of when.


10. California (7-1): The Golden Bears are the only team that controls its destiny in the Pac-10 race; they have UCLA, Arizona, USC and Stanford left on the schedule. The only team that will give them much of a BCS boost is the Trojans, so the Golden Bears also need to focus on winning the Pac-10 rather than worrying about getting to Glendale.

Here is the link.

SF Chronicle: No smelling Roses quite yet

Some capable opponents stand in way of Bears' long-coveted prize

Rusty Simmons

Cal is four wins away from guaranteeing its first berth in the Rose Bowl since 1959. Coach Jeff Tedford, however, isn't allowing his team to start dreaming about New Year's Day in Pasadena just yet.  "That's a long way away," he said. "We don't ever even talk about that. We talk about the immediate future and that's about it."  But the reminders are all around.  "In the coaches' offices, you notice the biggest gap in between the Rose Bowl photos, so you think about how big that would be for the program," kicker Tom Schneider said. "If you let yourself look that far ahead, though, you can get run over."

Read the entire article here.

SF Chronicle:Cal's best chance is to win Rose bid the old-fashioned way

Jake Curtis

Perhaps, when the regular season comes to a close, Jeff Tedford will educate himself on the BCS's confounding selection process.  "I will at that point," he said, "but now it has no bearing on the team."   For the moment, Tedford has only a vague idea how the pairings for the major bowls are determined, and USC's loss to Oregon State did not clear up the situation. In fact, Cal fans may still be trying to figure out whether the Trojans' loss helped or hurt the Bears' Rose Bowl chances. After analyzing the Trojans' loss from all angles, it seems to be a net loss for Cal's postseason hopes, and the Bears' Nov. 18 game against USC remains pivotal to Cal's Rose Bowl chances.

Tedford has input into the BCS standings as one of 63 voters in the USA Today coaches poll, but he'd have trouble naming any of the Harris Poll's 114 voters, which includes former Cal quarterback Craig Morton, former Cal radio analyst Lee Grosscup, and two former Stanford running backs, Tommy Vardell and Brad Muster. Nor could the Cal coach name the mathematical wizards who operate the BCS's six computer services. And Tedford is among the vast majority overwhelmed by all the permutations involved in the BCS selection process.

Read the entire article here.

Contra Costa Times: Freshmen are forced to wait for their turn

There are plenty of talented first-year players at Cal, but for now they sit and watch the games

By Jay Heater

BERKELEY - It's almost November and everything about this time screams football for running back James Montgomery.  After all, Montgomery was a Parade, SuperPrep and PrepStar All American at Cordova High School in Rancho Cordova, where he rushed for 4,900 yards and 82 touchdowns.  At Cal, though, the freshman is a scout team player, the guy who dons the colors of the opposing team and does his best to prepare Cal's defense for the challenge on Saturday. Then on Saturday, with the fans screaming, the band playing and the nation watching, he stands in the background.

"It's hardest on game day," said Montgomery, the heir apparent to Cal tailback Marshawn Lynch. "You walk out in front of that crowd ... "  And sit.

Cal coach Jeff Tedford knows that the first semester for every one of his freshmen is the toughest. Like any freshman at the university, he deals with separation from family and friends. Then there is the freedom of college where mom and dad aren't guiding each step. The academic requirements at Cal can be a tremendous burden and eye-opener.

Read the entire article here.

Daily Cal: USC Loss Leaves Cal Alone in First Place

Oregon State’s Victory Snaps Trojans’ 27-Game Pac-10 Winning Streak Dating Back to 2003

By Brian Bainum

Daily Cal Staff Writer

Back in late July at a press conference, Oregon State football coach Mike Riley claimed anyone could beat anyone in the Pac-10.

Riley and the Beavers made those words—normally a coaching cliche—a reality Saturday, when they beat heavily favored USC 33-31, at Reser Stadium in Corvallis, Ore.  OSU (5-3, 3-2 in the conference) jumped out to a 33-10 lead in the third quarter, and then held back a fierce rally by the Trojans (6-1, 4-1), clinching the game with 0:07 left when Beavers defensive lineman Jeff Van Orsow batted down USC quarterback John David Booty’s pass attempt on a two-point conversion.

The loss snapped the Trojans’ conference-record 27-game winning streak in the Pac-10. USC hadn’t lost to a conference foe since Sept. 27, 2003, when it fell at Memorial Stadium in three overtimes to Cal, 34-31.  The Trojans’ defeat puts the Bears (7-1, 5-0) alone in first place in the Pac-10, one game ahead of USC, a game and a half ahead of Washington State and two games clear of both OSU and Oregon.  “I didn’t pay much attention to that game, but I guess it does show (parity in the conference),” Cal coach Jeff Tedford said.

Read the entire article here.

Friday, October 27, 2006

South Florida Sun Sentinel: Stumbling Blocks Galore on Road to BCS Title Game

California at USC, Nov. 18: The Trojans (6-0) have a head-spinning run of finishing games, all of which could feel like playoff games. They've got Oregon, Cal and Notre Dame at home before traveling across town to play UCLA. They get all four in consecutive weeks. Cal (7-1) might be the toughest of all, with the Golden Bears scoring 40-plus points in the five games following their loss at Tennessee.

Here is the link.

Daily Cal: Special Teams Shine Under Alamar's Tutelage

Pete Alamar is perfectly content having one of the most thankless jobs in sports. “If we don’t get things done, I’ll take the blame,” said Alamar, the Cal football team’s special teams coach. “If we do get things done, it’s because there are 11 guys on the field doing a great job. “Such is the nature of the beast.” Alamar dominated the headlines after last year’s 47-40 loss to UCLA, when current NFL player Maurice Jones-Drew returned three punts for 162 yards and a touchdown. On another play, the Bears only had 10 men on the field when the Bruins easily converted a fake punt attempt.

Alamar took the brunt of the blame. But the fourth-year coach described the UCLA meltdown as “just one blip on the radar.” So far this season, Alamar has stayed out of the headlines. Special teams play has been one of the bright spots for Cal. Opponents have only managed a total of 66 punt return yards against the Bears for an average of 5.9 yards a punt, compared to Cal’s 13.4 yards per punt return.

Read the entire article here.

SF Chronicle: Cal's Future Gets Chance To Strut Its Stuff

If the final 30 minutes of Thursday's practice are any indication, Cal's future looks bright as the roster is loaded with talented, physical players.

The "young guys," freshmen and others who haven't seen much or any playing time, got their first extended look since training camp by fielding a spirited scrimmage, in which hard hits were the order of the day.  "The young guys had some fun," coach Jeff Tedford said. "It's always nice to let them cut it loose and do some hitting."  Skyline High-Oakland grad Shea McIntyre was the leader in that category. The freshman linebacker made two crushing hits and recorded a sack during a four-play stretch. He came back a series later and almost tallied another sack.

