Don't have an account? Click Here

DeRonnie Pitts could
become just the fourth
player in school history to
record over 1,000 yards
in a season.

The 101st Big Game

Stanford and Cal resume one of college football's greatest rivalries.

November 15, 1998

THE CARDINAL: Stanford ended its six game losing streak with a 38-28 win over Washington State last Saturday at Stanford Stadium ... The Cardinal will be looking for its fourth consecutive Big Game win when it travels to Berkeley on Saturday for the 101st meeting with California ... The Big Game is tied for the 10th longest rivalry in college football ... Stanford won last year's game 21-20 and has not lot to Cal since a 24-23 defeat in Berkeley in 1994.

Stanford (2-8, 1-6) at Cal (5-5, 3-4)
The 101st Big Game

Saturday, November 21, 1998 - 12:30 pm
Memorial Stadium (75,028)
Berkeley, Calif.


Mon,  Nov. 16   Press Conference         Planet Hollywood      11:00 am
Tues, Nov. 17   East Bay Stanford Club   Scott's Restaurant     7:00 pm
Wed., Nov. 18   Guardsman Luncheon       S.F. Fairmont         11:30 am
Wed,  Nov. 18   Gaities Memorial Aud.                           8:00 pm
Thu., Nov. 19   Bond Club Luncheon       S.F. Fairmont         11:30 am
Thu., Nov. 19   Gaities Memorial Aud.                           8:00 pm
Thu., Nov. 19   Big Game Rally           Arrillaga Plaza       10:00 pm
Fri., Nov. 20   Council of Chiefs        Sheraton Palo Alto     7:00 am
Fri., Nov. 20   San Jose Luncheon        S.J. Fairmont         11:30 am
Fri., Nov. 20   Gaities Memorial Aud.                           8:00 pm
Sat., Nov. 21   Stanford-Cal Water Polo  Diablo Valley College  8:00 am

THE SERIES: The Cardinal and Golden Bears have met 100 times on the gridiron, with Stanford holding a 50-39-11 advantage ... The Cardinal has won three of the last four meetings at Memorial Stadium, including a 42-21 victory in 1996 that assured Stanford a berth in the Sun Bowl ... Stanford has also won the last three Big Games overall and seven of the last nine since 1989 ... Stanford is 10-4-1 in the last 15 meetings with the Golden Bears dating back to 1983.

CLOSE CALLS: The Stanford-California rivalry has proved to be one of the most exciting in college football since it began in 1892 ... Of the 100 games, an amazing 47 have been decided by seven points or less, with Stanford holding a 20-16-11 advantage in those games ... Even more impressive, 29 Big Games have been decided by three points less, with Stanford enjoying a 10-8-11 edge.

A YEAR AGO - THE 100TH MEETING: The Cardinal and Golden Bears renewed their rivalry for the 100th time on November 22, 1997 befor a sold out crowd of 85,500 at Stanford Stadium ... From the naming of the All-Big Game Team to the Big Auction, which raised over $2 million, the rivalry that started in 1891 had indeed transcended the field ... Stanford also made it a day to remember by snapping a five-game losing streak with a 21-20 victory ... The Cardinal took an early 13-0 lead on a 41-yard interception return by Corey Hill and a 13-yard run by Anthony Bookman ... Stanford then went on to take a 21-10 halftime lead after Chad Hutchinson connected with Troy Walters on a 36-yard touchdown pass ... The Golden Bears cut the deficit to 21-18 with 4:44 remaining, and then drove to the Stanford 33 with less than two minutes to go before Stanford's Chris Draft picked off a Justin Vedder pass with 1:22 remaining ... The Cardinal took a saefty with 19 seconds remaining, and held on from there to win its third straight Big Game.

FINAL GAME FOR SENIORS: Nine Stanford players will conclude their collegiate careers in the 101st Big Game ... The departing seniors include FL Jeff Allen, OT Brian Donoghue, OG Andrew Kroeker, P/PK Kevin Miller, OG Matt Motherway, PK Patrick Shinnefield, OLB Donnie Spragan, OLB Brian Toner and OT Geoff Wilson.

