Stanford freshman RB Austin Jones could break Cal fans’ hearts on Saturday

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By Ana Kieu

Stanford freshman running back Austin Jones attended Bishop O’Dowd High in Oakland and most of his friends are Cal fans. On Saturday, he will play in his first Big Game and try to help Stanford break their hearts.

“I moved here in seventh grade, so I got to go to a couple games,” said Jones, who moved around a lot growing up. “I didn’t really pull for anybody, but I know it’s a heated, long-term rivalry. I just picked up on the emotion that comes with the game.”

Jones’ phone has been blowing up all week.

“I have a lot of good friends on their team,” Jones said. “We’ve been jabbing at each other a little bit and chopping it up. We’re going to get after each other.”

Neither school has produced the season it envisioned. Both have been racked by injuries as Stanford enters with a 4-6, 3-5 Pac-12 record and Cal enters with a 5-5, 2-5 Pac-12 record. The Cardinal boasts a series-high nine-game winning streak, but season records in the 121-year rivalry, often prove meaningless.

“The records don’t matter,” said senior inside linebacker Curtis Robinson, who will play for the Axe for the fourth time. “We know that we’re going to get their best shot because it’s Big Game week. It’s always that way.”

Stanford junior quarterback Davis Mills grew up in Duluth, Ga. and will experience his first start in the rivalry. He quickly discovered the significance of the contest.

“I kind of felt it right when I stepped on campus,” Mills said. “The Big Game is always circled. It should be fun to finally play in the game and I know there is a bunch of tradition behind it and all the ceremonies.”

For the last nine years, no Cardinal senior has tasted defeat.

“It’s kind of crazy to hear our coaches talking about it’s for the seniors and sitting back thinking, ‘Oh, that’s me,”’ said Robinson. “It’s been crazy to win those games with the senior classes and I’m starting to feel the importance of what this game means.”

Robinson knows he’s playing for more than his teammates.

“It means more to us to win the Axe for the Stanford community as a whole,” Robinson said. “Obviously, it’s very important to our pride as a team. But we understand we’re playing for something bigger.”

In the Stanford football office, the Andrew Luck Auditorium includes a wall of photos of seniors who have won the Big Game.

“We talk about the streak,” said Jones. “We always talk about how we don’t want to let our seniors down and want them to put their pictures on the wall.”

David Shaw, the Bradford M. Freeman Director of Football, starts off every Big Game week by reminding his team to keep emotions in check, especially the young players.

“This is a different game,” Shaw said. “We have to prepare as well as we can on the X’s and O’s side, but at the same time play with emotion and not let the emotion rule us. It will be a very hotly contested.”

Former Stanford standout Richard Sherman, now playing for the San Francisco 49ers, is pulling for his alma mater.

“The Axe belongs at Stanford,” Sherman said. “There is so much history and it’s such a great rivalry. I feel good about our chances to win it again.”

Senior quarterback K.J. Costello, senior free safety Malik Antoine, junior cornerback Paulson Adebo and junior tight end Tucker Fisk will not play Saturday. Senior cornerbacks Obi Eboh and Treyjohn Butler are questionable.

Freshman Ryan Sanborn handled kickoffs and field goal/extra points against Washington State but did not punt. He might be available to punt, but Shaw praised the efforts of sophomore Alex Gracey, who downed two of his three kicks inside the 5-yard line last week and could punt again.

“He did a great job,” Shaw said.

Stanford could start three true freshmen in its secondary.

“It’s all-hands on deck,” Shaw said.

Mills broke a 21-year-old Stanford single-game passing record at Washington State by throwing for 504 yards.

“Davis had an exceptional game,” said Shaw. “He caught fire, got the protection and a bunch of guys made plays. He broke a record that has been around for a long time. That was a positive for the football team, but we have to do things like that and win.”

Mills made his college debut earlier this year at USC and missed some throws. Shaw said his coming out party was against Oregon State.

“He played a complete game and made some of those throws he missed against USC,” Shaw said. “He almost played better against Washington than he did this past weekend.”

The even-keeled Mills seldom shows much emotion on or off the field. Asked to assess last week’s performance, he said: “I thought overall, I played well. In the end, it would have been nice to get a win.”

Mills credited his line and receivers, and said their hard work was rewarded.

“It really showed what everybody can do,” Mills said. “We’re still chasing perfection.”

Despite all that, Shaw continues to remind himself that Mills only has four college starts.

“He’s still a growing, inexperienced quarterback with a lot of talent,” said Shaw. “He’s much, much closer to his potential, but there’s a lot more up there.”

Last week, Shaw received a text from Sherman with a photo of the two at a recent game between the 49ers and Carolina Panthers. Sherman reminded Shaw that football is only a game and Shaw shared the well-received message with his players after practice.

“It’s the truth,” said Sherman. “At the end of the day, you win some, you lose some and you fight as hard as you can. But once this game is done and the lights are off and the fans are gone, the people that are left are your friends. What’s left are the relationships that you have with the people that you went through the struggles with. Those memories and people are real, and they’ll last you a lifetime.

“At the end of the day, if you win a million championships or lose a million championships, it doesn’t change the relationships and friendship that you have. Those are special, regardless of the outcome of the games or the season.”

Cal senior inside linebacker Evan Weaver leads the FBS with 151 tackles and averages 15.1 per game. He collected 22 stops against Utah.

Last year, Weaver made 159 tackles, second-most in school history.

