Big Flame-Out

The goal was to win Big Game. The hope was to show competitiveness. Neither came close in Saturday's 30-7 beating in Berkeley, as an unceremonious end came to a forgettable Stanford season.

Going into the game, it appeared that Cal would not be able to make up for seven years with one game, but they certainly made a pretty strong argument. To sum it up in seven words: Cal won in hand and in command.

The final score when the clock read 0:00 (well, 0:11) was 30-7 and it wasn't that close.  The Axe is gone and I wouldn't doubt that there are many Cardinalmaniacs™ who wish they could say the same thing about the current incarnation of Stanford football.

Cal thoroughly outplayed Stanford after the Cardinal's early first quarter touchdown, a nice 8-yard ball from Kyle Matter to Teyo Johnson at the endzone sideline.  The optimism generated by that quick strike on Stanford's first offensive drive proved false, as the Card never truly threatened again in the game.  While Kyle Boller was dissecting the Stanford secondary, Kyle Matter was being thrown to the ground at every pass attempt.  While Joe Igber was finding holes and making cuts, Kerry Carter was unable to find a seam.  While Jeff Tedford was concocting mismatches, Buddy Teevens was left reacting, but unable to find answers.

Stanford still had the game within reach at halftime, trailing 23-7.  However, the second half belonged to Cal.  The Stanford offense could not get any resemblance of a drive going, while the defense was left to watch Joe Igber run his way to a new Big Game record of 226 yards.  In comparison, the entire Stanford offense mustered just 261 yards on the day.

Stanford had reasonable success early with short passes to the outside, but Cal eventually adjusted and pressured Matter for the remainder of the game.  Matter was left running for his life until he was forced out with an injury with less than a minute left.  That injury came on the heels of another game-ending incident for Teyo Johnson, who reportedly hurt his knee (MCL) and had to leave for the locker room on crutches.  Meanwhile, Boller avoid such nasty hits as he spent most of the game unmolested.  Whenever Stanford appeared to have sacked Boller, they would miss the tackle.  Whenever Stanford was backed up deep in their territory, Eric Johnson would let off a 17 yard punt.  However, when Eric Johnson punted from the Cal 45, he'd boot it 46 yards.  After Stanford had the ball around the Cal 30 late in the first half, Matter was picked off.  The day could be described as a microcosm of Murphy's Law.  And I'm not talking about Bob Murphy.

Well, there's always basketball season.  Though that season may suffer absent forward Teyo Johnson with today's injury development...

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