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Bears Fall To Stanford In Big Game, 24-23

Nov 27, 2020
Sophomore JH Tevis recorded his first two career sacks for the Bears

Final Stats (XML) | Wilcox Presser | Deng Presser | Garbers Presser | B. Johnson Presser | D. Moore Presser | Remigio Presser | Highlights | Stats (PDF) | Notes | Boxscore

BERKELEY – The Cal football team drove for potential game-tying touchdown with under a minute to play Friday but couldn't convert the extra point, and the Golden Bears fell to Stanford 24-23 in the 123rd Big Game at California Memorial Stadium.

Trailing 24-17 with 4:28 to play, Cal took over on offense from its own 10-yard line and went 90 yards on 14 plays, with Christopher Brown Jr. running it in from 3 yards out for a touchdown. But Dario Longhetto's PAT attempt was blocked.

Stanford took over with 58 seconds remaining and was able to notch one first down to run out the clock.

"There's a lot of pain and frustration that we didn't play better," Cal head coach Justin Wilcox said. "We had multiple opportunities to win the game but we didn't get it done. We can't sit around feeling sorry for ourselves. We have to own it, starting with me. We have to coach better and individually have to own up to what we didn't do well enough to win the game. We had plenty of chances but didn't get it done."

Freshman running back Damien Moore rushed for 121 yards on 10 carries for Cal and quarterback Chase Garbers threw touchdown passes to Kekoa Crawford and Nikko Remigio, but the Bears couldn't overcome pivotal miscues at inopportune times.

Defensive end JH Tevis recorded his first two career sacks while linebacker Kuony Deng registered 14 tackles for Cal. Sophomore nose tackle Brett Johnson had a career-high 10 tackles, including a sack.

"We haven't gotten the results that we wanted, obviously," Deng said." Obviously, it's a different kind of year with different types of circumstances. But it's going to be all about responding. That's what this entire year has been about outside of football with everything going on. And that's the case with football. Obviously, we've had some tough circumstances. But at the end of the day we have to put it all together for fall quarters and leave it all on the field. If we continue to build, we'll get the results that we want. We haven't gotten them yet."

Things got off to a terrific start for the Bears, who took the opening kickoff and immediately drove 75 yards on eight plays and culminating on Garbers' 7-yard scoring strike to Crawford. After the teams traded field goals, Stanford took advantage of a muffed punt by Remigio and scored a tying touchdown with just over three minutes left in the first half. Cal had a chance to take back the lead just before halftime but Dario Longhetto's 42-yard field goal attempt was blocked with three seconds remaining.

Another turnover – this time a fumble by Cal running back Marcel Dancy – set up a quick touchdown to put Stanford back in front 17-10, but the Bears had an answer. Moore's 54-yard run set up Garbers' 3-yard TD pass to Remigio to tie the score back up at 17-17 at the 9:13 mark of the third quarter.

The Cardinal went back in front again just before the end of the third quarter, and it stayed that way until the Bears' potential game-tying drive. Moore broke off a 27-yard run on the second play of the possession, and Cal notched five first downs on the drive before Brown scored.

"We put a lot into this. A lot of people do," Wilcox said. "It doesn't feel good. We need to own our mistakes and fix those so we give ourselves better chances to win moving forward."

The Bears' season continues next Saturday at home against Oregon. Kickoff time television information will be announced Monday.