The Cal football team originally christened Memorial Stadium back on Nov. 24, 1923 with a 9-0 victory over Stanford. The renovated stadium opens Saturday against Nevada. Here are 10 things to know about the original opening game:

  • The crowd of 72,609 fans was the largest ever to watch a college-football game in the West.

  • Memorial Stadium was built at a cost of $1,437,982. It was funded through the private sale of subscriptions that assured fans the best seats, and featured expansion joints to help absorb a potential earthquake.

  • The shutout of Stanford and its star back Ernie Nevers was the ninth in 10 games that season for the "Wonder Team," which outscored its foes 182-7.

  • The 1923 season was part of a five-year run under coach Andy Smith in which Cal went 44-0-4.

  • All-America center Babe Horrell scored the first touchdown at Memorial Stadium, falling on a punt by Nevers that he blocked in the end zone in the second quarter. Horrell later was named to the College Football Hall of Fame.

  • The margin of victory would have been greater, but Cal's Bill Blewett missed five field goal attempts.

  • Neither team amassed as many as 100 yards of total offense.

  • Stanford, which had not beaten Cal in football since 1905, responded by hiring Glenn "Pop" Warner as coach before the 1924 season.


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  • Cal won 316 more games in Memorial Stadium before it was shut down for renovation after the 2010 season. The Bears are 317-213-6 all-time in the facility.

  • The 1923 Memorial Stadium debut game came just three weeks after Cal -- which was 33-0-1 over its previous 34 games -- settled for a 0-0 tie with ... Nevada.