Big Game 2012: Stanford looks to retain Axe against Cal

Ezra Shaw - Getty Images

The Stanford Cardinal look to retain the Axe against the California Golden Bears in the 2012 Big Game.

The California Golden Bears are looking to regain the Axe for the first time since 2009 when they face the Stanford Cardinal this weekend. Cal and Stanford usually play their rivalry game the week of Thanksgiving, but due to various Pac-12 TV scheduling issues, the matchup has been rescheduled for October.

Cal has lost their last two games to Stanford, falling 48-14 in 2010 and 31-28 in 2011. But Stanford had Andrew Luck on both occasions, and will now have to rely on the slightly less reliable Josh Nunes to author a big road win in Memorial Stadium. Zach Maynard has had his inconsistent moments, but he performed quite well against Stanford in last year's Big Game. It figures that whoever performs better at quarterback will win this one, since a better passing game will open up things for the running attack.

The Bears are riding a two game win streak, beating UCLA and Washington State. Stanford is coming off a tough overtime road loss to Notre Dame. The game will be nationally televised on FOX at noon PT.

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