Linebackers Matt Russi and Michael Mohamed combined on a sack, and defensive tackle Mika Kane forced a fumble on a sack. Some offensive players caught Tedford's eye, too.  "Obviously, James Montgomery and Tracy Slocum ran really hard," he said, "and Drew Glover made some nice catches."

Montgomery, a highly-touted tailback out of Rancho Cordova, and Slocum, a freshman from Fresno, appear ready to extend the Bears' successful running attack well into the future.

Read the entire article here.

Real Football 365: Longshore Contemplates Going on LDS Mission

By Todd Erickson

Say what? You might be going on a mission? The San Francisco Chronicle recently reported that California Golden Bears QB Nate Longshore is contemplating when he will serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly referred to as the Mormons. The operative word in the article is "when," not "if." The 6-foot-5, 233-pound Longshore, who is currently rated one of the top college quarterbacks (151.7 passer rating, 1,877 yards, 17 TDs, seven INTs) and rapidly growing into an NFL-caliber signal caller with every new game under his belt, is quoted as saying: "I'm definitely going to go at some point, but timing is really the issue." His older brother Nick served a two-year mission to the Philippines and is currently on BYU's roster, listed as a senior offensive lineman.

But why didn't Longshore opt to go on his mission after breaking his leg in last year's season opener? Allowing healing time for his leg before departing, he could have returned in time for the 2008 season with three years of eligibility remaining. In hindsight, the redshirt sophomore's timetable for serving a mission seems a bit off-kilter, now that he is leading one of the most potent scoring machines in college football to possibly its first ever BCS bowl appearance. Nevertheless, if he is truly intent on serving a mission, it would seem that the timing dictates leaving after this season. That would give him two more seasons to play after he returns from his voluntary service.

Jeff Tedford, who welcomed All-American center Marvin Philip back to the Cal program following the completion of his mission in 2003, might also have to recruit his starting quarterback all over again, since 18 months into his two-year mission, Longshore would become eligible to transfer without penalty to any other Division I-A program. If you don't think that could happen, take a look at Ben Olson, UCLA's redshirt sophomore QB. He spent his freshman year riding the bench at BYU, served a two-year mission in Canada, and then transferred to UCLA upon his return to the States. Arguably, Longshore's situation is dramatically different, in that he has already claimed the starting QB slot at Cal and has ably proven himself during the course of the Bears' 7-1 start this season. The success of this season could very well weigh heavily upon his decision-making, especially if Cal finally busts into the BCS.

For the record, most LDS student-athletes plan to begin their missions soon after they turn 19 years of age, the minimum age limit for Mormon missionaries. Can you imagine the headaches BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall faces with this situation affecting 15 to 20 of his student-athletes each year? A few years ago, Oregon head coach Mike Bellotti lured Haloti Ngata to the Ducks program with promises to let him take leave for a mission. As it turned out, Ngata never did see the mission field. His father was killed in a tragic auto accident during his freshman season, and the following year, he suffered a season-ending knee injury. Ngata turned in an All-American performance as a junior in 2005, and feeling the weight of responsibility to provide for his siblings, opted to join the pro ranks as an underclassman. He was a first-round pick (12th overall) to the Baltimore Ravens in this year's NFL draft. Serving a mission after Longshore graduates from Cal would appear to be out of the question, considering that a guaranteed multi-million dollar contract from an NFL team would not sit on the table for two years.

Here is the link.

Alumni News: McArthur Making a Difference

Contra Costa Times

RICHMOND - Geoff McArthur took an assistant coaching job at Kennedy High School hoping to change somebody's life.  He changed his own.  The all-time receptions and receiving yardage leader at Cal has experienced some of the very worst that the high school coaching experience has to offer during his three months on the job. He is part of an 0-7 football team that has been hindered by apathy and disorganization. And yet, McArthur says the players have worked their way into his heart. He has found a calling. "What they need is a guide," said McArthur, who graduated from Cal following the 2004 football season and has taken the last two years off from football to recover from a serious knee injury.

"They need discipline and effort. They just don't have the work habits, and it's not their fault. "These are not everyday kids from regular households. They have a lot of family issues. They come from the side of town where a lot of things seem to be forgotten. "This is where I lived." McArthur did not grow up in Richmond

Read the entire article here.

AP: Cal's Lynch Takes Lead in Locker Room and on Pac-10 Rushing List

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) -The hotel ballroom was silent that Friday night, with every California player immersed in final game preparations and his own thoughts.  That's when Marshawn Lynch roared at the top of his lungs: "Roll call, defense!''  His teammates were stunned, but they instinctively replied, "Get the ball back!'' - just as they do in practice every day.

On the night before the 12th-ranked Golden Bears beat Oregon for the biggest victory in their current seven-game winning streak, that impromptu chant was almost as surprising to the Golden Bears as the player who started it.  That's because Lynch normally dislikes attention even more than sprained ankles, opposing linebackers and formal dress codes. His reserve has made it difficult for Cal to promote him as a Heisman Trophy candidate, and even many of his teammates say they didn't know much about him beyond his bare-bones biography: An Oakland native who survived childhood in his hard-scrabble part of town to become the biggest star yet in the Bears' five-season resurgence under coach Jeff Tedford.

Read the entire article here.

Sports Illustrated: Rollin' With Cal's star running back Marshawn Lynch

He is the Man With the Golden Grill, and when Cal halfback Marshawn Lynch flashes his Fort Knox smile, there is a zero percent chance that I will fail to do the same (sans grill). Given that my wife and I are both proud Cal alums, and our three kids have been properly propagandized, Lynch is certainly the most popular man in our household, and his approval rating got even higher last Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium. After essentially putting the Bears on his back while scoring a pair of gorgeous, crunch-time touchdowns in Cal's 31-24 overtime victory over Washington, the Heisman candidate took his showmanship a step further. Jumping into a golf cart used to collect injured players, Lynch celebrated the game-clinching interception by linebacker Desmond Bishop (the Bears' other No. 10) by zipping madly around the field, finally parking in front of the student section while striking a dramatic victory pose.

Two days later in Berkeley, I tried to get Lynch, who earned Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week honors for his performance (150 rushing yards, four catches for 53 yards on two sprained ankles), to take me for a ride. Instead, I stayed stationary at the world's most beautifully situated sports facility while kicking it with Lynch and his talented teammate and cousin, junior wide receiver Robert Jordan. And a killer, panoramic view of the San Francisco Bay did not stop me from grilling the most golden of Bears.

Silver: You two are cousins and are both from Oakland -- what are your first memories of playing football together?

Lynch: Me reversing field, making sick moves, jumping over people on one leg and landing on the same leg.

