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Bears Notch Stirring Victory In 125th Big Game

Nov 19, 2022

BERKELEY - Jackson Sirmon scored on a 37-yard return following a wild play with two fumbles and the Cal football team rallied from a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter to beat Stanford 27-20 in the 125th edition of the Big Game on Saturday.

''It's really neat... as a defensive player, you don't get a lot of opportunities to score touchdowns and you have to enjoy them when you get them," said Sirmon, who played in his first Big Game on Saturday. "It was very neat especially considering the timing of it all.''

The Golden Bears (4-7, 2-6 Pac-12) trailed 17-6 in the fourth quarter when Jack Plummer started the comeback with a 1-yard touchdown pass to Monroe Young.

Then things really went crazy on the ensuing possession for Stanford (3-8, 1-8).

Backup quarterback Ashton Daniels took a direct snap and ran to his left. He was stripped of the ball by Daniel Scott and Cal's Jeremiah Earby recovered. But Daniels then knocked the ball loose from Earby for a second fumble on the play only to have Sirmon scoop it up and run in to give Cal a 20-17 lead with 9:54 to play.

''It bounced right to me,'' Sirmon said. ''I was in the right place at the right time. All I did that play is I didn't mess it up. The ball came right to me and I ran with it.''

Stanford had three more drives to rally. But the Cardinal punted twice and Scott came up with an interception with just more than two minutes to play, setting up Jaydn Ott's 1-yard run that sealed the win in front of a sellout crowd of 51,892.

"We know how important this game is to us as a team, our administration and our support staff," Travers Family Head Football Coach Justin Wilcox said. "Our fans and students were just incredible tonight. What an awesome environment."