BERKELEY, CALIF., NOV. 17 -- John Hopkins kicked a 39-yard field goal as time expired today to give Stanford a 27-25 victory over California and cap the most improbable Big Game comeback since "The Play" involving the Stanford band in 1982.
The Cardinal made it 25-24 when Jason Palumbis threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Ed McCaffrey with 12 seconds left. However, the outcome appeared assured when Cal's John Hardy intercepted Palumbis's two-point conversion pass in the end zone.
Thousands of Cal fans who ran onto the field helped save the day for Stanford. Cal was penalized 15 yards for delay of game, and Stanford kicked off from midfield. When Dan Byers recovered an onside kick after the ball had bounced off several players, Stanford was in business at the 37.
With time for one play, Palumbis threw an incomplete pass. But Cal was penalized 15 yards for roughing Palumbis, and the Cardinal had the ball at the 22.
That was close enough for Hopkins, who gave Stanford a crazy victory eight years after "The Play."
In 1982, Stanford led 20-19 with seconds left and, as its band walked into the end zone, bounced a kickoff to run out the clock. Five laterals later, Cal's Kevin Moen ran over a Stanford trombone player to score and give the Bears a 25-20 victory.