“Somehow, Weaver has gotten bigger and faster,” Shaw said. “He’s the best linebacker we’ve seen all year. He just has to be accounted for and he’s hard to block.”

Asked how that can best be accomplished, Shaw said, “First of all, we hope Weaver misses the bus.”

Every fan who enters Saturday’s game with a paid ticket will receive a long sleeve T-shirt courtesy of Stanford Medicine. Additionally, Stanford will honor local veterans, military, fire and police officers in conjunction with Veterans Day.

The annual Big Game Rally will be held Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. in Memorial Auditorium and is open to the public. The Gaieties, dating back to 1911, will be staged Wednesday through Friday at 8 pm.

Shaw praised his team Wednesday night after a spirited practice. “I like where we are between the ears,” Shaw said … Stanford leads the overall series, 64-46-11 … Shaw is 8-0 against Cal … Former Cardinal standout safety John Lynch ’92 will be recognized as part of the 125-year celebration of Stanford football. He’s now general manager of the 49ers … Sophomore wide receiver Simi Fehoko has six touchdown catches in his last five games … The Cardinal has played 20 freshmen this season and 18 saw action last week … Saturday’s game will be televised on Pac-12 Networks.

“You have to amp up your energy and your execution to play at your absolute best, but you also have to know where that line is. This is a respectful rivalry.” — David Shaw on playing Cal.

Stanford Cardinal Overwhelm the Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks 76-55

Photo credit: @StanfordMBB

By Jerry Feitelberg

STANFORD — The Stanford Cardinal had very little trouble beating the visiting team fro Maryland Eastern Shore. The University, part of the University of Maryland system, is a historically Black college with an enrollment of 2862 students. The college is located in Princess Anne, Maryland.

The Cardinal rushed out to a 14-1 advantage early in the first half. The Hawks’ first three points were free throws. They didn’t score their first basket until 8 minutes were played. Stanford continued to dominate play on both ends of the court. The offense finished the first half with a 30-point lead 46-16. Stanford’s Oscar Da Silva led the Cardinal offense.

In the second half, the young men from Maryland Eastern Shore regrouped and made a run to get back in the game. It was not easy as they were down by thirty points. The Hawks came out and went on a 13-3 run. They were helped by Stanford’s sloppy play early in the second half. The Hawk cut the deficit to 49-29. Stanford righted the ship behind the play of Isaac White and Jaiden Delaire. Stanford led again by thirty 69-39. It was at this point in the game that Stanford’s head coach Jerod Haase inserted players from the bench. The Cardinal won their fifth in a row to win 76-55.

Game Notes: The Cardinal improved to 5-0 while Maryland Eastern Shore remained winless, and their record is now 0-5.

The Cardinal had four players in double figures. They were led bt Jaiden Delaire. Delaire had 21, Oscar da Sila 16, Spencer Jones 12, and Tyrell Terry 10.

The Hawks’ Canaan Bartlet led the team with 10. No other player from Maryland Eastern Shore was in double figures.

Up Next: The Cardinal returns to action Thursday night at Maples Pavilion to face the Team from William and Mary University. The game will start at 7 pm.

Stanford and Cal battle for the Axe on Saturday

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By Ana Kieu

The Stanford Cardinal and Cal Golden Bears meet for the 122nd time on Saturday, with the Cardinal leading the all-time series 64-46-11. Stanford has won nine straight in the series, the longest winning streak in series history.

The Big Game is the sixth-most played college football rivalry game. Cal is Stanford’s most common opponent (next is USC with 99 all-time meetings). Stanford’s 64 victories over Cal are its most against any opponent.

Under head coach David Shaw, Stanford is 22-6 against Cal, UCLA and USC. In the six seasons before Shaw, the Cardinal was 7-11 against those three teams. Overall, Stanford is 28-7 against in-state opponents under Shaw.

A total of 20 true freshmen have made their first career appearances so far this season: Bradley Archer, Branson Bragg, Aeneas DiCosmo, Stephen Herron, Elijah Higgins, Jake Hornibrook, Austin Jones, Brock Jones, Spencer Jorgensen, Kyu Blu Kelly, Zahran Manley, Jonathan McGill, Barrett Miller, Drake Nugent, Joshua Pakola, Nathaniel Peat, Walter Rouse, Ryan Sanborn, Tristan Sinclair and Nicolas Toomer. Eighteen true freshmen played in Saturday’s game at Washington State.

A total of 17 Cardinal have made their first career starts so far: Ryan Beecher, Branson Bragg, Henry Hattis, Stuart Head, Houston Heimuli, Jake Hornibrook, Kyu Blu Kelly, Jonathan McGill, Barrett Miller, Davis Mills, J.J. Parson, Andrew Pryts, Curtis Robinson, Walter Rouse, Foster Sarell, Osiris St. Brown and Jack West. Thirty-seven different Cardinal have started at least one game for Stanford this season.

Junior quarterback Davis Mills set the school record for passing on Saturday with 504 yards. He was 33-of-50, both career highs, while his three touchdowns tied a career high. He became the first Cardinal QB since Andrew Luck in 2009 to have a 400-yard passing game, breaking Todd Husak’s 21-year record in the process (450 vs. Oregon State on Oct. 10, 1998).

Junior tight end Colby Parkinson was named a John Mackey Award semifinalist on Monday, one of eight up for the nation’s top tight end award. Parkinson has 41 catches for 392 yards and a touchdown on the season, while also throwing for a touchdown against Oregon State.