THE WALTERS WATCH: Despite being limited for several games this season due to an ankle injury, FL Troy Walters has still manage to put together an outstanding season ... Walters has played in just five full games this year, has missed two full games (North Carolina, Oregon), played in one quarter of another (Arizona), two quarters of another (USC) and just two plays in a game at Notre Dame ...Despite that limited amount of playing time, Walters has put together a season worthy of post-season recognition ... He had seven catches for 143 yards and one TD last Saturday vs. WSU, giving him 43 receptions this season for 774 yards (18.0 ypc) and four TDs ... Walters, who has another year of eligibility remaining, is on the verge of becoming the school record holder for most career receiving yards ... He is currently third all-time with 2,424 career receiving yards ... He needs 59 yards to break Justin Armour's record of 2,482 ... Walters, who set a Stanford record by catching 86 passes for 1,206 yards in 1997, currently ranks 24th in the NCAA and third in the Pac-10 in receiving yards per game at 96.8 ... He caught 10 passes for 192 yards against second-ranked UCLA on October 31,his fourth 10-plus reception game of his career and second in a row (10 catches for 131 yards vs. ASU) ... The 192 receiving yards in a game tied James Lofton as the fourth best single game performance in Stanford history ... Walters has played in just fivefull games this season (San Jose State, Oregon State, Arizona State, UCLA, WSU), during which he has 39 receptions for 696 yards (17.8 ypc) - a per game average of 7.8 catches for 139 yards ...Walters suffered an ankle sprain in the first quarter of the second game of the season vs. Arizona (September 12) and did not return to the starting lineup until game six vs. Oregon State (October 10) ... Walters, the son of Minnesota Vikings assistant coach Trent Walters, has a year of eligibility remaining in 1999 and could contend for every Cardinal receiving record by the time he leaves The Farm.

WALTERS IN THE RECORD BOOK: Troy Walters moved into fourth place on Stanford's all-time reception list with 161 and his 2,424 receiving yards places him third all-time on the Farm ...He is just one reception behind Vincent White (1979-82) for #3 on the all-time receptions list ... As noted earlier, he needs just 59 yards to become the school's all-time leader in career receiving yardage ... He moved past Damon Dunn (1994-97) for the #7 slot on the school's career all-purpose yards chart with 3,351 yards ...Walters is now tied with Emile Harry (1981-84) for eighth on the school's touchdown reception list with 15 ... Against WSU last Saturday, he hooked up with Joe Borchard on an 80-yard touchdown reception - which ranks tied for the seventh longest TD pass play in school history ... All of his accomplishments have been achieved in less than three years ... He has started only 17 games in his Cardinal career (all 11 in 1997, six in 1998).

Career Receptions                Career Receiving Yardage
1. Darrin Nelson, 1977-81  214   1. Justin Armour, 1991-94   2,482
2. Brad Muster,   1984-87  194   2. Ken Margerum,  1977-80   2,430
3. Vincent White, 1979-82  162   3. Troy Walters,  1996-98   2,424
4. Troy Walters,  1996-98  161   4. Darrin Nelson, 1977-81   2,368
5. Jeff James,    1984-87  154   5. Ed McCaffrey,  1986-90   2,333
   Justin Armour, 1991-94  154   6. Brian Manning, 1993-96   2,280
7. Ed McCaffrey,  1986-90  146      Emile Harry,   1981-84   2,270
   Glyn Milburn,  1990-92  141   8. Jeff James,    1984-87   2,265
   Chris Walsh,   1988-91  141   9. Tony Hill,     1973-76   2,225
   Ken Margerum,  1977-80  141  10. Mike Tolliver, 1979-83   1,825
HUSAK'S NUMBERS: Quarterback Todd Husak is closing in on Stanford's elite 3,000 club - a club that consistes of only Steve Stenstrom (3,627 in 1993) and John Elway (3,242 in 1982) ... Husak's 2,806 passing yards in 1998 leaves him just 194 yard shy of joining both Stenstrom and Elway as the only quarterbacks in school history to throw for over 3,000 yards in a season ... The 2,806 passing yards is already the sixth highest single season total in school history ... Husak is also among the school's single season top-10 in attempts (second with 410) and completions (ninth with 216) and is two touchdowns shy of the top-10 ... He currently ranks 15th in the nation and third in the Pac-10 in total offense, averaging 276.9 yards per game ...He also leads the conference in passing yards per game at 280.6 ... Husak has thrown for 3,590 yards in his career, leaving him just four yards shy of number-10 on Stanford's career passing chart (John Brodie, 1954-56, 3,594 yards) ... Husak has thrown for over 300 yards four times this season and over 400 on two occasions ... He had his first 300-yard passing game against North Carolina on Sept. 19 when he completed 23-for-38 for 313 yards ... In the first half, Husak completed 16-of-24 for 227 yards and one TD ... His next 300-yard passing game occurred vs. Oregon State (October 10) when he broke the school's single game record by throwing for 450 yards on 26-of-48 ... Three weeks ago at Arizona State, he threw for 335 yards and two TDs (24-of-48) ... Against second-ranked UCLA (October 31), he thew for 419 yards - the third highest single game total in school history ... Husak placed his name in the Cardinal record book by throwing 54 passes - the sixth highest single game total in school history - and the most under head coach Tyrone Willingham, in his debut as the starter in the season opener vs. San Joe State ... He completed 29-of-54 for 298 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions against the Spartans ... Husak was not officially named the Cardinal's starter until September 1, just four days before the season opener ... His 298 yards passing in his starting debut was better than the debuts of the top eight passers in Stanford history, including John Elway in 1980 (250 yards) and Heisman Trophy winner Jim Plunkett in 1968 (277 yards) ... Husak's father, Dr. Bill Husak, is the athletic director at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

