Late Interception Saves Cal as Stanford Falls Short in Big Game

Posted by at 8:03PM

axestan-08-p2-mfootbl-traditions-inset-axe.jpgThe axe will remain in Berkeley for another year–underdog Cal (how strange does that sound?) defeated the Cardinal 34-28 in the 112th annual Big Game.
After a fast start and two early touchdowns by Toby Gerhart, Stanford’s defense struggled. Cal controlled most of the game, led by substitute running back Shane Vereen and quarterback Kevin Riley. But Gerhart and redshirt freshman quarterback Andrew Luck fought back in the fourth quarter, bringing Stanford to within 3 points with possession of ball with about 5 minutes to go. After failing to gain much yardage, Jim Harbaugh decided to go for it on 4th and long–but Luck’s pass was deflected incomplete, giving the ball back to the Golden Bears near Stanford’s end zone.
Cal played conservatively and settled for a field goal–crowned by an interesting decision by Cal coach Jeff Tedford to take a knee on third down–giving Stanford one last chance to score a touchdown with just over two minutes to play.
A short kick gave Stanford good field position near our own 40 yard line, and Luck took control, running for a first down and then passing for another. Facing some pressure from the Cal defensive line, Luck threw a short pass to Gerhart down the sideline, who bulldozed his way to the Cal 13 yard line. But two plays later, Luck threw a pass across the middle intended for tight end Coby Fleener, but Cal linebacker Mike Mohamed intercepted the ball before it got to the end zone, ending Stanford’s chances at winning Big Game and likely going to the Rose Bowl.
Despite the loss, though, Gerhart kept his Heisman hopes alive by scoring all of Stanford’s points on 4 touchdowns and tallying 136 yards on 20 carries.

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