NCAA

Ray's Top 25: Stanford takes big leap

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Ray's Top 25: Stanford takes big leap

Every week, our Senior Decider votes in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, which of course makes all other opinions both superfluous and valueless.

RELATED: Stanford's standing improves in BCS chaos

1 OREGON Finally up a service break. Up next, thre meat of schedule -- Stanford and Oregon State 2 KANSAS STATE The odd one out if Notre Dame can flex its BCS muscle. Up next -- at Baylor 3 NOTRE DAME Hard on the eyes, easy on the resume. Up next -- Wake Forest, a schdudle strength problem 4 OHIO STATE If Urban Meyer enjoys hunting in January, the animals will flee in terror. Up next -- at Wisconsin 5 ALABAMA Well, ain't that a kick in the head? Up next -- Western Carolina 6 TEXAS A&M Say it slowly, Deshazor Everett . . . Deshazor Everett . . . Deshazor Everett. Up next -- Sam Houston State 7 GEORGIA Well, they won their half of the bracket. Next up -- Georgia Southern. And yes, the SEC is taking the week off 8 FLORIDA Louisnana Lafayette is a good team. Just not that good. Up next -- Jacksonville State 9 FLORIDA STATE I remember when winning at Virginia Tech was a big deal. Up next -- at Maryland 10 SOUTH CAROLINA Arkansas, feh. Up next -- Wofford. And when the SEC takes the week off, it takes the week off. 11 CLEMSON Dabo Swinney still wants to drown Steve Spurrier in a puddle. Up next -- North Carolina State 12 LOUISIANA STATE Mississippi State got the good LSU. Up next -- Mississippi, an actual SEC team. 13 STANFORD This may be a rental because . . . Up next, at Oregon 14 LOUISVILLE Syracuse? Really? Syracuse? Yes, Syracuse. Up next -- wailing and gnashing of teeth 15 OKLAHOMA Baylor got to linger longer than it should have. Up next -- at West Virginia 16 OREGON STATE Oh, well, another year, another not-Rose Bowl. Up next -- California 17 KENT STATE The one MAC survivor. Up next -- at Bowling Green 18 TEXAS Darrell Royal approved of the trick Wishbone play to start Saturday's game. Up next -- a round of whist 19 RUTGERS Disrespected our fighting men. Up next -- at Cincinnati 20 NORTHERN ILLINOIS An excellent bye week, in that they stayed out of the news. Up next -- Toledo on Wednesday 21 UCLA Gave Washington State a bit too much respect. Up next -- USC, a team they never respect 22 LOUISIANA TECH Allowed 55 to Texas State, so Sonny Dykes isn't all that happy. Up next -- Utah State in a big one 23 NEBRASKA Okay, okay, I give up. They can come back and play. Up next -- Minnesota 24 TOLEDO David Letterman sang tearfully after the Rockets' failure. Up next -- at Northern Illinois 25 CINCINNATI Two losses, but one of them came to Toledo. Up next -- Rutgers

Limping Love leads Stanford to Big Game win over Cal

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AP

Limping Love leads Stanford to Big Game win over Cal

BOX SCORE

PALO ALTO — Bryce Love rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown despite missing most of the fourth quarter after aggravating an ankle injury, and No. 20 Stanford held off California 17-14 on Saturday to keep its Pac-12 title hopes alive.

K.J. Costello completed 17 of 26 passes for 185 yards and a touchdown, Ben Edwards made a key interception in the fourth quarter and Cameron Scarlett rushed for 49 yards on the final drive in place of Love to help the Cardinal (8-3, 7-2 Pac-12) milk the clock and win its eighth straight Big Game.

Stanford can earn a spot in the Pac-12 championship game against USC but needs some help.

The Cardinal can get there if No. 15 Washington State loses to No. 16 Washington next week. If the Cougars — who beat Stanford 24-21 on Nov. 4 — beat the Huskies, they get the nod because of the tiebreaker.

The nation's leading rusher going into the game, Love was held in check most of the game by Cal's defense and sat out the final 11:43 after re-injuring his ankle that has bothered him for the past month. He did stay on the field long enough to score a 57-yard touchdown — his 11th run of 50 yards or longer this season.

Scarlett, Love's primary backup all season, also came up big for Stanford. Scarlett rushed for 61 yards, the majority coming on the Cardinal's last drive that took the final 7:25. Scarlett's 2-yard gain on 4th-and-1 kept the drive going.

Patrick Laird ran for 153 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries while Ross Bowers passed for 182 yards and a touchdown for California. The Golden Bears (5-6, 2-6) need a win in their final game to become bowl eligible in coach Justin Wilcox's first season.

THE TAKEAWAY

California: The Bears made the Cardinal sweat and kept the game a lot closer than many thought possible. Wilcox's defense did a good job bottling up Love most of the game but couldn't stop Scarlett on the final drive which was huge. Still, there are plenty of positives for Cal to take out of this one.

Stanford: It wasn't the best game for David Shaw's team but the Cardinal gritted it out and held off a pesky Cal team that had plenty to play for. The conference title can still happen but before that Stanford has a pretty big game coming up against Notre Dame.

UP NEXT

California: Ends the regular season at UCLA on Saturday.

Stanford: The Cardinal stay home and will host No. 9 Notre Dame on Saturday. Stanford has won the last two and six of last eight against the Irish.

Former Cal running back suffers scary spine injury, taken to hospital

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AP

Former Cal running back suffers scary spine injury, taken to hospital

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The New Orleans Saints say running back Daniel Lasco has feelings in his extremities after suffering a spinal injury making a tackle on a kickoff return during today's game at Buffalo.

Lasco was loaded into an ambulance on the field and taken to a hospital.

He was hurt six minutes into the second quarter when he appeared to lower his head while tackling Bills returner Brandon Tate. 

Lasco played four seasons at the University of California, Berkeley. He gained 1,471 yards from scrimmage with 14 touchdowns his junior year. In 2015 as a senior, Lasco was limited to nine games and only totaled 355 yards. 

The Saints selected Lasco in the seventh round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

The Associated Press contributed to this report