We’ll be updating this page throughout today’s Big Game between the Cardinal and the Golden Bears with instant coverage and analysis. Please refresh this page for the most recent updates. All times are Pacific.
11:50 AM: Welcome to The Daily’s liveblog of the 115th edition of the Big Game between Stanford and Cal. Thanks for joining us everyone. We’re less than 15 minutes away from kickoff.
12:03 PM: Cal has won the defense and will defer. Stanford will be getting the ball on offense to start the game.
12:04 PM: The big question today for the Cardinal is, will quarterback Josh Nunes be able to step up on the road? His subpar performances against Washington and Notre Dame have put Stanford still winless away from home. California Memorial Stadium is flooded in yellow and blue today, but there’s still a sizeable Stanford crowd.
12:06 PM: Stanford draws up a Wildcat on the first play of the game.. A solid gain of 4 from Stepfan Taylor to get things started.
12:09 PM: Nunes careless with protecting the ball there as Stanford’s first drive ends in a fumble turnover. Golden Bears get great field position for their first drive.
12:11 PM: Cardinal defense refusing to give up even an inch there as it forces Cal to go three-and-out following the facemask penalty. The key for Stanford on defense today is to keep quarterback Zach Maynard in the pocket and double cover wideout Keenan Allen if need be.
12:13 PM: Nunes pass underthrows the pass to Drew Terrell, but the senior wide receiver manages to haul it in. Stanford wide receivers looking to be more involved after a quiet first half of the season.
12:21 PM: Jordan Williamson’s 40-yard field goal is wide right. Costly points left on the field from a lost fumble and a missed field goal for the Card in the early going.
12:27 PM: Not sure what Cal was trying to do there with the slowest developing halfback draw possible on third down…
12:28 PM: Great 37-yard punt return by Terrell. That showed right there why he’s one of the most consistent returners in the nation. He might not be as electric as Oregon’s De’Anthony Thomas, but he’s sure-handed and steady.
12:29 PM: Nunes’ mid-range passes look solid so far, but his short and long throws need more accuracy if he wants to reach his goal of a 60 completion percentage.
12:34 PM: Taylor punches it in from 7 yards out following the holding penalty on Cal on third down. Stanford’s offensive line getting some good pushes up front early on. Williamson’s PAT is GOOD and the Cardinal takes a 7-0 lead over the Bears with 4:42 left in the first quarter.
12:41 PM: Cal’s running attack, ranked third in the conference, has had no room to run against Stanford’s front seven so far. The Golden Bears currently have -7 rushing yards.
12:43 PM: Stanford seems to be having more success running the ball right down the middle than taking it out around the edge to the sidelines.
12:47 PM: Rare drop by Ertz there. Would’ve had more than enough for the first down.
12:48 PM: Keenan Allen inflicts some damage on Stanford for the first time with a 29-yard punt return all the way to the Cardinal 25-yard line.
12:51 PM: Maynard’s short pass to Brendan Bigelow goes for 37 yards, down to the Stanford 2-yard line. Poor open-field tackling by the Cardinal goes from Cal having to attempt a long field goal to sitting right in front of the end zone with a 1st-and-goal.
12:54 PM: We’ve read the end of the first quarter. Stanford leads Cal 7-0, but the Bears are knocking at the doorsteps.
12:55 PM: Stanford defensive line stays stout in the red zone, holding the Bears to a field goal attempt. Good sign for the Card.
12:57 PM: Vincenzo D’Amato nails a 21-yard field goal and Cal cuts into the Cardinal’s lead 7-3 with 13:47 left in the second quarter.
1:00 PM: Cal secondary decides to leave the best tight end in the nation uncovered, and Ertz makes them pay with a 75-yard catch-and-run. There wasn’t any defender within ten yards of Ertz on that play. Nunes’ total passing yards just tripled.
1:03 PM: Kevin Hogan rolls out to his right and fires a bullet to Levine Toilolo for a 9-yard touchdown. That’s Hogan’s first career TD. Williamson’s PAT is good and Stanford leads Cal 14-3.
1:08 PM: Cal running back C.J. Anderson came in to the game averaging almost 7 yards per touch. He’s gained 4 yards on 3 carries so far today.
1:09 PM: Cardinal defense coming up big once again as Chase Thomas recovers Bigelow’s fumble. Thomas has had fumble recoveries in back-to-back games.
1:11 PM: Nunes makes his weekly third-down-converting scramble there. Throws a nice-looking stiff arm in there, too.
1:13 PM: Jordan Williamson initially lined up for a 52-yard field goal, but Stanford elects to punt it after Cal’s timeout. No coach in the Pac-12 loves playing the field position game more than coach David Shaw.
1:20 PM: Jordan Richards backs up his selection by SI as the mid-season second-team All-American safety by forcing an Allen fumble.
1:21 PM: Nunes makes Cal pay on the very next play by finding a yet again wide open Ertz for a 20-yard touchdown. Williamson’s PAT is GOOD. Stanford now leads Cal 21-3 with 7:17 left in the first half.
