Football: Big Game thread

FINAL SCORE: Stanford 21, Cal 3. Bears’ final shot at comeback ends when Maynard is picked off at the Stanford 2 with 5:14 left. Cal’s two-game win streak is history. Bears fall to 3-5 overall, 2-3 in Pac-12 and must win three of final four to become bowl eligible. That means beating Utah and Washington, plus either Oregon or Oregon State. A very tall order. Cal outrushed by the hard-to-believe totals of 252 yards to 0. UPDATED WITH OFFICIAL STATS: 252 to 3.

Here’s my game story and a Big Game notebook.

11:39 4th Q: Good news is that Tedford goes for it on 4th and 1 from his own 44. Bad news is he gives ball to Sofele and the entire Stanford defense seemed to know what was coming. Sofele loses 2 and Stanford gets the ball. Still 21-3.

END OF 3rd Q: You’re still here? Stanford leads 21-3 and it feels like the past 35 minutes of my life have simply disappeared. Total offense: Stanford 371, Cal 103.

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Football: Cal recruiting target has big day

Running back Terrell Newby, being courted by Cal among others, rushed for 360 yards and eight touchdowns Friday night, leading Chaminade HS-West Hills to a 78-34 win over a Harvard-Westlake team that had won its past six games.

The 5-foot-10, 180-pounder, who carried the ball just 16 times, had seven first-half touchdowns then came out of the game after racing 79 yards for a TD to open the third quarter.

Rivals.com ranks Newby as a four-star prospect and the nation’s No. 16 running back. Scout.com gives him three stars and rates him No. 35 among running backs.

Newby lists Cal, Nebraska, Oregon and Washington as his favorites, although UCLA is believed to be making inroads.


Football: Big Game preview

The big day is at hand, albeit a month on the calendar.

Here’s our preview package for the 115th Big Game, starting with my profile of wide receiver Keenan Allen, who needs just seven receptions to break Geoff McArthur’s Cal career record of 202.

Read more on what Allen’s coaches and teammates have to say about him.

Here is a top-10 list of most receptions made by a Pac-12 player in three seasons or fewer:

1. Reggie Williams, Washington (2001-03) 243
2. Dwayne Jarrett, USC (2004-06) 216
3. Robert Woods, USC (2010-cur) 211
4. Keenan Allen, Cal (2010-cur) 196
5t. Mike Williams, USC (2002-03) 176
5t. Hugh Campbell, Washington St. (1960-62) 176
7. Marquess Wilson, Washington St. (2010-cur) 175
8. Keyshawn Johnson, USC (1994-95) 168
9. DeSean Jackson, Cal (2005-07) 162
10t. Shaun McDonald, Arizona St. (2000-02) 156
10t. Justin Armour, Stanford (1992-94) 156
Note: The Pac-12 record for most receptions in a career is 259 by Mike Thomas, Arizona (2005-08).


Here are 10 things you (probably) don’t know about the Big Game (although this crowd may be ahead of the curve).

Here’s Jon Wilner’s look at what Stanford hopes to do to end a drought of eight quarters (plus) overtime without scoring an offensive touchdown on the road.


RECORDS: Stanford 4-2, 2-1 in Pac-12; Cal 3-4, 2-2

KICKOFF: Noon, Memorial Stadium, Berkeley

TV: Fox

RADIO: 1050-AM & 810-AM

SERIES HISTORY: Stanford leads 57-46-11. The Cardinal has won the past two games. Cal has won seven of the past 10.

STANFORD STORYLINES: Stanford, which is fresh off a bitter overtime defeat at Notre Dame, hasn’t lost back-to-back games since the middle of the 2009 season. . . . The Cardinal must win to maintain control of its own destiny. Despite the loss to Washington, Stanford would win the Pac-12 North if it runs the table. . . . Stanford’s streak of 39 consecutive weeks in the Associated Press top-25 poll — the fifth-longest streak in the country — is on the line. A loss would surely drop the No. 22 Cardinal from the rankings. . . . Tailback Stepfan Taylor needs 95 yards to tie Toby Gerhart (3,522) for second on Stanford’s career rushing list. . . . The Cardinal will be without its leading receiver, Ty Montgomery (knee), for the second consecutive game.

CAL STORYLINES: The Bears have won two in a row since starting 1-4 and need this game to nurture any realistic shot at becoming bowl eligible. Without a win here, Cal would have to win three of its final four games, which would include getting past either Oregon or Oregon State, both top-10 teams. . . . After allowing an average of 30.2 points through its first five games, the Cal defense has surrendered just 17 apiece in wins over UCLA and Washington State. The Bears believe they can tilt the game in their direction by rattling Stanford QB Josh Nunes. . . . Cal has forced eight turnovers, including six interceptions, the past two games.

INJURY UPDATE: Stanford — WR Ty Montgomery (knee) is out. Cal — OG Dominic Galas (pectoral muscle) is probable.

MATCHUP TO WATCH: Cal’s offensive line vs. Stanford’s defensive front. The Bears have allowed an NCAA-worst 29 sacks, but none last week. If the Bears can protect quarterback Zach Maynard and create holes for their running game, they have a chance to beat Stanford and pull even at 4-4 for the season. It won’t be easy. Stanford’s defense has 19 sacks and ranks seventh nationally defending the run. In four victories, the Cardinal is allowing opponents to average just 2.3 yards per carry.

STANFORD STATS THAT MATTER: Stanford is second in the Pac-12 in run defense, allowing just 89.5 yards per game. . . . The Cardinal has allowed the fewest number of sacks in the conference (six). . . . Stanford is 99th in the nation in third-down conversions (34.5 percent). . . . Tight ends Zach Ertz and Levine Toilolo have accounted for 38 percent of Stanford’s receptions.

