Friday, November 20, 2009

Contra Costa Times: Cal Wants it to be a Keeper

Jonathan Okanes

Cal has won 45 Big Games, and last year's ranks right up there in the satisfaction department. That's because the Bears' loss the year before was so unsatisfying. Stanford's 20-13 upset of Cal in the first Big Game played at the new Stanford Stadium put the finishing touches on the Bears' colossal second-half slide. After beginning the season 5-0 and climbing to No. 2 in the polls, Cal lost six of its next seven games, culminating with the loss on The Farm. "We were on a bad downward spiral. Nothing was going our way," Cal linebacker Mike Mohamed said. "Stanford put the cherry on top. It was a rotten cherry." Not only did the loss make a bad situation worse, it snapped the Bears' five-game winning streak in the Big Game. It was coach Jeff Tedford's first loss in the rivalry. "It was terrible. The locker room afterward was bad," Mohamed said. "It was like we were the ones who lost The Axe. Previously, they had had it the whole time here. You lose it, and it really makes you appreciate having it back here at Cal." Perhaps nobody on Cal's roster appreciates the significance of the Big Game more than left tackle Mike Tepper, a sixth-year senior. "That was probably one of the worst feelings I've ever had at Cal," Tepper said. "Going 0-6 to USC is pretty bad, but losing The Axe in '07 was the worst feeling I ever had in my life. It tears the community apart. It's not just the team or the campus. It's the community. I think we have to be very motivated to get it again this year."

Link to rest of article.

No comments: