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63


California (1-10) at (10) Stanford (8-2)



Saturday, November 23, 4 p.m. (et)

The Sports Network

By Phil Neuffer, Associate College Football Editor

GAME NOTES: One of the Pac-12 Conference's premier rivalry games will be held on Saturday as the Stanford Cardinal host the California Golden Bears in the 'Big Game' at Stanford Stadium.

These two programs have met 115 times since first matching up in 1892. In that time Stanford has taken home a victory 58 times, while California has 46 triumphs. There have also been 11 ties. Stanford has won the last three meetings, including a 21-3 win last year in Berkeley.

This is the final game of the year for California, which has gone 1-10 in its first 11 games. Head coach Sonny Dykes, who is in his first year with the program, has changed the offensive scheme but the team is clearly still rebuilding, currently riding a nine-game losing streak. California doesn't even have a win against a FBS squad this year with the lone victory against FCS foe Portland State.

"We have to change a lot of things about our program, but we think we know what we need to do and the changes we need to make," Dykes said while acknowledging his team is looking towards the future. "We're going to get a lot of good players back healthy, which will certainly make a difference for us, and our young guys are going to grow up a year. We're going to have a good football team next year."

The hangover from their stunning upset of Oregon clearly took a toll on the Cardinal, who fell out of first place in the Pac-12 North Division with a 20-17 loss to USC on Saturday. Stanford had just two scores in four red zone trips in the game, with only one of those ending with the Cardinal in the end zone. The loss ended a three-game win streak for Stanford, which is now 8-2 overall and 6-2 in league play. The Cardinal need a loss from Oregon this week or next to get into the Pac-12 championship game.

"November in this conference, there's no comparison to any other conference in the country," Stanford head coach David Shaw said. "People can say what they want to say but it's not even close. To go back-to-back-to-back and play tough games like UCLA and Oregon State and Oregon and USC. It's tough. You have to try to run the gauntlet and it's the only choice you have."

Although the transition has been rough in terms of wins and losses, Dykes has been able to instill his offensive values in his first year. The Golden Bears are fifth in the league in total offense (459.9 ypg) with the bulk of that coming through the air.

Freshman Jared Goff is one of the young players Dykes will be relying on to transform the program in years to come. Goff has turned in a solid first year under center, as he has amassed 3,314 yards on 60.5 percent passing. Goff has only 17 touchdown passes, which is a light total considering how often he has thrown the ball. Against Colorado, Goff threw for just 173 yards on 23-of-45 passing while he recorded his 10th interception of the year.

Goff's favorite targets this season have clearly been Bryce Treggs and Chris Harper. Treggs has 76 receptions for 713 yards and a single score, as he has served as more of a possession receiver. Harper (69 receptions, 840 yards, five TDs) hasn't had tons of explosive plays but he is averaging more than 12 yards per reception. Kenny Lawler (34 receptions, 323 yards, five TDs) has worked himself into the mix recently with improved production.

Running the ball has not been a major priority for the Golden Bears. Bren Bigelow (409 yards, two TDs) and Khalfani Muhammad (400 yards, four TDs) are the primary options when the Golden Bears have turned to the run. Against Colorado, Bigelow rushed for 107 yards and two scores to become the first 100- yard rusher for California this season.

While the offense has show flashes of brilliance, the California defense has shown no such promise. The Golden Bears are last in the Pac-12 in both total defense (522.9 ypg) and points allowed (44.4 ppg). The team is also near the bottom of the conference in sacks (16) and forced turnovers (12). In fact California has the worst turnover margin in the conference (-15). Jalen Jefferson (61 tackles, 3.0 sacks) is tied for the team-lead in sacks and one of a few standouts on the unit.

Stanford hasn't been one of the better offensive teams in the conference but that is nothing new, as the Cardinal continue to rely on a slow-paced, run- first offense. Despite being second to last in the league in total yards (383.6 ypg), the Cardinal are one of two teams in the conference to have more rushing yards than passing.

Tyler Gaffney has carried the offense this season. Gaffney has amassed 1,201 yards and 15 touchdowns on the year, averaging more than five yards per carry. Gaffney's yardage total is the second most in a single season for a Stanford running back trailing the school record of 1,395 set by Toby Gerhart in 2009. Against USC, Gaffney rushed for 158 yards and two touchdowns, accounting for nearly half of the team's entire offensive output.

Kevin Hogan made a pair of poor decisions and paid for them against USC as he was picked off twice. Shaw hasn't asked Hogan to shoulder the offensive load for the Cardinal this year. In all Hogan has thrown for only 1,723 yards and 13 touchdowns, though he has normally been efficient with an even 60 percent of his passes being completed.

