Cal’s passing combination of Chase Garbers to Nikko Remigio came up big in the Big Game win over Stanford, and those two sophomores may develop into something special.
Cal rolled up 424 yards of total offense on Saturday, and though that may not sound extraordinary, it's impressive for a Cal team that averages 314.9 yards per game, last in the conference.
Garbers threw for 285 yards and a touchdown, and Remigio caught nine passes for 157 receiving yards, the most by a Cal player in a Big Game since 2003, when Cal’s Geoff McArthur set the Big Game record with 245 receiving yards.
Perhaps more impressive was the number of tough catches Cal receivers made on Saturday. Trevon Clark made a remarkable catch along the sidelines to complete a pivotal 31-yard reception on Cal’s final scoring drive.
Bears offensive coordinator Beau Baldwin commented on the passing game after Tuesday’s practice, which took place in the rain. (The video is little dark because it was taken in a tunnel under the stadium to get out of the rain.)
Baldwin noted that the receivers’ ability to make tough catches was a product of having a good understanding of the game plan, so their focus was solely on catching the ball and not thinking about where they were supposed to be.
“I never felt like they were thinking about a concept or what we were running, and the more you’re just in tune to that, then you have laser focus on the ball,” Baldwin said in the video.
This week the coaching staff isn’t preoccupied with who the starting quarterback will be. Each of the past three games, the Bears waited until the day before the game or even game day before announcing a starter.
This week it’s obvious that Garbers is the guy.
“It’s always smoother and a little cleaner with practice reps and everything else,” Baldwin said of knowing who the starting quarterback will be.
Garbers is coming off a full-game experience, something he hadn’t done since the week following the Mississippi game back on Sept. 21.
“Excited for Chase to build off a full game,” Baldwin said. “Been a while since he got to feel that full game.”
Cal was certainly glad to have Garbers available for the fourth quarter against Stanford because he led two critical scoring drives in the final 10 minutes.
“It shows a lot of resiliency and toughness, and you can build off that,” Baldwin said. “What it does it puts you in those moments later on, and you know, even if you’re going through a rut or something isn’t going right, ‘Hey, we’ve been there before. Stay resilient. It’ll come. We’ll have a chance.'”