Notebook: Bigelow in video game mode

Cal sophomore running back Brendan Bigelow says he is not yet fully recovered from high school knee injuries, despite showcasing speed on two long scoring runs.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The two great video game football icons most renowned for their speed in the open field had been Bo Jackson in Tecmo Bowl and Michael Vick in Madden. Based on what he showed Saturday at Ohio State, California running back Brendan Bigelow could be joining them in the next edition of NCAA Football.

Bigelow had two long touchdown runs in the Golden Bears' 35-28 loss, the first so jaw-dropping that teammate Isi Sofele had to describe it in terms any gamer would understand.

"It's called turbo," Sofele said. "(Brendan) Pressed the turbo button."

The sophomore took the handoff on a sweep, spun through one tackle, put his hand down to regain his balance, spun again and then burst down the sideline next to the Cal bench for an 81-yard score.

"Made something out of nothing," quarterback Zach Maynard said.

Asked when he knew he was in the clear, Bigelow said, "That last spin, I guess, when I finally put my head up and finally seen daylight."

The run was the longest Ohio State had ever allowed at Ohio Stadium, the third longest its defense had ever allowed.

Bigelow later scored on a 59-yard run to tie the game at 28, finishing with a career-high 160 yards on only four carries. He added 74 yards on three kickoff returns.

"Bigelow did an amazing job. So fast, so electric. He has that burst that most guys don't have. He put on a clinic today," Maynard said.

Reclaiming that top-end speed has been a long process after Bigelow suffered two serious injuries in his final two years at Fresno (Calif.) Central, but he wouldn't proclaim he is all the way back.

"I'm kind of close," Bigelow said. "I don't feel like I'm all the way there yet, but I feel like I'm kind of reaching that point."

Bigelow's game-breaking ability could add an explosive new element to the Cal backfield in tandem with Sofele and senior C.J. Anderson.

Sofele was consistently able to grind out yards, rushing for 86 yards on 21 carries, while Anderson showed soft hands catching the ball out of the backfield, with 65 yards on four receptions plus a touchdown that was negated by a questionable holding penalty.

The three combined for 330 of Cal's 512 yards of total offense.

"It's a great dynamic with them," Maynard said. "C.J. is a bruiser, puts the pads on guys and slows them down. Isi, he makes anybody miss. It's a great combination when we got those guys. It's a tight nucleus."

Allen Breaks Barriers
Wide receiver Keenan Allen was a busy man against Ohio State, passing DeSean Jackson for sixth all-time in career receptions by a Cal player. Allen caught nine balls for 80 yards, both team-highs, bringing his tally to 164 in three seasons.

The All-America candidate has now caught a pass in all 27 games of his college career.

Allen also became the 10th Cal player with more than 2,000 career-receiving yards, while he also threw an eight-yard pass to his half-brother Maynard, making him 3-of-3 for 52 yards and a touchdown on trick plays.

Hagan Hurt
Redshirt junior Spencer Hagan hurt his right knee late in the third quarter trying to make a catch and was carted off the field.

Tedford did not immediately know the full extent of the injury, but said the "initial report did not sound good."

Rodgers Sidelined
Despite going through pre-game warm-ups, sophomore tight end Richard Rodgers did not play against Ohio State.

Rodgers was hurt against Southern Utah, and was in a walking boot Thursday.

Stevens Remembered
Ohio State observed a moment of silence for Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other killed in a terrorist attack on the American Embassy in Libya this week.

Stevens received his B.A. in history from Cal in 1982.

Dan Greenspan is the publisher of Cal Sports Digest and writes about the Pac-12 for Fox Sports Next. Follow him on Twitter @DanGreenspan.


BearTerritory.net Top Stories