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Defending The Axe
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 11/18/2013
No. 10/12 Stanford Cardinal (8-2 • 6-2 Pac-12)
California Golden Bears (1-10 • 0-8 Pac-12)
November 23, 2013 • 1 p.m. (PT)
Stanford Stadium (50,424) • Stanford, Calif.
Television • Live national broadcast on FOX Sports 1 with Justin Kutcher (play-by-play), James Bates (analyst) and Brady Poppinga (sideline).

Radio • Live coverage on Stanford’s flagship station – KNBR 1050 AM – with Scott Reiss ’93 (play-by-play), Todd Husak ’00 (analyst) and John Platz ’84 (sideline). All radio broadcasts begin one hour prior to kickoff with the Cardinal Tailgate Show and conclude with the post-game Cardinal Locker Room Report. The game can be heard live on Stanford student radio – KZSU 90.1 FM – and online at Sirius Satellite Radio (channel 111) and XM Satellite Radio (channel 198) will carry a national broadcast.

Live Stats • Live in-game statistics will be provided via

Polls • Stanford (10th - AP, 12th - USA Today, 9th - BCS) • Cal (NR - AP, NR - USA Today, NR - BCS)

On the Web • • •

Social Hour • • • #GoStanford
Inside the Huddle
• Stanford returns to The Farm for its final two regular season home games with the Cardinal hosting Cal (Nov. 23) and Notre Dame (Nov. 30). The Big Game kicks off at 1 p.m. (PT) Saturday on FOX Sports 1.

• The Big Game between Stanford and Cal has been played 115 times, tying it for ninth among the most played FBS rivalry games. Stanford has also enjoyed long-standing rivalries with USC (91), UCLA (85), Washington (84), Oregon State (80), Oregon (76), San Jose State (67) and Washington State (64).

Most Played FBS Rivalry Games (entering 2013)
1. Minnesota - Wisconsin (122)             
2. Missouri - Kansas (120)*                       
3. Texas - Texas A&M (118)*              
4. Nebraska - Kansas (117)*                    
     Miami (Ohio) - Cincinnati (117) 
     North Carolina - Virginia (117)   
7. Oregon - Oregon State (116)
     Auburn - Georgia (116)
9. Stanford - Cal (115 - 67th consecutive season playing since 1946)
     Purdue - Indiana (115)
* currently discontinued rivalries due to conference realignment

• Cal entered last season’s Big Game averaging 5.0 yards per carry but was limited to three yards on 28 attempts. Heading into Saturday, Stanford has held seven of 10 opponents under 75 yards on the ground (four with 50 or fewer) while out-rushing foes by a 2,055-911 margin.

• Entering the 116th edition of the Big Game, only 70 points separate Stanford (1,899) and Cal (1,829) in the annual rivalry.

• Stanford is 5-0 following a loss under head coach David Shaw. This is the third straight season that Stanford has faced Cal after a loss. The Cardinal has not lost consecutive games since midway through the 2009 season.

• Stanford’s active 14-game home winning streak is the second-longest in the nation behind South Carolina (15). The Cardinal is 35-3 (.921) at Stanford Stadium since the final home game of 2007.

Cal Series Notes
Series: Stanford leads, 58-46-11 (.552)
At Stanford: Stanford leads, 28-21-1 (.570)
At Berkeley: Stanford leads, 25-21-6 (.538)
At San Francisco: Stanford leads, 5-4-4 (.538)
First meeting: 1892 (San Francisco) - Stanford 14, Cal 10
Last meeting: 2012 at Cal - Stanford 21, Cal 3
Last Cal win: 2009 at Stanford - Stanford 28, Cal 34
Series streak: Stanford - W3 (2010-active)
Longest win streaks: Stanford - 7 (1995-2001), Cal - 5 (1919-23, 2002-06)
Last Matchup Against Cal - Oct. 20, 2012
• Stepfan Taylor ran for a career-high 189 yards and a touchdown, and No. 22 Stanford overwhelmed California 21-3 for a third straight victory against its rival.

