Widgets Magazine

Football predictions: Stanford vs. Cal

Jose Saldana: Stanford 38, Cal 20

The Cardinal are favored around 16 points to beat the Bears, and that sounds about right. At home, Stanford football has been dominant, averaging 42.75 points per game and 294.75 rushing yards per game. The home win over No. 9 Washington was the Cardinal’s most impressive victory of the season as future Heisman runner-up Bryce Love rushed for 166 yards against the top-ranked defense in college. Stanford on the road has been suspect but Stanford at home should not be questioned.

Cal has not been great on the road as it surrenders 39.25 points per game and is ranked 70th in rushing defense. Starting at 3-0 and then giving USC a tough game, the Bears looked primed to challenge for the Axe, but now, it looks like the Cardinal will make it eight straight Big Games with a W.

Alejandro Salinas: Stanford 44, Cal 24

After Stanford’s impressive victory over Washington last week, the Cardinal will likely carry a lot of momentum as they enter Saturday’s rivalry game. Cal’s defense allows an average of 170 rushing yards and 210 passing yards per game, which means KJ Costello and the Stanford offense should have no problem moving the ball down the field. With a nation leading average of 180 rushing yards per game, Bryce Love will likely put up at least 200 yards, including a few trips to the end zone. Against the top defense in the country last week, Love managed to rush for 166 yards, which shows his potential against a 70th ranked Cal defense. If Stanford’s defense continues to play just as well as last week, Cal will find their opportunities at the endzone very limited.

Matt Bernstein: Stanford 42, Cal 21

It’s finally time for the 120th Big Game. Coming off of the upset win against No. 9 Washington, 30-22, last Friday night, No. 20 Stanford (7-3, 6-2) faces the bitter rival Cal Bears (5-5, 2-5) at home this Saturday. Stanford leads the all time series 62-46-11 and has won the last 7 consecutive games. If Stanford wins and Washington beats Washington State, the Cardinal will win the PAC-12 North title, so this is an important matchup in addition to the rivalry. Sophomore quarterback KJ Costello will start again at quarterback for Stanford. Look for his high energy and confident plays against a strong Cal defense. Expect PAC-12 Player of the Week and national rushing leader junior running back Bryce Love to continue his tough and physical running game. The defensive unit should be ready to go as well after their test against Washington. Expect seniors Harrison Phillips and Bobby Okereke to put constant pressure on Cal’s quarterback. Stanford is 4-0 at home this season, and I predict this streak will continue.

King Jemison: Stanford 31, Cal 20

Stanford fans have gotten used to seeing the Cardinal roll all over Cal during the current seven-year Big Game win streak, as the Bears have struggled mightily since firing Jeff

Tedford in 2012. However, this year the team from across the bay has shown signs of life under new head coach Justin Wilcox. They crushed Washington State 37-3 on a Friday night in a peak #Pac12AfterDark game. They’ve started to run the ball effectively with Patrick Laird who’s averaging 5.7 yards per carry. Their defense has improved tremendously. That plus the fact that rivalry games tend to get weird has me a little worried. But my fears are quickly calmed when I think about Stanford in the second half against Washington on both sides of the ball. That version of the Cardinal can beat anybody. Cal will hang around for a while, but a few big plays from Bryce Love in the run game and JJ Arcega-Whiteside in the pass game will help Stanford pull away and cruise in the fourth quarter.

Sam Curry: Stanford 35, Cal 14

I’m cautious about being this confident in the result of a Stanford game, because I was just as certain the Cardinal would lose last week as I was that they would handle San Diego State with ease early in the season, but this should not be a close game. Stanford, especially the Stanford team we saw last week, is more talented than Cal in every facet of the game and has played like a College Football Playoff-caliber team at home. As Jose mentioned, Cal is a terrible road team, winning just one game on the road this season against a now 2-8 North Carolina team. Earlier this season, I thought this could be the year that Cal breaks Stanford’s seven-game series winning streak. Not anymore. KJ Costello gains confidence, Bryce Love adds to his Heisman resume and the defense continues their recent string of dominant performances in a big Cardinal victory.

