Big Game Blowout -- Stanford Takes Back the Axe

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Big Game Blowout -- Stanford Takes Back the Axe

Nov. 20, 2010STANFORD PAGE CALIFORNIA PAGE
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BERKELEY (AP) -- About the only fight California put up against Stanfordcame before the pregame coin toss when the Golden Bears came out on thefield en masse jawing at their rivals.Stanford's players responded, andthat bit of trash-talking ended in a standstill. After that, theseventh-ranked Cardinal turned the day into a Big Game blowout.Andrew Luck threw two touchdownpasses and led Stanford to scores on all eight possessions he played asthe Cardinal beat California 48-14 on Saturday for its most lopsidedwin in the rivalry in 80 years."Our guys really kept their cool andI think that was a big difference today," Stanford coach Jim Harbaughsaid. "They kept their poise. I don't like that kind of football whereyou try and talk and intimidate. ... Just play football. Shut up andplay football."That's what the Cardinal (10-1, 7-1Pac-10) did to win for just the second time in the past nine gamesagainst the Golden Bears (5-6, 3-5).Luck completed 16 of 20 passes for235 yards and added 72 yards on the ground. Stepfan Taylor ran forthree scores as the Cal defense, which shut down No. 1 Oregon'shigh-powered spread offense in a 15-13 loss just one week ago, had noanswers for Luck and the Cardinal's power game.Luck managed to atone a bit for lastyear's struggles against Cal, when he completed 10 of 30 passes andthrew a game-sealing interception deep in Cal territory with just overa minute left in a 34-28 loss."I definitely had some motivationcoming off last year's disappointment," Luck said. "That being said, itwas a new year and you can't really dwell on the past too much. But Idid get a little extra motivation from that experience."Twenty-eight years to the day afterStanford was stunned on this same field by The Play, Luck made sure theCardinal could not be done in by a five-lateral kickoff return throughthe band for the game-winning touchdown this time. Stanford even got apep talk from John Elway, the losing quarterback in that 1982 game.Luck led the Cardinal on touchdowndrives of 95, 86, 90 and 61 yards in the first half. He threw touchdownpasses to Zach Ertz and Doug Baldwin and bowled over safety SeanCattouse on a 58-yard run that set up Stanford's first touchdown.Luck also engineered touchdowndrives on the first two drives of the second half, then led theCardinal to a field goal in the fourth quarter as the offense neverslowed down until he left the game in the final minutes."It's hard to slow down Stanfordconsistently," Cal coach Jeff Tedford said. "They're the most completeteam (we've played). They obviously have the best quarterback. In myopinion, he's the best quarterback in the country. He's an accuratepasser. He doesn't make mistakes. He puts the ball right between thenumbers. He's big and strong. When he pulls it down, you can'tarm-tackle him, he has speed and athleticism."Brock Mansion fumbled the first snapfrom center, and that was an omen for how this day would go for Cal.Mansion threw two interceptions, lost a fumble and finished 19-for-37for 173 yards.Shane Vereen ran for 63 yards,giving him a career-high 1,061 for the season, and Cal got its firstscore on a 17-yard TD pass from receiver Keenan Allen to Marvin Jonesearly in the fourth quarter to make it 45-7.Cal scored on another trick play inthe closing seconds as Isi Sofele took a lateral from Allen and scoredto help the Bears avoid matching the most one-sided loss in the historyof this rivalry. Stanford beat Cal 41-0 in 1930.The Bears now need to win theirseason finale at home next week against Washington to be eligible to goto a bowl for an eighth straight season.The Cal players decided in the morning they would all come out for the opening coin toss to challenge the Cardinal."We wanted to show we wereemotional, we were here and we were ready to play this game," Cattousesaid. "We wanted to let them know we were here."The officials quickly defused thesituation by calling offsetting personal fouls and ejecting Stanfordreserve receiver Jamal-Rashad Patterson."When all that stuff happened, wekind of got anxious to get out there on the field," Baldwin said. "Itkind of hyped us up a little bit more than we expected it to."Mansion then fumbled two of the first three snaps from center, losing the second to set up a field goal by Nate Whitaker.Richard Sherman intercepted a passfrom Mansion to end Cal's second possession. Stanford capitalized witha 95-yard TD drive, capped by Taylor's 3-yard run. The drive washighlighted by Luck's 58-yard run that included the shoulder knockdownof Cattouse."It kind of snowballed from there," Vereen said. "It's kind of tough to rebound. We shot ourselves in the foot offensively."