Read the rest of the article here.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Sacramento Bee: Tedford on Marshawn

Cal football coach Jeff Tedford, during his weekly news conference, on running back Marshawn Lynch's Heisman Trophy chances: "I would find it hard to believe there are many players as good as him or better than him throughout the country. He's a great, great player and a very versatile player. It's up to the (voters)."

Santa Clarita Signal: SI and Longshore

Sports Illustrated sure has a thing for 2004 Canyon graduate and University of California Berkeley quarterback Nate Longshore. In the Oct. 23 issue, Longshore is featured in picture and story form in the "Inside College Football" section on page 144. Longshore and the Golden Bears have a bye week and don't play again until Nov. 4 when they host Stevenson Ranch resident Karl Dorrell's UCLA Bruins. On Saturday, Cal defeated unranked Washington 31-24 in overtime. Longshore was 21-of-36 for 291 yards in the game.

Here is the link.

SF Chronicle: Tedford Focuses on Here, Now

Scott Osler

The good news for Cal football fans is that Jeff Tedford isn't looking for an NFL job. He loves coaching the Bears, as opposed to Da Bears, and has happily settled into life on the fault line.  He's in the fifth season of a job that, as it turns out, he does really well and very much enjoys. Tedford says many of his relationships with work associates, boosters and assorted Cal folks have evolved into friendships. “The roots have kind of sunk in," he says. Whew, right?

Another decade of Tedford coaching Cal, that's not too much to ask by fans who endured so much BT (Before Tedford), is it? I apologize for even raising the specter of Tedford ever leaving Berkeley. One must be sensitive to the fact that there are many people who remember when the biggest worry facing Cal football wasn't your Heisman Trophy candidate taking a victory lap in a utility cart.

Read the entire article here.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Contra Costa Times: Smith, Slaton Lead Heisman Race

Jay Heater

It took a crazy cart ride around Memorial Stadium to get Cal tailback Marshawn Lynch some national publicity.  Will that publicity be too little, too late in the Heisman Trophy chase? Probably so. Lynch has an uphill climb for a couple reasons. One, he hasn't been completely healthy, sitting out at times due to sprained ankles. Two, seven of Cal's eight games have been blowouts (six wins, one ugly loss to Tennessee) so Lynch hasn't been needed in the fourth quarters of those games. Lynch leads the Pac-10 in rushing with 113.4 yards per game, but he ranks only 12th nationally.

Cal coach Jeff Tedford said he can't be concerned about national awards. "He has been dinged up," Tedford said of Lynch. "To put him in there to gain 200 or 300 yards (in a game that has been basically decided) is not worth it. I'm not going to put him at risk if he isn't healthy."  So does Tedford believe that Lynch will be considered for the Heisman? "It's hard for me to believe that there are football players around the country much better than him." About the only saving grace for Lynch is that it remains a wide-open Heisman Trophy race. Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith and West Virginia tailback Steve Slaton are front-runners on the strength of their own ability and their teams' success. But a loss could hurt either player's chance of snagging the Heisman.

Read the entire article here.

RealFootball365: Weekly Review

Here is the link.


NO. 12 CALIFORNIA GOLDEN BEARS. Wow. Talk about barn-burners...Cal looked to be set up for the easy win when Washington Huskies senior signal caller Isaiah Stanback, the second leading total yardage producer in the Pac 10, was knocked out for the season in UW's loss to Oregon State the week before. However, the Huskies proved they practice the team concept by pushing the Bears into overtime before losing, 31-24. Cal QB Nate Longshore started off horribly, then recovered to register a 21 of 36, 291-yard performance...the star of the day for Cal was RB Marshawn Lynch...playing on two sprained ankles, Lynch rushed for 150 yards on 21 carries (7.1 ypc) and two TDs, the second one being the game winner in overtime. Cal receives a much-needed bye this week and then will host UCLA on Nov. 4.

Scripps News: Marshawn Ranked 4th in Heisman Poll

This years' Heisman Trophy race is turning into a blowout. For the second consecutive week, Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith swept all 10 votes in the Scripps Howard poll to top the poll for the eighth consecutive week. Second and third place remained the same as well with West Virginia running back Steve Slaton and Notre Dame QB Brady Quinn, respectively.

Compiled by the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, the Scripps Heisman poll is the longest-running weekly Heisman poll in the country, in its 20th year. The final poll in December correctly has predicted the Heisman winner 16 of the previous 19 seasons. There are 10 voters, two from each of five regions of the country. The tabulations are on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis. First-place votes in parentheses.

This week's poll with statistics from last weekend:

Name, Position, School, Statistics, Points.

1. Troy Smith, QB, Ohio State, 15-of-23, 220 yards passing, 4 TD passes, 50 (10).

2. Steve Slaton, RB, West Virginia, 19 carries, 128 yards rushing, TD run, 28.

3. Brady Quinn, QB, Notre Dame, 27-of-45, 304 yards, 2 TD passes 18.

4. Marshawn Lynch, RB, California, 21 carries, 150 yards, 2 TD runs, 12.

Read the entire article here.

Daily Cal: Bye Week Gives Banged-Up Bears Chance to Recuperate

Five Interception Game Gives Bears Nation-Best 18 Picks

BY Brian Bainum and Steven Dunst

Daily Cal Staff Writers

• The bye week is coming at the right time for the No. 12 Cal football team. Many players will spend a lot of time in the training room, taking advantage of the two weeks between games. Tailback Marshawn Lynch will continue to rest his ankle. He should be at full strength when the Bears take on UCLA on Nov. 4.  “We’ll try to settle his ankles down, get him up to speed for the stretch run,” Cal coach Jeff Tedford said. Lynch is far from the only Bears starter who needs some rest. Tedford said Erik Robertson has been dealing with various ailments, and tight end Craig Stevens is nursing a sore back. In particular, Cal’s defensive front needs time to recover. “A lot of the defensive line is banged up,” Tedford said. “There are a lot of guys in the same boat.” Among the walking wounded are defensive end Nu’u Tafisi (leg), defensive tackle Matthew Malele (neck) and defensive tackle Brandon Mebane. Tedford also seems to be looking forward to the bye week. Known for spending time in his “cave” at Memorial Stadium to game-plan throughout the week, he had the chance to go home Sunday and Monday to be with his family. This Friday and Saturday, he will be on the road keying his attention on recruiting.

Read the entire article here.