Both Connor Wedington and Michael Wilson went over 100 yards receiving in Saturday’s game at Washington State. It marked the first time in each of their careers they had surpassed the century mark. Wedington led the team with eight catches for 119 yards and now has a catch in all 27 career games. Wilson had five receptions for 114 yards and a touchdown.

Stanford’s Mills joins elite company with record-setting performance

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By Ana Kieu

The Stanford Cardinal record book is filled with accomplished quarterbacks such as Frankie Albert, John Brodie, Dick Norman, Jim Plunkett, Steve Dils, Guy Benjamin, Mike Boryla, John Elway, Steve Stenstrom, Todd Husak, Andrew Luck and Kevin Hogan.

Add Davis Mills to the record book.

On Saturday in Pullman, Wash., Mills achieved something no other Cardinal signal caller had done. In just his fourth college start, the junior from Duluth, Ga., threw for 504 yards against Washington State, breaking the single-game record of 450 set by Husak against Oregon State in 1998.

“You see the potential, you see the ability,” said Bradford M. Freeman Director of Football David Shaw. “This kid has a chance to be very special.”

It was the first 400-yard passing game for Stanford since Luck went for 423 at Arizona in 2009.

Mills was subbing for senior starter K.J. Costello, who has now missed four and a half games this season due to injury. Shaw’s game plan wasn’t to air it out or attempt 50 passes, but when the Cardinal fell behind 19-0 early in the second quarter to the top passing team in college football on its home turf, he had little choice.

“Once we were down three scores, we had to throw the ball,” Shaw said.

Mills, who passed for 6,290 yards and 66 touchdowns at Greater Atlanta Christian High, obliged.

Showing poise, patience and accuracy, Mills connected with 10 different receivers for 33 completions, three producing touchdowns in the 49-22 defeat.

With Mills leading the way, Stanford clawed within three points (23-20) with 4:18 remaining in the third quarter on his 10-yard scoring toss to sophomore Simi Fehoko and fifth-year senior running back Cameron Scarlett’s two-point conversion.

Four Stanford players finished with 80 or more receiving yards, led by junior Connor Wedington with eight catches for 119 and sophomore Michael Wilson with five for 114. Fehoko grabbed three for 92 and junior Colby Parkinson collected five for 80.

“We’ve got outstanding receivers,” Shaw said.

Wedington and Wilson recorded career-highs in receiving yards, each topping 100 for the first time. Wedington has a reception in all 27 games at Stanford, while Fehoko registered his second two-touchdown game and has six scoring grabs in his last five contests.

With junior cornerback Paulson Adebo, the Pac-12 leader in passes defended and No. 5 nationally, and senior captain and free safety Malik Antoine sidelined by injuries, Shaw started true freshmen Jonathan McGill at nickel back and Kyu Blu Kelly at cornerback. The situation became more challenging when senior cornerbacks Obi Eboh and Treyjohn Butler went down.

“Obviously, we were shorthanded,” Shaw said. “We fought hard.”

Unable to mount a pass rush against Cougar quarterback Anthony Gordon, a transfer from San Francisco City College and the nation’s leading passer, Washington State piled up 624 yards — 520 through the air — and never punted.

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After two road losses, Stanford (4-6, 3-5 Pac-12) looks to regroup at home on Saturday at 1 p.m. against Cal (5-5, 2-5 Pac-12). The Bears lost to USC 41-17 on Saturday night.

Stanford has won a series-high nine consecutive games against Cal. Shaw has grappled with injuries all season and might not know who is available until late in the week.

“We’ve got the talent to hang with them, but we can’t make a lot of mistakes and we don’t have a large margin of error,” Shaw said. “We might have a lot of young guys out there, but we’ll get them ready to battle.”

Last year’s game in Berkeley was postponed due to poor air quality from the Camp Fire in Paradise, Calif. It marked the first time in 55 years the game date was moved.

Shaw said there is plenty to play for against Cal and Notre Dame. Stanford needs two wins to become postseason eligible.

“We’re not even thinking about a bowl game right now,” said Shaw. “We’ve got two of our big-time rivals at home in November. We have to craft the best game plan possible.”

A public celebration for former Stanford head coach John Ralston will be held on Monday at 4:30 p.m. at Stanford Memorial Church. Limited parking is available near the Campus Oval, and a shuttle service will run between the Stanford Faculty Club (439 Lagunita Drive) and Memorial Church starting at 4 p.m.

Ralston revived the Stanford football program and led the team to consecutive Rose Bowl victories in 1971 and 1972. Known for his outgoing personality, energy and positive attitude, he coached at Stanford for nine years from 1963-1971 and compiled a 55-36-3 record.

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Curtis Robison returned to the lineup and shared game tackling honors with nine. Kendall Williamson and Stuart Head had seven stops … Stanford used nine true freshmen on the kickoff coverage team … Scooter Harrington started at tight end, marking the 37th different player to start for the Cardinal this season … With Bradley Archer, Joshua Pakola and Nicolas Toomer seeing their first game action, Stanford has now used 20 true freshmen this season … Casey Toohill blocked an extra point, the third blocked kick by the Cardinal this season (Eboh on a field goal against Oregon State and Spencer Jorgensen on a blocked punt against UCLA) … Toohill also had a sack, his team-leading seventh of the season, and ranks third in the Pac-12 and 27th nationally … McGill made his first career pass interception to thwart a WSU scoring drive … Alex Gracey punted for the first time as a Cardinal. Two of his three kicks were downed inside the WSU 5-yard line … Jeff Raikes ’80, Chairman of the Stanford University Board of Trustees since 2012 and Co-Founder of the Raikes Foundation, served as Stanford’s honorary captain.

