Stanford routs rival Cal, moves closer to possible BCS berth

BERKELEY, Calif. — About the only fight California put up against Stanford came before the pregame coin toss when the Golden Bears came out on the field en masse jawing at their rivals.

Stanford's players responded, and that bit of trash-talking ended in a standstill. After that, the seventh-ranked Cardinal turned the day into a Big Game blowout.

Andrew Luck threw two touchdown passes and led Stanford to scores on all eight possessions he played as the Cardinal beat California 48-14 on Saturday for its most lopsided win in the rivalry in 80 years.

"Our guys really kept their cool and I think that was a big difference today," Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh said. "They kept their poise. I don't like that kind of football where you try and talk and intimidate. ... Just play football. Shut up and play football."

That's what the Cardinal (10-1, 7-1 Pac-10) did to win for just the second time in the past nine games against the Golden Bears (5-6, 3-5).

Luck completed 16 of 20 passes for 235 yards and added 72 yards on the ground. Stepfan Taylor ran for three scores as the Cal defense, which shut down No. 1 Oregon's high-powered spread offense in a 15-13 loss just one week ago, had no answers for Luck and the Cardinal's power game.

Luck managed to atone a bit for last year's struggles against Cal, when he completed 10 of 30 passes and threw a game-sealing interception deep in Cal territory with just over a minute left in a 34-28 loss.

"I definitely had some motivation coming off last year's disappointment," Luck said. "That being said, it was a new year and you can't really dwell on the past too much. But I did get a little extra motivation from that experience."

Twenty-eight years to the day after Stanford was stunned on this same field by The Play, Luck made sure the Cardinal could not be done in by a five-lateral kickoff return through the band for the game-winning touchdown this time. Stanford even got a pep talk from John Elway, the losing quarterback in that 1982 game.

Luck led the Cardinal on touchdown drives of 95, 86, 90 and 61 yards in the first half. He threw touchdown passes to Zach Ertz and Doug Baldwin and bowled over safety Sean Cattouse on a 58-yard run that set up Stanford's first touchdown.

Luck also engineered touchdown drives on the first two drives of the second half, then led the Cardinal to a field goal in the fourth quarter as the offense never slowed down until he left the game in the final minutes.

Brock Mansion fumbled the first snap from center, and that was an omen for how this day would go for Cal. Mansion threw two interceptions, lost a fumble and finished 19-for-37 for 173 yards.

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