EditorsNote: Update 2: Corrects to Garbers’ in headline
Surprise starting quarterback Chase Garbers scrambled 16 yards for a go-ahead score with 1:19 remaining Saturday afternoon and California held on to beat host Stanford 24-20 in the annual Big Game.
Garbers, who reinjured his left shoulder and had to leave last week’s loss to Southern Cal, not only got the clearance to play, but then turned into the hero of the Golden Bears’ first win over Stanford in the last 10 years.
The win made Cal (6-5, 3-5 Pac 12) bowl-eligible for the second straight season and handed Stanford coach David Shaw his first loss in a Big Game after eight straight wins.
Stanford (4-7, 3-6), which finishes with Notre Dame next week, is no longer bowl-eligible.
After Ryan Sanborn had put Stanford ahead 20-17 with a 44-yard field goal with 2:23 remaining, Garbers needed just six plays to drive Cal 75 yards to the winning score.
After 14- and 10-yard completions to Nikko Remigio, Garbers connected with Trevon Clark for 37 yards to the Stanford 16.
Two plays later, Garbers, unable to find an open receiver, escaped through the right side of the Stanford defensive line and scampered into the end zone for the difference-making score.
Stanford scored first on a 40-yard pass from Davis Mills to Donald Stewart in the first quarter. Cal countered 12 minutes later with a 7-yard touchdown run by Christopher Brown Jr.
Sanborn gave Stanford a second lead with a 48-yard field goal in the second quarter, but again Cal drew even, this time on a 49-yard Greg Thomas field goal with 7:37 remaining in the half.
Stanford’s Cameron Scarlett scored from the 1 with 2:09 left in the third quarter to give the Cardinal a 17-10 lead. But Garbers responded with his only TD pass of the game, an 18-yarder to Remigio that created the game’s third and final tie with 7:44 remaining.
Garbers threw for 285 yards and the one score, and also was Cal’s leading rusher with 72 yards and a second TD.
Remigio made nine catches for a game-high 157 yards.
With Stanford star quarterback K.J. Costello still unable to go because of a thumb injury, Mills threw for 283 yards, with one touchdown and two interceptions.
Cal outgained Stanford 424-344.
—Field Level Media