MacArthur out of bowl game

Updated: December 5, 2004, 1:35 AM ET
AssociatedPress

HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- California's Geoff McArthur, the team's top receiver, broke his left leg in the fourth quarter of the No. 4 Golden Bears' 26-16 win at Southern Mississippi on Saturday night.

McArthur, a senior who holds the school's career records for receptions and yards receiving, broke the fibula in his left leg while blocking on a 12-yard run by J.J. Arrington. McArthur's teammate and a Southern Miss defender rolled over McArthur's leg while the receiver was looking the other way.

The injury probably will prevent McArthur from ever playing in a bowl game with the Bears, even though he has been a huge part of the program's three-year resurgence under coach Jeff Tedford.

McArthur was second in the nation behind Pittsburgh's Larry Fitzgerald in receiving last season. He made 16 catches for 245 yards in last season's Big Game against Stanford -- but he broke his arm during practice shortly before Cal's victory over Virginia Tech in the Insight Bowl.

Despite a painful shoulder injury and previous problems with his hamstrings, McArthur leads the Bears with 57 receptions and 862 yards receiving this season. Against Southern Miss, he had six catches for 145 yards and a 36-yard touchdown before getting hurt.

"I love Geoff like a brother. My success, he's been a big part of it," quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. "How he got hurt kind of explains his story here. He's a selfless guy."

McArthur never reached full strength in his senior campaign, but he stayed in the lineup to keep the Bears' powerful offense going, despite injuries to three fellow seniors.

Chase Lyman was lost for the season with a torn left knee ligament after just four games, while Burl Toler has been dogged by tendinitis all season. Jonathan Makonnen missed four games with a bruised liver and struggled with hamstring injuries before returning against Southern Miss.

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