Cal Football: The Most Lopsided Wins in Bears' History
With Cal expected to beat Idaho State by a lopsided margin, it seems worthwhile to list the Bears’ biggest blowout wins -- both all-time and since World War II -- based on margin of victory.
Cal’s four most lopsided wins all-time, with margin of victory on the left, followed by the year and the score, with details later in the story:
127 – 1920, Cal 127, St. Mary’s 0
72 – 1920, Cal 79, Nevada 7
69 – 1921, Cal 72, Washington 3
67 – 1918, Cal 67, Stanford 0
Cal’s 10 most lopsided wins since World War II (1945), with details later.
63– 2008, Cal 66, Washington State 3
62– 1991, Cal 86, Pacific 24
59– 2015, Cal 73, Grambling State 14
58 -- 1993, Cal 58, Temple 0
55 – 1994, Cal 55, San Jose State 0
52 -- 2009, Cal 59, Eastern Washington 7
49 – 2011, Cal 63, Presbyterian 12
49 – 1977, Cal 52, San Jose State 3
49 – 2010, Cal 52, UC Davis 3
48 -- 2002, Cal 70, Baylor 22
Details of the four biggest Cal blowouts in history. (We included only games against college teams, so the 88-0 and 80-0 wins over Mare Island Marines in 1920 and 1922 were not listed)
127 – Oct. 9, 1920, Cal 127, St. Mary’s 0
The Bears had more touchdowns (18) than St. Mary’s had in yards of total offense (16). St. Mary’s student body numbered 71 at the time, and the Gaels canceled the rest of their season after this humiliation. The Gaels had some big days in football under Slip Madigan in 1930s, but you could not have seen it coming after this one.
72 – Oct. 16, 1920, Cal 79, Nevada 7
One week after the 127-0 win over St. Mary’s, the Bears clobbered Nevada, which nonetheless was one of two teams to score on the Bears that season. This was payback for Nevada’s 1903 upset of Cal, which caused the Daily Nevada State Journal to devote its entire front page to that stunning victory, with a headline that read "CALIFORNIA'S PROUD COLORS LOWERED BY THE DOUGHTY ELEVEN FROM SAGEBRUSHDOM."
69 – Nov. 12, 1921, Cal 72, Washington 3
Cal avenged a 72-0 loss in 2015 to the Sun Dodgers (Washington’s nickname at the time) with this rout, which is still the most lopsided loss in Washington history. Cal coach Andy Smith began taking out his starters in the second quarter to save them for the following week’s game against Stanford.
67 – Nov. 30, 1918, Cal 67, Stanford 0
This contest is not considered an official game because Stanford's team was composed of volunteers from the Student Army Training Corps stationed at Stanford, some of whom were not Stanford students. But the game is listed in Cal’s results for that season, and we couldn’t resist.
Deatail of the 10 biggest Cal blowouts since World War II (1945)
63 – Sept. 6, 2008, Cal 66, Washington State 3
In his first career start at Cal, Jahvid Best ran 80 yards for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage and finished with 200 yards. The Cougars were dealt their worst loss in their history, and it came in Paul Wulff’s first home game as Washington State’s coach. Yes, the game was in Pullman.
62 – Sept. 7, 1991, Cal 86, Pacific 24
Pacific actually scored first in the Bears’ 1991 season opener, but Mike Pawlawski threw six touchdown passes, including five in the first half, in the Bears’ highest scoring game since 1920. The cannon on "Tightwad Hill" ran out of shells to celebrate touchdowns. UOP dropped football four years later. Unranked in preseason, this Cal team was No. 8 in the final AP poll.
69 – Sept. 5, 2015, Cal 73, Grambling 14
Despite the obvious disparity in talent, the game drew 60,606 fans to Memorial Stadium. Why? To see Grambling’s famous marching band. Many of the fans left after the band’s halftime performance. Jared Goff threw for 309 yards before sitting out the entire second half.
58 – Sept. 18, 1993, Cal 58, Temple 0
Cal, ranked No. 21 at the time under coach Keith Gilbertson, scored four touchdowns in a span of 4:38 of the first quarter and rolled to the win at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia. The Owls were 1-0 coming into the game, but this was the first of 10 straight losses by Temple, which finished last in the country in scoring defense.
55 – Oct. 1, 1994, Cal 55, San Jose State 0
The Spartans’ Jacobbi Williams fumbled the opening kickoff and Cal’s Bobby Shaw recovered at the San Jose State 5-yard line. Nine seconds into the game, Tyrone Edwards scored a touchdown from 2 yards out. "It was a bad day at black rock," San Jose State coach John Ralston said.
52 – Sept. 12, 2009, Cal 59, Eastern Washington 7
Current Cal offensive coordinator Beau Baldwin was then the head coach at Eastern Washington, which was tied 7-7 with 10th-ranked Cal after one quarter. But the Bears pulled away in the second quarter as Jahvid Best finished with 144 rushing yards and Shane Vereen added 45.
51 – Sept. 17, 2011, Cal 63, Presbyterian 12
Cal played its first home game at AT&T Park as Memorial Stadium was being renovated. Marvin Jones (now with the Detroit Lions) had 123 receiving yards as the Bears outgained the Blue Hose 581-48.
49 – Oct. 1, 1977, Cal 52, San Jose State 3
This win boosted Cal’s record to 4-0 and its ranking to No. 14 in Mike White’s final season as the Bears’ head coach. The Bears would finish 7-4 overall and 3-4 in the Pac-8. Cal’s records were later adjusted to 8-3 and 4-3 as Cal was awarded a forfeit win over UCLA because of the Bruins’ use of ineligible players.
49 – Sept. 4, 2010, Cal 52, UC Davis 3
Cal wide receiver Keenan Allen, then a true freshman playing in his first college game, had four catches for 120 yards and a touchdown in the Bears’ season opener. Allen, now with the Los Angeles Chargers, was named to the Pro Bowl last season.
48 – Aug. 31, 2002, Cal 70, Baylor 22
In Jeff Tedford’s first game as Cal’s head coach, the Bears used a trick play on their first play from scrimmage to complete a 71-yard touchdown pass. Kyle Boller threw a backward pass to Terrell Williams, who pulled up and threw a long pass to freshman David Gray behind the Baylor secondary. Ten seconds into the game Cal led 7-0, and it would be 14-0 just one minute into the game.