The California Golden Bears travel to Stanford Stadium Saturday to face the No. 9 Cardinal for a Pac-12 battle and the 116th edition of the Big Game.
David Shaw's team suffered a letdown last week against then-unranked USC. Coming off a major upset win over Oregon, the Cardinal came out flat against the Trojans and lost by three. Stanford now has two losses to the unranked this season.
As dreadful as things look, it could always be worse—just look at the Golden Bears. California sits at 1-10 on the year and has lost nine in a row. In its 10 losses, California has come within 10 points once.
The following is everything to know about the Pac-12 matchup before Saturday rolls around.
When: Saturday, Nov. 23 at 4 p.m. ET
Where: Stanford Stadium, Stanford, Calif.
Live Stream: ESPN3
Betting Lines (via Vegas Insider)
- Over/Under: N/A
- Spread: Stanford (-31.5)
Golden Bears Injury Report (via USA Today)
|Darius Allensworth||DB||11/18/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against Stanford||Questionable||head|
|Nathan Broussard||LB||08/25/2013||will miss the entire season||Out||knee|
|Trey Cheek||DB||11/18/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against Stanford||Questionable||head|
|Austin Clark||DT||08/22/2013||will miss the entire season||Out||knee surgery|
|Matt Cochran||G||11/18/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against Stanford||Questionable||ankle|
|Nick Forbes||LB||10/30/2013||is expected to miss the remainder of the season||Out||back|
|Khairi Fortt||LB||11/18/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against Stanford||Questionable||arm|
|Fabiano Hale||RB||11/18/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against Stanford||Questionable||head/ear|
|Mustafa Jalil||DT||10/07/2013||will miss the remainder of the season||Out||knee|
|Gabe King||DT||10/25/2013||has left the team||Out||personal|
|Isaac Lapite||CB||11/18/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against Stanford||Questionable||knee|
|Daniel Lasco||RB||11/18/2013||is questionable for Saturday's game against Stanford||Questionable||shoulder|
|Chris McCain||DE||09/30/2013||was dismissed from the team||Out||disciplinary|
|Stefan McClure||CB||10/12/2013||will miss the remainder of the season||Out||knee|
|Hardy Nickerson||LB||11/13/2013||will miss the remainder of the season||Out||foot|
|Avery Sebastian||S||09/03/2013||will miss the remainder of the season||Out||Achilles|
|Sione Sina||DE||08/22/2013||will miss the entire season||Out||knee|
|David Wilkerson||LB||08/22/2013||has left the team||Out||personal|
Cardinal Injury Report (via USA Today)
|Ben Gardner||DE||10/29/2013||will miss the remainder of the season||Out||torn pectoral muscle|
|Ikenna Nwafor||DT||09/20/2013||is out indefinitely||Out||undisclosed|
Can Stanford Rebound?
Stanford's loss last week is devastating to what were once national title hopes.
Now running back Tyler Gaffney and the Cardinal have a tune-up game before they end the season against Notre Dame.
Speaking of Gaffney, the senior back has been superb in recent weeks—win or lose:
Stanford scored just 17 points a week ago. Surpassing that mark against the Golden Bears should not be an issue as California ranks No. 121 in scoring defense with an average of over 44 points allowed per game.
With Gaffney churning away on the ground and the nation's No. 18 scoring defense presumably playing at a high level as usual, Stanford has a quality shot at turning things around.
A sixth consecutive 100-yard day for Gaffney is in the cards Saturday against California.
Will Stanford cover the spread?
Even better, junior quarterback Kevin Hogan can take the opportunity to turn things around. He has failed to throw a touchdown or net more than 130 passing yards in three consecutive games.
Stanford's defense must be aware of California freshman quarterback Jared Goff (3,314 yards, 17 touchdowns), but Cardinal linebacker Trent Murphy has 12 sacks on the year and will be able to hit the signal-caller early and often.
Gaffney and Stanford cruise to a victory here.
Final Score: Cardinal 42, Golden Bears 14