Stanford Cardinal podcast with Michael Roberson: Cardinal try to get the taste of Duck out of their mouths get set for Beavers

Stanford safety Kendall Williamson (21), defensive end David Bailey (23) and linebacker Jacob Mangum-Farrar (14) give chase to Oregon Ducks wide receiver Chase Cota (23) at Autzen Stadium in Eugene on Sat Oct 1, 2022 (AP News photo)

On the Stanford Cardinal podcast with Michael:

#1 Michael, You knew the way the Stanford Cardinal (1-3) were playing it was going to be a rough go for Stanford when they went into the confines at Autzen Stadium in Eugene when the Cardinal got landslided 45-27 by the Oregon Ducks (4-1).

#2 For Stanford quarterback Tanner McKee it was not the afternoon that it was cracked up to be throwing 166 yards, 19-33, and two touchdowns it wasn’t enough to keep up with the Ducks.

#3 Michael, rough first half for the Cardinal defense as the Ducks opened up the first quarter with ten points and closing out the half in the second quarter with 21 points.

#4 Ducks quarterback Bo Nix went 16-29 for 161 yards for two touchdowns. Nix was able to run the ball and that was one of the factors that kept the Cardinal defense off last Saturday.

#5 The Cardinal host the Oregon State Beavers (3-2) this Sat Oct 8th. The Beavers have lost two straight games after winning three in a row. The Beavers dropped their last game last Saturday getting trounced by the Utah Utes 42-16. How do you see the Beavers and Cardinal match up this Saturday at Stanford Stadium?

Join Michael Roberson for the Cardinal podcasts at

Cal Bears podcast with Morris Phillips: Bears prepare for Colorado; Cal in second road game in a row

Cal Bears head coach Justin Wilcox had worry on his mind all game long against the Washington State Cougars at Pullman on Sat Oct 1, 2022 (AP News photo)

On the Cal Bears podcast:

#1 Morris, like you questioned in your column on Saturday can the Cal Bears (3-2) win a game on the road?

#2 Cal is in last with a 3-2 record how concerned is head coach Justin Wilcox?

#3 To quote Wilcox after the game “We got nothing going in the run game,” coach Justin Wilcox admitted. “Pass protection wasn’t where it needed to be. 

#4 Cal quarterback Jack Plummer went 23-33 for 273 yards against the Washington State Cougars (4-1) but did not throw one touchdown and one interception. Coach Wilcox mentioned lack of pass protection was that more the case or Plummer just couldn’t get settled in to find targets?

#5 The Bears have a bye this Sat 7th and return to action on Sat Oct 15th to continue their road trip and face the Colorado Buffaloes (0-5) in Colorado. The Buffaloes were trampled on by the Arizona Wildcats last Saturday 43-20. Is Colorado Cal’s best chance to pick up their first win of the season?

Join Morris Phillips for Cal Bears podcasts at

13th-ranked Ducks rout Stanford 45-27

The looks on the Stanford Cardinal sideline says it all as the Oregon Ducks quarterback Bo Nix takes a keeper for long yardage. Nix wound up with four touchdowns on the day to defeat Stanford at Autzen Stadium in Eugene on Sat Oct 1, 2022 (AP News photo)

Sun Oct 2, 2022 

By Daniel Dullum

No. 13-Oregon built a four-touchdown lead in the first half and proceeded to rout Stanford 45-27 in Pac-12 football at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Ore.

The Ducks (3-1) were led by quarterback Bo Nix, who completed 16 of 29 passes for 161 yards and two touchdowns without an interception. Nix also ran six times for 145 yards and two touchdowns. Bucky Irving ran 10 times for 97 yards.

Cardinal quarterback Tanner McKee completed 19 of 33 passes for 166 yards and two touchdowns and no interceptions, but was also sacked three times. Casey Filkins ran 19 times for 80 yards and caught three passes for 59 yards and a TD. Elijah Higgins caught six passes for 44 yards and a touchdown for Stanford (1-2).

Oregon opened the scoring at 10:43 of the first quarter with a 38-yard field goal by Camden Lewis. With 16 seconds left in the opening period, Chase Cota snared a 49-yard touchdown pass from Nix to build the Ducks’ lead to 10-0.

A 23-yard field goal by Joshua Karty put the Cardinal on the board with 8:23 remaining in the second quarter. Oregon responded with three touchdowns in a four-minute span to close out the first half.

