Giorgio Tavecchio will remember Saturday's game for a long time. He arrived at Sun Devil Stadium not knowing if he or Vince D'Amato would kick - Tavecchio found out about 20 minutes before game time, after the coaches observed warm-ups - and left as the goat-turned-hero in Cal's 23-21 victory over Arizona State. "I don't know if I want to slap Giorgio or kiss him," one teammate said afterward, smiling widely.
Tavecchio, who looks like a 12-year-old ball boy (albeit with sideburns), had a day of wildly swaying emotions. He missed two field-goal tries, from 34 and 39 yards, boomed one home from 51 yards (a career long) and also nailed chip-shot attempts from 25 and 24 yards. The miss from 39 yards came with 5:46 left and seemed to doom Cal to defeat. Tavecchio came back to convert the 24-yarder with 21 seconds left to give the Bears the win. It was the first game-winning field goal of his life, including his days at Campolindo High in Moraga. He had regularly dreamed about it.