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Football: Bears try to build on momentum

This game may not be easy — playing in Pullman, Wash., rarely is — but it’s a game Cal cannot afford to surrender. Here’s my game preview that will appear in Saturday’s editions.

CAL AT WASHINGTON STATE

RECORDS: Cal 2-4, 1-2 in Pac-12; Washington State 2-4, 0-3

KICKOFF: 7:30 p.m., Martin Stadium, Pullman, Wash.

TV: Pac-12 Networks

RADIO: 810-AM

SERIES HISTORY: Cal leads 43-25-5. The Bears have won the past seven meetings, including 30-7 in 2011 at AT&T Park. Another victory would equal Cal’s longest streak in the series, achieved from 1920 through ’29.

STORYLINES: The Bears hope to build on momentum of their 43-17 win over UCLA and reach .500 in the Pac-12 . . . This is Cal’s first road game against a team not ranked in the Top-25, following losses at Ohio State and USC . . . Cal gets its first look at WSU under Mike Leach, who coached Texas Tech to a 45-31 win over Cal in the 2004 Holiday Bowl. Leach’s Red Raiders’ teams averaged 37.3 points from 2000 through 2009, but the Cougars twice this season have been held without a touchdown.

INJURY UPDATE: Cal – CB Marc Anthony (knee) and DL Todd Barr (calf) are probable. Washington State – OG-OT Wade Jacobsen (neck/shoulder) is probable.

MATCHUP TO WATCH: Cal’s defensive secondary vs. Washington State’s receivers. The Bears picked off four passes last week vs. UCLA, but will be challenged by a Cougars’ offense that employs four receivers on every down and averages 48 pass attempts per game. Cougars junior WR Marquess Wilson, needs 53 receiving yards to reach 3,000 for his career, has 13 100-yard games and scored 23 touchdowns but never has done either vs. Cal.

STATS THAT MATTER: The six turnovers Cal forced against UCLA are the most by a Jeff Tedford team . . . Three different Cal backs — C.J. Anderson, Isi Sofele and Brendan Bigelow — have posted 100-yard rushing games this season. . . . The Cougars rank second-to-last in the nation in rushing at 41.3 yards per game. . . . Washington State DE Travis Long leads the Pac-12 with 7.5 sacks.

Jeff Faraudo

  • covinared

    our biggest defensive weakness is stopping the third down play. halliday can run.

  • Juancho

    Looking forward to watching Bigelow and hoepfully see even more improvement. Same thing with Rodgers. That guy was a beast last week.

    Can you imagine Kline with all these weapons next year?

  • covinared

    I think Anderson is going to be the main man from now on. I suspect Cal may have to simplify the play book and go away from hand calling the plays for Bigelow to be an every down back. Let’s hope I am wrong.

  • wehofx

    CJ deserves the start after ucla. He ran hard. But, I sure hope BB gets close to 10 carries.

  • Raf

    Just wanted to point out that the combined record of the 4 teams that beat Cal is 20-3.

    Tough schedule.

  • Larry

    16-7 if CAL would have beat those 4 teams?

  • BlueNGold

    I have noticed some fans badmouthing the pac12 networks game coverage. But, when was the last time a Cal-WSU game played in Pullman got TV coverage?

  • Steve W

    That would be two years ago, when Brock Mansion got his only win as a starter. Ugly game that probably shouldn’t have been televised. Neither should this one, but I will be watching. The PAC 12 network will keep under performing teams like Cal on the tube when radio would have been the only choice in years past. Got ‘em on Time Warner, and I’m a fan.

  • Raf

    larry that’s a moot point… yes if cal had won all the games we’d be undefeated and a top 5 team. and yes a 16-7 opponent record, 20-9 if you include UCLA, southern utah isn’t 1A)… is still a fantastic opponent record and tough schedule.

  • BlueNGold

    Thank you for the reminder, Steve. If B. Mansion can win a game in Pullman, given the other deficiencies he had to work with, Maynard should be able to have another good game, if the team supports him.