• Taylor (3,616) passed 2009 Heisman Trophy runner-up Toby Gerhart (3,522) for second on Stanford’s career rushing list.

• Taylor shook two defenders at the line of scrimmage, cut outside and sliced back up the middle for a 7-yard touchdown run to give Stanford a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter.

• In the 115th meeting between the Bay Area schools and the first at remodeled Memorial Stadium, the Cardinal outgained the Bears, 475-217, outrushed them, 252-3, and never lost its grip on the coveted Stanford Axe, which players paraded around the turf while Bears fans exited in silence.

• Josh Nunes completed 16 of 31 passes for 214 yards and a touchdown for Stanford.

• Cal had not scored so few points in the Big Game since losing 10-3 in 1998. Zach Maynard was sacked four times, the Bears fumbled three times - losing two of them - and had another interception of Nunes wiped out by a penalty.

• Starting out of a power formation, Zach Ertz broke free for a short second-quarter catch and ran 68 yards down the sideline. Fellow tight end Levine Toilolo followed with a 9-yard touchdown reception from backup Kevin Hogan - normally just a read-option quarterback - to put the Cardinal ahead 14-3 on the first throw of his career.

• Nunes found Ertz on the next drive for a 20-yard touchdown pass to give Stanford a 21-3 lead and quiet the crowd.

• The game marked the 30th anniversary of “The Play,” when Cal scored on a five-lateral, 57-yard kickoff return while the Stanford band ran on the field to win 25-20. It also was the first time the teams had ever played in October.

• Unlike in that memorable 1982 game, Stanford never let it come down to the final play.

Big Game History
• Beginning with the first game played between the two schools on March 10, 1892, the rivalry between Stanford and California has grown into one of the most colorful in all of college football. Cal is Stanford’s oldest rival.

• Saturday marks the 116th meeting between Stanford and Cal, which ranks tied for the ninth-longest rivalry among FBS programs. The Cardinal leads the series, 58-46-11, and has won three in a row and four of the last six games.

• An overflow crowd of over 20,000 filled the Haight Street Grounds in San Francisco to witness the first Big Game in 1892. Stanford’s team manager, Herbert Hoover, who later became the 31st President of the United States, printed 10,000 tickets for the 15,000-seat stadium on the corner of Haight and Stanyan Streets. As the crowd continued to fill the stadium, Hoover ran out of tickets and was forced to collect coins at the gate, dispensing the money in empty wash tubs and boxes.

• With the team captains from both teams on the field for pregame instructions, referee Jack Sherrard politely asked for the ball to commence the game. However, there was one slight problem - no one had remembered to bring the ball. A fan set off on horseback to retrieve a ball from a nearby sporting goods store and the first Big Game was born. Stanford upset Cal, 14-10, and Hoover and the Cal team manager counted $30,000 receipts from the game - enough to finance the team for next season.

• The Big Game has been a series where “anything can happen and usually does.” The 1982 game will forever be remembered for one of the most memorable and dramatic endings in college football history, known simply as “The Play.”

• Stanford had taken a 20-19 lead on a 34-yard field goal by Mark Harmon with just four seconds left in the game. On the ensuing kickoff, Cal scored the game-winning touchdown on a five-lateral, 57-yard kickoff return, culminating in Cal’s Kevin Moen bowling over Gary Tyrell, a trombonist in the Stanford Band.

• Stanford’s answer to “The Play” occurred in 1990 when the Cardinal scored nine points in the final 12 seconds to pull out an improbable 27-25 victory. Stanford quarterback Jason Palumbis connected with wide receiver Ed McCaffrey on a 19-yard touchdown pass with 12 seconds left, drawing the Cardinal to within one point at 25-24. After Stanford’s two-point conversion failed, the Bears celebrated certain victory. However, the Cardinal recovered the onside kick and after Cal was penalized 15-yards on the first play of the drive, Stanford found itself at the Cal 22-yard line. John Hopkins calmly kicked a 37-yard field goal as time expired, giving the Cardinal a 27-25 victory in Berkeley.

