Cal vs. Washington
KICKOFF: Saturday, 3 p.m. at Memorial Stadium in Berkeley.
TV/RADIO: Pac-12 Networks; 810-AM.
RECORDS: Cal 4-1, 2-1 in Pac-12; Washington 4-1, 0-1.
SERIES HISTORY: Washington leads 51-38-4. Washington won 41-17 in 2013 and has won five in a row in the series.
STORYLINES: With a win, the Bears would move within a single victory of being bowl eligible. Since 1980, only one of nine Cal teams that started the season 4-1 or better has failed to reach a bowl game. That was the 1998 squad that finished 5-6. . . . For the first time in four weeks, Cal faces a team that doesn’t appear determined to exploit the Bears’ defensive secondary woes. Arizona, Colorado and Washington State combined for 1,709 passing yards and 18 TD passes against the Bears. By comparison, UW averages 48 rushing attempts per game and ranks last in the Pac-12 at 162.6 passing yards per game. . . . UW’s Marcus Peters, a junior from McClymonds-Oakland, is expected to return to the starting lineup after sitting out the Illinois game for a sideline outburst and then the first three defensive series vs. Stanford for unspecified reasons. Regarded as one of the nation’s top cornerbacks, Peters has three interceptions this season and 11 for his career.
INJURY UPDATE: Cal: RB Khalfani Muhammad (thumb) and WR Darius Powe (shoulder) are probable; S Stefan McClure (calf) is questionable; LB Edward Tandy (concussion) is out. Washington: S Kevin King (illness) is probable; OT Ben Riva (knee) is questionable.
MATCHUP TO WATCH: Cal’s offense vs. Washington LB Shaq Thompson. A one-time Cal recruiting commit from Sacramento, Thompson has developed into a game-changing star for the Huskies. The 6-foot-1, 228-pound junior has forced three fumbles, recovered two, intercepted a pass and shares the team lead with four touchdowns, including one as a running back. “He’s kind of all over the place,” Cal coach Sonny Dykes said. “He’s always around the ball.”
STATS THAT MATTER: Cal quarterback Jared Goff, No. 2 nationally in pass efficiency rating at 188.45, is coming off a school-record 527-yard performance at WSU. Goff needs just 87 passing yards to move ahead of Aaron Rodgers into ninth on Cal’s career list . . . Washington ranks second nationally in turnover margin at plus-2.2 per game. The Huskies have 12 takeaways and just one giveaway, a lost fumble. . . . First-year UW coach Chris Petersen, who won 92 games in eight seasons at Boise State, leads all active FBS coaches with a career winning percentage of .885.