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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883


Cal at WSU: Halftime


That's the word I spent the second quarter searching for.

Sort of like the Cougar defense and Marshawn Lynch. It spent 15 minutes trying to find him, with less success than I had.

Lynch was part of rushing attack that had more than 100 yards at the half, as the Bears methodically moved down the field en route to the 21-3 halftime lead.

Add to that another almost 130 yards passing and the Bears' offense was, what's the word, efficient. Only a tipped pass in the first quarter kept them from having three long scoring drives.

Lynch is the best running back in the conference - and backup Justin Forsett might be No. 3 (let's stick Oregon's Jonathan Stewart in the there somewhere). But the Cal duo is running behind a mammoth offensive line (average: 306 pounds, 6-foot-4) that works well together.

The best term for it? Maybe methodical.

On the other side, the Cougar running game is haphazard (the dictionary's antonym for methodical). It's appropriate because the running game has been a hazard for WSU drives. At halftime WSU is averaging 1/3 yard per carry.

So what do you think the Cal defense will be keying on in the second half? With a 21-3 lead? My guess - and I'm sure it is yours as well - is the passing game.

Alex Brink has thrown the ball well at times thus far, and just missed a couple more long completions. But the second half will probably be tougher, just because the Coug running game, already in hibernation, will probably go into the deep freeze from here on out.

The Cal defense was just methodical in how it stymied the running attack, closing every gap and running down every wide attempt.

Still, the best hit of the day goes to referee Larry Farina. On a kickoff into the Cougar end zone, Derrell Hutsona was knocked off his reception route by a Farina shoulder, causing the ball to skip through the end zone.

It's been that kind of day for the Cougs. Even the officials are putting hits on them.

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