SF Chronicle: Bye week is recovery week


Lynch, teammates have full schedule of healing

Rusty Simmons, Chronicle Staff Writer

It sounded as if Cal coach Jeff Tedford was going to read his entire roster when he talked about the players whose health will benefit from this week's bye.  Junior tailback Marshawn Lynch is expected to be aided more than any of them because he has dealt with a sprained ankle from the season opener at Tennessee, hurt his other ankle in the first half against Oregon and has consistent lower back pain.  "I haven't felt healthy all year," he said. "You have minor setbacks, but I've just had to fight through it to be there for my team."  Lynch's teammates need him to be in the trainers' room this week.  "It will be a week of rest and rehabilitation," Tedford said. "We're going to be very proactive with his treatment to try to settle his ankles down to get him back at full speed for the stretch run."

It's probably unlikely that one week of rest will be enough for Lynch to return to full health, but even a somewhat healthier back is scary to consider. Despite the injuries, he leads the Pac-10 in rushing (113.4 yards a game) and touchdowns (eight rushing and three receiving).  "Obviously, I have a lot of belief in Marshawn, and I think he's a great football player," Tedford said. "I don't know if the Heisman voters are missing something or not, but I would find it hard to believe that there are many football players much better than him throughout the country."  Lynch has his own Heisman favorites:  "I think our offensive linemen and our defense should be promoted for the Heisman," he said. "We got five (linemen) who should be up and running for it right now." Too close for comfort: Tedford said he was impressed with how he team handled the Washington game, the Bears' first close game of the season.

Read the entire article here.

San Jose Mercury: Cal's Lynch steers toward bigger leadership role

By Jay Heater

BERKELEY, Calif. - Is this the new Marshawn Lynch?  Not long ago, Lynch had to be prodded to do anything that would represent his college of choice. He loved playing football, but he didn't seem all that interested in Cal. On Saturday, though, Lynch was the Golden Bears' poster boy, driving around Memorial Stadium in an equipment cart, saluting fans and generally soaking in the moment. More than two hours before the game, Lynch grabbed the team flag during the March To Victory through a swarm of fans. He has spoken up in team meetings and led the Cal chants that end practice. He hardly practiced last week due to two sprained ankles, but he carried the team on his back in the fourth quarter and overtime of a thrilling 31-24 win over Washington. Perhaps this Cal thing is more than just a pit stop on the way to the NFL.

Read the entire article here.

San Jose Mercury: Lynch enjoying the ride more


By Jay Heater

It used to be that Marshawn Lynch had to be prodded to do anything that would represent his school. He loved playing football, but he didn't seem all that interested in Cal.  Not so on Saturday. More than two hours before the game against Washington, Lynch grabbed the team flag during the March To Victory through a swarm of fans. And he celebrated the Bears' 31-24 overtime victory by driving around Memorial Stadium in an equipment cart, saluting fans and soaking in the moment.  He hardly practiced last week because of sprained ankles, but the 5-foot-11, 217-pound junior carried the team on his back in the fourth quarter and overtime, finishing with 150 yards and two touchdowns in 21 carries.

Read the entire article here.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Yahoo Sports: The Point After

Here is the link.


California was in disbelief after a last-second heave by Washington quarterback Carl Bonnell was deflected by Bears linebacker Desmond Bishop into the hands of Huskies receiver Marlon Wood for a touchdown, tying the game with no time left.  But the guy who was truly unbelievable and might have kept Jeff Tedford’s team in the Pac-10 championship and BCS hunt was running back Marshawn Lynch. Playing on two sprained ankles, Lynch rushed for 150 yards and two touchdowns, the last a 22-yard run in overtime that delivered Cal (7-1, 5-0 Pac-10) to a 24-17 victory.

After the game Lynch hopped into a stadium maintenance cart and took it for a spin on the field to mark the season-preserving performance. Lynch later said he was using the cart to pick up Bishop, whose interception snuffed Washington’s upset bid.  Cal, the last Pac-10 team to beat USC, has a shot to do so again Nov. 18. Also remaining for the Bears are games against UCLA, Arizona and Stanford.  If the last few weeks of the regular season are as intense and entertaining as Saturday, it might be time to say your prayers.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Oakland Tribune: Cal discovers it can win one the hard way

Column by Art Spander

BERKELEY — They were 22-point favorites and trailed by 10 in the second quarter. “But we won, didn't we?" Jeff Tedford asked, knowing full well the answer.  They had set a Cal record by scoring 40 points or more in five straight games, but this one they had only three at halftime. "Nobody plays perfectly every week," Tedford reminded.  They allowed a ricochet 40-yard Hail Mary pass with 0:00 on the clock to tie the game.  "Things like that happen from time to time," Tedford allowed, "you have to overcome adversity."  If this wasn't what we'd come to expect, it was enough for us to come to accept.  Another Cal victory, if a difficult one, 31-24, in overtime over Washington.

The Bears could have lost this game.  The Bears perhaps should have lost this game. For the most part, they were outplayed by the Huskies, who were relying on a second-team quarterback and a defense that was ninth in the Pac-10, meaning next-to-last.  The Bears didn't lose this game.

Which tells you more than those five straight games in which Cal scored at least 40 points.  Which tells you Cal, now 7-1 and with seven straight victories, can play from behind as well as from ahead, can give up 446 yards to the opponent but not give away the game.  "When the other team scores 10 points, we're usually ahead 35-10," said linebacker Zack Follett. "We're not behind 10-0. This was gut-check time. This is what the team needed. It will make us stronger down the road. We know we can pull wins out."

Read the entire article here.

Sports Illustrated: Monday Awards

Here is the link

Celebration of the Week

Marshawn Lynch: Not only did Cal's stud RB play on two sprained ankles while leading the Golden Bears to a 31-24 victory on Saturday, he careened around the field at the wheel of a cart to celebrate. Good work.

Pac-10: Marshawn Lynch Named Pac-10 Player of the Week

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - Tailback Marshawn Lynch of California and safety Eric Frampton and punter Darryl Blunt, both of Washington State, have been named U.S. Bank Pac-10 Football Players of the Week.

Lynch, a junior from Oakland, Calif., was a pivotal performer in California's 31-24 overtime win against Washington. Lynch rushed 21 times for 150 yards (7.1-yard average) and two touchdowns, including a 22-yard touchdown run in overtime to give Cal the win. He added four receptions for 53 yards to give him 203 all-purpose yards. The California offense put up 486 yards in total offense (195 rushing, 291 passing) and had no turnovers. It marks the fourth time in eight weeks that a California player has garnered Pac-10 offensive player of the week honors.


Boston Globe: Survivor: BCS hopefuls

Notre Dame, Tennessee, Texas, Cal remain worthy contestants

Here’s the link.

By Mark Blaudschun

Two months from now it very well could be just a footnote in a season of triumph.  On the surface not a whole lot changed Saturday for the handful of teams that have visions of the Bowl Championship Series, including the title game in Glendale, Ariz., Jan. 8. It was another week, another victory, another step forward. But everywhere you looked among those winners, there were sighs of relief and nods of satisfaction that they'd pulled it off. The scariest goblin on Halloween next week won't bother Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis, Tennessee's Phillip Fulmer, Texas's Mack Brown, and California's Jeff Tedford. As in No. 11 Notre Dame, No. 8 Tennessee, No. 5 Texas, and No. 12 California.


