Once again, Forza Italia saves the day. From his four field goals, to sacrificing his leg to stop a possible game-winning TD, Giorgio Tavecchio was a hero yesterday, alongside Shane Vereen who had a career day.
Giorgio Tavecchio kicked four field goals, giving an 18-16 lead with a 22-yarder with 4:46 remaining.
That's when things really got interesting.
Travis Cobb took the ensuing kickoff and looked like he was going to take it back a long way before Tavecchio somehow managed to trip him up at the Arizona 38-yard line. Coach Jeff Tedford said Tavecchio might be the team's worst tackler, making the play even more improbable.
"I just remember him cutting inside and I don't why, I kind of stuck my foot out," said Tavecchio, who needed stitches in his right leg after the tackle. "It must have been a reflex from my soccer days. I felt contact and looked behind me and the guy was on the ground. I got up and was like, 'Was that me?' It's a dream. I've never tackled anyone before. It was a quirky play that resulted in something decent."
But let us not forget the bigger picture that emerged from yesterday: Stanford has a legitimate shot at making the Rose Bowl.
If Oregon loses in Tuscon next week (where Rose Bowl hopes go to die) and defeats Oregon St in the Civil War, and Arizona goes on to lose to USC, then Stanford will head to the Rose Bowl if they win on Saturday. It sounds wild, but it's certainly possible. I would rather see Pete Carroll go to the Rose Bowl for the next five years, than see Harby and Toby in Pasadena on January 1st. Please, juju, we beg of you, hold Masoli's knee intact and guide Oregon to victory. For the love of humanity, do not let Stanford book a trip to Pasadena.
After the jump I have stories and recaps of yesterday's game, updated rankings, bowl projections, the spread for this week's game (Stanford favored by 8), and more. Tomorrow I'll recap the rest of the weekend in Cal sports.
Don't forget to vote in royrules22's top-25 poll. You people are so lucky that you can submit your own ballots. Back in my day, we had to walk fifteen miles in the snow, uphill both ways to our polling booths. And when we got there, we only had one choice for all 25 spots: Texas.
- Stanford is an early 8-point favorite over Cal.
- A week after not earning a single vote, Cal is 28th and 29th in the AP and Coaches' polls, respectively. Cal re-entered the BCS top-25 at 25th.
- Ted Miller's can't-we-wait-another-week-to-do-this bowl projections have Cal in the Emerald Bowl. ACC Blogger Heather Dinrich predicts Boston College will end up in the Emerald Bowl. In ESPN's bowl projections, Schlabach has a Cal-BYU Poinsettia Bowl and Feldman predicts a Cal-Boston College Emerald Bowl.
- Cal's defense earned a helmet sticker from Ted Miller and Shane Vereen earned an honorable mention.
- After the strange finish at Washington earlier this year, Arizona fans are shocked by the seemingly bizarre outcome of last night's game. Foles will probably never try to catch another batted pass again.
- CCTimes on Vereen embracing his role as starter yesterday. Tedford seemed very pleased with Shane's performance during the post-game press conference.
- JO writes about the defense's impressive performance against one of the conference's top offenses. The biggest play of the night was Alualu's tip of the ball which sent the ball back into Foles' hands and forced a crucial penalty when Foles tried to pass again. SFGate writes about the defense, which had a great performance just in time to face Stanford, who put up 50 against two of the conference's best defenses.
- Best was happy to be on the sidelines with the team. He said he's feeling much better and he really appreciates all the support from friends, family, and fans who have been sending him mail. Tedford made Best an honorary captain so fans could see has was doing well and so they could show support for him at the last home game of the season (and perhaps Best's last game at Memorial before entering the draft).