“I like to think it was my tutoring over the summer as he was my intern @CBRE_PaloAlto.” — Husak, the Stanford football radio analyst, on his Twitter account about Mills breaking his passing record.

Cougars use big second half to blow away Cardinal, 49-22

Photo credit: @StanfordFball

By Daniel Dullum
Sports Radio Service
Saturday, November 16, 2019

Washington State quarterback Anthony Gordon threw for 520 yards and five touchdowns on Saturday, leading the Cougars to a 49-22 Pac-12 football win over Stanford at Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash.

The Cougars (5-5 overall, 2-5 Pac-12) had a 19-0 lead in the first half before Stanford could respond. Gordon threw two touchdown passes to Easop Winston Jr. and another to Davontavean Martin.

Stanford’s Davis Mills, who had an impressive passing game himself, rallied the Cardinal (4-6 overall, 3-5 Pac-12) to within 19-14 in the second quarter with touchdown passes of 28 yards to Simi Fehoko and 23 yards to Michael Wilson.

Blake Mazza, who missed two early PAT kicks, booted a 35-yard field goal to give WSU a 22-14 halftime lead.

Mazza kicked a 38-yard field goal at 6:35 of the third quarter, giving the Cougars an 11-point lead. But Stanford pulled to within 25-22 just over two minutes later when Mills connected with Fehoko on a 10-yard scoring pass. Cameron Scott added a 2-point conversion run.

That’s as close as the Cardinal would get. At 3:29 of the third quarter, Gordon’s 5-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Arconado ignited a 24-point run to pull away.

In the fourth quarter, a Mazza 35-yard field goal, Gordon’s TD pass to Max Borghi — his fifth of the day — and Borghi’s 4-yard touchdown run completed WSU’s scoring.

Gordon completed 44 of 60 passes with one interception and was sacked twice. Mills threw 50 times, completing 33 for 504 yards and three touchdowns with two picks and two sacks.

Stanford’s running game was nearly nonexistent, with 16 net rushing yards. Borghi ran 15 times for 111 yards, leading WSU.

Connor Wedington led Cardinal pass receivers with eight catches for 119 yards. Wilson caught five passes for 114 yards. Fehoko had 92 receiving yards on three receptions, and Colby Parkinson caught five passes for 80 yards.

Arconado had nine receptions for 148 yards to lead the Cougars. Winston Jr. caught a game-high 11 passes for 107 yards,

The Cardinal return home this Saturday (11/23) to host California for this year’s edition of The Big Game, Kickoff is at 1 p.m. PST.

Stanford’s Sarell returns to his roots

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By Ana Kieu

Foster Sarell will return to his home state when Stanford takes on Washington State on Saturday in Pullman at 1:30 pm PT.

“It’s the east side of Washington and I’m a west side guy,” said Sarell, who was recruited by the Huskies and hails from Graham, a town of just more than 23,000. “If it was up at UW, I would definitely feel a little more. I know lot of people that go to school there (WSU), so that will be fun playing around people I grew up with my whole life.”

Sarell and Drew Dalman are the lone upperclassmen on a Cardinal offensive line that has been hit hard by injuries. The rest of the starters are true freshmen.

“It’s definitely gotten better as we’ve progressed,” Sarell said of the line’s cohesion. “Just trying to understand each other’s tendencies and how we see things.”

The good news is that the same group will start for the fourth consecutive game. Sarell will line up at right tackle for the seventh straight contest; Jake Hornibrook goes at right guard for the fourth-straight game; Dalman, the only member of the unit to start every game, makes his 10th-straight start; Barrett Miller draws his sixth straight start at left guard; and Walter Rouse goes for the ninth straight week.

“I feel really comfortable having Jake next to me and having Barrett and Walter on the other side,” said Sarell. “It’s not going to be perfect but what we’ve got right now has done a good job.”

Sarell appeared in 14 games as a freshman in 2017, but was limited to three last year due to injury. He has missed one game in 2019 and wants to keep it that way as the Cardinal (4-5, 3-4 Pac-12) looks to right the ship from last Saturday’s final play loss in Colorado against the Cougars (4-5, 1-5 Pac-12).

While David Shaw, the Bradford M. Freeman Director or Football, complimented the play of Dalman and Sarell this season, both continue to refine their crafts and provide daily advice to the freshmen.

“A little bit,” said Sarell. “It’s just naturally going to happen because they’re young and haven’t been through the ringer like Drew and I have. But I actually really enjoy it because I love the young guys that are with us. They’re super-cool, awesome kids and to be able to coach and help them in any way possible only makes me better.”

Sarell said the toughest part was losing Henry Hattis for the season against Washington.

“When Henry went down, because of how close I am with him, my heart ached for him,” Sarell said. “That stuff hurts because you are brothers and you care for them. But in terms of an athletic mindset, it’s always the next man up.”

Sarell had high praise for run game coordinator and offensive line coach Kevin Carberry for his positive attitude and constant adjustments.