At 4:34 of the second quarter, Nix found Troy Franklin for a 10-yard TD pass, then, after a Cardinal turnover, Nix ran in from four yards out 11 seconds later. Benjamin Yurosek caught a pass for no gain and fumbled at the Cardinal 25. Noah Sewell recovered the fumble and returned it 21 yards to set up Nix’s score.

Thirteen seconds before halftime, Jordan James scored on a 1-yard plunge, giving the Ducks a 31-3 lead at the intermission.

The Cardinal tried to battle back in the second half. A 42-yard scoring pass from McKee to Filkins cut the Stanford deficit to 31-10. Forty-seven seconds later, Nix ran for an 80-yard touchdown, increasing the Ducks’ lead to 38-10. McKee connected with Elijah Higgins for a 28-yard touchdown pass with 2:52 left in the third quarter, cutting Oregon’s lead to 38-17 after three periods.

Oregon opened the fourth quarter with a 2-yard touchdown run by Sean Dollars. At 5:12 of the fourth, Karty booted a 53-yard field goal, and Stanford scored on an 18-yard touchdown pass from Ari Patu to Mudia Reuben with 1:17 left to close out the scoring.

Next week, the Cardinal host Oregon State at Stanford Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.

Bears Blues: Cal bows out quietly in 28-9 loss at Washington State

By Morris Phillips

The question “Can the Cal Bears win one on the road?” became more burdensome as the afternoon in Pullman, Washington progressed.

As in “Can the Bears win on the road if they don’t score first, don’t get a big afternoon from Jaydn Ott, or if they score a measly fraction of the 49 points they put up on Arizona last week?”

The answer: No, no, no and no.

In losing 28-9 to Washington State, the Bears wasted a first half of solid play defensively by failing to gain any consistency on offense in either half. The Bears brief moment of competitiveness–Ott’s 2-yard touchdown run at the outset of the fourth quarter–failed to resonate when two Bears tripped over each other on a failed, two-point conversion attempt that would have trimmed their deficit to 14-11.

“We got nothing going in the run game,” coach Justin Wilcox admitted. “Pass protection wasn’t where it needed to be. We’re all gonna share in that, but we didn’t expect to be as poor as we were in those areas today, especially coming off of last week.”

The Bears have lost nine of their last 10 road games dating back to 2020.

Cal scored 49 points in racing past Arizona at home last week, but the host Cougars kept Cal from converting 11 third down opportunities resulting in nine Cal punts. Once seven Cal plays that loss yardage and four sacks of quarterback Jake Plummer were factored in Cal’s offense numbers shrank dramatically.

Ott, the freshman who gained 274 yards rushing against Arizona, was productive again, but nowhere near spectacular. On 23 touches, run and pass, Ott gained 110 yards and had double-digit gainers on the ground and through the air. Jeremiah Hunter (109 yards receiving) and J. Michael Sturdivant (six catches, 71 yards) were factors as well. But the trio’s numbers didn’t amount to much on the scoreboard.

“A couple of big plays in the air, and that was nice to see, but we gotta score more than that, everybody knows that,” Wilcox said.

FCS-transfer quarterback Cameron Ward threw for 343 yards and two scores to lead WSU despite throwing two interceptions. Ward connected with Robert Ferrel for a beautifully-timed and placed TD pass to open the third quarter that increased WSU’s lead to 14-3. In the fourth quarter Ward hit Renard Bell for a 37-yard score and a 21-9 lead.

Ward also extended plays with his feet, and that was more influential than the turnovers as the Cougars converted six, third down opportunities and two more on fourth down.

“We had three or four chances for some negative plays on them, but we just couldn’t get him on the ground,” Wilcox said of the mobile Ward.

Beyond the four sacks, Jack Plummer was harassed throughout by the Washington State pass rush, and he suffered a knee injury late in the game. No report was released regarding the severity of the injury with the Bears now having two weeks to prepare for their next game at Colorado.

Plummer finished 22 of 33 for 273 yards.

“We obviously don’t want him to get hit,” offensive lineman Matthew Cindrich said. “We definitely have to look ourselves in the mirror and say what can we do to not let that happen anymore.”

Stanford Cardinal podcast with Michael Roberson: Loss of EJ how much will it cost; Can McKee get protection from his line this Saturday at Oregon?