A's spring training Day 8: Top pick AJ Puk attracts a crowd

A's spring training Day 8: Top pick AJ Puk attracts a crowd

MESA, Ariz. — The A’s are excited about 2016 top pick A.J. Puk, that much was apparent by the crowd the lefty attracted for his first “live” bullpen session Tuesday.

Among those watching closely were executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane, general manager David Forst, manager Bob Melvin and pitching coach Curt Young.

Puk, who shaved about 20 pounds off his 6-foot-7 frame over the winter, looked strong against a group of hitters that included touted infield prospects Franklin Barreto and Yairo Munoz.

Melvin in particular liked the way Puk, the No. 6 overall pick out of the University of Florida, worked his curve ball into the mix. That’s a pitch he hadn’t used since high school, but he dusted it off back in the fall instructional league with some encouragement from minor league pitching coordinator Gil Patterson, and he’s working to sharpen it this spring as a complement to his fastball, slider and changeup.

“It’s just nice to have another pitch that’s slower than my other three pitches,” Puk said before Tuesday’s workout.

“It’s a four-pitch mix,” Melvin said. “He’s really starting to distinguish between this slider and curve ball. It was quite a crowd around his cage too. When you’re a young kid you tend to notice that, but I thought he responded really well.”

Puk, 21, is rooming with shortstop Richie Martin, a teammate at Florida whom the A’s made their top pick in 2015. They also lived near each other in Tampa this offseason and worked out together.

Puk comes off very quiet upon meeting him, but Martin warns against being fooled.

“It takes him a while, but once he feels comfortable he’ll break out. You’ll see.”

Melvin was impressed with Puk’s physical shape, saying he’s fielded his position well in pitchers’ fielding drills.

CAMP BATTLE Jesse Hahn will start the A’s Cactus League opener Saturday against the defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs. It’ll be a chance for Hahn to make an early impression in his bid for the fifth starter spot.

“After the year he had (in 2016), it’s important for him this year. We have to show some faith in him,” Melvin said. “He performed well for us the year before. Last year wasn’t really consistent. We’ll try to get him out there and get him off to a good start.”

Kendall Graveman will take the ball in Sunday’s spring home opener against the Angels. Sonny Gray and Sean Manaea both will pitch Monday against the Giants and Jharel Cotton and Andrew Triggs will be among the group throwing Tuesday against the Indians.

PROSPECT WATCH: Sean Murphy, the A’s third-round pick in June, has shown a very strong throwing arm early in camp. Is it any wonder Melvin, an ex-catcher, was impressed?

“The kid can throw, it’s special,” Melvin said. “We really like him.”

NOTEWORTHY: Still no word on when reliever Santiago Casilla will arrive at camp from the Dominican Republic. Melvin said he isn’t concerned at this stage, and noted that Casilla has been working out at the team’s complex in the Dominican Republic and gave a motivational talk to the younger players there.

Cousins thanks Sacramento: 'Wouldn't trade it for anything'

Cousins thanks Sacramento: 'Wouldn't trade it for anything'

The Kings traded DeMarcus Cousins to the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday, prompting the All-Star big man to post a heartfelt message on his Instagram account.

Words can't even express how hard it is for me to have to leave the city of Sacramento and all of the amazing people that I have met while out here. I gave it my all for you and you gave it right back. The most amazing fans on the planet and I just want you to know that your support has meant everything to me. It's hard to believe that it was seven years ago that this young kid from Alabama showed up in Sacramento scared and not knowing a soul. As I look back upon my time here, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I have met so many amazing people, many of whom went out of their way to make me feel right at home from day one. Each and every one of you have played such an important part in my life and helping me become the person I am today. I don't just consider you all as fans, you all are my family...and a couple thousand miles aren't going to change a thing. Thank you Sacramento. 
#LoyaltyisLove #sactownkingforever

Cousins, 26, averaged 27.8 points, 10.7 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.4 steals, 1.3 blocks and 34.4 minutes per game for the Kings this year.

Words can't even express how hard it is for me to have to leave the city of Sacramento and all of the amazing people that I have met while out here. I gave it my all for you and you gave it right back. The most amazing fans on the planet and I just want you to know that your support has meant everything to me. It's hard to believe that it was seven years ago that this young kid from Alabama showed up in Sacramento scared and not knowing a soul. As I look back upon my time here, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I have met so many amazing people, many of whom went out of their way to make me feel right at home from day one. Each and every one of you have played such an important part in my life and helping me become the person I am today. I don't just consider you all as fans, you all are my family...and a couple thousand miles aren't going to change a thing. Thank you Sacramento. #LoyaltyisLove

A post shared by DeMarcus Cousins (@boogiecousins) on