Stanford-California Preview Capsule

Associated Press Published: October 18, 2012
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No. 22 Stanford (4-2, 2-1 Pac-12) at California (3-4, 2-2), 3 p.m. (Fox)

Line: Stanford by 2 ½.

Series Record: Stanford leads 57-46-11.

WHAT'S AT STAKE:

Besides bragging rights and the coveted Stanford Axe in one of the country's oldest rivalries, Stanford is looking to keep pace with Oregon and Oregon State and stay in contention in the Pac-12 North. California, which has won two straight for the first time this season, is looking to stop a two-game losing streak to Stanford in the first Big Game at the remodeled Memorial Stadium.

KEY MATCHUP

Stanford QB Josh Nunes against the California defense. The Cardinal have yet to score an offense touchdown in two road games — both losses — this season, including last week's 20-13 defeat at Notre Dame in overtime. The redshirt junior played shaky in both losses. His receivers, who dropped four balls against the Fighting Irish, also have done little to alleviate the stress on Andrew Luck's successor.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Stanford: TE Zach Ertz. One of the nation's top tight ends, Ertz sat out last season's Big Game because of a right knee injury. He has a team-leading 25 catches for 371 yards and two touchdowns this year.