In The Record Book

Season Passing                  Season Attempts          Season TD Passes
1. Steve Stenstrom, '93 3,627   1. Stenstrom, '93  455   1. Elway,     '80   27
2. John Elway,      '82  3,242  2. Husak,     '98  410      Stenstrom, '93  27
3. Steve Dils,      '78  2,943  3. Elway,     '82  405  10. Plunkett,  '70   18
6. Todd Husak,      '98  2,806     John Paye, '85  405      Husak,     '98 16

HUSAK SETS PASSING RECORD: Quarterback Todd Husak broke a 20-year old Stanford record for most passing yards in a game when he threw for 450 against Oregon State (October 10) ... Husak, in his first year as the Cardinal's starter, eclipsed the previous record of 430 set in 1978 by Steve Dils ... Husak completed 26-of-48 against OSU to go along with TD passes of 27 yards to DeRonnie Pitts and 30 yards to Dave Davis ... Husak also has the third highest single game total in school history- a 419 yard performance last week against UCLA

Top-10 Passing Games

1. Todd Husak, '98 vs. OSU     450    5. S. Stenstrom,   '94 vs. UCLA      408
2. Steve Dils, '78 vs. WSU     430    7. John Elway,     '82 vs. Ohio St.  407
3. Todd Husak, '98 vs. UCLA    419    8. S. Stenstrom,   '93 vs. Oregon    407
4. John Elway, '81 vs. Purdue  418    9. S. Stenstrom,   '93 vs. OSU       407
5. John Paye,  '85 vs. Oregon  408   10. Jason Palumbis, '90 vs. SJSU      387

HUSAK IN THE PAC-10 RECORD BOOK: Todd Husak's 450 passing yards against Oregon State is the 10th highest single game total in Pac-10 Conference history ... Husak also entered the conference record book in the OSU game, but was quickly replaced ... He ran his string of consecutive passes without an interception to 159, breaking the Pac-10 season record of 150 set in 1996 by Pat Barnes of Cal ... Later in the game, however, Husak's record was broken by the Beavers' Terrance Bryant, who ran his string to 170 before being intercepted.

PASSING ATTACK: Stanford's passing attack in 1998 is likely to finish as the second most productive in school history ... The Cardinal has thrown for 3,217 yards and is just 142 away from holding that #2 spot ... The school record of 3,709, set in 1993, appears to be too far out of reach for the Cardinal with just one game remaining ... Stanford will set the school and Pacific-10 Conference record for most passes attempted in a season when it throws its third pass next Saturday vs. Cal ... Currently , the Cardinal has thrown 472 passes ... The school and conference record of 474 was set in 1993 ... Stanford has thrown over 40 passes in nine of its 10 games, including three games in which it threw over 50 passes ... Currently, Stanford is ranked first in the Pac-10 and eighth in the NCAA in passing.

Top Passing Teams in Stanford History

    Year  Head Coach/Quarterback          Yards
1.  1993  Bill Walsh/Steve Stenstrom      3,709
2.  1994  Bill Walsh/Steve Stenstrom      3,358
3.  1982  Paul Wiggin/John Elway          3,311
4.  1981  Paul Wiggin/John Elway          3,066
??  1998  Tyrone Willingham/Todd Husak    3,560 (projected)

AIR CARDINAL: Stanford's 450 passing yards vs. Oregon State on October 10 and the 422 yards on October 31 at UCLA represents two of the top four passing games in Stanford history ...The school record is 581 yards through the air in 1981 vs. Arizona State with John Elway at quarterback ... Number-two is the 450 yards vs. OSU, number-three is a 430 yard performance in 1978 vs. Washington State and the fourth highest single game passing total in school history is the 422 yards vs. UCLA on Oct. 31

PITTS' PLACE: Junior DeRonnie Pitts, in his first year as a starting wide receiver, is attempting become only the fourth player in school history to record over 1,000 receiving yards in a season ... He has caught 68 balls for 943 yards and seven touchdowns in 10games ... He needs just 57 receiving yards vs. Cal on Saturday to reach the 1,000 plateau ... He is also just two receptions away from becomming only the fourth player in school history to record 70 receptions in a season ... His 68 catches this season is currently tied with Vincnt White (1982) or fourth on Stanford's single season list and his 943 yards ranks fifth ... His per game averages of 6.8 receptions and 94.3 yards are among the best in college football ... He ranks 11th in the nation and second in the Pac-10 in receptions per game, and 27th nationally and fourth in the conference in receiving yards per game ... Pitts caught seven passes for a career-best 169 yards vs. Arizona State ... The 169 receiving yards is tied for 15th on Stanford's single game list ... Pitts recorded four straight 100-yard receiving games (Oregon,Notre Dame, Oregon State, Arizona State) during which time he caught 34 passes for 563 yards (16.5 ypc) and four TDs ... A native of Saginaw, Michigan, Pitts redshirted the 1996 season and was used in a reserve role last year, recording 13 receptions for 195 yards (15.0 ypc) and one touchdown in eight games.

