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Pac-12 notes: Pullman becomes hopping place for football

PULLMAN – Over the years, Pac-12 players and coaches have been known to grumble that Pullman isn’t exactly the easiest place to get to for a game.

Such trips typically involve a 2-hour bus trip after a flight to Spokane, and that’s if you didn’t have to first fly through Seattle.

But Pullman is a pretty poppin’ place, and the chance to grab some ice cream at Ferdinand’s or a milkshake at Cougar Country eases the agony of the trip. That’s on a normal day. On a football weekend, according to Mike Leach, the place is practically Shangri-La, and well worth the pilgrimage.

“It would probably be on a scale with Woodstock, I would say, as far as being a historic event where event where people gather,” said Leach during the weekly Pac-12 coaches teleconference. “It’s kind of a statement for our generation, I think.”

Rodriguez still mad about TV times

A 1 p.m. kickoff for last weekend’s game against WSU wasn’t enough to assuage Wildcats coach Rich Rodriguez, who filed a complaint with the Pac-12 last week regarding the consistently late starts for his team.

Late kickoff times are especially hard on away teams, who may not get back to their own beds after the game until 4 a.m. or later. The Wildcats have an 8 p.m. kickoff in Seattle for this week’s game against Washington and found out on Monday that their game at USC the following week will not start until 7:30 p.m.

To top it all off, the Wildcats do not have a bye week this season.

“There’s not much you can do about it,” Rodriguez said. “We called to complain last week and I understand the networks give all the money. And they’re not in the charitable business, they’re not going to give money away for free, they want to make money and determine the TV times. We’ve voiced our concerns and then we went ahead and got another night game … so it doesn’t really make much difference.”

Golden Bears again falter down the stretch

Oh no, California. Not again.

Cal spent the second half of last season on the cusp of becoming eligible for its first bowl game since 2011, rocketing out to a 4-1 start. The Golden Bears went into a second-half tailspin, however, winning only one game after beating WSU on Oct. 4, and missing the postseason for yet another year.

After starting the 2015 season 5-0, the Golden Bears have lost two straight and are winless since their Oct. 3 victory over WSU. With games against USC and Oregon coming up, Cal doesn’t have an easy way to get back in the win column before a mid-November matchup against Oregon State.

After scoring at least 30 points in their first five wins, the Golden Bears have scored just 24 in both of their two losses.

“We just have to play better offensively and we have to run the ball better, I think that will take some pressure off (quarterback Jared Goff),” Cal coach Sonny Dykes said. “If you look around the league, the teams we’ve played recently have been pretty good defensive football teams. When you play against good teams your level of execution has to go up and so we probably haven’t raised our level of execution as much as we need to.”

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