CAL STATS THAT MATTER: The Bears have averaged 251.5 rushing yards in their two Pac-12 wins, but just 118 yards in two conference losses. . . . Cal’s run defense has surrendered just 93.3 rushing yards the past three games. In their first three FBS games, the Bears allowed 226.3 rushing yards. . . . Junior Keenan Allen is second in the Pac-12 with 52 receptions — 13 more than all of Stanford’s wide receivers combined.

                                                     — JEFF FARAUDO & JON WILNER



Football: 30 years later, not just Big Game’s birthday; Ex-Cal player penned `Bear Territory’

Sitting on the stairs in Sproul Plaza as a Cal undergrad, Ahmad Anderson said “it didn’t take but a moment” to pen the three short sentences that become the enduring Cal chant, “Bear Territory.”

Every Cal fan is familiar with the cheer: “You know it. You tell the story. Tell the whole damn world this is Bear Territory.”

Anderson wrote it 30 years ago, meaning it shares a birthday of sorts with The Play, which Cal pulled off a month later in the 1982 Big Game against Stanford.

Click here to read the rest.


Football: Dominic Galas to return for Big Game

Senior offensive guard Dominic Galas, sidelined the entire season after surgery for a torn pectoral muscle during the summer, will play in Saturday’s Big Game against Stanford.

“Like anybody, I think he’s a little nervous, but he’s excited,” Cal offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Jim Michalczik said. “You really worry when guys get hurt, it’s hard for them to stay engaged sometimes. He’s been phenomenal.”

Galas started every game at center last season, then was moved to right guard in the spring, with guard Brian Schwenke switching to center. A 6-foot-1, 290-pounder from Modesto, Galas then tore the pectoral muscle lifting weights just before the start of fall camp.

Without him, the Bears’ line has been a work in progress, slow to develop cohesion and consistency. But the line is perhaps coming off its best performance of the season in Cal’s 31-17 win at Washington State.

Galas is not scheduled to start, but will play, coach Jeff Tedford said. Sophomore Chris Adcock is Cal’s starting right guard.
“The team understands that he’s a high-motor, high-intensity game,” Tedford said. “Even before the game he’ll bring some juice because he’s just that type of guy.”

At this point, his availability is a bonus.

“(Galas) gives us some depth there because some of the offensive linemen have been banged up, so he gives you a little bit more of a fresh body in there,” Tedford said.

Michalczik said Galas could see action at any of the three interior offensive line spots, but cautioned that he will be rusty in his first game since last December.

“The thing Dom really provides is he’s got that bulldog attitude,” Michalczik said. “He’s a warrior, a tough kid, a competitor, and you love that about him.”


Football: Pac-12 picks, Week 8

What a league!

Oregon State is unbeaten and ranked No. 8 in the country, despite the fact that its starting quarterback is shelved by a knee injury.

Arizona State is alone top the Pac-12 South, where preseason No. 1 USC sits second.

And the Big Game is in October.

Should be a fun week. A little strange, but fun.

SEASON: 39-16


— No. 2 Oregon at Arizona State, 6 p.m. (ESPN): The Sun Devils (5-1, 3-0) and Ducks (6-0, 3-0) meet in a clash of the Pac-12 South and North division leaders. ASU has been surprising, efficient, impressive. This is a great test, a great opportunity. But it ends here. The Ducks simply have too much firepower and too much motivation to show they’re a national title contender after checking in No. 3 in the initial BCS standings. Oregon 38, Arizona State 24.


— No. 22 Stanford at Cal, noon (Fox): The Bears (3-4, 2-2) have momentum, home-field advantage, more speed, a red-hot Keenan Allen and buckets of motivation. Stanford (4-2, 2-1) has scored just 13 points in each of its past two road games — both losses. So it’s tempting to pick the Bears. But football usually comes down to line play, and the Cardinal may have the edge on both sides of the ball. Stanford 27, Cal 24.

— Colorado at No. 11 USC, 3 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks): Avert your eyes. This could be gruesome. The Buffaloes (1-5, 1-2) are allowing 41.3 points per game, and the damage is 49.3 over the past four. The Trojans (5-1, 3-1) expect to move back into a tie for the top spot in the Pac-12 South with a win here and an ASU loss to Oregon. They’ll handle their part of the equation. USC 48, Colorado 7.

— Washington at Arizona, 7 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks): There is no other team in the nation averaging 37 points and winless in an automatic-qualifier conference. Arizona (3-3, 0-3) fits the bill because its defense is as wretched as its offense is productive. Defense won’t matter as much against the Huskies (3-3, 1-2), who haven’t scored more than 21 points against a FCS opponent. Arizona 38, Washington 21.

— Utah at No. 8 Oregon State, 7:30 pm. (ESPN2): OK, already, I’m a Beaver believer. If OSU (5-0, 3-0) was good enough to beat a solid BYU team on the road with their second string quarterback, they’re good enough to beat the Utes (2-4, 0-3) at home. The Beavers will lose eventually. Not here. Oregon State 27, Utah 14.


Basketball: Marcus Lee to announce school on Wednesday — is he headed to Kentucky?

Deer Valley HS-Antioch LeChet Phillips said that power forward Marcus Lee will announce Wednesday morning whether he will sign with Kentucky or Cal.

Lee visited Kentucky last weekend and reported having loved the experience. He was scheduled to make an official visit to Cal this weekend, although he has made more than one unofficial trek to Berkeley.

Sounds like Kentucky to me.