We've got the Axe, we've got the Axe, we've got the Axe! The Big Game lived up to they hype on Saturday, as the Golden Bears hung on to defeat the Cardinal 34-28 behind another awesome day from Shane Vereen. Starting for the second straight week in Jahvid Best's absence, he rushed for 193 yards and 3 TD's after carrying the ball 42 times. That is a clear indication that Tedford has realized Kevin Riley is not a good enough QB to lead us to victory, but I'm glad that Vereen was up to the task. Toby Gerhart led the Cardinal with 130 yards adn 4 TD's, but the game was decided when freshman QB Andrew Luck missed badly on an end zone throw and LB Mike Mohammed picked it off. After 3 knees from Riley, the Bears rushed the field as they kept the coveted Axe in Berkeley for the second year in a row and for the 7th time in Jeff Tedford's 8 seasons.
This game included several story lines and a few questionable coaching decisions on both sides. The Bears entered the season with Rose Bowl hopes but after 2 crushing losses to Oregon and USC and a third to Oregon State, Cal was regulated to playing spoiler on Saturday. After resounding wins over Oregon and USC, Stanfurd was in contention for their first Rose Bowl berth since 2000, but needed an Oregon loss and a win in the Big Game to realize those dreams. The coaches each made some bold calls, as Jeff Tedford opted for a QB knee to spot the ball for their final field goal, while Cardinal coach Harbaugh passed the ball 4 consecutive times in the red zone rather than handing it off to Heisman contender Toby Gerhart. With the win, the Bears continue to prove their resiliency after early season losses tried to pull the team apart, and leave the Cardinal wondering "what if". Great win for the Bears, and I'm glad that the Axe is staying in Berkeley where it belongs. Go Bears!