Stanford coach David Shaw always wants his team to play physical on both sides of the ball, controlling the line of scrimmage with the kind...
BERKELEY, Calif. — Stanford coach David Shaw always wants his team to play physical on both sides of the ball, controlling the line of scrimmage with the kind of heart and hustle that has defined the program’s resurgence. With Andrew Luck no longer around, oftentimes that just hasn’t happened this season.
Leave it to the Big Game for a breakout performance.
Stepfan Taylor ran for a career-high 189 yards and a touchdown, and No. 22 Stanford overwhelmed California 21-3 on Saturday for a third straight victory against its rival.
In the 115th meeting between the Bay Area schools and the first at remodeled Memorial Stadium, the sunny and serene Strawberry Canyon setting might have been the Golden Bears’ best highlight. The Cardinal (5-2, 3-1 Pac-12) outgained the Bears 475 to 217 yards, outrushed them 252 to 3 yards and never lost its grip on the coveted Stanford Axe, which players paraded around the turf while Bears fans exited in silence.
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“This is a blueprint game,” said Shaw, now in his second year. “This is what we want to do.”
Josh Nunes completed 16 of 31 passes for 214 yards and a touchdown for Stanford. He also fumbled and threw an interception late in the fourth quarter to stop what could have been — and perhaps should have been — an even more lopsided score.
Cal (3-5, 2-3) 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.
“There’s no better game than the Big Game,” Stanford linebacker Chase Thomas said, “to get that type of mentality back.”
Taylor (3,616) passed 2009 Heisman Trophy runner-up Toby Gerhart (3,522) for second on Stanford’s career rushing list behind Darrin Nelson (4,033).
Taylor’s previous best was 177 yards rushing in the Fiesta Bowl overtime loss to Oklahoma State last season.
“You don’t want to be that class that gives the Axe away,” said Taylor, who will leave Stanford 3-0 as a starter in the Big Game. “The seniors made it a point that we want to keep the Axe.”
Stan — Taylor 7 run (Williamson kick), 4:42.
Cal — FG D’Amato 21, 13:47.
Stan — Toilolo 9 pass from Hogan (Williamson kick), 12:12.
Stan — Ertz 20 pass from Nunes (Williamson kick), 8:15.
A — 61,024.
|Time of Possession||36:58||23:02|
Rushing — Stanford, Taylor 28-189, Wilkerson 6-22, Wright 5-15, Nunes 3-10, Hogan 2-8, Young 2-8. California, Sofele 10-13, C.Anderson 7-5, Bigelow 2-0, Treggs 1-(- 5), Maynard 8-(- 10).
Passing — Stanford, Nunes 16-31-1-214, Hogan 1-1-0-9. California, Maynard 19-31-1-214.
Receiving — Stanford, Ertz 6-134, Patterson 3-19, Terrell 2-45, Taylor 2-11, Toilolo 2-10, Young 1-3, Hewitt 1-1. California, Harper 4-82, Allen 4-43, Treggs 4-16, C.Anderson 3-24, Bigelow 2-40, Stevens 1-5, Rodgers 1-4.