“He’s coached so well with what he’s had to deal with,” said Sarell. “There haven’t been many games where the offensive line has played together consecutively. He’s done a great job handling that and coaching us. You can tell he just loves ball and doesn’t care who’s in there. He’s just going to coach them as hard as he can.”

What makes Carberry special?

“He brings the juice and is a high-energy man,” Sarell said. “That’s great to have because sometimes you have those days where you are just mulling around, and he comes out firing. He coaches hard and you can tell he cares for us and loves the game. That makes you want to push yourself and love the game as well.”

Paulson Adebo and junior tight end Tucker Fisk sustained injuries against Colorado and are out “for a while”, Shaw said. Malik Antoine and K.J. Costello are doubtful; and Curtis Robinson is probable.

Costello took a hard hit against the Buffaloes, but was cleared to return and threw a fourth quarter strike to Simi Fehoko, which resulted in a 79-yard touchdown. Costello, who has missed 3 1/2 games this season, hasn’t practiced this week.

Davis Mills returned to practice last week and could’ve played against Colorado.

“He’s looked really good,” Shaw said Wednesday night.

Additionally, Shaw said Trevor Speights will not play this season but remains hopeful Devery Hamilton will return.

Stuart Head said preparing for the WSU offense can be stressful. The task will be made tougher without Adebo, the Pac-12 leader and tied for fifth in the FBS in passes defended with 14, and Antoine.

“It’s probably the most hectic preparation week in the whole season, for the DBs specifically,” Head said. “We like to invite that challenge for ourselves – they always have the leading passer in the country and a great group of receivers. We know we can affect the game in a positive way if we’re prepared and ready on Saturday.”

The Cougars’ quarterback Anthony Gordon leads the FBS with 3,794 passing yards. His closest pursuer has 3,198 — a difference of 596 yards.

While Cougars head coach Mike Leach is outspoken, quirky and loves putting the ball in the air, Shaw is more even-tempered and believes in a balanced attack. That said, they’re more similar than you think.

“Commonalities-wise, we enjoy the game, we enjoy the chess match on game day,” said Shaw. “My call (play) sheet is 10-times bigger than his. But when you watch them, you don’t see that because he’s the master adjuster. He’ll say he’s got five pass plays in a game, but they look like 25, because he’ll call one and then tag a receiver and do something different. The manipulation on that 3-by-5 card is always different than it seems.”

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A public celebration of former Cardinal head coach John Ralston will be held on Monday, November 18, at 4:30 pm PT at Stanford Memorial Church. Limited parking is available near the Campus Oval, and a shuttle service will run between the Stanford Faculty Club (439 Lagunita Drive) and Memorial Church starting at 4 pm PT.

Ralston revitalized the Stanford football program and guided the team to consecutive Rose Bowl victories in 1971 and 1972. Known for his outgoing personality, relentless work ethic, innovative play calling, organization and positive attitude, he coached at Stanford for nine years from 1963-1971 and compiled a 55-36-3 record. Before his arrival, the team had recorded five straight losing seasons.

In the late 1960’s, Ralston changed Stanford’s offensive philosophy from a power running game to a pro-style passing attack. Recruiting local quarterbacks Jim Plunkett from James Lick High and Don Bunce from Woodside High, Ralston won consecutive Pac-8 titles in 1970 and 1971.

Plunkett engineered the upset of Ohio State (27-17) in 1971 and was named Stanford’s first and only Heisman Trophy winner. The following year, Bunce took the reins and helped Stanford shock Michigan 13-12.

Prior to Stanford’s Rose Bowl triumph in Pasadena in 1971, the program’s last visit was 1952, when it fell to Illinois (40-7). Stanford’s most recent Rose Bowl win was 1941, when it defeated Nebraska (21-13).

“Growing up on the West Coast in a football family, John Ralston was one of those iconic coaches to me,” said Shaw. “His name was synonymous with teaching, positive energy and class.”

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A member of the Stanford Athletics Hall of Fame, Ralston was a linebacker at Cal from 1947-50 and played in the 1949 and 1950 Rose Bowls for legendary head coach Lynn “Pappy” Waldorf. Ralston graduated from Cal in 1951.

Gifts in Ralston’s memory can be made to a new fund established in his name at Stanford University to help support leadership development and education.

To bolster the secondary, Shaw said Zahran Manley and Nicolas Toomer could see playing time. Manley has appeared in five games. “They’re great young corners,” said Head. “Whoever we put on the field will be ready.” … Shaw said 25 players have missed significant playing times due to injuries – only two with similar issues. “It’s been one of those crazy years,” Shaw said … Asked what he expects from his team in the final three games, Shaw said, “Effort and execution.” … Saturday’s weather forecast calls for partly cloudy skies and a temperature of 50 degrees … Kickoff for the 122nd Big Game against Cal on November 23 at Stanford Stadium has been set for 1 pm PT.

“We go from triage to gameplan.” — David Shaw

#19 Arizona takes down San Jose State in Tucson

Photo credit: @SanJoseStateMBB

By Ana Kieu

The San Jose State men’s basketball was in the desert to take on the 19-ranked Arizona Wildcats at McKale Center Thursday evening. This was the Spartans and Wildcats first meeting since 1984.

