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No. 7 Stanford crushes Cal in The Big Game

Nov 21, 2010 - 1:46 AM Berkeley, CA (Sports Network) - Andrew Luck completed 16-of-20 passes for 235 yards and two touchdowns and Stepfan Taylor ran for three scores, as seventh- ranked Stanford collected points on its first eight possessions during a 48-14 dismantling of California in the 113th renewal of The Big Game at Memorial Stadium.

Luck also ran three times for 72 yards for the Cardinal (10-1, 7-1 Pac-10), who reached the 10-win plateau for the first time since 1992 after their highest-scoring game ever in one of the nation's most fierce rivalry games.

"We knew there was going to be a lot of emotion in this game," Luck said. "Obviously, you're not going to be able to pull out all of those emotions. You're going to have let some a little loose. John Elway spoke to us before the game. He said, 'don't get too caught up in what's going on outside. Remember, you win games by everybody doing their job and just playing football.' We took that to heart. I thought those were very wise words and very applicable to the way we played today."

Taylor carried 15 times for 59 yards, while Anthony Wilkerson ran for 67 yards on 18 totes for Stanford, which has won six consecutive games for the first time since winning seven in a row to finish the 1991 season.

Brock Mansion connected on 19-of-37 throws for 173 yards and one touchdown but was intercepted twice in his third career start for the Bears (5-6, 3-5), who had won seven of the previous eight meetings.

Shane Vereen totaled 63 yards on 15 carries for Cal.

"I don't think it was a lack of effort," Bears' head coach Jeff Tedford said when asked if he expected a better effort from his team. "I think it was they made plays and we didn't make plays. I don't think it had anything to do with effort. You have to give them credit. Luck is a great player and they're a very solid football team. They did a great job."

Matthew Masifilo recovered a fumble on the third play of the game that set the Cardinal up at the Cal 26-yard line. However, Stanford only advanced to the 11 and settled for Nate Whitaker's 29-yard field goal to take the lead only 2:40 into the contest.

Richard Sherman halted the next Cal drive when he picked Mansion off at his own five-yard line. The Cardinal then moved 95 yards in seven plays to make it a 10-0 game with 3:46 remaining in the stanza.

Luck ran up the middle before he bounced off a hit, then flattened safety Sean Cattouse at the Cal 45 and chugged down the left sideline all the way to the Bears' 21 before being pushed out of bounds at the end of a 58-yard-run, the longest of his career. Taylor finished the march three plays later with a three-yard scoring run.

Following a Bears punt, the visitors took over at their own 14 and moved 86 yards in nine plays to forge a 17-0 lead less than 4 1/2 minutes into the second quarter. Luck completed two passes to Ryan Whalen for 26 total yards and one to Griff Whalen for 27 more before Taylor went over the left side from a yard out.

The Cardinal cashed in again when Luck fired a 13-yard scoring strike to Zach Ertz to finish off a 90-yard march in nine plays with 2:47 to go in the half. Doug Baldwin made a leaping 47-yard grab in between two defenders to get Stanford to the Bears' 28 during the drive.

Baldwin then made a leaping 19-yard touchdown grab for a 31-0 cushion with 22 ticks to go before the break that completed a six-play, 61-yard drive that was set up by a Michael Thomas interception.

The Cardinal picked up right where they left off by marching 64 yards on eight plays to begin the second half to push the lead to 38-0 on Taylor's four-yard run just under three minutes into the third quarter.

Wilkerson's four-yard plunge with 4:53 to go in the third made it 45-0 and completed a 56-yard scoring set.

Cal finally got on the board 33 seconds into the final quarter when Keenan Allen took a direct snap and ran right before weaving his way back to the left and throwing on the run to Marvin Jones for a 17-yard touchdown.

Whitaker's 41-yard field goal made it 48-7 with seven minutes to play. The Cardinal finally were stopped for the first time with under four minutes to go in the game and punted for only the 25th time all season, the second-fewest in the nation behind only Boise State.

Cal scored the final points with 15 ticks remaining when Isi Sofele dashed in from 12 yards out on the back end of a hook-and-lateral play.

Game Notes

Luck improved to 18-5 during his two years as the starting quarterback...He has 24 touchdown passes on the season to match Elway's 1982 total for third place on the all-time single-season list...Taylor has 14 rushing TD's, tying him with Tommy Vardell for fourth place on the single season all-time list. Saturday was the fourth time this season Taylor has run for at least two scores in a game...Baldwin made five catches for 97 yards in the Cardinal's first win in Berkeley since 2000...Stanford defeated USC, Cal and Notre Dame in the same season for the first time since 2001...The Cardinal improved to 5-1 on the road, the first time they have won five times away from home since 1995...Stanford leads the all-time series, 56-46-11...The Cardinal's previous highest-scoring games against Cal came in 1981 and 1996 when they posted 42 in victories over the Bears...Stanford safety Alex Loukas, who ran three times for 23 yards on direct snaps from center, left the game with an apparent left ankle injury with about five minutes to go in the third quarter...Jamal-Rashad Patterson of the Cardinal was ejected for taking a swing at a Cal player during verbal exchanges between the teams that took place at midfield during the coin toss...Allen led the Bears with eight receptions for 54 yards and added 17 yards on two carries...Vereen has run for a career-high 1,061 yards on the season...He also made three grabs for 24 yards. Cal had won 37 of its previous 44 home games before Saturday...The Bears are 15-9 against teams ranked in the top-10 under Tedford...The Cardinal had won seven straight over Cal from 1995-2001 before Tedford's arrival...The first meeting between the two schools took place in 1892 and the winner, since 1899, gets to hold onto the Stanford Axe...Number one- ranked Cal defeated fifth-ranked Stanford in a water polo match Friday night known as the "Big Splash."