BERKELEY, Calif. – For most of the season, Washington’s games have been over shortly after they started. The fourth-ranked Huskies have outscored the opposition by 200 points in the first half and didn’t trail after halftime at all until last week.
For California, it’s been the opposite. The Golden Bears have gone down to the wire almost every game, narrowly ending up on top at home while falling just short on the road.
So the Bears (4-4, 2-3 Pac-12) know the key when they host the Huskies (7-0, 4-0, No. 5 CFP) on Saturday night is to survive the early onslaught and then come up with a big play late to win it like they did in home wins against Texas, Utah and Oregon.
“I think our guys play with confidence at home,” coach Sonny Dykes said. “You feel a sense of security I guess. When we play here, guys have figured out ways to make plays in critical situations.”
Washington hasn’t faced many critical situations this season, outscoring the opponents 107-7 in the first quarter and 234-34 in the first half this season.
But the Huskies did need to survive tough road games at Arizona and Utah. They needed overtime to beat the Wildcats in September and then a go-ahead punt return for a score to knock off the Utes 31-24 last week.
Coach Chris Petersen sees no signs his team will let up after that emotional win a week ago.
“If Cal beats us, it’s not because we’re overlooking them. I guarantee that,” Petersen said. “Our guys watch film. They know this is a prolific offense. They’re going to score a lot of points. We’ll have to score a lot of points.”
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