Stanford coach David Shaw has a simple description on how he feels about last year's 24-20 loss to Cal.
"Awful, absolutely awful," he said this week in the video above. "We had every opportunity to win the game."
Cal took the game away from the Cardinal, he said.
"They got outstanding play from [quarterback Chase] Garbers, just played a great game," Shaw said. "The linebacker whose name escapes me right now, but defensive player of the year, had one of the better performances we've ever faced. The guy was everywhere. Still have no idea why he went so late in the draft, because I think he's an outstanding football player.
"Those two guys were the difference. They made big plays."
The player whose named escaped Shaw is Evan Weaver, who was not taken until the sixth round of the NFL draft and did not make the Arizona Cardinals' roster. He is currently on the Cardinals' practice squad.
But he had a good game against the Cardinal last year, when he had 13 tackles, including one for a loss. He won't be available for Friday's 1:30 p.m. Big Game at Cal, but Garbers will.
In last year's Big Game, Garbers passed for 285 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions, and added 72 yards rushing. He directed a 75-yard drive that ended with the go-ahead touchdown with 1:04 left in the game.
This season Garbers was much better in the loss to Oregon State than he was in the opening loss against UCLA, and he played well enough against the Beavers to get a win.
But the Bears' special teams let them down, with a blocked punt by Oregon State and penalties that negated two long Cal returns dooming the Bears.
"If not for two penalties on returns last week, the game's a blowout in Cal's favor," Shaw said.
Nikko Remigio returned a punt for a touchdown and returned a kickoff to the Oregon State 3-yard line, but both were wiped out by penalties.
**David Shaw first talks about the rivalry, then addresses the importance of special teams in the second half of the video:
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