The Big Game: California at Stanford 11/19/11

For the second year in a row, the "Big Game" between Stanford and Cal was a sloppy mess of intermittent rain. As a photographer, I don't mind shooting in the rain because it can produce interesting pictures, but the on-again-off-again rain had me putting on and taking off my camera covers to the point of distraction. Eventually I just left them on so I could focus on shooting. Stanford came out flat after watching their national championship hopes fizzle with last week's loss to Oregon. Cal led for a bit and came back to make it close in the end before falling 31-28. I made it a point to shoot a bunch of panning pictures, both on special teams and plays from scrimmage, and here are a few kick returns at 1/20-1/40th:

Mike Manuel

Ty Montgomery

Ty Montgomery

Jeremy Stewart

Andrew Luck's Heisman chances took a hit with the loss to Oregon, but he played well enough to help Stanford beat Cal:

Andrew Luck

Ty Montgomery opened the scoring for Stanford with this 34-yard touchdown run:

Ty Montgomery & Marc Anthony

Stanford's secondary has endured several injuries, but still managed to largely contain Cal's speedy receivers:

Johnson Bademosi & Marvin Jones

Corey Gatewood & Keenan Allen

Still, it's difficult to keep Cal receiver Keenan Allen away from the ball:

Keenan Allen & Michael Thomas

Michael Thomas & Keenan Allen

Oh Jeff Tedford...

Jeff Tedford

As a rivalry game, the hits always seem harder:

D.J. Campbell & Ryan Hewitt

Ben Gardner & Zach Maynard

Ryan Hewitt pulled in a short pass from Luck and turned it into a six points:

Ryan Hewitt

Cal has been iffy at quarterback, and transfer Zach Maynard has added some speed and athleticism but hasn't been the answer they were looking for:

Zach Maynard & Isi Sofele

Zach Maynard

With Stanford leading 31-21 inside two minutes, Cal drove down the field on the back of running back C.J. Anderson who eventually dove for a touchdown to get Cal within three points.

Myles Muagututia, Jarek Lancaster & C.J. Anderson

C.J. Anderson

Cal's onside kick was recovered by Stanford and that was the game. Stanford hosts Notre Dame on Saturday in their final regular season game.