• Only 70 points separate the teams in this tightly-contested and emotional matchup for The Axe and yearly bragging rights in the Bay Area. Stanford has scored 1,899 points compared to 1,829 points by Cal. Excluding ties, 42 games have been decided by seven points or less.

• Stanford owns the longest winning streak, claiming seven consecutive games from 1995-2001. However, Cal rebounded to capture five straight from 2002-2006. The Bears also won five in a row from 1919-1923. The Cardinal also posted a six-game winning streak from 1961-1966.

• Stanford has produced nine shutouts in the series, with Cal recording 13, including a three-year stretch from 1936-1938. There was also a 0-0 tie at Cal in 1932.

• The highest winning point total is shared by both teams at 48. In 1975, Cal won at Stanford, 48-15. The Cardinal returned the favor in 2010, beating the Bears in Berkeley, 48-14.

The Stanford Axe
• The Stanford Axe is a trophy awarded to the winner of the annual Big Game. The trophy consists of an axe-head mounted on a large wooden plaque, along with the scores of past Big Games.

• The Stanford Axe was originally a standard 15-inch lumberman’s axe. It made its first appearance on April 13, 1899, during a Stanford rally when yell leaders used it to decapitate a straw man dressed in blue and gold ribbons while chanting the Axe yell.

• The Axe made its second appearance two days later on April 15, 1899, at a baseball game played between Stanford and Cal in San Francisco. The Stanford yell leaders paraded the Axe and used it to chop up blue and gold ribbon after every good play by the Stanford team.

• Soon after the game, a group of Cal students seized it and ran off with the Axe. It was passed from student to student, and a chase ensued through the streets of San Francisco, first followed by Stanford students and fans and second followed by the San Francisco police. During the chase, the Axe’s handle was broken off. The Axe made its way to Berkeley and was stored in a fraternity house, and later, in a bank.

• For the next 31 years, the Axe stayed in Berkeley. In 1930, 21 Stanford students plotted to take back the Axe from Cal. This successful heist made the group known in Stanford lore as the Immortal 21.

• In 1933, both sides agreed to designate the Axe as the annual trophy to be awarded to the Big Game’s winner. In the event of a tie, it would be kept by the side already possessing the Axe.

• Since 1933, Cal students have stolen the Axe three times and Stanford students four times. The most recent incident occurred in 1973.

• When Stanford has the Axe, it is guarded by the Stanford Axe Committee and kept in a secret location, when not on display in the lobby of the Arrillaga Sports Center.

• During the Big Game, the Stanford Axe is displayed by the school that won the Big Game during the previous year. The Stanford Axe is transferred at the Big Game during what is known as “The Stare Down.” With two minutes remaining in the Big Game, the Stanford Axe is brought to the 50-yard line, where the chairman of the UC Rally Committee and the Stanford Axe Committee wait until the end of the game to determine who will take the Axe. Once the game ends, the winner of the Big Game takes possession of the Axe until the next Big Game is played.

Stanford-Cal Connections
• Saturday’s matchup between Stanford and Cal will feature 113 players from the state of California (Stanford - 30, Cal - 83).

• Between Stanford and Cal, there will be 21 players from Texas, seven from Florida and six from Colorado on the field Saturday.

• Cal defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Andy Buh coached the Stanford defense and linebackers from 2007-09.

 • Stanford special teams coordinator Pete Alamar coached Cal’s special teams and tight ends from 2003-09.

• Stanford director of player personnel Ron Lynn coached the Cal secondary in 1980 and was its defensive coordinator from 1981-82.

• Stanford quarterbacks and wide receivers coach Mike Sanford and Cal defensive backs coach Randy Stewart both played college ball at Boise State, albeit not together.

• Stanford special teams coordinator Pete Alamar and Cal defensive backs coach Randy Stewart coached together at Cal Poly from 1987-88 and again at Fresno State from 2010-11.

