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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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2-minute drill

1 Take an early lead. A key to Cal’s success this season has been a vast improvement in the run game, and the Golden Bears have a pair of running backs that are capable of making big plays on the ground. When the Golden Bears trail, the offense becomes one-dimensional – Cal abandons the run and passes on virtually every play. While the Cal passing attack is deadly, the Cougars would like to know what’s coming.

2 Get front four upfield. The Cougars can’t devote too many defenders to rushing the passer or Cal could carve them up with quick throws. WSU’s defensive line has been great at creating pressure on good quarterbacks the last two weeks and that’s been a key for taking pressure off the young secondary. Guys like Xavier Cooper, Kache Palacio and Ivan McLennan need to beat their blockers and harass the QB so the rest of the defense can stay in coverage.

3 Find the extra receiver. Teams have a tough time covering all of WSU’s wide receivers and opposing defenses always seem to leave one with a little extra room. Early on that was Isiah Myers, then defenses shifted to cover him allowing Dom Williams and Vince Mayle to make plays on the opposite side, which in turn opened up the middle of the field for River Cracraft. Cal is going to leave somebody open; the Cougars need to make sure they find him and get him the ball.

4 Keep RBs involved. Washington State’s offense has become continually more potent as Gerard Wicks’ and Jamal Morrow’s roles have increased. While that has primarily been due to a renewed commitment to running the ball when defenses take defenders out of the tackle box, both young backs have also made an impact catching the ball. If there are opportunities to run the ball, great, but if not then it will be important to remember the backs in the passing game.

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