California also is lurking in the BCS shadows. The Bears had picked up some support as the best team in the Pac-10 in the last few weeks because of their dominating play, while conference champion USC struggled each week. Saturday it was Cal's turn to survive a scare as it came up with a 31-24 overtime victory over WashingtonCal now can start thinking about its next major challenge, when it faces USC in Los Angeles Nov. 18.

Current Rankings

Cal dropped to #12 in both the AP and USA Today polls, but remained #10 on the BCS ranking.  Harris Interactive has Cal ranked 11th.  Click here to see the rankings.

Daily Cal: Marshawn Comes to the Rescue

Bears Need Overtime to Get Past Pesky Washington

BY Stephen Chen

Marshawn Lynch’s 22-yard touchdown run on the second play in overtime capped a day in which the junior tailback—injured ankle and all—carried the No. 11 Cal football team.  Even after Bears linebacker Desmond Bishop intercepted Carl Bonnell’s pass to seal Cal’s thrilling 31-24 victory over Washington on Saturday, Lynch wasn’t done helping his teammates.  He hopped on a cart by the sidelines and zigzagged around the turf looking to give Bishop a ride back to the locker room.  “Marshawn’s our spark, our inspiration,” Bishop said. “When we’re down a little bit, he busts a big run to give everybody hope, and for him to do it while he’s hurt is huge.”  The Bears could not have been more down after seeing how the game was sent into overtime.

Cal (7-1, 5-0 in the Pac-10) held a 24-17 lead with six seconds left in the fourth quarter when Bonnell’s Hail Mary from the 40-yard line was batted by a trio of Bears defenders into the hands of Marlon Wood, who lunged into the end zone from the one-yard line.  Several Cal players sat on the ground in disbelief, and the crowd of 58,534 at Memorial Stadium fell silent.  “It was really hard because that just takes all the energy out of you,” cornerback Daymeion Hughes said. “You hold them all the way to the last six seconds of the game and they throw up a Hail Mary. It’s emotionally draining, but you still have to pull together and come out with a win like we did.”  The Bears had just built a seven-point lead with five minutes left in regulation after mounting an 82-yard touchdown drive, overcoming two third-and-10 situations in the process.  Lynch, who finished the game with 203 yards—150 on the ground—scored what was the go-ahead touchdown at the time with a 22-yard rush down the right sideline. It was Lynch’s 15th game with at least 100 rushing yards, tying him with Chuck Muncie and Russell White for the Cal record.  “He just kept coming in and making plays for us,” Bears coach Jeff Tedford said. “I thought that was such a gutsy performance, to put the offense on his back and make so many plays like he did.”  Justin Forsett then plowed up the middle to complete the two-point conversion, which turned out to be a crucial play.  Lynch’s heroics came on a day when sophomore Nate Longshore struggled with his accuracy.

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San Francisco Chronicle: Cal's narrow win could have wide effects

Bears showed resilience in OT victory over Huskies

Jake Curtis

Having to go overtime at home to beat a heavy underdog that was without its starting quarterback would seem like a step backward for Cal -- but there might be merit in winning a close game.  So we begin our four R's with the Resiliency the Bears demonstrated on Saturday against Washington.

As successful as Jeff Tedford has been in transforming Cal from a local embarrassment to a national power, the Bears are 8-10 under Tedford in games decided by seven points or fewer. And in five of those close wins, Cal let the bulk of big leads evaporate in the fourth quarter before prevailing.  Saturday's 31-24 victory over Washington interrupted that trend. Not only did Cal take the lead late in regulation, but it gathered itself to win in overtime after a remarkably lucky play by the Huskies had tied it.  More significant, perhaps, is that Saturday was only the second time a Tedford-coached Cal team won a game in which it trailed with less than 10 minutes left.  The Bears were behind 17-16 when they got the ball at their 18-yard line with 6:50 remaining. Marshawn Lynch did most of the heavy lifting in that scoring drive, but Nate Longshore, who started the game 2-for-9, completed two third-down passes to keep the drive alive.  Cal was one of five ranked teams (joining Texas, Notre Dame, Texas A&M and Tennessee) that won Saturday after trailing with less than 10 minutes left, and teams usually need one or two of those to reach a BCS game.

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Daily Cal: Photo Gallery of Cal-Washington Game

Here is the link.

Washington Post: No Spills at Top, but Plenty of Thrills

Here is the link.

Washington pulled an even more improbable play in its failed upset bid at No. 12 Cal. Backup quarterback Carl Bonnell heaved a 40-yard Hail Mary on the final play of regulation, which deflected off the hands of a Cal linebacker and into the arms of wide receiver Marlon Wood, who dove across the goal line to force overtime. "We thought we had it wrapped up, and then I thought Doug Flutie was out there," Cal linebacker Zack Follett told reporters after the game. But Marshawn Lynch ran for a 22-yard touchdown on the third play of overtime, the Golden Bears' defense held, and Cal escaped with hope to challenge No. 3 Southern California for the Pacific-10 title.


Oakland Tribune: Cal Perfect in Pac-10 play

Many Bears aching, and rest should help before final four games


BERKELEY — Just after his team survived a wild encounter against Washington on Saturday at Memorial Stadium, relieved Cal coach Jeff Tedford talked about the importance of the upcoming bye week.  Tedford noted that his players are beaten up after their 7-1 overall start, 5-0 Pac-10, and the break in the schedule will give them some rest before embarking on the four-game stretch that will end the regular season.  However, health isn't the only issue facing the Bears, if they expect to earn their first Rose Bowl bid since 1958.  After scoring 40 points or more in a school-record five consecutive games, Cal's offense sputtered the past two games in wins over Washington State and Washington.

Cal scored just two offensive touchdowns during regulation of Saturday's 31-24 overtime win against the Huskies, and the Bears have scored six touchdowns in the past two games combined.  That from a team that appeared to be unstoppable less than a month ago.  "You have to give Washington credit, they played very well," Cal offensive coordinator Mike Dunbar said. "And we stopped ourselves. The timing of our passing game was not very good early, for whatever reason. Everything we do is based on our ability to stretch the field, and we didn't do that. If you become one-dimensional, you are a lot easier to stop.  "We probably got a little conservative."

