Berkeley, CA – Stepfan Taylor carried the ball 28 times for a career-high 189 yards and a touchdown, as the 22nd-ranked Stanford Cardinal bounced back with a 21-3 victory over the California Golden Bears.
Josh Nunes completed 16-of-31 passes for 214 yards, one touchdown and an interception for the Cardinal (5-2, 3-1 Pac-12), who lost last week at Notre Dame, 20-13, in overtime. Kevin Hogan threw a touchdown pass.
"We needed to make big plays in this game," Taylor said. "They bring their best every time we play them. We needed that, and we needed to score on the road too to get it off of our shoulders. We can always get better and score more. So we're going to go practice."
Zach Ertz caught six passes for 134 yards and a score for the victors.
Zach Maynard connected on 19-of-31 passes for 214 yards and an interception for the Golden Bears (3-5, 2-3), who had a two-game winning streak snapped.
California had just three yards rushing, compared to 252 for Stanford.
"Offensively, that was a poor performance," California coach Jeff Tedford said. "We couldn't block them. There was too much pressure on the passer and we couldn't convert third downs. Give them credit, they played hard and were better than we were today."
Jordan Williamson missed a 40-yard field goal on Stanford's second possession of the game.
The Cardinal broke a scoreless tie after California went three-and-out. Drew Terrell's 37-yard punt return set up Stanford at the 34 of the Golden Bears. Ertz caught a 16-yard pass on 3rd-and-8 to keep the drive alive. A defensive holding penalty on another third down set up a 1st-and-goal at the 7-yard line. Taylor found the end zone from there to make it 7-0 with 4:42 left in the first quarter.
Keenan Allen's 29-yard punt return set up the Golden Bears at the Stanford 25. California moved the ball to the 2-yard line before losing two yards over three plays. Vincenzo D'Amato made a 21-yard field goal early in the second stanza to make it 7-3.
But the Cardinal responded with a quick score. Ertz hauled in a 68-yard pass on the first play, helping set up Hogan's 9-yard TD pass to Levine Toilolo.
Allen's fumble later in the frame led to another Stanford touchdown. The Cardinal took over at the California 20 following Allen's fumble. Ertz then caught a 20-yard TD pass to make it 21-3.
Williamson missed a 34-yard field goal with four minutes left.
The Golden Bears failed to move the ball past their own 40-yard line during a scoreless third quarter.
Maynard was intercepted by Wayne Lyons at the Stanford 3-yard line with over five minutes to play in the fourth.
Stanford holds a 58-46-11 edge in the all-time series, including a 25-21-6 mark at Memorial Stadium. The Cardinal have also won the last three games in the series ... The Cardinal racked up 475 yards of total offense, compared to 217 for California.