A Rose Bowl black out set the stage for the Bruins, who were in must-win mode. A season filled with playoff aspirations has taken a few punches to the jaw. A win over the ranked Cal Bears would bring a little more postseason attention in UCLA’s direction.
Driving across the Bay Bridge from San Francisco to Berkeley provides the first indication that you are in for something special when visiting the home of the Golden Bears. Once on campus, you are immediately permeated with a dose of California coolness – that perfect blend of eclectic eateries, shops, and personalities. Driving deeper into town and further up the rising picturesque landscape will make you wish you went to college here.
When it comes to the Cal football team, the vibe in Berkeley has been one of impatience – lots of opportunity and little to show for it. This year fit that same mold. The Golden Bears would have to win out against Washington, #4 Oregon, and #11 Oregon State in order to become bowl eligible – a monumental task for sure. A gorgeous early November afternoon morphed into a chilly Friday evening of football inside Memorial Stadium. Even though the stadium was not quite a sellout, loyalty and pride didn’t take a backseat. The band played with the same passion, the fans cheered with the same energy, and the players fought with the same amount of heart.
September 4th would be a day of many firsts for me. Among those included my first Mountain West Conference game, my first time seeing California, and above all, my first double-header day. This game in Colorado Springs required early alarm bells as kick off commenced at ten in the morning. Following the Cal/Air Force contest, I would be driving up I-25 toward Boulder to be a spectator for the in-state hate fest between Colorado State and Colorado.