SJSU was welcomed by Arizona, but the warm welcome ended sooner than later. The Spartans’ starting lineup featured Brae Ivey, Seneca Knight, Christian Anigwe, Eduardo Lane and Craig LeCesne. The Spartans won the possession and the tipoff and first half in Tuscon, Ariz. went underway. The Wildcats had an early 5-3 lead at the 15:08 mark during the first media timeout. The Spartans’ Richard Washington knocked down his first 3-pointer to tie the score 8-8 at the 14:09 mark.

Arizona led 17-10 at the second media timeout with 9:54 left. However, SJSU’s Ralph Agee made the most of his minutes early with 4 points and 3 boards.

Arizona built up their lead, 29-16, at the final media timeout of the first half with 3:01 left. The Wildcats kept going at it, taking a 39-17 lead to the locker room at the halftime break.

Things weren’t any better in the second half for the Spartans. The Wildcats led 40-22 at the first media timeout at the 15:52 mark. Then, SJSU scored the first 7 points of the half as they continued to chip away in 40-24 deficit.

The Spartans went on a 9-0 run, but it came to an end on a 3-ball, but LeCesne converted on the ensuing possession at the 13:18 mark. Yet, SJSU was optimistic as they tweeted that they were still in it, despite a 43-28 deficit.

The Wildcats responded with a run of their own. Soon enough, Arizona was in the driver’s seat with a commanding 61-29 lead with 8:12 left to play. The Wildcats won 87-39.

With the loss, SJSU fell to 1-2, while Arizona improved to 3-0.

The Spartans return home to host the Simpson Red Hawks on Sunday, November 17 at 4 pm PT.

SJSU MBB on Pac-12 Network Thursday at #19 Arizona

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By Ana Kieu

San Jose State men’s basketball continues the non-conference portion of its 2019-20 schedule with a trip to Tuscon on Thursday against the Arizona Wildcats for a 5 PM PT tip on Pac-12 Networks.

PPG: 68.0 | FG%: 43.5 | 3FG%: 27.1 | FT%: 50.0

Notes: San JosΓ© State opened the 2019-20 season with a bang, defeating Hofstra on the road last Wednesday. It was the Spartans’ first road win since 2017, snapping a 21-game road losing streak. The Spartans dropped their home opener, 72-57, against Portland on Sunday. Former Wake Forest guard Richard Washington leads SJSU in scoring at 17.0 points per game with forward Craig LeCesne also in double-figures at 12.5 points per game.

#19 ARIZONA WILDCATS (2-0, 0-0 P12)
PPG: 90.5 | FG%: 54.9 | 3FG%: 41.0 | FT%: 73.8

Series: SJSU trails, 4-9 (2-7 in Tucson)

Last: SJSU lost on the road, 79-44, on Dec. 1, 1984

Notes: Arizona is 2-0 after posting wins against Northern Arizona and Illinois. A trio of freshman, Nico Mannion, Josh Green and Zeke Nnaji combined for 53 points in the blowout win, 90-69, over the Illini. The 6-foot-11 Nnaji is the team’s leading scorer thus far at 19.5 points per game. The Wildcats have 10 different players averaging 10+ minutes per game.

TV — Pac-12 Networks with Daron Sutton and Matt Muehlebach announcing.

Stream — with a cable login

Radio — Justin Allegri on the call through and the TuneIn app. Search for “San Jose St. Basketball”.

– Arizona leads the all-time series at 4-9

– The Wildcats hold a 7-2 edge at home

– Last meeting was a 79-44 loss in Tucson on Dec. 1, 1984.

– The Spartans won three of the first five meetings.

– Arizona has won six straight games in the series.

– SJSU assistant coach Tim Marrion spent last year on former Washington State head coach Ernie Kent’s staff.

– The Cougars defeated Arizona at the McKale Center, 69-55, behind 31 points and seven three-pointers from forward Robert Franks. Guard CJ Elleby added 18 points.

– WSU held Arizona to just 26.1% shooting from three.

– SJSU’s last win against a top-25 team was on Dec. 27, 1996. The Spartans topped No. 19 ranked Alabama, 60-59 in overtime.

– The Spartans have four wins overall against top-25 teams.

– SJSU’s last game against a top-25 team was a 92-53 loss to No. 10 Nevada last season.

– A goal this year for head coach Jean Prioleau was to cut down on his team’s turnovers. The Spartans averaged 15.6 turnovers per game last season.

– This year, the Spartans are averaging 12.0 turnovers per game, which ranks No. 85 in the NCAA.

– SJSU opened the 2019-20 season with a bang, defeating Hofstra on the road, 79-71.

– Hofstra won 27 games last year, SJSU lost 27 games.

– In his Spartan debut, JC transfer and former Wake Forest guard, Richard Washington, posted a team-high 23 points off the bench on 8-of-13 shooting. He scored 12 of his 23 points in the final four minutes, including a stretch of three straight three-pointers to put the game away.

– Senior forward Craig LeCesne had his first career double-double with a career-high 19 points plus 11 rebounds.

– It was SJSU’s first win in a road opener since 2010-11 when the Spartans topped Eastern Washington, 67-60.

– The Spartans snapped a 21-game road losing streak dating back to the 2017-18 campaign.

– SJSU won on the East Coast for the first time since 2001-02, when the Spartans defeated Fairleigh Dickinson at the BCA Tournament hosted by NC State in Raleigh, N.C.

– The Spartans return seven players who started at least one game a season ago.

– Guard Seneca Knight is the most experienced, as the sophomore started 17 games, including the final 12, of his rookie season.

