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Monday, December 6, 2021

Cal-Stanford: What to know before the 124th big game?

Cal at Stanford

Record: Cal 3-6, 2-4 Pac-12; Stanford 3-7, 2-6 Pac-12.

To start: 4 p.m., Stanford Stadium

radio: KNBR 1050 AM (Stanford), KGO 810 AM (Cal)

Television: Pac-12 Network

Series History: Stanford has won 10 of the last 11 big games, but Cal won his last appearance at Stanford in 2019. Overall, Stanford leads 65–47–11 in the sixth most-played series in college football.

Story: Cal has his first two-game winning streak of the season, beating Colorado and Washington State, until his pace was derailed by a COVID outbreak. The first 24 players missed the loss against Arizona and then last week’s game against USC had to be postponed. … Stanford handed Oregon its only loss of the season and then skipped its next five games, including a 52-7 loss to Utah in its last home game. The Cardinals are just 1-3 at home.

Matchups to watch: Chase Garbers vs Stanford Defensive Line. Garbers leads the Pac-12 in passing yards (247.4) and total offense (293.0), while Stanford has struggled against the double-threate QB this season.

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Injury/Absence: For Stanford, CB Q Blue Kelly, LB Ricky Meezan, and TE/DE Tucker Fisk are likely to play after missing last week’s game with undisclosed injuries, while RB EJ Smith and WR Elijah Higgins still suspects. Huh. Cal is expected to be without two offensive linemen, LT Will Craig (ankle injury), and RG McKade Mettoyer (Covid Protocol).

Statistics that matter: S Elijah Hicks has intercepted in three straight games, the first Cal player to do so in 3 straight games since Griffin Piatt in 2014. … Stanford TE Benjamin Eurosek is the only Power 5 tight end with three games this season with more than 90 receiving yards. , … CB Josh Dryden would break Cal’s career record for games played in his 53rd match against Stanford. … the Cardinals lead 3-0 this season and are leading in the half. …Garbers has thrown 120 straight passes without a hitch. …Stanford has a schedule-record of four different starting QBs this season, tied with the most Southern misses in the country.

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