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  Jackson Sirmon scored on 37-yard return following a wild play with two fumbles and California rallied from a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter to beat Stanford 27-20 in the Big Game on Saturday. The Golden Bears (4-7, 2-6 Pac-12) trailed 17-6 in the fourth quarter when Jack Plummer started the comeback with a 1-yard touchdown pass to Monroe Young. Then things really went crazy on the ensuing possession for Stanford (3-8, 1-8). Backup quarterback Ashton Daniels took a direct snap and ran to his left. He was stripped of the ball by Daniel Scott and Cal's Jeremiah Earby recovered. But Daniels then knocked the ball loose from Earby for a second fumble on the play only to have Sirmon scoop it up and run in to give Cal a 20-17 lead with 9:54 to play.

Stanford had three more drives to rally. But the Cardinal punted twice and then McKee was intercepted by Scott with just more than two minutes to play, setting up Jaydn Ott's 1-yard run that sealed the win. There was little at stake in the 125th version of the Big Game other pride and the Axe that goes to the victorious team. Both teams were eliminated from bowl contention with blowout losses last week making this the first meeting when neither team had a chance at a bowl since 2000. This is also the first time since 1997-98 that Cal and Stanford will both have losing records in back-to-back seasons. That didn't completely dampen the enthusiasm as Cal had its first home sellout since a 2013 game against Ohio State with a crowd of 51,892. Stanford controlled the game through the first three quarters by scoring TDs on their opening drives of both halves. They took the opening kickoff and drove 75 yards capped by Mitch Leigber's 1-yard run for his first career touchdown after moving from safety earlier this season. After forcing a three-and-out to start the second half, Stanford drive 71 yards for another score with McKee connecting on a 9-yard score to Elijah Higgins. - California/AP College Football

rSr/2024 ILB Jackson SirmonCalifornia
News Source: California/AP College Football

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