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Daily Cal: Defense Plays Pivotal Role For Second Week in a Row

Bishop's Pick Clinches Victory; Bears Rack Up Five Interceptions for First Time in 19 Years

BY Brian Bainum

Desmond Bishop had two chances to put the Washington football team away Saturday. The Cal linebacker let the first attempt slip out of his hands, but there was no chance he would allow a second opportunity pass him by. Bishop intercepted Huskies quarterback Carl Bonnell at the goal line in overtime to clinch the Bears’ 31-24 win and extend their winning streak to seven games. The play set off a wild celebration, culminating what had been a roller coaster of a game at Memorial Stadium. Bishop, instead of taking a knee and automatically ending the game, tried to run it back for a touchdown with almost the entire Cal sideline following in his wake. He was caught from behind at around the Washington 20-yard line.

“I was torn between telling him to get down and yelling at the guys to get back on the sideline,” Bears coach Jeff Tedford said. “From my vantage point, it looked like the (receiver) was open and he came in and stepped right in front of it. It was a great play.” The interception came only minutes after Bonnell’s Hail Mary was in Bishop’s grasp, but Robert Peele and Daymeion Hughes also made a play on the ball. The ensuing deflection landed in the hands of the Huskies’ Marlon Wood, who dove into the end zone to tie the game with zeros on the clock.

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Daily Cal: Lynch Was Driving Force Behind Win

BY Steven Dunst

Somewhere, E-40 is smiling. After amassing 203 total yards and scoring the game-winning touchdown in Cal’s 31-24 overtime win over Washington, tailback Marshawn Lynch grabbed a stadium cart and went cruising. He tried to ghost ride, but the cart had no doors, and Lynch—already suffering from two sprained ankles, a banged up knee and a bad back—had no reason to try and pull off a dangerous stunt.  Instead, he just leaned out and smiled, zig-zagging across the field and soaking up the win while the student section remained on its feet.  “He did it all today,” Cal coach Jeff Tedford said. “He carried the flag around at the March of Victory, too. I don’t know what got into Marshawn today.”

The scene E-40 raps about in “Tell Me When to Go” bore a lot of similarity to what Lynch experienced Saturday afternoon while avoiding security guards in his cart:  “The moon is full, look at the dark clouds/ Sitting in my scrapper, watching Oakland go wild.”  All of Oakland, all of Berkeley, heck, every fan of college football in the country had reason to go wild after Saturday’s frighteningly close finish.  Lynch, for one, was fired up before the game even began. He watched as the Washington captains stretched and danced on the Cal logo, disrespecting the home team by chanting that the Memorial Stadium turf belonged to them.

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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Daily Cal: Bears Win Overtime Thriller Against Washington

BY Stephen Chen

Daily Cal Staff Writer

Marshawn Lynch’s 22-yard touchdown run on the second play in overtime capped a day where the junior tailback—injured ankle and all—carried the No. 11 Cal football team.  Even after Desmond Bishop intercepted Carl Bonnell’s pass to seal the Bears’ thrilling 31-24 win at Memorial Stadium, Lynch wasn’t done. He hopped on a cart and drove across the field looking to give Bishop a ride back to the locker room.   “Marshawn’s our spark, our inspiration,” Bishop said. “When we’re down a little bit, he busts a big run to give everybody hope, and for him to do it while he’s hurt is huge. We look to him for leadership on and off the field.”  Cal (7-1, 5-0 in the Pac-10) had built a seven-point lead with five minutes left in regulation by overcoming two third-and-10 situations to successfully mount an 82-yard touchdown drive. Lynch, who finished the game with 203 yards—150 on the ground—ran into the end zone to give the Bears a 24-17 advantage, their largest of the day.

The game was sent into overtime when Bonnell’s Hail Mary was batted by a trio of Bears defenders into the hands of Marlon Wood, who dove for a touchdown just as the clock expired.  Washington (4-4, 2-3) was without starting quarterback Isaiah Stanback, but its defense kept the team in the game, holding the Bears to just three first-half points.  Cal quarterback Nate Longshore struggled with his accuracy. The sophomore was just 4-for-12 passing midway through the second quarter before completing his last four throws of the half, leading to a Bears field goal. Longshore finished with 291 yards in the air.  The Bears defense gave Longshore plenty of opportunities to get on the scoreboard in the first half with several big stops on third-and-short and interceptions by Daymeion Hughes and Worrell Williams.  Until Bonnell’s final drive of regulation, the Huskies established little rhythm on offense. Washington posted 162 yards on the ground as starting tailback Kenny James was knocked out of the game early in the first quarter with a sprained right ankle.  Bonnell, who was making his first start of the season, passed for 284 yards and two touchdowns, but threw five interceptions.  Two big plays led to the first two Washington touchdowns. Anthony Russo reeled in a 49-yard score late in the second quarter. A 44-yard run by Louis Rankin at the start of the fourth quarter set up a rushing touchdown by Bonnell to give the Huskies a 17-13 lead, but it was followed by Lynch’s touchdown run later in the quarter.  “It was a gut check for us, but it was good,” sophomore Zack Follett said. “Down the road for us we know we can pull wins out. It’s really going to help us.”

Seattle Times: Washington falls to Cal in overtime

By Bob Condotta

BERKELEY, Calif. - In their most desperate moments, the Washington Huskies used to be able to call on Cal.  Four of UW's nine greatest comebacks have come against the Bears, as well as several others that simply fell into the "improbable ending" category, many here at Berkeley's Memorial Stadium.  The Huskies appeared ready to possibly top them all when Marlon Wood caught a pass that tipped off several California defenders and dived into the end zone for the tying touchdown on the last play of regulation.  "With that play, the way I could tell, we were supposed to win this game," said Washington cornerback Dashon Goldson of the 40-yard pass that sent the Huskies' bench into delirium.  Instead, the Huskies were again left with nothing but the dreaded moral victory to assuage the pain of a 31-24 overtime loss to the Bears, who came in as 23-point favorites and played for much of the day like a team that wasn't expecting much of a fight.

Once pushed against the ropes, however, the Bears didn't flinch, scoring on the second play of overtime to take the lead.  New Huskies starting quarterback Carl Bonnell then threw his fifth interception of the game on Washington's ensuing possession to end it, allowing the Bears to make their own great escape. "I will remember this game for the rest of my life," said Cal defensive tackle Brandon Mebane.  So will the Huskies, tagged again_just like the final two seconds controversy at USC_with an ending they won't be able to get out of their minds. Washington (4-4 overall, 2-3 Pac-10) has lost three in a row and needs to win two of its last four to qualify for a bowl game.  "We lost," said UW linebacker Scott White. "We know in the back of our mind that we could have won. But that doesn't really matter now."  The Huskies, in fact, had the upper hand for the entire first half, shocking those who might have figured they were ready to roll over now that quarterback Isaiah Stanback's career is over because of an foot injury.

