BERKELEY -- Linebacker Michael Barton said the Cal football team will try to match Stanford's physical play Saturday, but admitted it may take more than that to pull off the biggest upset in Big Game history.

"We need a little bit of magic," Barton said. "In games like this, something spectacular always happens. If the ball rolls our way a few times, we'll be all right as long as we play sound football."

Cal (1-10, 0-8 Pac-12), without a win this season against a Football Bowl Subdivision opponent, is a 311/2-point underdog -- believed to be the biggest point spread in the 116-year history of the rivalry.

"I think everybody in the organization loves it, just to be in position to shock the world," Barton said.

Freshman quarterback Jared Goff said there is a little more energy than usual at practice this week.

"No one really thinks we have a chance. That's not what we think inside our team," he said. "We have nothing to lose. We're just going to go in there and fight our (butt) off."

Cal wideout Bryce Treggs said this is about family pride. Bryce and father Brian, who played for the Bears from 1988 through '91, are 0-4-1 against the Cardinal.

"I think it was a pretty big scar," Bryce said. "I remember one time (1991) when he played Stanford, he promised he would move to Palo Alto if he didn't win. I would say that's the one blemish on his career."


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  • Cal has run the ball better the past two weeks than at anytime this season, totaling 195 yards against USC and 197 at Colorado last week. Brendan Bigelow's 107-yard performance Saturday marked the first time a Cal back cracked 100 yards this season.

    But a huge test looms.

    Coach Sonny Dykes is curious to see how his young offensive line fares against Stanford, whose defense allows just 91.6 rushing yards per game, tied for third-best in the country.

    "I'm not naive enough to think we're going to line up and run for 300 yards," he said. "If we do, it will be a surprise to everybody, me included. But we think we've got some opportunities to run the ball."

    So did Oregon, which was averaging more than 300 rushing yards per game when it was held to 62 at Stanford two weeks ago. USC rushed 27 times for 23 yards on Saturday -- an average of 31 inches per carry.

    While Cal starts three freshmen, a sophomore and a junior on its offensive line. Stanford's defensive front seven features six seniors -- three of them in their fifth year -- and a junior.

    "They're big and they're long. They get off blocks and tackle as well as anybody," Dykes said. "They're what you would expect from a very mature team."

  • High praise from Dykes for Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan, who ranks 11th in Pac-12 passing yards but is 8-0 in his career as a starter against Top-25 opponents.

    "He's a get-it-done guy. I mean it in the highest sense of flattery," Dykes said. "The best thing you can say about a quarterback is he gets it done. If he needs to run the ball 3 yards to get a first down, he runs 31/2 yards.

    "He figures out ways to win football games. The statistics don't mean much. Stanford's not trying to have the No. 1 offense in football. They're trying to have the No. 1 team."

  • Dykes said it wasn't the coaching staff's intention to leave neophyte cornerback Cedric Dozier all alone against Colorado's star receiver Paul Richardson, who burned the Bears with 11 catches for 140 yards.

    The Bears kept Dozier on the left side all game, instead of giving the assignment to Kam Jackson, their best healthy corner. Dykes said a safety was positioned nearby to give Dozier help in just his third start.

    But the Buffaloes made moves to draw the safety away, and Dykes pointed to a 39-yard play Richardson made on an underthrown ball against solid coverage by Dozier.

    "Cedric got a little rattled after that," Dykes said. "There shouldn't have been too many one-on-one matchups. Unfortunately for us, when there was, (Richardson) made a play."

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