BERKELEY WINS THE BIG GAME! The Axe returns to it’s rightful home…No Rose Bowl for Stanford

November 22, 2009

7 out of the past 8 years, CAL has beat Stanford...

That made my evening…

First, I want to express who B.S. it is that Versus showed the Big Game. This is a game that is made for network T.V. There is no reason to deny anyone the pleasure of seeing the hatred between these two schools and the resulting battle on the field.  With the game of the cable channel Versus, most of the crew could not watch the game, because we have DirecTV.  Comcast owns Versus and they have been licensing the right to show it on DirecTV.  But, in some contract dispute, Comcast took it’s ball and went home.  They claim that DirecTV (who owns an exclusive contract with the NFL to broadcast the games)  That means that the conference that the crew follows (Pac-10 all day) can have hit or miss coverage of the games.  For me, fortunately, I was in Chicago, and the hotel at the Residence Inn has regular cable, so they have Versus.

Scoring Summary
TD 13:24 Toby Gerhart 61 Yd Run (Nate Whitaker Kick) 0 7
TD 04:46 Toby Gerhart 2 Yd Run (Eric Whitaker Kick) 0 14
FG 00:53 Vince D’Amato 21 Yd 3 14
TD 00:45 Shane Vereen 1 Yd Run (Vince D’Amato Kick) 10 14
TD 09:55 Shane Vereen 4 Yd Run (Vince D’Amato Kick) 17 14
TD 03:50 Shane Vereen 3 Yd Run (Vince D’Amato Kick) 24 14
TD 00:12 Toby Gerhart 1 Yd Run (Eric Whitaker Kick) 24 21
TD 13:14 Marvin Jones 12 Yd Pass From Kevin Riley (Vince D’Amato Kick) 31 21
TD 07:01 Toby Gerhart 5 Yd Run (Eric Whitaker Kick) 31 28
FG 02:42 Vince D’Amato 28 Yd 34 28

ESPN provides some context to the score.

It was over when… Cal’s Mike Mohamed intercepted a pass from Stanford QB Andrew Luck at the 3 with less than 2 minutes left.
The game was a back and forth campaign in the second half.  The defense stepped up really big and forced the redshirt QB Andrew Luck into some bad throws.  Considering that the game started off with Stanford going up 14-0, the defense really kept its composure late.
Gameball goes to… Shane Vereen. The Cal back rushed for a career-high 193 yards and three touchdowns on 42 carries.

This is a dude who really wants it.....

What a beastly game Vereen had.  While all the pregame accolades went to Toby Gerhart, and rightfully so, people forget about Shane, like the forgot about Dre.  We all know how that went when people started doubting Dre.  This game fully cemented that if Jahvid Best takes his show to the NFL, that CAL will be just fine at the running back position.  This the hard running of Vereen, that stat below makes more sense.

Vereen has responded with the two best games of his career the past two weeks in wins over Arizona and Stanford. Running effectively off direct snaps in Cal’s form of the wildcat, Vereen overpowered the Cardinal. The Bears drove more than 70 yards on four consecutive TD drives starting late in the second quarter, three ending with short runs by Vereen.

“I never carried that many times and never thought I’d carry that many times,” Vereen said. “I just had so much emotion, I didn’t think about any tiredness or pain.”

Stat of the game… 19:14. The difference in time of possession as Cal held the ball for 39:07 compared to Stanford’s 20:53.
ESPN continues with some perspective and maybe some understanding on why the D stepped up so much in the victory.
We’ve heard a lot of talk about, ‘Oh, they’re going to go to the Rose Bowl,’ ” Mohamed said. “We felt like they were overlooking us a little bit. For us to come out and to prove all these guys wrong, it feels good. And we’re keeping the Axe in Berkeley another year. You can’t get much better than that.”And it’s tough to imagine a better Big Game than one that had Rose Bowl implications, memorable performances by Vereen and Stanford’s Heisman contender Toby Gerhart, curious coaching decisions and a most dramatic finish.


The curious coaching decision was that Harbaugh went for a 4th and 8 that missed and gave CAL great field position, which they turned into a field goal 2ith 2:42 remaining in the game.  But, that left CAL only up six, with plenty of time for the coach who was nicknamed Captain Comeback as a player.  But, the interception on the 13 closed out the game.

One mans glory, is another mans pain, and it belongs to Toby Gerhart, who did everything in his power to win the game.

This marked the third time this season that the Cardinal lost a game in which they led by at least 14 points. This one was especially painful because it came against Cal and ended the team’s Rose Bowl hopes. Stanford would have been eliminated anyway when Oregon beat Arizona 44-41 in double overtime, but now the Cardinal can’t even share the conference title.

“This one hurts,” Gerhart said. “Everybody takes pride in winning this game. The season has been decent and getting to a bowl game is nice but we had greater goals than that. When all is said and done we’ll have an empty pit in our stomach that we didn’t get the Axe back.”

The parties are less fun when you lose.  Stanford, you just got caught up in the hype… Welcome home AXE!

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