California visits Stanford seeking its fourth win in the last 5 Big Games
Thu, Nov 16, 2023
NCAAF News (AP)
California (4-6, 2-5 Pac-12) at Stanford (3-7, 2-6), Saturday, 6:30 p.m. EST (Pac-12 Network)
Line: California by 6 1/2 according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series record: Stanford leads 65-50-11.
WHAT'S AT STAKE?
While both schools are once again enduring down seasons, there is always plenty at stake for the Big Game as California tries to retain the coveted Axe for a third straight season. The Golden Bears can become bowl eligible by beating Stanford and UCLA the final two weeks. The Cardinal are hoping to get a Big Game win for first-year coach Troy Taylor, who went 0-1-1 for Cal against Stanford as QB in 1988-89.
Cal RB Jaydn Ott vs. Stanford run defense. Ott ran for 167 yards on 27 carries last week and scored two TDs. He has 1,016 yards rushing on the season for the 19th 1,000-yard season in school history. He has rushed for at least 150 yards in two of the last three games and has five career TD runs of at least 40 yards. The Cardinal gave up a season-high 277 yards rushing last week against Oregon State a week after giving up only 4 yards against Washington State.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
California: QB Fernando Mendoza went 14 for 21 for 150 yards and two TDs last week against Washington State. Mendoza has thrown two TD passes in four of his five starts this season. Mendoza didn't throw an INT last week for the first time as a starter.
Stanford: WR Elic Ayomanor had three catches for 122 yards and a TD last week against Oregon State for his third 100-yard game of the season. Ayomanor has 37 catches for 705 yards and five TDs in his last five games and has the second most yards receiving in the country since Oct. 13.
FACTS & FIGURES
Cal has won three of the last four Big Games following a nine-game losing streak in the series. ... The Bears have scored at least 40 points in four games this season for the first time in seven seasons under Justin Wilcox. ... Cal had three fumble recovery TDs last week with two on defense and one on offense. ... The Bears lead the Pac-12 with 21 takeaways. ... Stanford allowed 62 points last week to Oregon State for the most in a game for the Cardinal since 2005. ... Stanford has allowed at least 40 points in five of the last six games. ... The Cardinal have lost 20 of 23 conference games headed into their final Pac-12 game ever. ... Stanford is 0-5 at home and is one of two FBS teams without a home win, along with Connecticut.
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