Here is staff writer Jacob Thorpe’s first look at Saturday’s game between California and Washington State.
What is it: Washington State (7-2, 6-0 Pac-12) tries to maintain its perch atop the conference standings against streaky California (4-5, 2-4).
Where is it: Martin Stadium in Pullman.
When is it: This game starts at 7:30 p.m. With two teams that love to throw the ball, don’t plan on getting home until Sunday.
Where can I watch it: ESPN
Who is favored: The Cougars are favored by 14.5 points.
Why WSU will win: Simply put, the California defense cannot stop the WSU offense. The Golden Bears give up 44.4 points per game, which is the worst mark in the Pac-12, and cannot hope to contain the high-octane Cougars.
Why Cal will win: The Golden Bears can put up some points themselves, and their 517.1 yards of offense per game ranks No. 1 in the conference. Cal has beat WSU the last two years, and Sonny Dykes seems to put together good game plans when he faces his old mentor Mike Leach.
What happened last time: The Golden Bears beat the Cougars 34-28 in Berkeley.
Three things to know …
1. Cal coach Sonny Dykes coached for WSU coach Mike Leach at Texas Tech. His father, Spike, was Leach’s predecessor.
2. Cal’s “Bear Raid” offense is similar to WSU’s “Air Raid,” with the twist that the Golden Bears are a little more reliant on the run game.
3. Cal quarterback Davis Webb transferred from Texas Tech. His 3,176 passing yards rank No. 3 nationally, just behind WSU’s Luke Falk who ranks No. 2 with 3,237.
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