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Cal Visits Stanford for 108th Big Game
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  11/13/2005

Nov. 13, 2005

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Live Coverage

Television: ABC with Keith Jackson (play-by-play), Dan Fouts (analyst) and Todd Harris (sideline)

Radio: Cal Radio Network (Flagship: KGO AM 810, San Francisco) with Joe Starkey (play-by-play), Troy Taylor (analyst) and Todd McKim (sideline)

Rankings: California and Stanford are not ranked this week.

This Week's Game

California concludes the regular season with a visit to Stanford Saturday for the 108th renewal of the Big Game. The contest kicks off at 4 p.m. from Stanford Stadium and will be televised regionally by ABC.

The Golden Bears are undefeated in the rivalry since Jeff Tedford took the reigns of the Cal program in 2002. Over the ensuing three seasons, the Bears have outscored the Cardinal, 99-29, including a 41-6 decision last fall. No Cal coach has won his first four games against Stanford since Andy Smith took six straight from 1918-23.

The Bears, though, have prevailed just twice on the Stanford campus since 1983 - 46-17 in 1993 and 28-16 in 2003 - and have not claimed consecutive games on the Farm since 1949-51 when Pappy Waldorf directed the team. Now, 6-4 overall and 3-4 in the Pac-10 this season, Cal needs one more victory to assure itself of at least a .500 league record for the fourth consecutive season - a feat that hasn't occurred since 1947-54, also during Waldorf's tenure in Berkeley.

Led by a rushing offense that ranks ninth in the country and second in the Pac-10 (235.60 ypg), the Bears feature two tailbacks within striking distance of 1,000-yard seasons. Sophomore Marshawn Lynch rates 11th nationally with 116.13 ypg, while sophomore Justin Forsett owns a 91.20 ypg average. Lynch has 929 yards on the year, while Forsett is at 912. If the tandem reaches the 1,000-yard mark, they will become only the second Cal duo to do so, joining Anthony Wallace (1,002) and Russell White (1,000) in 1990.

Defensively, Cal leads the Pac-10 in pass efficiency defense (109.57 rating), having allowed just 11 TD passes with 13 interceptions. Although the Bears lost, 35-10, to USC last Saturday, they did not surrender a touchdown pass to Matt Leinart, becoming just the second team this season to keep him out of the end zone (Notre Dame was the other). Junior LB Desmond Bishop - Cal's leading tackler all year - recorded a season-high 12 stops (11 unassisted) against the Trojans. Junior CB Daymeion Hughes added two pass break-ups vs. USC to increase his 2005 total to 11, which ranks sixth on Cal's all-time season list.

Big Game Week Activities

Below are just some of the activities planned for Big Game Week:

Monday
Cable Car Rally, Union Square (San Francisco), 12 noon
Get the Red Out Blood Drive, MLK Student Union (Berkeley), 12-6 p.m.

Tuesday
The Big Sail, St. Francis Yacht Club (San Francisco), 1 p.m.
The Big Sing, Cubberley Auditorium (Stanford), 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday
Guardsman Luncheon, Fairmont Hotel (San Francisco), 12 noon
Laugh Your Axe Off, TBA
Get the Red Out Blood Drive, MLK Student Union (Berkeley), 12-6 p.m.

Friday
The Big Spike (women's vollleyball), Maples Pavilion (Stanford), 7 p.m.
Big Game Bonfire Rally, Greek Theatre (Berkeley), 7 p.m.

Saturday
The Big Splash (men's water polo), Avery Aquatics Center (Stanford), 1 p.m.
The 108th Big Game, Stanford Stadium, 4 p.m.

A Quick Look at Stanford

After defeating Oregon State, 20-17, in Corvallis last week, Stanford enters the Big Game at 5-4 overall, needing one more win to become bowl eligible. The Cardinal are 4-1 on the road this year, but just 1-3 at home. Stanford has played six games decided by four or fewer points, and is now 4-2 in those contests. QB Trent Edwards ranks 10th in school history in passing yards (4,176) and ninth in touchdown passes (28). Flanker Justin McCullum, who caught seven passes for 119 yards at Oregon State, has had three consecutive 100-yard receiving games.

Stanford Head Coach Walt Harris

Walt Harris is in his first season as head coach at Stanford. Prior to accepting his position with the Cardinal, he was head coach at Pittsburgh from 1997-2004 and compiled a 52-44 mark with the Panthers. He guided Pitt to five bowl berths, including a spot in the Fiesta Bowl last year. In addition, Harris was 11-24 in three seasons as head coach at Pacific from 1989-91. He started his collegiate career in 1971 at Pacific, then moved to Cal from 1974-77. Harris has also assisted at Air Force, Michigan State, Illinois, Tennessee, Ohio State and the NFL's New York Jets.

The Grand Finale

The California Golden Bears, now 6-4 overall and 3-4 in Pac-10 play, conclude the 2005 regular season on Saturday when they visit the Stanford Cardinal in the 108th renewal of the Big Game. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. at Stanford Stadium. Stanford is 5-4 overall and 4-3 in league play. Both teams are pursuing postseason prizes.

Bowl Keepsakes

California enters the Big Game bowl eligible, and Stanford is playing for a postseason spot as well. Should both teams receive bowl bids, it would mark the first time since 1996 that California and Stanford have appeared in bowl games during the same season.


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