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  • ADPaterson

    BIG GAME WEEK: “DOMINANCE DISPLAY”
    Lotta confidence out of beating #1 Defense in USA and best team in conf last Friday.
    1) Very rewarding win on several fronts: Costello made good decisions and no TOs. Defense roared with Phillips and Okereke in dominance displays. Special teams were superb. Love poured his guts out churning up 166yds and 3TDs.
    2) Injuries: Walker Little (LT) still out, but we have depth.
    Schultz (TE) and Weddington (WR) are “questionable” for Sat says Shaw. Again, we are very deep at TE and Stewart steps in at WR.
    3) Bovada Sportsbook has Cardinal (7-3) giving 15.5pts at home with an over / under of 55. So Conservative play is 35 to 20 final score, Good guys. With the weather forecast IDEAL and a 5pm PT kickoff, I am going Stanford 41, CalReallyDoesSuck16.
    Love may not be at full strength, but I think the TEAM really came together last week for the BIGGER Game vs the Huskies. Now we get BIG Game for the Axe. The Cal side (5-5) is already “looking ahead to UCLA game for sixth win to go bowling”.
    Then we wait a week for WAST @WASH in Seattle to determine if we get another shot at Troyens in Pac12 champ game (after NDAM).
    With 8pm ET kickoff on FOX, those of us out East get a reprieve from the After Dark start for Bear-ass dismemberment. I see nothing but a dense, dark forest for Cal Offense, and lots of scorched turf from Love and our Wideouts, by halftime. Pass the nachos, Ole!

  • maddogsfavsnpiks

    I just read all your (writers and comment) predictions… and i’m hoping most of y’all didn’t put any cash on your forecasts.
    If i had gotten to this page before the game i woulda, coulda, shoulda informed ya that, against the spread (ats), the VISITOR has a big lead, now 26-16, in the Big Game series.. that is, since 1976, which is as far back as my records go.
    The logical conclusion is, the typical “home field advantage” doesn’t apply to betting on the home team in this series (at least not ats).
    It doesn’t even seem to have a huge bearing on the “straight up” (su) score, ie the ACTUAL score. Going back 8 games, Stanford has just now evened that so-called advantage in this series, to 4-4…
    So does either Stanford or Cal have any intrinsic advantage (su), playing the Big Game at home ?
    …hmmm, maybe Stanford does, since they’re 9-3 (su) in the last 12, but Cal is 4-7 (su) at home during that same time period 1995 til 2017, so i’d be hesitant to put cash on it…
    — At least partly because the campuses are so close, it’s not much of a voyage from one school to the other…
    True, Stanford has now won their last 4 at home in the series.. but before that, in ’09 they lost, in ’07 they won, and prior to that, they lost the previous 2 at home, in ’05 and ’03…
    * * *
    Much more significant, it seems to me, has been the dominance of one or other of the school’s Head Coaches, no matter the venue. Currently it’s David Shaw who’s on a 7-game win streak. Prior to Shaw, it was Cal’s Jeff Tedford, who had dominated the series, winning 7 out of 9 (su) from ’02 thru ’10… and before that, Stanford’s Ty Willingham won 7 in a row (su), 3 in Strawberry fields forever, and 4 in the homeland of the Tall Tree.
    Personally, if i were a betting man (haha), i would have felt more confident betting the “under”, which opened in the Reno/Vegas casinos at 55, and was bet up to 57 by game time. Ultimately, an easy, no-sweat win.
    I liked that side partly because the career of Cal’s Justin Wilcox has focused on the defense side of the ball; partly because with a bye, he had an extra 6 days to focus the bare D on the Tree O, including being able to watch the Card-Husky game live; and partly because the “under” was, and still is, the recent trend in Stanford’s games, including the previous 5 games prior to the Cal game, when the “totals” (total scores of both Stanford and their opponent) had finished under 57 pts.
    * * *
    Well …better late than never, eh ?