– Point guard Brea Ivey was just behind Knight, as the former junior college transfer started 16 games last season.

– Forward Craig LeCesne and guard Zach Chappell both started 15 games last year.

– Forward Christian Anigwe, guard Isaiah Nichols and walk-on guard Trey Smith each started one game.

Spartans head coach Jean Prioleau will have the help of six newcomers on the roster in 2019-20.

– The Spartans have three new junior college transfers in Richard Washington (Tallahassee CC), Eduardo Lane (Marshalltown CC) and Ralph Agee (East LA College). Washington started his collegiate career at Wake Forest, where he played eight games as a freshman before an injury caused him to miss the entire 2017-18 season.

– Another Wake Forest transfer will join the Spartans on the floor this season, as center Samuel Japhet-Mathias will be eligible after a redshirt season last year. The former four-star recruit appeared in 17 games off the bench at Wake Forest as a freshman in 2016-17. He posted six points and four rebounds at No. 17 Xavier.

– Prioleau added two freshmen this season in guard Omari Moore and walk-on center Harminder Dhaliwal.

– SJSU will play 10 games on TV this season, including three at home.

– SJSU hosts an ESPN networks game this year for the first time since 2010-11, when either ESPN2 or ESPNU will carry the SJSU tip against Utah State on Dec. 4. SJSU will also be on ESPN2 or ESPNU when visiting Utah State on Feb. 26.

– SJSU will have four non-conference games on TV, all against Pac-12 competition. The Spartans will be on CBS Sports Network when hosting Stanford at the Provident Credit Union Event Center on Dec. 14. SJSU will battle both UCLA and Arizona on Pac-12 Networks and meet Oregon State on FS1 for a neutral site matchup in Las Vegas.

– The Spartans will also have four Mountain West contests on AT&T SportsNet this season — Jan. 15 at UNLV, Jan. 21 at New Mexico, Feb. 8 at Nevada and Feb. 29 vs. UNLV.

Final three games will likely test the character of the young Cardinal

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By Ana Kieu

Facing a hungry, dangerous team on Homecoming, Stanford gave itself a great chance to escape Colorado with a victory on Saturday, but was unable to shut the door on the Buffaloes.

Having lost five consecutive games and allowed 30-plus points to every opponent, Colorado dug in on defense, limiting Stanford to one touchdown in the 16-13 victory. On two red zone trips, Stanford settled for a field goal and missed a short attempt.

“It had a dramatic effect on the game,” said senior quarterback K.J. Costello. “What that does is put stress on your defense countless times to hold them to field goals instead of touchdowns.”

After allowing an early score, the Cardinal defense settled down and played well in the thinner air and unseasonably warm mid-70-degree temperatures. Ultimately, it came down to a final stop, but the Buffaloes chewed up the final six minutes with a 13-play, 61-yard drive culminating in a game-winning 37-yard field goal by Evan Price.

“It’s really disappointing,” said fifth-year senior outside linebacker Casey Toohill. “At the end, we just weren’t good enough. That’s a hard pill to swallow, but it’s the truth so we have to deal with it.”

Although no one’s looking past Saturday’s 1:30 p.m. kickoff against Washington State in Pullman, Stanford (4-5, 3-4 Pac-12) needs two wins in its final three outings to become bowl eligible.

Stanford concludes the regular season by hosting Cal on Nov. 23 and Notre Dame on Nov. 30.

“The bottom line is we have to play better in the fourth quarter,” said Bradford M. Freeman Director of Football David Shaw.

As difficult as losses have been, many young players continue to learn on the fly, including three freshmen starters on the offensive line. They’re growing with every snap and have bright futures.

Through nine games, 17 freshmen have played, seven in starting roles due to injuries. On Saturday, offensive lineman Drake Nugent and inside linebacker Aeneas DiCosmo made their college debuts.

Freshmen running backs Austin Jones and Nathaniel Peat made nice contributions. Jones ran five times for 30 yards and Peat had four carries for 29. Jones also made a 4-yard reception.

Also seeing action for the second time this season was freshman inside linebacker Tristan Sinclair, who made two solo tackles.

“They’re fast, athletic and made some plays,” Shaw said. “We missed a couple things and you know that going in when you’re going to have young, inexperienced guys out there against experienced guys on the other side.”

Additionally, 17 Cardinal have started for the first time in their college careers, with fifth-year senior inside linebacker Ryan Beecher joining the list against Colorado.

Sophomore wide receiver Simi Fehoko has developed into one of the team’s best playmakers. He caught a 79-yard touchdown pass from Costello early in the fourth quarter to give Stanford a 13-10 lead. It was Fehoko’s fourth scoring reception of the season and the team’s longest since JJ Arcega-Whiteside’s 80-yard grab against San Diego State in 2018.

“I saw the hole and actually thought the corner was going to peel off and get me,” said Fehoko, who caught the ball across the middle, then weaved his way through Colorado defenders and outran them to the end zone.

The play energized the team at just the right time.

“After I went to the sideline, everybody was a lot more juiced,” Fehoko said. “We just had to go down and close it.”

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After piling up 472 yards and 41 points against Arizona, the offense struggled against Colorado. Stanford managed only 15 first downs, was 3-of-10 on third down, and committed costly penalties.

“They did a good job in showing us a lot of different looks, but nothing we hadn’t seen,” said Costello. “It came down to pure execution.”