Stanford Cardinal quarterback Tanner McKee was running for daylight all day long against the Washington Huskies at Husky Stadium in Seattle Sat Sep 24, 2022. He was sacked eight times by the Washington defense. (AP News photo)

On the Stanford Cardinal podcast with Michael:

#1 Michael it wasn’t even close last Saturday at the Washington Huskies made work of the Stanford Cardinal (1-2) 40-22 at Husky Stadium in Washington.

#2 Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr 22-37 for 309 yards. Penix didn’t throw for a touchdown but yet there was a lot of offense by the Huskies.

#3 Huskies running back Wayne Taulapapa rushed for 120 yards and a touchdown and Will Nixon with only 4 carries and 21 yards scored one touchdown.

#4 Stanford quarterback Tanner McKee didn’t get much protection getting sacked eight times and the Huskies forced two fumbles was it a matter of McKee just couldn’t get away from the Huskies’ blitz package or the Cardinal offensive line just couldn’t stop the Huskies pass rush?

#5 What are some of things McKee will be looking at as the Cardinal prepare for the Oregon Ducks (3-1) in Eugene this Saturday an 8:00pm PDT.

Join Michael Roberson for the Cardinal podcasts each Wednesday at

Cal Bears podcast with Morris Phillips: Homecooking puts Golden Bears back in win column; Cal’s Ott runs past Wildcats in Berkeley

Cal Bears Jaydn Ott rushes for a 73 yard carry against the Arizona Wildcats on Sat Sep 24, 2022 at Cal Memorial Stadium in Berkeley (AP News photo)

On the Cal Bears podcast with Morris:

#1 Morris after a tough loss at Notre Dame last week the Cal Bears redeemed themselves with a rather convincing win over the Arizona at Cal Berkeley last Saturday 49-31.

#2 Basically the mantra was give the ball to Jaydn Ott and when Cal quarterback Jack Plummer did Ott was off to the races carrying for 274 yards and three touchdowns.

#3 On a second play of the first quarter from scrimmage Ott was so reliable he took the ball and ran for 73 yards. Ott also who appeared to have been stopped on another play turned around and took the ball for an 18 yard carry.

#4 Cal head coach Justin Wilcox said of Ott that he’d seen flashes for a long time and has a lot of ability to take it to the house. Morris do you view this game as a break out game for Ott?

#5 On Sat Oct 1st the Bears head to Pullman to take on the Washington State Cougars. The Cougars got edged by the Oregon Ducks 44-41 before that loss the Cougars had won three straight games. This no doubt will be another big test for coach Wilcox and the Bears.

Join Morris for the Cal Bears podcasts at

Washington punishes Stanford 40-22

Stanford Cardinal quarterback Tanner McKee (18) tries to bet a pass away while under pressure by the Washington Huskies Daniel Heimuli (right) at Husky Stadium in Seattle on Sat Sep 24, 2022 (AP News photo)

Washington Punishes Stanford 40-22

By Barbara Mason

Saturday evening the Stanford Cardinal (1-2) took on the Washington Huskies (4-0). The Huskies are coming off an impressive win over Michigan State and were looking to go 4-0 against Stanford. The Cardinal are coming off a bye week and tried to win their first Pac-12 contest this season. Stanford lost their Pac-12 opener to USC.

The Cardinal have struggled the past few seasons and they were looking for quarterback Tanner McKee to provide some explosive offense and unfortunately for Stanford they will be missing running back E.J. Smith to injury. Casey Filkins will step in to the starting running back position in the absence of Smith.

The Huskies presented a real challenge in this game. Washington came in the game third in the nation in passing success and are 17th in finishing drives. They are succeeded through the air. Their offense is electric but their defense struggles at times. As Washington came away with that successful victory 40-22 at Husky Stadium in Seattle to hand Stanford it’s second straight loss.

Game recap: The Huskies got up on the board in the first quarter. Will Nixon scampered for three yards and a touchdown leading early 7-0. Stanford was conducting a nice drive deep into Husky territory when a Tanner McKee pass was intercepted on the Washington 17.

The Huskies were unable to convert the interception into seven points but Peyton Henry kicked a 35 yd field goal extending their lead to 10-0 early in the second quarter. The Washington defense came to play sacking McKee six times, number six coming at 9:08 in the quarter.

