Football: Big Game preview


RECORDS: Cal 1-10, 0-8 Pac-12; Stanford 8-2, 6-2.

KICKOFF: 1 p.m. at Stanford Stadium.

TV: Fox Sports 1

RADIO: 810-AM, KNBR-1050

SERIES HISTORY: Stanford leads 58-46-11. The Cardinal has won the past three meetings, including 21-3 last season at Berkeley. Cal’s most recent Big Game victory was a 34-28 win at Stanford in 2009.

CAL STORYLINES: The Bears are 31.5-point underdogs and need an upset of historical proportions to avoid their first season without a major college victory since the start of the 1900s … Cal is 0-4 on the road this season, with an average margin of defeat of 26.8 points … With eight projected starters out this week, the Bears’ season total for “missed starts” climbs to 73.

STANFORD STORYLINES: The Cardinal will take the field approximately 30 minutes after kickoff of the Oregon-Arizona game. An Oregon loss, combined with a Cardinal victory, would give Stanford the North division title and a berth in the league championship game … Stanford, which is coming off a 20-17 defeat at USC, has not lost back-to-back games since the 2009 season.

CAL INJURY UPDATE: WR Chris Harper (hip), LB Khairi Fortt (biceps), LB Hardy Nickerson (foot) and CB Isaac Lapite (knee) are out. RB Darren Ervin (shoulder) is probable.

STANFORD INJURY UPDATE: DE Ben Gardner (pectoral muscle) and CB Alex Carter (concussion) are out. K Jordan Williamson (leg) is questionable.

MATCHUP TO WATCH: Cal’s run game vs. Stanford’s defensive front … After struggling on the ground all season, the Bears gained 190 yards against USC and 197 vs. Colorado the past two weeks. Junior Brendan Bigelow rushed for 107 yards at CU — the Bears’ first player to crack 100 yards this season … The Cardinal leads the Pac-12 and is tied for third nationally in run defense (91.6 yards per game) … Over the past three games, Stanford has allowed 1.4 yards per rush … Cal rushed for three yards against Stanford last year..

CAL STATS THAT MATTER: Cal freshman quarterback Jared Goff needs 186 passing yards to break Pat Barnes’ single-season school record of 3,499, set in 1996 … The Bears are last in the conference in turnover margin (minus-1.36 per game) and 11th in sacks allowed per game (3.0 per game.)

STANFORD STATS THAT MATTER: Stanford is second in the conference in sacks (3.2 per game) … The Cardinal has won 14 consecutive home games, the second-longest streak in the nation (South Carolina) … Stanford running back Tyler Gaffney is averaging 157.8 yards per game in the past month.

Jeff Faraudo

  • Juancho

    This San Jose State game is a fun one to watch. David Fales is a great quarterback.

    He’s going to make a great pro. I think he’s the best QB in terms of NFL future from all the guys on the west coast right now. With the exception of Johnny Football.

  • HeteroscedasticBear

    Big Game Today! Win or Lose, I love and support our players. They play for the University of California, Berkeley. Lots to be proud of.

    Go Bears!

  • Gobears49

    I say Cal surprises them today and makes it a close game. Keys will be slowing the Stanford run game, getting our run game going a bit, and no turnovers.

  • Juancho

    The greatest university on earth. An emblem that all Americans should be proud of.

    What we stand for is excellence, and having a path to excellence that is available to all – not just for those born into money or influence.

    A public university. One thing I will always be proud of. No matter where or how you grew up, if you have proven you can be a badass, welcome to Cal.

  • Juancho

    Also. I believe there’s a rumour that Hinder is going to graduate and leave the team. If he gets a series or two today that will be a hint to that effect.

  • Woj

    @ Bobsac Says:
    November 22nd, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    Steve W–I agree on Woj not being a troll. I hate to be judgmental but it is hard not to suspect folks who are still fans of Sonny of being undercover fans of other PAC 12 teams. I mean, if I was a Stanford, UCLA or USC fan I would want Sonny’s contract extended right now to ten years.

    I was that guy! when Teevens and Harris were coaching Stanford. I was saying sign these guys up for an extension. Sadly, Bowlsby – the Stanford AD didn’t listen and cut each loose after 2 seasons regardless of the contract length. He knew Stanford needed a radical change to become a winning team and didn’t wait around long for more losing seasons. He brought in Harbaugh who brought in Shaw and the rest is history.

    Sandy 2fer replaced an overpaid too long contract Tedford who morphed to Tedfraud with a barely over .500 mediocre coach in the WAC. .500 coaches in the WAC as we see translate to winless coaches in the PAC.

    After Cal gets drubbed by an embarrassing 40 today, fire both 2fer Barbour and Dykes and Buh and start over b/c you’d be at rock bottom.

    Sometimes it is better to admit an egregious mistake quickly and heal quicker than prolong that mistake by convincing yourself the injury is not as bad as it seems. Every national writer who didn’t go to Cal is calling the Cal team about the worst in college football.

  • Woj

    In case Woehoe and his ilk missed this in the article…

    The Bears are 31.5-point underdogs and need an upset of historical proportions to avoid their first season without a major college victory since the start of the 1900s


    The Bears need an upset of historical proportions to avoid their first season without a major college victory since the start of the 1900s!!!