Bonnell, making his first start in two years in place of Stanback, threw five interceptions but also led the Washington offense up and down the field against a Bears team that had won six in a row by an average score of 40-16.  Washington led 10-3 at halftime, and after Cal rallied to take a 13-10 lead at the end of the third quarter, Bonnell ran in from 7 yards early in the fourth quarter to cap an 86-yard drive and put the Huskies ahead 17-13.

But Cal hit a field goal to cut the lead to 17-16. The Bears then stopped a UW run on third-and-one on the next possession to get the ball back, and drove 82 yards for a touchdown and a two-point play to take a 24-17 lead with 1:52 left.  Lynch scored the TD from 17 yards, and Justin Forsett ran up the middle for the two-point conversion as Washington was caught with just 10 men on the field. The Huskies anticipated the Bears were kicking the extra point, and with the lineup shuffling quickly, E.J. Savannah didn't make it on the field.  "I thought we had him wrapped up," said Washington defensive coordinator Kent Baer of Forsett, who fought through White and several other Huskies into the end zone. "Unfortunate."

Bonnell, though, stayed steady, helping Washington convert three fourth-down plays to stay alive. With six seconds left, UW had one last chance with the ball at the Cal 40-yard line. "It was desperation," Bonnell said. "Everybody's going deep and hope a guy can come up with the ball. And that's what happened." Wood caught the ball at about the 2 and fell forward into the end zone for the tying touchdown.  Willingham said he never wavered in kicking the point and forcing overtime. "I felt very comfortable that we would be able to get it done in overtime," Willingham said. Washington won the toss and decided to play defense first. Cal responded on the second play when Lynch ran around the end and cut through the Husky secondary for a 22-yard touchdown. The Huskies appeared set to force another overtime when they moved to the 6-yard line. But on first down, Louis Rankin was stopped for a 5-yard loss.  Then Bonnell, in his words, "tried to stick a ball in there" on a pass to Corey Williams, "and the gap closed real quick."

Cal linebacker Desmond Bishop, the Cal player who had the best shot at knocking down the pass with six seconds left that instead fell into Wood's hands_picked it off. Willingham was asked to compare Cal and USC. "They were both very good football teams and each day we played them we went toe-to-toe with both of them," he said.  And lost by a nose.


SF Chronicle: CAL 31, WASHINGTON 24

7 straight, barely

2 big TDs by Lynch, Bishop's interception send Cal past Huskies

Rusty Simmons

There was a buzz last week in Berkeley that Washington could provide a "trap game" for Cal, but Marshawn Lynch ran through the Bear trap Saturday and kicked it off his foot, unscathed in the end zone.  Twice.  "It was such a gutsy performance by Marshawn today," Cal coach Jeff Tedford said. "He put the offense on his back, and, to make so many plays, is just a phenomenal performance."  The junior tailback battled two sprained ankles while running 21 times for 150 yards and two scores, including the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter and the game-winner in overtime that gave the Bears a 31-24 victory over Washington.

Cal players swarmed linebacker Desmond Bishop after his game-clinching interception in overtime. The horde spilled toward the south end zone at Memorial Stadium as the 58,534 fans tried to scramble to the south end zone to reach the players. The celebration was capped off by Lynch driving a golf-cart type flatbed on a zig-zag path across the field.  He can do whatever he wants, because he scored the game-winner on a 22-yard scamper, and he also ran for a 17-yard score with 1:52 remaining. In normal Lynch fashion, he refused to take the credit.  "The start of the game was where we got lifted," he said. "My man, Justin Forsett, took the first snaps. I give big ups to Justin for getting me through today and through practice, because that's where it starts."  The big runs by Lynch were made necessary by a pesky Washington (4-4, 2-3 Pac-10) team. Carl Bonnell, who had 284 passing yards and rushed for 64 yards in his first start in more than two years, led the Huskies on a 13-play, 72-yard scoring drive in the waning two minutes of regulation.

He completed a fluky, 40-yard touchdown pass to Marlon Wood as time expired to force overtime. Three Cal defenders -- Bishop, Robert Peele and Thomas DeCoud -- had a chance to knock the Hail Mary pass down, but the batted ball fell into the hands of an unsuspecting Wood.  "I was shocked that I actually caught it," he said. "It feels good to catch it and score my first touchdown, but it didn't end the way we wanted."  Instead, the stunned No. 11 Bears (7-1, 5-0) didn't wallow. After showing that it could win with offensive dominance during a four-game stretch, Cal proved it could win with defense last week and pull out a roller-coaster victory.  "We kind of took turns today, and we won as a team," Tedford said.

It all adds up to the Bears' first 5-0 start in conference play since 1950. Since that year, the only time Cal matched its current seven-game winning streak was in 2004.  After completing 91 of 137 passes for 1,325 yards and 17 touchdowns while throwing just four interceptions during a fabulous five-game run, sophomore quarterback Nate Longshore was held without a touchdown pass for the second consecutive week.  He did, however, convert two third-down situations on what appeared to be the game-winning drive that ended with 1:52 remaining in regulation on Lynch's 17-yard TD and Forsett's two-point conversion.  Bishop, who had a game-high 16 tackles, also came up big in the defining moments for a Cal defense that played better than the numbers indicate. Although the defense allowed 446 yards in total offense to Washington's backup quarterback, it also intercepted Bonnell five times.  After giving up the game-tying touchdown, the defense was rallied by Bishop on the sidelines.  "He told us to put it behind us and seal the victory," said Peele, who had an interception in his first extended playing time of the season. "He said, 'We've still got a chance to win.' "  Tedford said he didn't see anything from his players that indicated they were looking past Washington, which was picked to finish last in the conference before the season.

"I thought mentally we were prepared, but Washington just played well," Tedford said. "We couldn't get caught up in looking past this team and looking at the bye week, and I don't think we did that."  The bye is, however, coming at the right time.  "We're pretty banged up, and we need to heal and refresh a little bit," Tedford said. "We need to recharge our batteries."  First, though, they'll fondly recall this week.  "This is one to remember," defensive tackle Brandon Mebane said. "I will remember this game for the rest of my life. I was proud of our guys for how they hung in there and stuck it out."

