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2 Minute Drill: WSU’s keys to victory against California

California WR Chad Hansen, left, has caught at least one touchdown pass in all but one of Cal’s games. (Ben Margot / Associated Press)
California WR Chad Hansen, left, has caught at least one touchdown pass in all but one of Cal’s games. (Ben Margot / Associated Press)

Don’t take your eyes off …

California wide receiver Chad Hansen was a complete unknown at the start of this season. But the 6-foot-2, 205-pound junior has caught at least one touchdown pass in all but one of Cal’s games. His average of 120 receiving yards per game leads Pac-12 by nearly 40 yards, and his 16 catches of 20 or more yards are four more than any other receiver in the league.

When WSU has the ball …

Do not expect the Cougars to run the ball much, if at all. WSU running backs only averaged 3.2 yards per carry against the Golden Bears during their last two games. Of course, WSU averaged 9.4 yards on its 119 passing attempts in those games, so it’s easy to see why the Cougars are happy to keep the ball in the air.

When California has the ball …

The Golden Bears have big play threats besides Hansen, and none of them is scarier for opposing defenses than Khalfani Muhammad, who is also the track team’s best sprinter. Muhammad is a threat in the running, passing and return games, and Cal’s coaches are certain to get his speed involved at every opportunity.

Did you know?

Before Hansen became one of the Pac-12’s most prolific receivers, he began his college football career at Idaho State. He transferred to California as a walk-on, but is now on scholarship.

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