Carli Lloyd got me thinking about this subject after she singlehandedly ripped apart Japan in last night's World Cup Final. What was the greatest individual performance by a Golden Bear in a single game?
My Cal memory only stems back to the early 2000s, so I obviously am useless on this subject. I'd like to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Joe Igber, 2002 Big Game. Hand the ball to Igber, end Big Game infamy. 226 rushing yards is still a Big Game record.
Leon Powe, 2006 Oregon: Powe just kept on scoring. And scoring. And scoring. And eventually winning. 41 points on the night.
Aaron Rodgers, 2004 USC: 23 straight completions in a row against one of the greatest defenses in college football history. Unfortunately, we lost this one, so I think most of us bury this stat away in the recesses of our minds. Damn special teams.
JJ Arrington, 2004 Southern Miss: The Cal offense was at the breaking point, the Cal team was at the BCS breaking point, and Arrington put up one of the lost heroic performances in Golden Bear history. 31 carries, 261 rushing yards. Unfortunately, it ended up being inconsequential, but what a game.
Marshawn Lynch, 2005 Oregon: Beast Mode against the world, in Autzen. And Beast Mode nearly won. Cal had about 300 yards of offense, and Marshawn was responsible for nearly 200 of them. Everyone knew he was getting the ball down the stretch, and he somehow tied the game with a 50 yard run with 30 seconds left. All about that action.
DeSean Jackson, 2007 Oregon: Anytime a Cal fan wants to talk crap about DeSean, I want them to put on the tape of that day in Autzen when DeSean walked all over the Oregon secondary and lifted the Bears to their only victory in Eugene in the last three decades.
Jahvid Best, 2008 Washington: 300 rushing yards in practically one half. This actually happened. We have documented video of that carnage. I kind of wish we'd kneeled after we went up 14-0 though, since it helped usher in Steve Sarkisian (the Scourge of Calpathia) into the Pac-12.
Jerome Randle, 2009 Arizona: Lute Olson was honored that night in McKale and Randle spent two hours just firebombing his little celebration. Eight triples, 31 points. The ultimate Randle game.
Shane Vereen, 2009 Big Game: My favorite one on this short list, and it grows in stature every year (and every exasperating Big Game loss). Three touchdowns and over 200 yards from scrimmage against that rising Stanfurd juggernaut in the last Big Game victory we've experienced in the recent years.
Jared Goff, 2014 Washington State: 527 yards and five touchdowns is great enough. But what's more impressive is that Goff needed all of it since Connor Halliday was setting FBS passing records left and right. Goff somehow beat him. Somehow.