BERKELEY -- Cal's defensive approach in Saturday's Big Game will be no different from what every team has tried to accomplish against Stanford: Shut down the running game and put the outcome in the hands of quarterback Josh Nunes.

"There's no Andrew Luck out there," Cal senior safety Josh Hill said. "We're going to have to put pressure on (Nunes) and make him beat us."

To do that, the Bears must stop the run, a formula only Washington and Notre Dame made work.

"They lead with the run. It's a power run game. They're very patient with it, they don't give up on it," Cal coach Jeff Tedford said. "Their backs run really hard. It'll be a physical football game."

The numbers are starkly different for Stanford in its wins and losses:

  • In four victories, the Cardinal has averaged 176.5 rushing yards per game on 4.8 yards per carry, and first-year starter Nunes has a passer rating of 139.59.

  • In its losses, Stanford managed 107.5 rushing yards on 3.2 yards per attempt, with Nunes' passer rating falling to 78.68.

    Cal is coming off its two best defensive performances of the season, surrendering just 17 points each in wins over UCLA and Washington State. As a result, the Bears are playing with "supreme confidence" on defense, senior nose guard Kendrick Payne said.

    "The first word with Stanford always is 'physical.' They bring a good O-line, they work well as a unit," Payne said. "I feel we match up pretty well against their front. Our plan is to stop their run -- there's no slowing them."

    Linebacker Nick Forbes understands it won't be easy. He's aware Nunes has been sacked just six times all season, but called senior Stepfan Taylor "an NFL-quality back."

    "If you take away a fisherman's pole, he's got to learn to survive another way," Forbes said. "That's the mentality you have to have attacking any great offense -- you want to attack their strength and make them one dimensional."

  • Tedford recalled just where he was 30 years ago when Cal pulled off The Play to beat Stanford. A senior at Fresno State, he was in his hotel room at Las Vegas when he tuned in the 1982 Big Game to check out "my buddy" Kevin Moen.

    The two were teammates in the Southern California high school all-star game, and Moen scored after the fifth lateral on the game-winning kickoff return against Stanford in what became one of college football's enduring moments.

    "It was just kind of 'Wow.' You couldn't really figure out what was going on," Tedford said.

    Another famous participant in the '82 Big Game -- John Elway -- also played in that high school all-star game. Asked who won that day, Tedford laughed. "Elway was playing quarterback for them, I was playing quarterback for us. You can probably figure that out."

  • Three years after he made two field goals and four PATs in Cal's most recent victory over Stanford, Vincenzo D'Amato is the team's No. 1 place-kicker again this season. After missing four straight field goals, he has made his past six tries -- including a career-long 52-yarder at Washington State last week.

    D'Amato said he fixed things mentally and physically after his slump and wouldn't be afraid to attempt a game-winner on Saturday. "I think I'm ready for it if I'm called upon," he said.

  • The Cal men's and women's basketball teams will give an exhibition at Lisa and Douglas Goldman Plaza at Memorial Stadium on Saturday from 11-11:45 a.m. There will be a half-court shooting contest, interactive activities and giveaways.

  • Cal's game at Utah on Oct. 27 has been set for a 6:45 p.m. kickoff and will be aired on the Pac-12 Networks.

    For more on Cal sports, see the Bear Talk blog at ibabuzz.com/beartalk. Follow Jeff Faraudo on Twitter at twitter.com/CalBearsBANG.