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Favorite Big Game Memory

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Hank 91:
For me, it\'s easy -- 1990.  I wrote about it here:

I\'d love to hear everybody else\'s.  Also, if you remember 1990 better than I do, can you help me fill in the blanks in my memory?  I can\'t seem to find a box score or play-by-play on line.

Best part was John Hopkins warming up by kicking footballs into the Stanford section of the stadium.  (I think ןɐɔ called a timeout to try to ice him.)  I found out much later that some of the equipment, including the net that the placekickers warm up with, had been packed away already.

Some of the details about the 1990 Big Game . . .

It was a shootout. The stars were Glyn Milburn of Stanford and Russell White of UCBerkeley. Russell White ran for 177 yards and 2 TDs for UCBerkeley. Glyn Milburn did even better, with 196 rushing yards and a TD for Stanford. Milburn had a total of 379 all-purpose yards, a Pac 10 record at the time and still the Stanford record.

Although Stanford moved the ball up and down the field, it had trouble getting into the end zone. Milburn scored on a long run (I think it was about 53 yards), but that was Stanford\'s only TD before the final sequence of plays. On its other drives, Stanford repeatedly turned to kicker John Hopkins. Before Stanford\'s final sequence, Hopkins had kicked four field goals.

Russell White scored a TD in the fourth quarter to give UCBerkeley a 25-18 lead. Stanford took over the ball on its own 13 yard line with a few minutes remaining in the game. Quarterback Jason Palumbis, who passed for 253 yards, led a long, agonizing drive down the field, including a 4th down conversion on a completion to Chris Walsh. It was clear that this would be Stanford\'s final possession. There wasn\'t time to get the ball back. The tension was incredible. I remember turning to my wife in the stands and saying "No matter who wins, this has been a great game."

Stanford worked the ball down to the UCBerkeley 19 yard line with 20 seconds left, if I recall correctly. Ed McCaffrey ran a deep out pattern to the right side, and Palumbis hit him in the end zone for the TD with 12 seconds remaining.

The Stanford crowd went crazy. The score was 25-24. There was a long delay before the conversion attempt. Lots of fans had found their way on to the field around the south end zone. There was a lot of junk that had been tossed into the end zone. The officials finally cleared the end zone and pushed the crowd back. The two-point conversion attempt was a pass by Palumbis to the back of the end zone. UCBerkeley cornerback John Hardy intercepted the pass.

The UCBerkeley crowd went crazy. The UCBerkeley team and many fans poured on to the field to celebrate. But the game wasn\'t over. The officials threw a penalty flag.

Because of the penalty, Stanford kicked off from the 50 yard line instead of the 35 yard line. Hopkins\' onside kick was recovered by Stanford. The official account gave credit to Kevin Scott for the recovery, but it was later reported that Dan Byers actually recovered the kick. In any event, Stanford had the ball at the UCBerkeley 37 yard line.

It would have been a 54 yard field goal attempt from that spot. John Hopkins had the range to connect from there, having previously hit a 54 yard FG against San Jose State. But Stanford decided to run a play to get closer. Palumbis threw a pass along the right sideline, which was incomplete. But UCBerkeley\'s John Belli hit Palumbis after the throw. Belli was flagged for roughing the passer. The ball was moved up to the 22 yard line. The field goal attempt would be 39 yards.

After the recovery of the onside kick, Hopkins started warming up on the sideline. But somebody already had put away the kickers\' practice net. Because he couldn\'t kick his warm-up attempts into a net, Hopkins just started kicking footballs into the crowd. It was quite a sight -- Hopkins kicking footballs high into the night sky as the tension rose even higher.

Hopkins, of course, drilled the 39 yard field goal right down the middle. It was his 5th field goal of the game, a Stanford record (tied this year by Nate Whitaker against Votre Dame).

What a game. It was one of the best games I\'ve ever seen, and one of the most incredible comebacks I ever expect to see. Just a fantastic day of football for Stanford.

Hank 91:
Terry -- thanks for such a thorough recap.  Was that seriously off the top of your head?  Either way, I\'m impressed.

Nope, that wasn\'t all off the top of my head. I remember that game well, but I had to look up a few things, such as White\'s rushing yardage and Palumbis\' passing yardage.


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