1:26 PM: Stanford will get the ball back at its own 35-yard line following Cal’s three-and-out. A fourth touchdown would be huge…
1:28 PM: Cal’s defensive line finally puts some pressure on Nunes, who wisely throws it away. Might be the first time all game that Nunes has had a Bear in his face today.
1:30 PM: Stanford offense is imposing its will on the Bears right now: the running, short passing and long passing games are all working efficiently.
1:33 PM: Williamson misses his second field goal of the day. That one was a 34-yarder. His troubles with shorter distance field goals this season continues.
1:34 PM: Defensive coordinator Derek Mason has been dialing up relentless blitzes on Maynard, who hasn’t been looking comfortable in the pocket at all.
1:41 PM: Nunes has looked great working from the no huddle in the last few games. Let’s see what he can do here.
1:42 PM: Tough offensive pass interference call there but Terrell did have his hands on the cornerback on that play. Stanford’s last drive of the first half stalls.
1:43 PM: Cal content to run down the clock with a run to end the second quarter. Stanford heads into the locker room with a 21-3 lead.
1:53 PM: Some missed opportunities in the first half for Stanford’s offense. Still, three touchdowns is a huge improvement for Nunes & Co. after they failed to find the end zone even once in its last two games.
1:55 PM: Some first half stats – Josh Nunes: 12-of-23 for 183 yards and a touchdown. Stepfan Taylor – 82 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown. Zach Ertz – 3 receptions for 104 yards and a touchdown.
1:56 PM: Cal’s running game has a grand total of 9 yards while the Cardinal is doing a decent job keeping Maynard and Allen in check so far. Maynard is 8-of-15 passing for 84 yards while Allen has 3 receptions for 20 yards.
2:06 PM: We’ve got a streaker on the field. He ran a couple circles before Cal security could get to him. I guess we’re ready for the third quarter now.
2:11 PM: Cal’s first possession in the second half ends in a three-and-out. Cardinal defense remains impenetrable.
2:12 PM: Stanford offense tried to be too cute there as Cal’s defense swarms around Kevin Hogan for a 5 yard loss.
2:13 PM: 4th-and-2. Ryan Hewitt time?
2:14 PM: Pass to Hewitt is complete, but he’s short of the first down. With the way Stanford’s defense has been playing, Shaw made the right call there by going for it on fourth down.
2:20 PM: …And that’s the 7th three-and-out for the Bears this afternoon. Maynard has been running around for his life and his offensive line isn’t giving him much help, either.
2:23 PM: Taylor converts a 2nd-and-19 with a 16-yard run. That puts him over the 100-yard mark.
2:24 PM: Congratulations to Stepfan Taylor. With that carry, Taylor just passed Toby Gerhart for second on the all time Stanford rushing list.
2:31 PM: Maynard shows off his nifty feet by scrambling for 11 yards for a first down. It’s been a quiet third quarter so far.
2:33 PM: Wilkerson gains 2 yards on the play. That’s his 6th carry on the afternoon.
2:38 PM: That’s definitely not the first time that Stanford has had to waste a timeout to avoid a delay of game penalty while playing on the road.
2:39 PM: Stanford get back to its ground-and-pound style, putting the ball in the hands of its captain Stepfan Taylor. Taylor has been averaging 7 yards per carry and you can be sure that he’ll be given the ball as the fourth quarter begins. Stanford leads Cal 21-3 at the end of the third.
2:48 PM: Nunes was lucky that his pass wasn’t picked off. That being said, he’s done a good job of trying to get Terrell involved in the passing game today despite Ertz having a monster day.
2:49 PM: With Cal pinned at its own 5-yard line, Stanford defense will try to wreak some more havoc in the backfield here.
2:53 PM: …Not that time, as Maynard find Chris Harper in stride for 29 yards and a first down.
2:54 PM: Ben Gardner easily sniffed out that run play on 4th-and-1. Turnover on downs. Stanford gets the ball back at the Cal 42.
2:59 PM: Stanford’s offensive line dominating from start to finish. Big holes opening for Taylor with 11:15 left in the game.
3:01 PM: Taylor picks up the first down. Stanford ran the same exact play as before, except running to the left instead of the right.
3:03 PM: Nunes makes his first costly mistake of the game, throwing the ball into traffic and getting picked off by Marc Anthony. The Cardinal was in field goal range.
3:06 PM: Bears offense showing some signs of life now. Three straight completions by Maynard as Cal gets past the Stanford 40.
3:08 PM: Defensive end Henry Anderson records one of his signature pass bat-downs to bring up a critical 3rd-and-6.
3:09 PM: Great pick by Wayne Lyons to prevent the touchdown, but batting it down would’ve been the smarter play. Now Stanford is pinned at its own 2-yard line. Nunes and Taylor need to be extra careful with the ball here.
3:15 PM: Taylor-Wilkerson duo starting to wear down Cal’s defense. Clock is running down quickly as we approach the three-minute mark.
3:19 PM: Taylor has 188 rushing yards on the day. Career high for the senior.
3:22 PM: Less than a minute left in the game now…One more run play and that’ll do it.
3:23 PM: Hogan makes a couple nice moves to pick up 13 yards on the last play of the game.
3:23 PM: STANFORD DEFEATS CAL 21-3 IN THE 115TH BIG GAME.