Costello said it was tough watching Colorado consume the last six minutes off the clock.

“I don’t know about any other player, but I want the ball in my hands to win the game,” Costello said. “It’s frustrating.”

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Stanford plays its final road game on Saturday against Washington State (4-5, 1-5 Pac-12) in Pullman. The Cougars lost at Cal on Saturday, 33-20, failing to score 30 or more points for just the second time this season.

Washington State head coach Mike Leach loves to air it out. Led by quarterback Anthony Gordon, the Cougars pace the Pac-12 in passing, averaging 37.4 attempts and 411.7 yards per game. WSU crushed visiting Colorado, 41-10, on Oct. 19, and narrowly lost at Oregon two weeks ago in Eugene on a last-second field goal, 37-35.

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Senior inside linebacker Andrew Pryts led Stanford in tackles with seven. He ranks 13th in the Pac-12 in stops with 45 … Stanford recorded five tackles for loss, with Toohill recording a sack. He now has six on the season and five in conference play, the fourth-most in the conference, and ranks 10th in tackles for loss with six … Junior cornerback Paulson Adebo continues to lead the Pac-12 in passes defended with 14 and has four interceptions … Sophomore fullback Jay Symonds caught his second career pass … Costello now has 6,151 career passing yards and became the ninth player in school history to surpass 6,000 … Fifth-year senior running back Cameron Scarlett ran for a team-high 63 yards and moved past 2019 Stanford Athletics Hall of Fame inductee Bill Tarr (1953-55) into 20th place on the program’s career list with 1,599 … Former Stanford fullback Ryan Hewitt (2009-13) served as the honorary captain. Tough and versatile, he ran for more than 500 yards and helped lead Stanford to consecutive Pac-12 titles and two trips to the Rose Bowl. Hewitt played for six seasons in the NFL.

“You can feel a little salt in the locker room.” — K.J. Costello after the loss and how he thinks it will help motivate the team

Healthier, Wealthier: Bears finally cash in with 33-20 win over WSU ending four-game slide

By Morris Phillips

BERKELEY, Calif. — Well, we knew coming in that previously ranked Washington State and Cal are pretty good football teams except when they aren’t.

The Cougs look bad when they can’t stop anybody, and when the Bears struggle they can’t score.Β  Those two storylines grew old in Pullman and Berkeley with all the losing. Since late September when WSU and Cal were both undefeated and nationally ranked, the two clubs combined for a 1-8 record.

So Saturday’s matchup offered redemption for one of the two teams, and more of the same for the other.

Who gained the upper hand?

Cal did, winning 33-20, as they welcomed back injured, offensive starters Michael Saffell, Kekoa Crawford and Devon Modster, three big reasons the Bears put up a season-best 33 points, one game after they were shutout in Salt Lake City.

“It just shows a lot of grit, coming off of a four-game losing streak,” said Modster, who threw for three scores and ran for another. “Our spirits didn’t die. We came out to work every day, and I think it showed tonight.”

The Bears scored just 24 points total in their previous three losses, but needed all of 45 seconds to find the end zone on Saturday night. Jaylinn Hawkins picked off Anthony Gordon’s first pass attempt of the game, and Christopher Brown Jr. covered 27 yards on a touchdown run one play later.

Any illusions that Cal was going to erase all its ills immediately were wiped out on the extra-point attempt when WSU’s George Hicks III scooped up a blocked kick and raced the length of the field for two points for the Cougars.

When is a touchdown not worth seven points on the scoreboard? In this case, when the Bears’ faulty place-kicking game gets involved. In that case, seven points is effectively reduced to four.

Defensively, the Bears were on point from the start, not only with Hawkins interception, but by getting off the field in a timely matter on Washington State’s next two possessions. But after tight end Gavin Reinwald fumbled trying to get extra yardage after a catch, WSU had a short field, and drew within a point on Drew Mazza’s 30-yard field goal.

Giving away points to a normally prolific WSU offense could have spelled disaster. Trailing only 6-5 after a lackluster beginning may have been the Cougars signal to bury Cal offensively, but it wasn’t. WSU committed too many penalties (10), couldn’t run the ball (16 yards on just 14 attempts) and didn’t do enough in the pass game despite racking up 407 yards passing on Gordon’s 58 pass attempts.

Instead, Cal limited WSU’s receivers after the catch, came up with Hawkins’ pick and a fumble recovery, along with a key stop early in the fourth quarter that preserved Cal’s 20-14 lead.

Meanwhile, the Bears took after halftime, as the Cougs imploded, building on their 13-11 lead at the break with a couple of big plays, most significantly, Makai Polk’s 52-yard catch-and-run that put Cal up 26-14 with 6:15 remaining. Polk, the freshman from Richmond, had just three catches all season prior to his touchdown, a moment of brilliance that saw Modster recognize the defense pre-snap, then have Polk take advantage after catching a simple screen pass.

“They were (in) cover zero and I knew it was going to be a big gain, but I didn’t know if it was going to be a touchdown or not,” Modster recalled. “But right when I threw it I saw a huge hole and Makai just did all the rest.”

The Bears are back in the postseason mix if they can gain at least one more win in their final three games. USC comes to Berkeley on Saturday, then the Bears visit Stanford. Both teams have been vulnerable at points this season, and Cal could benefit greatly if that resurfaces for either opponent. Bringing to an end the nine consecutive losses to Stanford probably is especially enticing to the Bears.