When Hogan has dropped back to pass he has relied heavily on Ty Montgomery. The junior wideout has hauled in 45 passes for 662 yards and five scores this season. His reception total is more than double that of Devon Cajuste (22 receptions, 396 yards, four TDs), who is second on the team.

Stanford doesn't need an explosive offense because of its dominant defense. The Cardinal are third in the league in total defense (345.5 ypg) but that doesn't really tell the whole story. The Cardinal lead the league in tackles for loss (78) and are second in sacks (32). At the forefront of that production is Trent Murphy (18.0 TFL, 9.0 sacks) and Shayne Skov (81 tackles, 9.0 TFL, 3.5 sacks).

Even though they may have let their chances at a Pac-12 crown slip through their fingers, the Cardinal are too good a team to lose in back-to-back weeks, especially at home against a California squad that already has its sights set on next year.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Stanford 40, California 10

11/20 10:47:10 ET

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Local
Final
CREI 65
NCCU 45
 
Final
NCSU 68
SFLA 65
3rd
MIA 53
CHA 51
 
3rd
MIA 53
CHA 51
 
Half
MEM 53
LAC 40
 
3rd
BOS 57
POR 57
 
1st
OKC 12
GSW 21
 
9:30pm Tonight
LAL
DEN
Final
GMAS 60
COC 61
Final
FSU 69
UMASS 75
Final
SHSU 53
WOFF 64
Final
UNCG 67
YOUNG 76
Final
CMICH 75
ARKPB 43
 
Final
ILLCH 60
SILL 67
Final
MORE 46
AMER 51
Final
CORN 59
DREX 61
Final
CCST 60
COOK 65
Final
ARKLR 94
CSNO 88
Final
LEH 44
CLMB 54
 
Final
USB 89
MERMAR 54
 
Final
NMU 51
TEXAM 64
Final
STLU 56
TAMCC 62
 
Final
FAIR 80
SD 72
Final
EMICH 79
LONG 48
 
Final
ND 74
PROV 75
Final
RAD 88
CATAWBA 52
 
Final
DEN 80
COPST 54
 
Final
UAB 58
JST 50
 
Final
WICHS 105
NWM 57
Final
OKLA 90
NWST 68
Final
KSU 59
YALE 66
Final
CREI 65
NCCU 45
 
Final
NCSU 68
SFLA 65
Final
UCR 102
STKAT 49
 
Final
PSU 63
USC 61
 
Final
HC 101
NICHOLSCOL 70
 
Final
BC 53
DAY 65
Final
MON 75
TOWS 79
 
Final
HOF 93
WAGN 71
 
Final
CIN 54
EILL 49
 
Final
UGA 74
FATL 61
 
Final
BRAD 58
NCAT 50
 
Final
LATU 76
PBY 48
 
Final
RUTG 76
Terriers 73
 
Final
SAMF 64
UMKC 55
 
2nd
NAVY 70
BING 68
 
2nd
SHU 48
GWEBB 38
 
2nd
UNT 32
IONA 38
 
2nd
KENT 56
MNTST 11
 
2nd
FORD 44
MLOWELL 44
 
2nd
UCF 59
USCU 60
 
Half
SCAR 25
AKR 30
 
1st
WVU 12
UCONN 7
 
1st
CALST 9
DEL 8
 
7:00pm Tonight
HOW
HOOD
 
1st
OSU 15
SHU 5
 
1st
VANDY 15
TENST 6
 
8:00pm Tonight
NE
MAN
8:00pm Tonight
COLST
MERC
8:00pm Tonight
MISS
NARZ
8:00pm Tonight
WASH
PAC
8:00pm Tonight
LMU
SDCHR
 
9:00pm Tonight
CHAR
MIAMI
9:00pm Tonight
ILLST
ODU
9:00pm Tonight
GAELS
UCI
10:00pm Tonight
UCLA
LBSU
10:30pm Tonight
SEAT
MONT
 
Final
WIN 2
STL 4
1st
NYR 0
MON 0
 
8:00pm Tonight
ANA
ARI
9:30pm Tonight
VAN
CHI
Final
HOU 13
CIN 22
Final
ATL 24
CLE 26
Final
NEP 34
DET 9
Final
MIN 21
GBP 24
Final
IND 23
JAC 3
Final
CHI 21
TAM 13
Final
PHI 43
TEN 24
Final
SEA 19
ARI 3
 
Final
SDC 27
STL 24
 
4th
DEN 39
MIA 28
 
Final
SFX 17
WAS 13
 
8:30pm Tonight
NYG
DAL