Stanford’s offensive woes continued in the second quarter when Tanner McKee fumbled at 6:45 recovered by Stanf Faatui Tuitele. The Huskies Wayne Taulapapa would convert that recovery into a touchdown rushing for 34 yards and Washington had 10 points off those two turnovers. The Huskies led 17-0.

Stanford finally got something going driving into Husky territory with five minutes left in the first half. Tanner McKee got this offense moving in the right direction. McKee found Michael Wilson for 23 yards and a Cardinal touchdown; Stanford finally up on the board 17-7.

With 30 seconds left in the half the Cardinal were pinned deep in Oregon territory and very nearly gave up a safety operating from the 3 yard line. McKee was able to avoid the safety but had to leave the game with an ankle issue. It had been a rocky first half for Stanford.

In the third quarter Washington began to pull away. Henry kicked a 47 yard field goal early in the quarter and Husky quarterback Michael Penix Jr, completed a 30 yd pass to Rome Odunze extending their lead 27-7.

Stanford had a nice drive going in the third but failed to convert a 4th and 1 and the Huskies were back in business. Washington kicked a 32 yard field goal and the Huskies were putting this game away 30-7.

Stanford was able to score in the fourth quarter. McKee found John Humphrys for 17 yards, the touchdown and a successful two-point conversion. Washington led 30-15 with 13:58 left in the game.

Stanford had only been able to stop the Huskies once in this game. Washington’s Henry kicked another field goal this one a 26 yard field goal and the Cardinals now trailed 33-15. It was now a three possession game.

Tanner McKee fumbled with 10:45 left in the final quarter and Stanford had their third turnover in this game. The Huskies took that turnover to an eventual touchdown putting this game out of Stanford’s reach. Penix Jr. completed a 21 yard pass to Giles Jackson for a 40-15 Washington lead.

A McKee pass to Michael Wilson for 78 yards and a touchdown was Stanford’s last hurrah, too little too late. The final was 40-22.

McKee finished with 3 touchdowns and 286 passing yards. Michael Wilson had 176 receiving yards and Casey Filkins had 100 rushing yards.

The Huskies punished Stanford quarterback McKee with eight sacks in this game and the Cardinal were outplayed offensively and defensively. The Huskies kept their perfect record intact while Stanford dropped to1-2. Stanford takes on another very touch opponent next Saturday, #15th ranked Oregon. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:00 PM.

Stanford Cardinal podcast with Michael Roberson: Cardinal hoping to rebound at UW after tough loss to USC

The USC Trojans wide receiver Jordan Addison (3) takes off on a 22 yard run against the Stanford Cardinal in first half action at Stanford Stadium on Sat Sep 10, 2022. The Cardinal had a bye last week Sat Sep 17, 2022 and head for Husky Stadium in Seattle for a battle with the Washington Huskies on Sat Sep 24, 2022 in week 4 of the NCAA season. (AP News photo)

On the Stanford Cardinal podcast with Michael:

#1 Michael, USC quarterback Caleb Williams didn’t have any secrets about the winning results against the Stanford Cardinal on Sun 11th as the Trojans defeated the Stanford Cardinal (1-1) big 41-28.

#2 The USC defense looked like they gave Williams all day to throw for 341 yards and four touchdowns.

#3 Williams also threw to wide receiver Jordan Addison twice for touchdowns and the Trojan move into tenth in the college rankings.

#4 Head coach David Shaw said Stanford could have gone into the half with the lead but a turnover nullified that just simply a tough way to lose for Shaw and Stanford.

#5 The Cardinal try it again as they battle the Washington Huskies at Husky Stadium in Seattle this Sunday. The Huskies have been going well (3-0) and won by 11 points defeating Michigan State in their last contest last Saturday 39-28. Can Tanner McKee and the Cardinal get things going this Saturday in Seattle?

Join Michael Roberson for the Stanford Cardinal podcasts Wednesdays at

Cal Bears podcast with Morris Phillips: Just wasn’t meant to be for Cal; Loss comes down to tipped ball

Notre Dame safety Brandon Joseph (16) and Cal Bears wide receiver Mavin Anderson (11) jump for the ball as the ball was tipped and bounced off several players in the last second of the game at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend on Sat Sep 17, 2022 (AP News photo)

Cal Bears podcast with Morris Phillips:

#1 Drew Pyne quarterback of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (1-2) made inroads in his first game under center for the Irish. Pyne threw for 150 yards and two touchdowns in the Notre Dame 24-17 win in South Bend Indiana over the Cal Bears (2-1).

