|Stepfan Taylor led Stanford to another win over Cal. (US Presswire)|
STANFORD WON: Stepfan Taylor rushed for 189 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries to lead No. 22 Stanford (5-2) to a 21-3 win over archrival California (3-5). The Cardinal held the Bears to just 217 total yards, including three net yards on the ground. Stanford quarterback Josh Nunes threw for 214 yards and a touchdown and tight end Zach Ertz caught six passes for 134 yards and a score. Zach Maynard led Cal with 214 passing yards and freshman wideout Chris Harper caught four passes for 82 yards. Stanford holds on to the coveted Axe trophy for the third consecutive year.
WHEN STANFORD WON: All the points in this game were scored in the first half, but Stanford took the game under control early in the second quarter. The Cardinal went on a three-play, 75-yard drive that culminated in a 9-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Kevin Hogan to tight end Levine Toilolo. The big play on that drive was a 68-yard pass from Nunes to Ertz down to the Cal 7-yard line. Stanford punched it in to put the game out of reach for the anemic Bears offense.
WHY STANFORD WON: The Stanford front seven put in one of its best performances of the season, throttling the Cal rushing attack and holding the Bears to just 1 of 14 on third-down conversions. The Cardinal forced three turnovers and limited Cal running back Isi Sofele to just 13 yards on 10 carries. Stanford's offense wasn't especially sharp, but it didn't need to be with its defense playing so well.
WHAT STANFORD WON: The Cardinal once again captured The Axe, the coveted prize that goes to the winner of the Cal-Stanford rivalry. At 3-1 in conference play, Stanford also kept its Pac-12 title hopes alive and will remain in the rankings for at least one more week.
WHAT CAL LOST: It's never fun to lose to your rival and Cal did so for the third consecutive season. It was also yet another lackluster performance for the Bears in the newly-renovated Memorial Stadium and, as a result, Jeff Tedford's seat could be getting hotter and hotter.