Hope everyone is ready for a football Saturday. Sorry, you won't be able to watch the Washington State game today. You'll have to listen to Bob Robertson, Jim Walden and Bud Nameck describe it. Or wait until we can tell you what happened. Your choice. Read on.
• Washington State: By the way, is it a good thing or a bad thing the game isn't on television? What are your thoughts on that? It's mixed for us because non-televised games are usually shorter, but there are less replays to watch. It makes it harder to figure out if a knee was down or a foot was inbounds. And that, as you know, is why football is fun, waiting for the replay official to make a ruling. Let's move on. ... A couple thoughts before we get to the links. Coach Paul Wulff said Thursday the WSU defense was better than last year's, especially in not giving up big running plays. So we looked back at last year's first six games and compared them to this year's. In the first half of last year, WSU gave up five runs of 50 yards or longer, the number we used as a baseline. This year, the Cougars have given up just one, the 53-yard reverse Arizona State broke on them two weeks ago. So Wulff is right. But he also tempered his comments saying today's game would be a different animal. Cal's rushing attack is built around breakaway speed, unlike, say Stanford's, which tries to pound you into submission. It will be interesting to see how the Cougar run defense holds up. ... You won't be seeing Louis Bland on the field today. He made the trip but I don't think he'll play. Same, more than likely, with Tyson Pencer. But everyone else should be able to go, though Steven Ayers might be extremely limited. ... The Bland loss is a big blow to the defense. Expect Alex Hoffman-Ellis, if his arm withstands the contact, to play a lot. ... Now to the links. ... We have our advance and game day items here. ... Freelancer Howie Stalwick has this advance in the News Tribune and other papers. ... By the way, the WSU volleyball team upset Washington in Pullman last night. You can find the result here (second item). ... Cougfan has this game advance. ... Cal players say they are praying for James Montgomery's health. ... For more on today's game, check the Cal section below.
• Around the Pac-10: Not much new today that relates to the entire conference. ...Washington: A UW alum had a bright idea. ... This might be the most important game with Oregon the Dawgs have had in many years. ... Oregon State: 1960. That was the last time the Beavers defeated USC in Los Angeles. ... Oregon: Expect Jeremiah Masoli to be at quarterback for the Ducks today. ... Cal: The Bears defense has been very good against poor offenses. Which doesn't bode well for WSU today. ... One of last year's better cornerbacks is reasserting himself. ... A quick look at today's game. ... Stanford: The Cardinal has yet to win a big game. ... USC: Last year Joe McKnight helped the Trojans lose at OSU because he couldn't hang on to the ball. This year he wants to help them hang a loss on the Beavers. ...UCLA: It sounds like the Bruins are building toward next year. ... Arizona State: Can the Sun Devils stop Stanford's running game? ... Arizona: The Wildcats are reverting to form. Their-days-in-the-wacky-WAC form.
• That's it for this morning. We'll be back before the game with more. Until then …