#2 Morris the win was also pretty special for Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman it was his first victory as head coach for Notre Dame.

#3 The Irish came in ranked No.5 to start the season and had to comeback from behind three times to beat the Bears by a touchdown.

#4 Morris, tough finish for the Bears missed a last second shot when Cal quarterback Jack Plummer let one loose in the end zone as the ball bounced several players and receiver Jeremiah Hunter had it in his hands but the ball ended up off his hands and on the end zone grass.

#5 The Arizona Wildcats (2-1) will be playing the Bears next Sat Sep 24th at Cal Memorial. The Wildcats are coming off a 31-28 win against the North Dakota State Bison (2-1). Wildcats quarterback Jayden de Laura threw for 229 yards and one touchdown. Morris how do you see the Wildcats and Bears matching up this coming Saturday?

Morris Phillips does the Cal Bears football podcasts at

Irish Smell Blood: Notre Dame survives Cal’s initial success, and pulls away in a 24-17 win

By Morris Phillips

Once Notre Dame minimized the negativity of an 0-2 start, a halftime deficit in game three, keeping the focus on themselves and their physical advantages, the California Bears were made to pay.

Cal’s first trip to South Bend since 1967 was far more competitive than the last, but the Fighting Irish prevailed 24-17 on the strength of a decisive, fourth quarter in which Cal was shutout.

In the end, coach Marcus Freeman was the most emotional member of the Irish’s sideline, and that was a good thing for the hosts.

“I think we we’re down three, and I just said, this isn’t going to be a repeat,” said Freeman, after his first career win, excited and nearly breathless in his post-game comments. “This isn’t going to be here we go again. We are going to change the outcome of this game. And it’s going to be by our offense going out there and doing what we have to do and executing, and then our defense when we get the opportunity we’re going to go out there and execute. And that’s what you saw. We needed that. That was a big moment for us, because I could see it on some guy’s faces, and even mine, ‘Oh, shoot, here we go again.’ It’s not here we go again.”

Cal lead 7-0, 10-7 and 17-14 when Freeman made his declaration. And from that point the second half simply didn’t go Cal’s way. The Irish’s punishing run attack found the first crack in Cal’s armor, and their defense, specifically a relentless, pass rush with seven dropping in coverage kept quarterback Jack Plummer from doing anything decisive.

Trailing 24-17 midway through the fourth quarter, the Bears drove to the Notre Dame 22, but suffered three straight incompletions followed by Isaiah Foskey’s sack of Plummer on fourth down.

Cal regained possession with 1:03 remaining and appeared cooked when Plummer was intercepted on first down. But a review of the play revealed a targeting foul on safety J.D. Bertrand that occurred before the interception and allowed Cal to retain possession.

Plummer then completed passes on four, consecutive plays to get Cal to the Notre Dame 29, but a sack, and an incomplete pass left Cal with the game’s final play from the 35. Plummer threw the ball in the end zone and saw several players tip it, including Cal’s Jeremiah Hunter, but the ball hit the ground ending the game.

“We played them down to the last play, Plummer said. “It was exciting. If we had scored there, we were going for two and try to get out of there.”

Plummer’s afternoon mirrored his team’s as a whole. The Purdue transfer finished 16 of 37 for 184 yards, with much of the production coming early and the incomplete passes late. But throughout the quarterback showed a surprising, running dynamic with 12 carries for 34 yards including a 24-yard gain in the second half. That dimension kept Cal alive at key junctures and in position to steal the game at the finish.

“We had chances to win. Too many errors. One or two more plays,” coach Justin Wilcox said.

The Bears enjoyed early success with the game’s first score, an 18-yard pass to J. Michael Sturdivant, who was wide open in the end zone behind the defense. Notre Dame quarterback Drew Pyne, who started in place of the injured Tyler Buchner, showed rust in the first half as did his receivers, who dropped a couple of passes.

A phantom offsides penalty on the Cal field goal coverage unit gave the Irish a second opportunity in Cal territory which they cashed in for their first score of the game. Chris Tyree’s 21-yard catch-and-run got Notre Dame even, 7-7.

At halftime, a frustrated Wilcox declined to comment on the offsides call that set up the score. Replay showed there was no movement along the Cal defensive front on the play.

The Bears open conference play on Saturday at Memorial Stadium against Arizona.