2013 Big Game
Big Game's early history
The first football meeting between California and Stanford was in 1892. The Cal football program was seasoned, having played football since 1882, but the game was Stanford’s first against another collegiate team. The game ended in a 14-10 Stanford win, and a rivalry was born. The teams continued to play every year through the 1905 season, when both team’s continued their rivalry in rugby games. The Rivalry picked up again in 1919 with a 14-10 Cal victory and has continued every year since (except during World War II 1943-45).
Cal in 2013
The Cal Golden Bears (1-10, 0-8 Pac-12) have fallen on hard times in Sonny Dykes’ first season with just one win on the year -- a 37-30 victory in the second game of 2013 against FCS Portland State. Berkeley started the year off with a close loss to the No. 22-ranked Northwestern Wildcats 44-30 followed by the Portland State victory. Since then, Cal has been mauled by off the field issues and has lost nine consecutive games, the closest a 14-point defeat to Arizona on Nov. 2.
Stanford's 2013 tease
The Stanford Cardinal (8-2, 6-2 Pac-12) season has been somewhat of a tease. With games where Stanford looked like a National Title Contender -- the 26-20 win over No. 3 Oregon on Nov. 7 -- and games that the Cardinal played poorly -- a 27-21 loss at Utah on Oct. 12. Following the Oregon game, David Shaw’s team was ranked No. 4 in the nation and controlled its destiny in the Pac-12 North. That has all changed following last week’s 20-17 loss at USC. No. 9 Stanford is now second in the Pac-12 North, and needs help to make the Pac-12 Championship.
Cal's defense has been abysmal for Sonny Dykes in his inaugural season as head coach. The Bears are giving up an NCAA-worst 44.4 points per game and are ranked No. 120 in yards per game allowed with 522.9. The secondary has been the root of the defensive issues, as the defense is ceding an NCAA-worst 334.1 yards per game, while being ranked in the bottom quarter of the NCAA with 26 passing touchdowns allowed and 14.24 yards per completion. Berkeley’s defense is led by redshirt sophomore linebacker Jalen Jefferson’s 41 solo tackles and team-leading three sacks.
Stanford passing attack
The Cardinal are a run-first team, but when they pass, it’s junior quarterback Kevin Hogan. The Mclean, Virginia native is coming off his worst game this season, where he was 14-for-25 for 127 yards and two costly interceptions. Five of Hogan's 13 touchdown passes have gone to Ty Montgomery, who leads the team with 45 receptions and 662 receiving yards. The explosive junior also ranks No. 11 in the nation in all-purpose yardage (157.9 per game), which includes his 31.2 yard average on kickoff returns (second in NCAA).
Cal's air-raid offense
Berkeley’s air-raid offense calls on freshman quarterback Jared Goff to throw early and often. Goff leads all D1 freshmen passing with 3,314 yards. The Cal offense as a whole is ranked No. 10 in the nation at 333.4 yards per game, and it boasts one of the most talented duos at receiver in the country. Both sophomores, Chris Harper and Bryce Treggs have each topped 70 receptions in 2013. Treggs has 76 receptions for 713 yards and one touchdown, while Harper has 70 receptions for 852 yards and five scores.
The Stanford defense starts with its heralded front seven. Led by Butkus Award semi-finalist and potential first-round draft pick Trent Murphy, the Cardinal defense is tied for fourth in the nation with 32 sacks in ten games. Murphy leads the nation with 12 total sacks. Seniors Josh Mauro and Henry Anderson will man the ends of the Cardinal 3-4 defensive front. On the back end, Stanford is led by junior Jordan Richards and his team-leading six pass deflections and three interceptions. Sophomore Alex Carter and junior Wayne Lyons should man the outsides at corner.
Golden Bear run game
The Golden Bears run game is led by a two-back system consisting of freshman Khalfani Muhammad and junior Brendan Bigelow. Muhammad has seen his workload increase lately with 20 carries for 139 yards and two touchdowns in the last two games. Bigelow had a breakout game last week with 15 rushes for 107 yards and two touchdowns in a loss to Colorado. Bigelow has the potential to break a big run on every play; over his three-year career he is averaging six yards per carry. Overall, Cal ranks No. 101 with a mere 126.6 rushing yards a game.
Stats and notes
Stanford leads the all-time series 58-46-11; Longest Cal win-streak five games -- 1919-1923 and 2002-2006; Longest Stanford win-streak seven games -- 1995-2001; Cal-Stanford tied for the No. 9 most played rivalry in Division I football -- 115 games; Cal’s Jared Goff is 186 yards short of the Cal single-season passing yardage school record; Stanford has a three-game win streak; Cal is 6-4 in the last 10 Big Games.