via www.coe.berkeley.edu (Original image link)
Thanks to our readers for coming up with these great running back moments in Cal history. If you have any others let us know in the comments.
Joe Igber, 2002 Big Game (TwistNHook + Kodiak)--6 recs
I know that stat-wise Joe Igber’s performance against Stanford in 2002 probably doesn’t rank up there with the greats. But, emotionally, that was one of the greatest running back performances I’ve ever experienced.
+1. That was the first guy I thought of. I think his 226 yds is still a Cal Big Game record. (paging Mr. Best…) Mighty Joe is one of my favorite all-time Bears. Undersized, but all heart, and more student than athlete. That was the first time we got the Ax back since ‘94, and was Tedford’s 1st year. It was the year balance was restored to the Force.
Russell White, 1991 at UCLA (Ohio Bear+California Pete)--4 recs
Russell White at Fucla, 1991: Dude needed to take an IV during halftime because of dehydration. An exhausted White fought like hell to score tying TD in 4th Q. We eventually won on last minute FG. White ran for about 150, as I recall, and a couple of scores.
Another vote for Russell White vs. UCLA in 1991. The USC game earned White Player of the Week honors in SI, but his game in Pasadena that year was equivalent to Lynch’s overtime classic vs. the Huskies. Here’s a link to the SI feature story, which appeared in an era when Cal simply did not get national media attention.
Mark Hicks, vs USC 1985 (Jake88+California Pete)--4 recs
1. Lean times in the 80’s. Number won’t stand up to the modern or Jackie Jensen statistics.
2. But a glimmer on the fine fall day of 9 November 1985 in Berkeley. USC, the mighty Trojans of yore, winners of the previous Rose Bowl. USC was at 6-4, fighting for a Rose Bowl berth and surely would be too much (as usual) for the out-manned Joe Kapp led 4-7 Bears. (Cal lost its first three Pac-10 games and was struggling for dignity, again.)
3. But lo young Marc Hicks, fabled frosh from the cow pastures of Davis, he who had chosen Cal over Ohio State – the number one national recruit in those pre Scout and Rivals days, truth be told. (Probably one of 262 top recruits in the nation, but we drank it in.) Defense frustrated USC all day (Hardy Nickerson, 17 tackles) (this sad performance ultimately cost former Cal Poly SLO QB Ted Tolner his job). Hicks went for 113 yards on 22 carries, one a touchdown on a broken play, as well as making a 26 yd TD reception. He also did the punting! Sure defense was good, but team was hopeless and helpless without Hicks. Trojans knew it, stacked the box against him. Cal prevailed 14 – 6 on the shoulders of the frosh.
4. What might have been – Hicks disappeared without a trace, Cal had to wait.
One more nomination: freshman Marc Hicks vs. USC in 1985. That game was my generation’s version of the 2003 upset.
Russell White, 1990 Big Game (Ohio Bear + California Pete)--4 recs
Russell White, Big Game 1990: This was an epic duel with Glyn Milburn of stanfurd. Great performance by White, albeit in a loss. A bittter, bitter, bitter, bitter, bitter, bitter loss.
I also agree that the Milburn vs. White showdown in 1990 was epic. EPIC. Both those guys made play after play after play. What a shame such a great game had to end on such a bitter, biter note.
Russell White, 1991 vs USC (CalBear81 + Ohio Bear + old bear)--3 recs
Russell White vs. U$C, 1991 – 226 yards on 23 carries, 3 TDs. Final score, Cal 52, U$C 30, but it wasn’t that close. It was 49-14 going into the 4th quarter.
Russell White against U$C in 1991 was amazing. I think he had the most yards ever against the toejams. It was an exciting day in Memorial
Russell White vs. USC in 1991. White rushed for over 200 yards and at least 1 TD (probably more). We beat SC that day 52-30. (It was 52-14 until SC tacked on 2 late TDs and 2-pt conversions.) I remember some SC fans complaining that we kept our starters in too long, accusing Snyder of trying to run it up. Boo fucking hoo. That was an epic day.
Russell White, 1992 Citrus Bowl (CalBear81)--3 recs
Russell White vs. Clemson, January 1, 1992 (Citrus Bowl) – 103 yards on 22 carries, 1 TD. The stats aren’t as impressive, but no one had run for 100 yards on Clemson the entire season, and the East Coast media said that there was no way a back from a "finesse" West Coast team like Cal could do so, either. He did.
Lindsey Chapman, 1993 Big Game (Ohio Bear)--2 recs
Lindsey Chapman, Big Game 1993: This was another "emotional" performance along the lines of Igber’s in ‘02. We hadn’t won the Big Game since 1986 and that, well, sucked. We destroyed the furds that day, 46-17, and Chapman had 4 rushing TDs.
Adimchinobe Echemandu, 2003 USC (Ohio Bear)--2 recs
Adimchinobe Echemandu, vs. USC 2003: A lot of yards against a really good SC defense. Really good. And Ech set the tone with the huge run on 1st play of the game, remember?
Tyrone Edwards, 1994 Big Game--2 recs
Tyrone Edwards, Big Game 1994: I can’t be the only one to remember Tyrone. One of my favorite players at that time. In his last college game, he ran for 200+ yards and a couple of TDs. And we won the Big Game for 2nd year in a row (it was out last Big Game win until 2002).
Chuck Muncie, Big Game 1975 (ohsooso + GoldenBear 77 + PunchCards4Ever)
Muncie vs. Stanfurd in 1975, 169 yds, 4 TDs and threw for a TD.
Didn’t he also have a sorta good game against USC that year?
Chuck Muncie 169 yards on 30 carries with 4 rushing touchdowns, and he threw a pass for a fifth touchdown. I am sure he caught a pass or two that day also (he was one of the best pass catching backs to play the game), but have not found the statistics. I can tell you as a student, the score could have been whatever Muncie wanted it to be.
It was great to beat USC that year and at least get a piece of the Pac-8 championship (for naught) but watching Muncie humiliate so single handedly Stanfurd that year was better yet. Lets hope Best tops his #2 Heisman polling; big games against Oregun and USC will help a lot.
JJ Arrington vs USC 2004 (Tedfordisgod)
Don’t forget JJ against USC in 2004: 21 rushes, 116 yards against one of the best defenses in recent memory.
Chuck Muncie vs USC 1975 (old bear)
Chuck Muncie against USC in 1975 is another one to check. I had never watched CAL football before, Muncie pounded the toejams that day. I was a freshman the following year
Jerry Drew vs Oregon State 1954 (CalBear81)
Jerry Drew vs. Oregon State in 1954 – 283 yards on 11 carries. That’s more than 25 yards a carry!