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The pick: Why Washington State will beat Cal

 (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

BERKELEY, Calif. – Justin Wilcox had a fair amount of success against Mike Leach and the Air Raid offense during his defensive coordinator pit stops at Washington and USC. Beau Baldwin knows a thing or two about scoring on an Alex Grinch defense, too. His FCS club rang up 45 points in Pullman last year – not that you needed a reminder.

Wilcox and Baldwin as a tag team? Well, they could certainly find a way to beat the Cougars, couldn’t they? The Cougars are traveling on a short week and as a top-10 team that keeps winning, it’s not like these games are getting any less important. For all the privileges that come with being a top-10 team, it can be quite the burden, too.

Is there a trap game on WSU’s schedule? Is this it?

Here’s the reality: the Cougars could be at their worst and still find a way to claw out a win against a Cal team that ranks No. 102 in total defense (436 ypg) and 103 in total offense (345 ypg). The Golden Bears are stuck in a five-way tie for 121st in the FBS with 14 turnovers lost and their quarterback is throwing an interception for almost every touchdown and he’s being sacked 3.8 times per game. That’s tied for 124th in the nation.

Clemson should be the first team to reach 7-0 this weekend. Expect WSU to be the second.

The line: Washington State by 14.5

The pick: Washington State 45, Cal 13