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Cal Football

Big Game Notes, Quotes and Videos

November 23, 2019

Postgame notes:

  • With the 24-20 victory, Cal improves to 6-5 overall and 3-5 in the Pac-12, becoming bowl eligible for the second consecutive season. If the Bears receive a bid, it will mark the team's first back-to-back bowl appearances since 2008 and 2009.
  • Cal improved to 3-2 on the road this year with victories at Washington, Ole Miss and Stanford. The Bears were also 3-2 in true road games last season. Combined, this will ensure Cal has posted consecutive seasons of at least a .500 record on the road for the first time since 2004 (5-1) and 2005 (3-2).
  • Bears are now 11-2 in games when QB Chase Garbers has played more than half the contest and are 11-6 in games he has started.
  • The win was Cal's first in the Big Game since a 34-28 decision over then-No. 14 Stanford on Nov. 21, 2009, in Stanford Stadium.
  • Chase Garbers finished the game 20-of-30 passing for 285 yards and a touchdown, He was also Cal's leading rusher with 72 yards on 13 tries, including a 16-yard run for the winning touchdown with 1:19 remaining.
  • With 13 tackles, Evan Weaver moved up to second on Cal's single-season, now with 164 stops. He passed his career high of 159 set last season. Hardy Nickerson owns the school record with 167 tackles from 1985.
  • With his 13 tackles, Weaver reached double figures in 10 of 11 games this year and in 17 of 18 games dating back to last season.
  • Nikko Remigio set his career high with 9 receptions for a career-best with 157 receiving yards. He becomes Cal's first 150-yard receiver since Vic Wharton III had 156 yards vs. North Carolina on Sept. 2, 2017. He is also the first Cal player to have at least 150 yards receiving in the Big Game since Geoff McArthur had a school-record 245 yards in 2003.
  • Christopher Brown Jr. scored on a 6-yard rush late in the first quarter, his sixth rushing TD of the season and ninth overall touchdown.
  • Cal's 90-yard drive for a touchdown in the first quarter was its longest of the year in terms of time (6:02).
  • Greg Thomas kicked a career-long 49-yard field goal in the second quarter. His previous long was 47 yards against both UC Davis and Arizona State earlier this year.
  • Cameron Goode had two quarterback sacks to give him 6.5 on the season.
  • Cal's defense picked off two interceptions in a game for the first time this season. Daniel Scott recorded his first career pick in the third quarter, while Jaylinn Hawkins had his second of the year and ninth of his career later in the period.
  • Camryn Bynum tied his career high with 12 tackles, passing his previous best of nine.


Cal head coach Justin Wilcox

On what the win means to th players and Cl fan base:

I'm not sure I can do it justice. The emotion on the field, with so many people, obviously our team and what it means to them and us and our coaching staff and our support staff. And you go to the university and the students and faculty members. And then you have the alumni. And it's just unbelievable to feel that energy after the game. There's nothing like it. I can't say that there is. So to be able to put it into words is very difficult. But being able to see everybody, our players, the joy in their faces and our fans and alumni, it's a really special moment.

On message to team after game:

Well, we talked last night in our team meeting about some things, about how hard it's probably going to be to win this game, and the toughness and grit that it's going to take. And I think it's exactly how it went. And we talked about during the game there's going to be moments where you've got to fight through some pain and some fatigue, and talking about that it's going to be worth it. And so we decided after the game that it absolutely was worth it to fight through it. And I just think everybody on the team and coaching staff and everybody involved had a part in it, which is really special.

On Big Game win and bowl eligibility:

They're both huge. I mean, they really are. Because to be able to get a win and get the Axe back and what that means to the players and our institution, it's a big deal. It is. And then to get bowl eligible and have a chance to win a bowl game, and now we've got to get ourselves in the best bowl game we possibly can, but it's huge for our program and the development of our program. There's just a lot of -- there's a lot of things that a bowl game means to a team. And so to get them both at the same day, it's special.

