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Cal Football

Cal routs Stanford in Big Game, 41-11

November 20, 2021
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Putting on an offensive show for the ages, Cal overcame some early mistakes and routed Stanford 41-11 Saturday in the 124th Big Game in Palo Alto.

Big Game records fell as the Bears reclaimed the Axe for the second time in three years. They piled up an astounding 636 yards of total offense, 284 passing and 352 rushing. The Cal ground game wasn’t “Three Yards and a Cloud of Dust’, it was “Three Yards and See You Later”.

Cal had numerous runs of more than 20 yards including one for 76 yards by Marcel Dancy and a 75-yarder by Chris Brooks, who totaled 131 rushing yards on 13 carries.

Meanwhile the Cal defense held Stanford to 287 total yards, a mere 43 on the ground. The Bears showed their character with a c0uple of early goal-line stands as Stanford twice passed up easy field goal attempts to seek touchdowns and were rebuffed.

“It was a special moment for our players, our staff, administrators, everybody and especially the fans. There is nothing like that,” head coach Justin Wilcox said.

The Bears (4-6. 3-4 Pac-12) retained their longshot hopes for bowl eligibility. They must win their remaining two games, at UCLA next Saturday night and USC at home Dec. 4. Judging from the Bruins running roughshod over the Trojans Saturday afternoon, the first one won’t be easy. 

Should the Bears falter, last weekend’s fiasco at Arizona will loom large, not only for this season but for all-time. That is a win that should have been Cal’s for the taking had it not been for the bureaucratic antics that cost the Bears 44 players.

Offenses that work as well as this should spend the Holidays preparing for the postseason, not wrapping gifts.

It is obvious that Cal’s devious offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave spent his time off the last two weeks drawing up plays on the chalkboard. The Bears used double-passes and double reverses and all sorts of offensive chicanery. Some worked, some didn’t but they were all great fun. Were it not for some turnovers and costly penalties the stats would have been even gaudier.

Chase Garbers, who despite some early rough spots is having one of the better quarterback seasons of all time, was 17-for-26 on his passing for 246 yards and two TDs,

“With the number of guys who made plays today on offense, starting with Chase, throughout the receiver group, running backs,. tight ends. it was really impressive,” Wilcox said. “The number of contested plays, where guys are breaking tackles, making contested catches, Chase putting it on the money. That’s what it takes.”

On Stanford’s second scrimmage play, Lu-Maggia Hearns picked off Tanner McKee’s pass at the Cal 27. But before the celebration had quieted, Damien Moore had fumbled the ball away on the Bears first play.

Stanford drove as far as the Bears’ 2, but on 4th-and-2 Elijah Hicks stopped McKee at the 1 and the Bears’ took over. 

Garbers directed a drive that advanced as far the Stanford 8. He completed four passes and ran a couple of times for big gains to help the advance. 

But a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct (a late block) on Nikko Remigio pushed Cal back to the 19 and Garbers pass was picked off Jonathan McGill in the end zone. McGill, who had been sidelined until this game because of injury, ran the ball out to the Cal 20.

Again Stanford mounted an impressive drive, reaching the Cal 3 as the first quarter ended.

But the Bears again stiffened and the Cardinal turned the ball over on downs.

 

Three plays were required to reach the 16 yard line, and only one to go the rest of the way. Garbers hit a wide open Trevon Clark in the middle of the field and the wide receiver galloped unthreatened to the end zone. The 84-yard play is the longest pass reception in Big Game history.

Cal forced a punt on Stanford’s next possession and put together and 80-yard TD drive. The big play was Monroe Young’s spectacular catch of a 30-yard pass that put the ball at the 1-yard line. Christopher Brooks caught a TD pass on the next play.

Stanford got itself a little momentum at the end of half. Taking a Cal punt on its 45 with 34 seconds left. Stanford got to the Bears 14 and kicked a field goal as time expired.

The Bears drove into Stanford territory on their first two drives of the third quarter but stalled each time and Longhetto kicked field goals. 

But the third time, Marcel Dancy found an opening on the left side of the Cal line, roared past the Stanford secondary and out ran everyone to the end zone, 74 yards in all.

The Cardinal got their act together on the next drive and went 93 yards on 13 plays. The 2-point conversion made the score 27-11 and gave Stanford a brief flicker of hope.

But a desperation onside kick attempt backfired, allowing the Bears to begin their next drive inside the Cardinal 40. Four plays later Marcel Dancy scored from the 2. 

Things just rolled from there as the Cal defense stopped the Cardinal cold while the offense added to Stanford’s misery with another touchdown.

Notes

  • The interception Garbers threw in the first quarter was his first in 127 games.
  • Josh Drayden played in his 53rd career game, a school record.
  • Cal  held an opponent scoreless in the first quarter for the seventh time this season.



 

Discussion from...

Cal routs Stanford in Big Game, 41-11

1,649 Views | 5 Replies | Last: 12 days ago by heartofthebear
79 Bear
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127 games?! Wow, he's been here longer than I thought.
UrsineMaximus
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Is this post a Big Game prank? Some furdie breached BI's site...127 games!!!
JimSox
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Okay okay. He meant 127 passes, not games. But you knew that.
JadenceBear
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Quote:

... last weekend's fiasco at Arizona will loom large, not only for this season but for all-time. That is a win that should have been Cal's for the taking had it not been for the bureaucratic antics that cost the Bears 44 players.

Agree w/ the sentiment but nitpicks: Arizona game was two weekends ago. Also Cal was out 24 players for that game. The 40+ players out was for the USC game prior to being postponed.
heartofthebear
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JadenceBear said:


Quote:

... last weekend's fiasco at Arizona will loom large, not only for this season but for all-time. That is a win that should have been Cal's for the taking had it not been for the bureaucratic antics that cost the Bears 44 players.

Agree w/ the sentiment but nitpicks: Arizona game was two weekends ago. Also Cal was out 24 players for that game. The 40+ players out was for the USC game prior to being postponed.
Plus if Cal had showed up for the home game against WSU and special teams had showed up earlier in the year, the Arizona game would not matter.

As much as some like to portray Cal as victim, they are mostly of victim of themselves.

However, that was a new Cal energy and culture in PA last night.
So I'm hoping they take it the rest of the way.
As big as this big game was, it only makes next Saturday in the Rose bowl bigger. Hopefully they play like a rose bowl team.
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