PALO ALTO, California -- Sophomore tailback Marshawn Lynch and junior quarterback Steve Levy helped California to a fourth straight victory in the "Big Game." Lynch ran for 123 yards and a touchdown as the Golden Bears easily defeated Stanford, 27-3, in a Pac-10 Conference rivalry match-up.
Starting in place of ineffective junior quarterback Joe Ayoob, Levy completed 10-of-18 passes for 125 yards, a touchdown and an interception for California (7-4, 4-4 Pac-10), which had lost four of its previous five games.
"It always feels good when the defense has your back," Levy said. "You know you don't have to do too much. I did what I had to do to win. It's a dream come true that I never thought would happen."
Levy's parents, Mark and Angela, were in the crowd on his father's birthday.
"I called him Thursday and told him I was starting at quarterback," Levy said. "He started bawling and crying. I told him, 'Now I'm going to give you a better birthday present. I'm going to win the Big Game for you."'
Sophomore Justin Forsett rushed for 50 yards and a touchdown and Levy ran for 36 yards for the Bears, who steamrolled the Cardinal, 226-16, on the ground.
Cal opened the scoring when Levy threw a 56-yard TD pass to freshman DeSean Jackson just under six minutes into the contest, although sophomore kicker Tom Schneider saw his extra point try blocked.
The Bears held just a 6-3 edge when Forsett scored on a 21-yard run with 9:33 left in the third quarter. Lynch added a three-yard run midway through the fourth quarter and tight end Craig Stevens capped the scoring with a 14-yard TD catch from senior running back Terrell Williams.
Stanford back-up quarterback T.C. Ostrander went 15-of-25 for 152 yards and starter Trent Edwards 9-of-14 for 76 yards for the Cardinal (5-5, 4-4), who must beat No. 6 Notre Dame in Palo Alto next week to become bowl eligible. Cardinal quarterbacks were sacked a combined nine times.
With the win, Cal has defeated Stanford four years in a row for the first time since 1936-39. California head coach Jeff Tedford is now 4-0 vs. Stanford which gives him the best record ever against Stanford in a Cal coach's first four years.
"They put a relentless rush on (Stanford), and I'm just real proud of the way we dominated," Tedford said. "Four straight feels great. I'm really proud of our seniors to be able to maintain the Axe."
Additionally, the Bears have won two consecutive Big Games in Palo Alto for the first time since 1949 and 1951.