On his takeaway from the postgame celebration on the field:

The energy and joy in people's faces. That's what I wanted to soak up, just looking at everybody enjoy that moment. That's really what, I guess, appreciate. So seeing that and the people and the fans and old and young and our players and all those people, it just -- that's a really special moment.

On any comparable moment in his career?

Oh, geez, that's hard. I would have a hard time ranking them. It's up there. Q. Could you talk about Garbers' performance today, particularly on the final drive?

Final drive summary:

Gutsy, tough. We really, on both sides of the ball today it wasn't always clean. It was kind of gritty and we would kind of stub our toe from time to time. And I thought he and a number of guys, but he -- whether it was extending plays with his feet and getting tough yards scrambling, it wasn't always on schedule. And to make some of the throws that he made on the last drive and then the scramble for the touchdown, those are huge plays. And I think people are going to be talking about that drive for a while.

On how the defense turned things around in the second half 

When we go watch the tape, it's going to be the smallest things. In the third quarter we got some takeaways. We had some chances for some other big plays, kind of missed a sack, missed another opportunity for an interception and made a nice one. And Jayhawk made an unbelievable play down there. On offense, we couldn't quite get it going and there was -- penalties set us back or a negative play. And then maybe we missed on something. And that's the way this game is going to go. And we kind of knew that going in, that the margins were going to be slim. But the guys just stayed with it. There's moments where it is a little frustrating. You want to get some more things going, but you've got to keep fighting and scratching and clawing and that's what they did.

On WR Nikko Remigio’s game:

Awesome, again, just tough. He's playing through some things right now health-wise, like a lot of guys. But I thought he just competed and made huge catches. By far his most productive game since he's been here. Some of the coverages they were running, it kind of lent itself to getting him the ball in certain routes. So he did a great job. And also on some of the broken plays, getting himself open and Chase locating him and getting them.

Cal QB Chase Garbers:

On winning the Big Game:

It was awesome. What it means for this team and this Cal community is something special. And after 10 years of not having the Axe we finally got it back. Q. Can you talk about the winning touchdown run? What happened on that play? CHASE GARBERS: I mean, it was designed pass play, turned into a broken play. Found a crease in the defense to make a run and receiver's down field blocking was huge.

On his thoughts when running for the game-winning td:

Honestly, I think I was just excited I had a rushing touchdown. Haven't ran the ball in the end zone for a while. But obviously after that we knew we were up. And they had some time left on the clock. So it wasn't too exciting, but it was overall.

On the talk in the huddle on last drive: 

Really in the huddle we just kept saying we've done this before. Going all the way back to Washington, a game-winning drive. And we do it in practice against our defense all the time. And I think Nikko was yelling, let's go make history right here. But I think we just had to go execute.

On the postgame celebration:

I saw a bunch of people rushing the field and a lot of people jumping. I was trying not to get knocked over. But it was awesome to see the Cal fans get up on the field and celebrate with us because it really means a lot to them and us.

On receiver Nikko Remigio’s game:

Nikko did a great job. He was missing a couple of games due to injury, but he played one of his best games I've ever seen him play today. And awesome to have a wideout like him who is so versatile.

On sideline completion to Travon Clark on final drive:

We knew we were getting man coverage on the outside all game, and the opportunity was there to take a shot downfield. And I just had to put it in Tray’s vicinity. I knew he was going to come down with it.

On when he knew he could play and how excited he was to play in the Big Game:

I knew later this week. And I mean obviously playing against Stanford is huge, being a Cal Bear. So, obviously I was very excited to get back here again with the guys.

On second straight year of bowl eligibility:

Personally I mean it's awesome. I think as a team it's huge because that was one of our goals in the beginning of the year, to be bowl eligible. And to get that sixth win against Stanford is also pretty big. Last year it was against SC, another big rival, so it's awesome.

On getting back the axe:

Yeah, it's been about a decade, yeah, about a decade since we last won. So I think winning this definitely makes a statement in the history of the Big Game and going forward.

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