• Andrew Luck Director of Offense Mike Bloomgren was a graduate assistant at Alabama while Cal special teams coordinator Mark Tommerdahl coached the Crimson Tide’s special teams and tight ends in 2001.

It Happened Against Cal
1892 - Before an overflow crowd of 20,000 at the Haight Street Grounds in San Francisco on March 10, Stanford defeated Cal, 14-10, in the inaugural Big Game. Stanford’s manager was Herbert Hoover, who later became the 31st President of the United States.

1932 - Steve Anderson boomed a 75-yard punt, tied for the second-longest punt in school history.

1956 - Lou Valli ran for 209 yards on 23 carries in a 20-18 loss in Berkeley. The rushing total still ranks as the fourth-best single-game mark in school history.

1959 - Dick Norman completed 34 of 39 passes for 401 yards and one touchdown in a 20-17 loss at Stanford Stadium.

1974 - Mike Langford booted a 50-yard field goal as time expired to lift Stanford to a 22-20 win over Cal in Berkeley. The two teams combined for 29 points in a wild fourth quarter.

1977 - Darrin Nelson rushed for 94 yards to become the sixth freshman in NCAA history to reach the 1,000-yard rushing mark in a single season.

1982 - In one of the wildest endings in college football history, Cal defeated Stanford, 25-20, after using five laterals to return a kickoff 57 yards for a game-winning touchdown. Stanford had taken a 20-19 lead on a 35-yard field goal by Mark Harmon with 0:04 left.

1984 - Paced by Brad Muster’s 204 yards, Stanford rushed for 322 yards and defeated Cal, 27-10, in Berkeley.

1988 - Tuan Van Le blocked a potential game-winning 20-yard field goal by Robbie Keen with 0:04 left, as Cal and Stanford played to a 19-19 tie.

1989 - With a 3:30 p.m. start, the Big Game finished under the lights for the first time, as Stanford defeated Cal, 24-14, at Stanford Stadium.

1990 - Jon Hopkins kicked a game-winning, 39-yard field goal with no time left on the clock to give Stanford a 27-25 win in Berkeley. Jason Palumbis connected with Ed McCaffrey on a 19-yard touchdown with 0:12 left to cut Cal’s lead to 25-24. Stanford recovered the onside kick on the Cal 37-yard line with 0:09 left in the game. A roughing the passer penalty moved the ball down to the 15-yard line, setting up Hopkins’ game-winning field goal. Glyn Milburn finished the game with 196 yards on the ground, which ranked as the ninth-best rushing performance in school history.

1991 - Tommy Vardell rushed for 182 yards on a (then) school-record 39 carries to lead Stanford to a 38-21 win over Cal before a crowd of 85,500 at Stanford Stadium.

1992 - Stanford defeated Cal, 41-21, to gain a share of the Pac-10 championship.

1999 - Casey Moore broke loose for a 94-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter of Stanford’s 31-13 victory at Stanford Stadium, marking the second-longest touchdown run in school history.

2000 - In the first-ever overtime game between the two schools, Randy Fasani connected with Casey Moore on a 25-yard touchdown pass to lift Stanford to a 36-30 victory in Berkeley.

2010 - Stanford scored on each of its first eight possessions en route to a 48-14 victory in Berkeley. The 48 points were the most ever scored by Stanford in a Big Game.

2011 - Andrew Luck threw for 257 yards and two touchdowns as Stanford beat California, 31-28, in a rain-soaked Big Game with a rare late start under the lights at Stanford Stadium.

2012 - Cal entered the game averaging 5.0 yards/rush but was held to three yards on 28 carries (3.9 inches/rush) as Stanford cruised to a 21-3 win in Berkeley. Stepfan Taylor ran for a career-high 189 yards and one touchdown in what was only the second Big Game ever not played in November or December. The only other Big Game not played in November nor December was the rivalry’s inaugural in March of 1892.


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