By the numbers: Cal-Cats series tied, running crucial
By Ryan Casey
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday, September 30, 2005
Sure, you know the stats, but do you know the stats behind the stats? Here are some things to take note of leading up to tomorrow's Pacific 10 Conference opener for the Arizona football team in Berkeley, Calif.:
The Arizona-California series is tied. Literally. The all-time record between the two teams is 11-11-2. Even the points scored in this series have been close, with Cal putting up 599 to Arizona's 591.
The last two games in this series have belonged to the Golden Bears, including a 38-0 shutout in Tucson last year.
Cal has won nine straight games at home, but the Cats are 6-5-2 all-time in Berkeley.
The Bears enter this game ranked for the 17th straight week (No. 12 AP, No. 11 USA Today).
The Bears are 4-0 for the first time under head coach Jeff Tedford, beating Sacramento State, Washington, Illinois and New Mexico State to open the season.
Stopping the run has been a point of focus for the Cats over the last few weeks, and it should be again this week: Cal is 16-1 under Tedford when they rush for 200 or more yards as a team and is 21-4 when a running back has more than 100 yards rushing, which has happened in 16 straight games.
The Wildcats have given up more than 200 yards rushing twice this season, losing both contests.
Special teams should be another focus, as Arizona senior Danny Baugher, the nation's leading punter, faces off against a Cal team that has returned two punts for touchdowns.
The second half tomorrow could prove to be dangerous, as Cal has outscored its opponents 101-13 in the second half this season, including 70-3 in the fourth quarter.
The third quarter has been the worst for the Cats, who have been outscored 36-14. But the Wildcats have yet to allow a single point in the fourth quarter, outscoring Utah, NAU and Purdue 21-0 this season.
Quarterback Joe Ayoob is tied for second on the Bears with three rushing touchdowns.
Of the Wildcats' seven forced fumbles, Arizona has recovered only one.
Arizona tight end Brad Wood is averaging one touchdown every four catches.
Wood and freshman wide receiver Michael Thomas have combined for 48 percent of Arizona's first downs through the air.
Like the Wildcats, the Golden Bears also feature a standout true freshman wide receiver in DeSean Jackson, who caught nine passes against New Mexico State last week for 130 yards.
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