Season Receiving Yards

1. Troy Walters,     1997   1,206    6. Ken Margerum,  1978   942
2. Gene Washington,  1968   1,117    7. Chris Walsh,   1991   934
3. Justin Armour,    1994   1,092    8. James Lofton,  1977   931
4. Mark Harris,      1995     984    9. Ed McCaffrey,  1990   917
5. De Ronnie Pitts,  1998     943   10. Tony Hill,     1975   916
DAVIS DETAILS: Sophomore WR Dave Davis, who redshirted as a freshman a year ago, has turned in an outstanding season in his first year of playing college football ... Davis,who missed last Saturday's game with Washington State due to a hip injury and is listed a day-to-day for the Big Game, has caught has caught 48 passes for 707 yards and six touchdowns in nine games as a Cardinal ... Those numbers are better than the first nine games of each of the top 10 receivers in the Cardinal record book ...Davis' 5.3 receptions per game rank him 46th in the nation and sixth in the Pac-10, and his 78.6 receiving yards per game place him 44th in the NCAA and ??? in the Pac-10 ... On October 10 against Oregon State, he recorded career bests for both receptions (nine) and receiving yards (151) ... He has three 100-yard receiving games this season (127 vs. Arizona, 108 vs. North Carolina, 151 vs. Oregon State).

SMITH'S STATUS: Senior free safety Tim Smith propeled himself into the Cardinal record book in game, season and career interceptions after his performance last Saturday vs. Washington State ... Not only does Smith lead the team with 102 tackles and is third in the Pac-10 with a 10.2 tackles-per game average, but after he picked off three WSU passes on Saturday to run jis season total to five, he is now tied for first in the conference and tied for 10th in the nation in interceptions (.50 per game) ... Smith joined four other Cardinal players who have intercepted at least three passes in a game (school record is four by Bobby Grayson in 1934) ... Smith is also tied for ninth on Stanford's single season list with five INTs and his nine career interceptions place him in a tie for seventh all-time on The Farm ... In the last five games, Smith has 52 tackles, five interceptions, a blocked punt, two tackles-for-loss and a pass break-up ... Smith had 12 tackles and a blocked punt against Arizona State and a career-high 15 tackles (all unassisted) October 10 vs. Oregon State followed by the UCLA game in which he had 1l tackles, one interception and one pass break-up ...Smith, who redshirted the 1995 season as a quarterback, had 28 tackles, four interceptions and three sacks in '96 as the backup free safety ... He suffered an ACL injury in the second game of the '97 season and did not return ... Smith, a native of Coalinga, Calif., has one more year of eligibility in 1999.

SPRAGAN'S SPREE: Conider the two halves of OLB Donnie Spragan's season: through the first six games, Spragan had 16 tackles, one tackle for loss, no quarterback sacks,two interceptions and two pass deflections ... In his last four games, however, he has accounted for 37 tackles, five pass break-ups, three quarterback sacks, eight tackles-for-loss and one interception ... After recora season high 11 tackles vs. USC two weeks ago, Spragan came back to register another season high of 13 against Washington State last week ... He also had a career best five tackles for loss against the Cougars to along with one quaterback sack ... For the season, the 6-4 senior has 53 tackles, nine tackles for loss, three sacks, three interceptions and seven pass deflections.

Spragan's 2 seasons...

                    UT-AT-TT     TFL   Sacks   INT PD
Through 6 games      10-6-16    1- 3     0-0    2   2
The last 4 games    26-11-37    8-34    3-21    1   5
10-game totals      36-17-53    9-37    3-21    3   7

EIDE'S STORY: The story of Cardinal running back Jon Eide is one for the movies ... In his third year in the Stanford football program, the diminutive (5-6) walk-on from Kirkland, Washington had not played a down prior to the '98 season ... He worked his way into a special teams player in 1998 - he has recorded five total tackles - but had still not received playing time at runing back ... Last Saturday vs. WSU, Eide got his chance ... With injuries depleting the Cardinal running back chore, Eide got the call in the fourth quarter to take over at running back ...Hs first carry went for 11 yards ... Three plays later, Eide's second carry was another 11-yard gain, this one going to the end zone for a touchdown, pulling Stanford within seven points at 28-21 ... For the game,Eide carried the ball six times for 26 yards.

TYRONE WILLINGHAM: Cardinal head coach Tyrone Willingham, the 1995 Pac-10 Coach of the Year, has compiled a 21-23-1 record in three-plus years on The Farm (1995-98) ... He has led the Cardinal to two bowl appearances and is only the third coach in school history to lead Stanford to a bowl game in his first two years on The Farm (the other two are Tiny Thornhill in 1933 and '34 and Bill Walsh in '77 and '78) ... Willingham spent 17 years as an assistant coach on the college and professional levels - including three as Stanford's running backs coach under Denny Green from 1989-91 - before being named Stanford's head coach on Dec. 9, 1994 ... Willingham is 6-0 as an assistant coach and head coach in The Big Game, winning all three times as an assistant from '89-91 and all three as a head coach from '95-97.

