Scouting California (1-0)
California is 1-0 entering this weekend’s game after a 21-7 win over Rutgers on Saturday afternoon in Berkeley. Last season, Cal finished the year with a 5-6 mark, including a 3-5 record in the Pac-10, but was competitive in nearly every contest.

Nebraska-Cal Series
NU Cal Site
1978 36 26 H
1998 24 3 A

In Saturday’s opener, the Bears were tied with Rutgers 7-7, after the first quarter, but scored touchdowns in the second and third quarter to pull away for the two-touchdown victory.

Cal was paced by tailback Marcus Fields who rushed for 123 yards on just 11 carries. Included in that yardage was a 49-yard TD run on the first play from scrimmage and a 47-yard scamper to set up Cal’s third-quarter touchdown, giving the Bears a comfortable advantage. Fields rushed for 734 yards and four touchdowns last season as a sophomore. The Bears quaterback duties will be filled by two players, sophomore Samuel Clemons and freshman Kyle Boller. Clemons started the opener against Rutgers, but he was relieved by Boller who threw for 89 yards and a touchdown.

The strength of Cal’s team probably lies with its defense. The Golden Bears return seven starters on that side of the football, led by senior linebackers Sekou Sanyika and Matt Beck. Last season the twosome combined for 120 tackles, including 43 for losses totaling an even 200 yards. Cal also has a talented secondary, led by free safety Pete Destefano and cornerback Deltha O’Neal, who had a 75-yard interception return for a score against Rutgers on Saturday.

California Coach Tom Holmoe
Tom Holmoe (Brigham Young, 1983) is in his third season as the head coach at California. Holmoe owns a 9-14 record in his third season, after a 3-8 mark in 1997 and a 5-6 record a year ago. Holmoe played college football at Brigham Young, then went on to a seven-year NFL career with the San Francisco 49ers from 1983 to 1989. Holmoe entered coaching as a graduate assistant at BYU in 1990 and 1991, then served as secondary coach at Stanford in 1992 and 1993. He returned to the 49ers as an assistant in 1994 and 1995, before moving to California as defensive coordinator in 1996. Holmoe’s Cal teams are 1-7 against nationally-ranked opponents.

The Nebraska-California Series
Saturday’s game will be the third meeting between the two schools, with the Huskers holding a 2-0 edge. NU defeated Cal, 36-26, in Lincoln in 1978 and knocked off the Bears, 24-3, last season in Berkeley. In both meetings, the games were close into the fourth quarter. The teams were tied at 14-all after three quarters in 1978, and NU led just 14-3 entering the fourth last season.

Nebraska-Cal Series Notes

  • NU’s visit to Berkeley last season was its first to the state of California in five seasons. It also marked the first time in 28 years NU has played a game in the Golden State against an opponent other than UCLA.
  • NU is 30-18-3 all-time against members of the Pac-10 Conference, including a 2-1 mark in 1998.
  • Former Husker quarterback Vince Ferragamo (1975, 1976) began his collegiate career at California.

Last Year in Berkeley...NU 24, California 3
Nebraska scored 10 fourth-quarter points to secure a 24-3 road victory over the pesky Bears. NU scored on its first drive of the game and opened a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter, but Cal responded with a third-quarter field goal to cut the lead to 14-3. Cal kept upset hopes alive until Monte Christo connected with Shevin Wiggins for a touchdown pass with 3:54 to play to give NU a comfortable 21-3 lead. The Huskers added a late field goal for the final margin. Joel Makovicka rushed for 77 yards, while Correll Buckhalter had 71 yards and Eric Crouch added 59 yards and two touchdowns. Christo completed nine of 12 passes for 106 yards and Wiggins caught seven balls for 97 yards and a score.

Huskers from California
Five 1999 Huskers call California home, including three starters. Senior cornerback Ralph Brown (Hacienda Heights) and senior offensive guard James Sherman (LaVerne) will both be in the starting lineup on Saturday. Larry Henderson (Los Angeles) is a reserve split end and could see action on NU’s kickoff returns; sophomore Dion Booker (Oceanside) is the No. 2 free safety while freshman offensive lineman Dan Waldrop (Wilmington) is redshirting this fall.

Nebraska-California Statistical Comparison

Nebraska (1-0)

California (1-0)

Rankings

Rankings

Category

Avg.

Natl.

Big 12

Avg.

National

Rushing Offense

347.0

5

2

162.0

37

Passing Offense

196.0

47

5

103.0

83

Total Offense

543.0

6

2

265.0

73

Scoring Offense

42.0

13

2

21.0

50

Rushing Defense

57.0

17

3

104.0

32

Pass Eff. Defense

61.4

9

4

102.3

45

Total Defense

169.0

7

2

287.0

33

Scoring Defense

7.0

13

1

7.0

13

Net Punting

23.4

93

7

46.0

2

Punt Returns

13.8

22

4

9.8

33

Kickoff Returns

24.5

25

2

34.5

6

Turnover Margin

0.0

40

2

0.0

40