The Big Game: Stanford at Cal

The Stanford band played before the game, and the drummers were
inexplicably wearing Deadmau5 costumes.
I get enough of this nonsense at DEMF, thanks.
© Matt Cohen 2010

Saturday was the 113th edition of the Big Game, the yearly football game
between Cal and Stanford. A rainy forecast combined with the more-or-less
common knowledge that it wasn't going to be that much of a game kind of
put a damper on a lot of the enthusiasm the Big Game usually creates.
Personally, having seen firsthand what rivalry games are like in the SEC,
nothing else really compares.

Still, for the players, it is important, and when the teams came face to face
before kickoff, much smack was talked, and a Stanford player was even
ejected for slapping a Cal player. Here Cal defensive back Chris Conte and
teammates jump up and down and yell things.

© Matt Cohen 2010

Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck really dominated the game, both running
and throwing the ball.
© Matt Cohen 2010

Cal's Brock Mansion continued to struggle though he did have a nice play
here, stepping around the rush to find Shane Vereen.
© Matt Cohen 2010

Stanford's defense managed to keep Vereen bottled up, holding him to
just 63 yards. Here Stanford safety Taylor Skaufel knocks Vereen out of bounds.
© Matt Cohen 2010

Cal receiver Marvin Jones went for a couple of big plays: © Matt Cohen 2010

Rumors are circulating that Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh will be leaving
at the end of the season for a more high-profile job. He didn't have a whole
lot to complain about on Saturday, but that didn't stop him...
© Matt Cohen 2010

Two plays after Harbaugh's tantrum, cornerback Richard Sherman intercepted
a Mansion pass deep in Stanford territory, surely stopping Cal from scoring
at least a field goal. I'd like to personally thank Sherman for turning directly
into the light to celebrate.
© Matt Cohen 2010

Late in the first half, as I was cursing the fact that almost all of the plays had
been going away from me, one came right at me. Andrew Luck fired a pass
to wide receiver Doug Baldwin who was sandwiched in tight double coverage
from Cal cornerbacks Bryant Nnabuife and Sean Cattouse. All three went up for
the ball and despite juggling it on the way down, Baldwin managed to control
the ball before he hit the ground.

© Matt Cohen 2010

Last seen pulling a Superman over a pile of lineman,
Stanford running back Stepfan Taylor gets a lift after scoring his third
touchdown of the game.
© Matt Cohen 2010

As time wound down I managed to get a picture of Luck with his helmet
off, joking around on the bench. As the consensus #1 pick in next year's
NFL draft, (as a sophomore) this was likely Luck's last Big Game.

© Matt Cohen 2010

The University of Washington comes to town to play Cal in their last regular
season game. Cal needs a win to be bowl-eligible, and that should make it
a good game to shoot.