MILLER TIME: Senior Kevin Miller broke the school record for most punting yards in a career as he surpassed Paul Stonehouse's (1989-92) total of 9,512 ... Miller, who had 429 punting yards vs. WSU on Saturday, now has 9,694 carer punting yards ... Miller has 241 career punts and needs three to pass Stonehouse's school record of 243 ...Miller is the only kicker in recent history to hold down the starting punting duties for four years and the starting placekicking duties for three years ...He is sixth all-time at Stanford with 26 career field goals (on 43 attempts) and is ninth in career PATs with 67 (on 71 atttempts) ... This season, Miller is nine-for-13 in field goals, 28-of-29 on PATs and is aeraging nearly 40 yards per punt.

YOUTH MOVEMENT: To say that the 1998 Cardinal began the season with a team lacking in game experience is an understatement ... Consider the facts: of the 92 players on Stanford's opening day roster, 54 had never played in a college game and only six were seniors in their final year of eligibility ... Nine players (4 offense, 5 defense) made their starting debuts against San Jose State in the season opener and 18 others played in their first collegiate game ... Making their first career starts against the Spartans were WR DeRonnie Pitts, QB Todd Husak, RB Coy Wire, FB Maxwell Stevenson, DE Sam Benner, NT Andrew Currie, DE Riall Johnson, FS Jamien McCullum and CB Ruben Carter ... Six true freshman and 18 sophomores (or redshirt freshman) have also played this season ... In Willingham's three previous seasons at Stanford, only two true freshman had played - and neither one played enough to earn a letter (Todd Husak and Juan-Carlos Lacey in '96) ... This season, no less than six true freshman have seen playing time: RB Brian Allen, WR Ryan Fernandez, OG Eric Heitmann, SS Tank Williams, ILB Cooper Blackhurst, CB Brian Taylor

McLAUGHLIN CONTINUES STREAK: Center Mike McLaughlin, bothered by a sprained foot the past two games,, continued his streak by starting in his 31st consecutive game against UCLA ... A senior from San Jose, California, McLaughlin suffered the injury in Stanford's Oct. 10 game vs. Oregon State ... He did not practice prior to the ASU game on Oct. 22, but he recovered enough by gametime to be inserted into the lineup ... He played sparingly in the second half, however, with sophomore Zack Quaccia taking most of the snaps ... Mclaughlin played most of the game last week at UCLA ... McLaughlin, who has another year of eligibility remaining after the '98 season, has been Stanford's starting center every game since the beginning of the 1996 campaign ... He is attempting to become the first Stanford offensive lineman to start every game of his career since guard Andy Papathanassiou (1986-89) and center Andy Sinclair (1985-88).


TV and Radio Information
TV  KGO (Channel 7 in Bay Area)
    Live, 12:30 pm
    Barry Thompkins (play-by-play)
    John Robinson (analyst)
Radio KTCT (1050 AM)
    Ted Robinson (play-by-play),
    Bob Murphy (analyst)
    10:30 am pst  pre-game
    KZSU (90.1 FM) - student

Stanford (2-8, 1-6)

  9/5  San Jose State            L, 23-35   
 9/12  Arizona*                  L, 14-31    
 9/19  North Carolina (Fox)      W, 37-34
 9/26  at Oregon* (FSBA)         L, 28-63
 10/3  at Notre Dame (NBC)       L, 17-35
10/10  Oregon State*             L, 23-30
10/22  at Arizona State* (Fox)   L, 38-44 (ot)
10/31  at UCLA* (FX)             L, 24-28
 11/7  USC* (Fox Syn.)           L,  9-34
11/14  Washington State*         W, 38-28
11/21  at California* (KGO)      12:30 pm

California (5-5, 3-4)

  9/5  Houston                   W, 14-10    
 9/12  Nebraska                  L,  3-24  
 9/19  at Oklahoma               W, 13-12
 9/26  Washington State*         W, 24-14
10/10  at USC*                   W, 32-31
10/17  at Washington*            L, 13-21
10/24  UCLA*                     L, 16-28
10/31  at Oregon State*          W, 20-19
 11/7  at Arizona Sttae*         L, 22-55
11/14  Arizona*                  L, 23-27
11/21  Stanford* (KGO)           12:30 pm

Pac-10 Standings

                Pac-10  Overall
UCLA              7-0     9-0
Arizona           6-1    10-1
Oregon            5-2     8-2
USC               5-2     7-3
Arizona State     4-3     5-5
Washington        3-4     5-5
California        3-4     5-5
Stanford          1-6     2-8
Oregon State      1-6     4-6
Washington State  0-7     3-7