    I’m assuming you can read so read this:
    The Bears are trying to avoid their first season without a major college victory since the start of the 1900s

  • wehofx

    #4 True dat!

    #5 oh, good. twitter rumors about possible transfers – if they go, they go. hopeful it’s just AH.

    so hinder is going to do a r wilson, bridgford? If so, good for him. Best of luck, Mr Hinder.

    2 things I want to see from J Goff:

    1) Look off the db’s, ie don’t stare down your primary.

    2) Pump fakes.

    Go Bears! Beat furd!

  • Juancho

    Woj – out of brotherhood, I ask kindly, that you please refrain from sinking to the level of personal attacks and messing with people’s usernames, etc.

    That just fuels the fire of some people accusing you of being the NCsComing guy.

    Let’s keep it above board. There’s a reason why this is the one and only truly great Cal blog.

  • Woj

    Did the Stanford bus arrive at Stanford Stadium safely? A bus mishap is the only way Stanford doesn’t win today’s game and win big. Leave the Axe in the trophy case in Palo Alto. No need to bring it to today’s game.

  • Woj

    As much as it pains me to say, Stanford’s tremendous success these past 3 years simply dispel forever the contention that good/great academic schools cannot win BCS bowls in major college football.

    Cal is not quite in Duke and Stanford’s class academically (check U.S. News Rankings since 1995) any longer but the ‘good/great academics = limited football success’ excuse has been forever exposed.

    I will still root against Stanford every chance I can but their success is still to be admired.

  • Juancho

    Woj, chill on the Cal isn’t a great school thing. You yourself admitted you didn’t attend here. And you’re again giving people who accuse you of being the troll more ammunition.

    One thing is pointing out the weaknesses of our sports. Another thing is trying to bury snide comments about the decay of our academics into the commentary.

    I finished school in 2006. I can tell you it’s still very hard to get in, very hard to do well, very hard to graduate.

    And in case you missed it we had a couple more professors win Nobel’s this year.

    And as someone who coaches 8th graders / freshmen in baseball and takes them on college trips and coaches them on the college application process – I can tell you getting into Cal now is harder than ever, which goes to show just how many people across the world give credence to the value of a Berkeley degree.

  • Juancho

    Stanford is probably better than us in a purely academic space. But from the overall “university” experience that one gets from attending a school for 4 years, Cal is a step above.

    Everything at Cal is on a curve. Not Stanford. My sister attended Stanford. They get mandated hours to visit with academic counselors their first year.

    Anyone here remember getting mandated hours to meet with a counselor their first year at Cal?

    Hell no! Cal is sink or swim. If you can’t cut it, and flunk out b/c suddenly 28/30 is a D because of the curve, too damn bad.

    30k students, all who at one point were probably told they were the smart kid, all who want to kill you in class, all who want to take your job, all who want to be better.

    Stanford? Hand holding private school that provides a cocoon away from the real world.

  • Juancho

    And let us not forget Stanford’s original and racist mascot, the Red Indians.

    A school built on privilege and discrimination.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    Dr. Who’s 50th anniversary! If anyone can aide the greatest upset in the history of the Big Game, it’d be the Doctor.

  • Eric

    The US News & World Report’s rankings are well known for using a methodology that favors private universities (primarily because of the alumni giving percentage and no accounting for the cost of attending). That is why Cal is the number #1 school but not in the top 20, even though it has far better pure academic statistics than many of the schools ranked ahead of it.

    The recent world rankings by Times Higher Education has Cal 8th in the world. Granted, Stanford is 4th, but this is a more realistic ranking system.


    But one way to think about Cal v. Stanford academics is to understand they have radically different missions. One is to serve the public good of California; the other is to engage in research and provide higher learning at a very expensive cost.

    If one were to take the top 1,000 incoming freshman at each school (based purely on academic statistics), I would bet a large amount of money that the statistics of the Cal students would blow away the Stanford students. The reason is that there are a huge number of Cal students who go to Cal because they won’t be saddled with six digit student loans we they are done.

  • Woj

    My cousin went to Stanford and was/is brilliant. I don’t begrudge him that. Stanford is arrogant, elitist, and for the few paying $50K per year to attend them IMO a bad value.

    But sometimes just take off the blue and gold glasses and simply acknowledge when a school is better than Cal which Stanford is marginally in academics and by a country mile in football.

  • al

    Why do you guys waste your time & effort retorting & acknowledging what seems to be 50% trolls in here?
    Kids can get into private schools by having rich parents or connections – see george w bush. They have the $ & the donors to keep it coming. Cal is a public, the best public, university in the world & no one can put up a valid argument against that. It is ridiculously hard to into Cal & if you dont have a g.p.a. >4.25 there’s no use applying. While that sounds brutal it tends to invite those who are academically inclined.

    With regards to Cal football give it a rest on firing everyone. The injuries & lack of experience/depth were too much for any coach in the country to overcome. PERIOD. Yeah, they didn’t show improvement save a handful of players but Cal had TWO starters total who were seniors. If they can stay relatively healthy & return the dozen or so players who either missed the entire or most of the season back in ’13 then it’ll be a different ballgame. If the mentioned guys return & Cal still stinks then it’s purely on the coaches & talks of their removal will be justified.