Scout.com: Lynch mob too much for Huskies

Fueled by 150 yards rushing by Marshawn Lynch, the California Golden Bears stayed cool under pressure and didn't let a last-play bomb from Carl Bonnell to Marlon Wood diffuse their 24-17 overtime win in Berkeley. It's the third straight loss for the Huskies, who also lost a very hard-fought affair at USC, but lost in the waning seconds.  "I think it's safe to say that we played toe-to-toe with them today," Washington Head Coach Tyrone Willingham said. "But we just couldn't find a way to get it done. There are no moral victories."  "I'm real proud of our guys," Jeff Tedford said of California's effort. With the win, the Bears move to 7-1 and 5-0 in conference. "There was never any quit. It was a rollercoaster, up and down, and I felt we kept our composure very well."  It wasn't a Hail Mary for the Huskies (4-4, 2-3), but the result was the same. Wood caught a deflection off a Cal defender at the Cal 2-yard line and jumped into the end zone to give Washington an improbable chance to take what appeared to be a very one-sided affair at first (Vegas oddsmakers had it Washington +24) into extra time

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Seattle Post Intelligencer:Huskies Notebook: Bonnell hails Mary, gets an answer


BERKELEY, Calif. -- It was a play for the ages, one that should have gone down in Washington lore, dooming 11th-ranked Cal while catapulting the purple and gold to within one win of a bowl berth.  Marlon Wood's miraculous catch and touchdown will instead get lost as just a footnote to the Huskies' 31-24 overtime loss to the Golden Bears (7-1, 5-0 in Pac-10.)  Huskies quarterback Carl Bonnell, starting in place of Isaiah Stanback, who was lost for the season last Saturday with a right foot injury, had to direct his team in the two-minute drill with his team trailing, 24-17. Bonnell put together a nail-biting 48-yard drive that included three fourth-down conversions.  The Huskies stood at Cal's 40-yard line with six seconds remaining when Bonnell unleashed a tight spiral to the goal line.  Bears defenders Desmond Bishop and Robert Peele leaped up to knock the ball down, but tipped it instead.  The ball fell right into the hands of Wood, who was the shortest athlete on the field at 5-foot-9. Wood had the wherewithal to realize he wasn't yet in the end zone and spun two yards in for the game-tying touchdown. "It was desperation," Bonnell said, though the play wasn't drawn up as a traditional Hail Mary. "Everybody's going deep and you hope a guy can come up with the ball and that's what happened."

"We didn't want to run a Hail Mary, but go five (wide receivers) vertical and go and make a play," offensive coordinator Tim Lappano said. "Everyone hustled and got down there." Bonnell said he didn't even know who caught the ball. "I scrambled a little bit and threw it up in the air. I didn't know who actually even caught that ball, but I'm thankful they did," he said. The touchdown was the first of Wood's career. Wood said he actually changed his route and that it seemed that the ball was coming down in "slow motion." "I couldn't drop that one," he said.  Still, when the ball fell to him, he was on the 2-yard line. "I realized that and was like, 'Oh, I got to get there,'" he said. "There were still (defenders) in front of me." He ran at an angle into the end zone.  Michael Braunstein kicked the game-tying point after to force the overtime, where Hughes intercepted Bonnell to seal the Bears victory.  The loss drops Washington to 4-4 and 2-3 in conference play.


TEN FOR THE TWO: After Marshawn Lynch scored on a 17-yard touchdown run with 1:52 to play to give Cal its first lead, Bears coach Jeff Tedford elected to attempt a two-point conversion.  The Huskies lined up to defend it, but only had 10 players on the field.  Lynch escaped a Scott White tackle and scored to make the score 24-17.  According to White, linebacker E.J. Savannah was not on the field.  "That was a little bit of a breakdown," White said, noting that Savannah isn't on the point-after defense team.


EXTRA POINTS: The Huskies won the toss to begin the overtime period and elected to give the Bears the ball first. x After committing a season-high seven penalties (49 yards) last Saturday in the 27-17 loss to Oregon State, the Huskies committed just two penalties for nine yards at Cal. x Game captains were Stanley Daniels, James, Jordan Reffett and White. x The Bears had five interceptions, bringing their Pac-10-best total to 18. The last time Cal had five interceptions in a game was against Oregon in 1987. x Cal kicker Tom Schneider was 2-for-3 on field goals and hit a 50-yarder, his career high. x Cal middle linebacker Desmond Bishop had 16 tackles, four tackles for loss and had the game-clinching interception. x The attendance at Memorial Stadium was 58,534.

Spokesman Review: Huskies step up to challenge of No. 11 Cal

UW carries on without injured Stanback

Mike Allende

SEATTLE – As much as they'd love it to happen, the Washington football team knows Isaiah Stanback will not miraculously arrive at Berkeley's Memorial Stadium today prepared to lead them against No. 11 California. That's the reality of the situation facing the Huskies, and they say they are prepared to deal with it and move on. "You'd like Isaiah to be playing, but this is a football team," senior linebacker Tahj Bomar said. "A team isn't defined by one guy, so we've got to have guys step up and fill the role for whoever gets injured." Washington begins the first game of the post-Stanback era today against a Cal team that has won its last six games to put itself in position for a run at the Pacific-10 title and a Bowl Championship Series berth. Although there would be easier games to break in new quarterback Carl Bonnell, there's not much the Huskies can do about the circumstances. "I'm pretty sure Cal isn't going to be feeling sorry for us," senior guard Stanley Daniels said. "They've got a lot to play for just like we do. We'd love Isaiah to be here, but he's not. It doesn't mean our season's over with. We still have our goals." No. 1 on that list is to reach a bowl game. The Huskies need two wins to become bowl-eligible. Six wins doesn't ensure a bowl game, but without six, there's no chance.

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Oregonian: Today in the Pac-10 Cal's Tedford says Huskies still a threat


Two weeks ago, when Washington threw a major scare into USC at the Los Angeles Coliseum, the Huskies looked like a contender. Now? Washington limps into Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, Calif., to play No. 11 California today without quarterback Isaiah Stanback, gone for the season with a severely sprained right foot, and trying to shake off an overall lackluster performance last week in a 27-17 loss to Oregon State. California (6-1, 4-0 Pacific-10 Conference) isn't sure what to expect.

"Isaiah is a major part of their team," Cal coach Jeff Tedford said. "It can work two ways. You can use it as an excuse, or you can rally the troops. I think most people try to rally the troops."  Junior Carl Bonnell will get his first start for Washington since 2004, and the Huskies (4-3, 2-2) insist the drop-off at quarterback might not be that significant.  "The thing is, Carl and Isaiah have pretty much the same attributes," Huskies guard Stanley Daniels said. "They are both pretty much the same quarterback."  Stanback has run a 10.48-second 100 meters for the Washington track team. Bonnell isn't that fast, but he's not a statue, either. In 2004, he rushed for 58 yards against San Jose State and averaged six yards per carry against Fresno State. So offensive coordinator Tim Lappano can hang on to the spread formations and zone read-option plays.  "You have to defend their offense, not just one player," Tedford said.  Bonnell was sidelined most of last season with a deep thigh bruise that wouldn't heal. Word around the football program was that the UW coaches weren't sure whether he was sufficiently committed to the sport.  That talk ceased in the spring, when Bonnell beat out Oregon transfer Johnny DuRocher to be the No. 2 quarterback.

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