Big Game Notebook

  • The Big Game is tied for the 10th longest rivalry in NCAA Division 1-A college football history ... This year's 101st meeting puts the Big Game tied with Purdue-Indiana for 10th on the all-time list ... The top-10 list of longest rivalries in college football is listed below:

    Includes 1998

    Games Teams First Game 108 Minnesota-Wisconsin 1890 107 Missouri-Kansas 1891 105 Nebraksa-Kansas 1892 105 Texas-Texas A&M 1894 104 Baylor-TCU 1899 103 North Carolina-Virginia 1892 103 Miami (Ohio)-Cincinnati 1888 102 Auburn-Georgia 1892 102 Oregon-Oregon State 1894 101 Stanford-California 1892 101 Purdue-Indiana 1891

  • Stanford head coach Tyrone Willingham has been a part of six Big Games - and has won them all ... As a Cardinal assistant coach from 1989-91, Stanford won all three games ... As a head coach, Willingham has beaten Cal in each of the past three years.

  • Stanford-Cal coaching ties include Cardinal linebacker coach Kent Baer, a Cal assistant from 1987-91, Cal head coach Tom Holmoe, a Stanford assistant under Bill Walsh in 1993-94 Cal offensive line coach Monte Clark, an assistant under Walsh from 1993-94 and Cal offensive coordinator Doug Cosbie, yet another Stanford assistant under Walsh from 1993-94.

  • To the winner of the Big Game goes "The Axe"... The Axe made its first appearance at a Stanford-Cal baseball game on April 13, 1899, but it wasn't until 1933 that the two universities decided that The Axe would be a trophy given to the winner of The Big Game.

  • The Big Game was interrupted from 1915-18 and again from 1943-45 (World War II) ... When the two schools disagreed over freshman eligibility, athletic relations were severed from 1915-18 ... Stanford's "Big Game" became their annual rugby match with Santa Clara.

  • The first Big Game was played on March 10, 1892 at the Haight Street Grounds in San Francisco ... Cal had fielded a team for 10 years, but for upstart Stanford University, which opened on October 1, 1891, this was to be their first intercollegiate football game ... Stanford pulled off the upset, beating the more experienced Bears 14-10.

  • Next season will mark the first time since 1986 that Stanford does not conclude its regular season against California ... After hosting the Golden Bears on November 20, Stanford will play Notre Dame on The Farm on November 27.


    Location: Berkeley, California
    Enrollment: 30,000
    Nickname: Golden Bears
    Colors: Blue and Gold
    Chancellor: Robert Berdahl
    Athletic Director: John Kasser
    Head Coach: Tom Holmoe
    Record at Cal: 8-13 (3rd season)
    Overall Record: Same
    1998 record: 5-5 (3-4 Pac-10)
    1997 Final Record: 3-8 (1-7 Pac-10)
    SID: Kevin Reneau (510) 642-5363

    Noting the Golden Bears
    California is coming off a 27-23 home loss to Arizona on Saturday ... Cal needs to defeat Stanford in the Big Game to be eligible for postseason play ... The Golden Bears boast one of the top defenses in the Pac-10, and rank third in the conference in total defense and third in pass defense ...Junior linebacker Sekou Sanyika also leads the Pac-10 in tackles-for-loss with 23 ... The Golden Bears are led by quarterback Justin Vedder (2,088 yards and 11 TDs in '98; 2,718 yards and 20 TDs in '97) and wide receiver Dameane Douglas, who has a single season school record 87 receptions this season for 1,026 yards ... Douglas leads the Pac-10 in both receptions and receiving yards per game ...Last season, California jumped out to a 2-0 start under first-year head coach Tom Holmoe, but dropped eight of its last nine to finish 3-8 ... But Cal returned 48 letterwiners and 18 starters (7 offense, 9 defense, 2 kickers) from that '97 squad, and jumped out to a 4-1 start in '98.

    Head Coach Tom Holmoe
    Former Stanford assistant and San Francisco 49er Tom Holmoe is in his second year at California, and has the Golden Bears in position to record their first winning season since 1993 (9-4) ... He won three Super Bowl rings as a part of the San Francisco 49ers from 1983-89, before spending two seasons as an assistant coach at BYU (1990-91) ... Holmoe then served as Bill Walsh's secondary coach on The Farm from 1992-93, which included victory in the Blockbuster Bowl ... Holmoe then served two seasons as an assistant for the 49ers (1994-95) and one year as Cal's defensive coordinator (1996), before replacing Steve Mariucci as head coach prior to last season.

    Series History
    The Cardinal and Golden Bears began their storied rivalry in 1892, and have renewed acquaintances on the gridiron 100 times (Stanford holds a 50-39-11 advantage) ... The schools have played annually since 1946, afer taking a three-year break for World War II ... Stanford goes into Saturday's game with a 21-17-6 mark in Berkeley.

    Stat Rankings

    Category               Avg.   NCAA/Pac-10
    Rushing Offense        82.1     110/10
    Passing Offense       321.7       8/1
    Total Offense         403.8      33/4
    Scoring Offense        25.1      52/7
    Rushing Defense       202.3      97/10
    Pass Eff.  Defense    143.6      99/10
    Total Defense         468.1     104/10
    Scoring Defense        37.1     106/10

    California Category Avg. NCAA/Pac-10 Rushing Offense 90.6 105/9 Passing Offense 211.0 55/8 Total Offense 301.6 92/10 Scoring Offense 18.0 98/10 Rushing Defense 148.2 48/6 Pass Eff. Defense 109.0 24/3 Total Defense 343.4 38/3 Scoring Defense 24.1 50/4

    Individual Stat Rankings

    Todd Husak, Total Offense/gm (276.9)
                15th NCAA, 3rd Pac-10
    Todd Husak, Pass Efficiency (119.6) 
                50th NCAA, 4th Pac-10
    DeRonnie Pitts, Receptions/gm (6.8)
                11th NCAA, 2nd Pac-10
    Troy Walters, Receptions/gm (5.38)
                44th NCAA, 5th Pac-10
    Dave Davis, Receptions/gm (5.33)
                46th NCAA, 6th Pac-10
    Troy Walters, Receiving yds/gm (96.75)
                24th NCAA, 3rdPac-10
    DeRonnie Pitts, Receiving yds/gm (94.3)
                27th NCAA, 4thPac-10
    Dave Davis, Receiving yds/gm (78.56)
                44th NCAA, 9th Pac-10
    Tim Smith, Interceptions/gm (0.50)
                tied 10th NCAA, tied 1st Pac-10

    California Justin Vedder, Total Offense (195.1) 46th NCAA, 5th Pac-10 Demeane Douglas, Receptions/gm (8.7) 3rd NCAA, 1st Pac-10 Demeane Douglas, Receiving yds/gm (102.6) 15th NCAA, 1st Pac-10 Deltha O'Neal, Kickoff Returns (28.25) 8th NCAA, 3rd Pac-10

    Noting Stanford ...

  • Stanford used three quarterbacks in Saturday's win over WSU ... Starter Todd Husak (12-for-28, 142 yards, TD) was replaced in the second half by Joe Borchard (8-of-19, 162 yards, TD) while Randy Fasani, Stanford's "goal-line quarterback" scored two rushing touchdowns ... Borchard connected with Troy Walters on an 80-yard scoring pass and led the Cardinal to 24 fourth quarter points.

  • Three Cardinal defensive ends suffered injuries in last week's game against Washington State ... Riall Johnson (ankle), Sam Benner (knee) and Marcus Hoover (neck) all left the field last Saturday and are listed as day-to-day for The Big Game.

  • Stanford will lose just one starter on defense (OLB Donnie Spragan) and two on offense (RG Andrew Kroeker, RT Geoff Wilson) off this year's team ... The Cardinal will head into the '99 campaign with 19 returning starters: 10 on defense and nine on offense.

  • Stanford, which leads the Pac-10 in passing, last led the conference in passing in 1994 ... The Cardinal's 321.7 yards passing per game is far ahead of #2 Oregon, which averages 297 yards per game.

  • Only four times in Stanford history (1951-97) has the Cardinal rushed for less than 1,000 yards in a season - but that's exactly where the '98 Cardinal are headed ... Stanford has gained just 821 yards on the ground this season ... The school record (as far back as records indicate) is held by the 1993 team that gained 700 yards ... Oddly enough, that '93 team also set the school record for most passing yards in a season at 3,709 ... Stanford gained just 825 rushing yards in 1983, 941 in 1985 and 994 in 1989.

  • Stanford has scored at a 78% clip in the Red Zone while its opponents have scored at a 85% rate ... In 37 trips in the Red Zone, Stanford has scored 29 times (20 TDs, nine FGs) ... Opponents,however, have scored 24 TDs and four field goals in 33 trips in the Red Zone.

  • Stanford is 13-0 in games it out-rushes its opponents under Tyrone Willingham ('95-98).

  • The Cardinal's starting five offensive lineman have combined to start 134 games over the past four years, including all 10 in 1998 ... Leading the way is C Mike McLaughlin, who has started the past 33 games ... OT Geoff Wilson and OG Andrew Kroeker have started 29 each, OT Jeff Cronshagen has started 25 and OG Joe Fairchild 18.

  • Stanford ranks first in the Pac-10 in both fewest penalties and fewest penalty yards ... The Cardinal have been penalized just 64 times for 461 yards in 10 ganes ... The #2 teams in both categories have registered 77 penalties for 676 yards.

    In the Record Book

    Season Passing

     1. Steve Stenstrom   1993   3,627
     2. John Elway        1982   3,242
     3. Steve Dils        1978   2,943
     4. John Elway        1980   2,889
     5. Steve Stenstrom   1994   2,822
     6. Todd Husak        1998   2,806
     7. Jim Plunkett      1970   2,715
     8. John Elway        1981   2,674
     9. Jim Plunkett      1969   2,673
    10. John Paye         1985   2,589
    Career Passing
     1. Steve Stenstrom   1991-94  10,531
     2. John Elway        1979-82   9,349
     3. John Paye         1983-86   7,669
     4. Jim Plunkett      1968-70   7,544
     5. Guy Benjamin      1974-77   5,946
     6. Jason Palumbis    1988-91   4,954
     7. Chad Hutchinson   1996-97   4,235
     8. Mike Boryla       1970-73   4,082
     9. Dick Norman       1958-60   3,737
    10. John Brodie       1954-56   3,594
        Todd Husak        1996-98   3,590
    Season Total Offense
     1. Steve Stenstrom    1993    3,398
     2. John Elway         1982    3,104
     3. John Elway         1980    2,939
     4. Jim Plunkett       1970    2,898
     5. Steve Dils         1978    2,871
     6. Jim Plunkett       1969    2,786
     7. Todd Husak         1998    2,769
     8. Steve Stenstrom    1994    2,714
     9. Mark Butterfield   1995    2,581
    10. John Paye          1985    2,549

    Season Receptions

     1. Troy Walters       1997   86
     2. Brad Muster        1985   78
     3. Gene Washington    1968   71
     4. DeRonnie Pitts     1998   68
        Vincent White      1982   68 
     6. Justin Armour      1994   67
        Darrin Nelson      1981   67
     8. Chris Walsh        1991   66
        Glyn Milburn       1990   64
    10. Ed McCaffrey       1990   61
        Brad Muster        1986   61
        Chris Burford      1959   61
        Greg Baty          1985   61

    Career All-Purpose Running

     1. Darrin Nelson      1977-81   6,885
     2. Glyn Milburn       1990-92   5,857
     3. Vincent White      1979-82   4,662
     4. Brad Muster        1984-87   4,624
     5. Anthony Bookman    1994-97   3,874
     6. Mike Mitchell      1993-97   3,731
     7. Troy Walters       1996-98   3,350
     8. Damon Dunn         1994-97   3,210
     9. Jeff James         1984-87   2,659
    10. Ron Inge           1973-76   2,635

    Great Big Games

  • The Big Game has produced a number of thrilling, down-to-the-wire games, including four that were decided on the game's final play ... Below are just some of the many highlights in Big Game history.

    November 17, 1990 - Stanford scored nine points in the final 12 seconds to pull out a 27-25 win in perhaps the most exciting Big Game in history ... Stanford's Jason Palumbis hit Ed McCaffrey for a 19-yard TD with 12 seconds remaining in the game to bring Stanford within a point at 25-24 ... When the ensuing 2-point conversion attempt failed, Cal appeared to have the victory ... But, the Cardinal recovered the onsides kick and after a 15-yard Cal penality put the ball on the Bear's 22, Stanford's John Hopkins hit a 39-yard field goal as time ran out to lift the Cardinal to a stunning 27-25 victory.

    November 19, 1988 - Stanford's Tuan Van Le blocked a 20-yard field goal attempt by Cal's Robbie Keen with four second to play to preserve a 19-19 tie ... It was the 11th tie in Big Game history.

    November 20, 1982 - The Play became one of the most famous plays in college football history. Stanford led 20-19 after Mark Harmon kicked a 34-yard field goal with four seconds left to put the Cardinal on top. On the ensuing kickoff, Cal scored a touchdown on an incredible five-lateral, 57-yard return that ended when the Bear's Kevin Moen bowled over Gary Tyrell, the trombonist in the Stanford band, for the TD.

    November 20, 1976 - In a game that saw five lead changes, Stanford , behind its alternating QB tandem of Mike Cordova and Guy Benjamin, beat Cal 27-24. The Bears led 24-19 late in the game, but Cal's Markey Crane fumbled on the Bear's two yard line and with 1:31 left in the game, Stanford's Ron Inge scored the winning TD ... It was the final game for Stanford head coach Jack Christiansen.

    November 23, 1974 - Stanford won 22-20 when Mike Langford connnected on a 50-yard field goal in the waning moments of the game ... Cal's Steve Bartkowski hit Steve Rivera for a TD with 26 seconds to play, but Guy Benjamin need just 19 seconds to put Stanford in field goal range.

    November 18, 1972 - Cal won 24-21 on the game's final play - an 8-yard TD pass from Vince Ferragamo to Steve Sweeny ... Cal coach Mike White elected to go for the win rather than a short field goal for the tie.

    November 22, 1947 - In what was considered the best Big Game to date, the 50th meeting between Stanford and Cal almost produced an unthinkable upset ... Winless Stanford (0-8) had the 8-1 Bears down 18-14 with less than three minutes left in the game ... But, Cal QB Jackie Jensen hit Paul Keckley on an 80-yard TD pass play to lift Cal to a 21-18 win.

  • #gostanford