Cal vs. Washington State prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins Saturday night’s matchup between the Golden Bears and Cougars.
When: Saturday, Nov. 12 – 10:30 p.m. ET
Where: Martin Stadium, Pullman, Washington
TV Broadcast: ESPN
The last two games for Cal (4-5) have not gone as well as head coach Sonny Dykes would have liked them to go. The Golden Bears fell to USC two weeks ago on the road. And last weekend, Dykes’ crew fell at home to College Football Playoff contender Washington, 66-27. Cal is 2-3 in its last five games and hasn’t won since Oct. 21 when it beat Oregon, 52-49, in double overtime.
As for Wazzu (7-2), well, it has been thoroughly enjoying its seven-game winning streak it’s been on since Sept. 17 when it took down Idaho at home. The Cougars then ran through Oregon, Stanford, UCLA, Arizona State, Oregon State, and, last weekend, Arizona. What’s crazy to think about is how Washington State is six points away from being undefeated. The Cougars fell to Eastern Washington, 45-42, to open the season before falling to Boise State, 31-28, in Week 2.
The last two games between the Cougars and Golden Bears have gone Cal’s way, including last year’s 34-28 final in Berkeley. Washington State trails in the all-time series, 46-26-5.
What To Know About Cal
Things didn’t go so well for the Golden Bears against the Huskies, but that’s an outlier. Davis Webb has had a great season but turned in a poor game against Washington. It happens. He completed 23-of-47 passes for 262 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions. On the season, he’s completed 61 percent of his throws for 3,176 yards, 30 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
Webb’s only touchdown in that Washington game went to Chad Hansen, who returned from injury and caught five balls for 70 yards. True freshman Demetris Robertson reeled in three passes for 82 yards. Plus, on the ground, Webb rushed for a touchdown, and Patrick Laird ran for a score as well.
What to Know About Washington State
Luke Falk had a much better go of it last time out. He landed 32-of-35 passes for 311 yards and four touchdowns — incredible. Tyler Hilinski came into the game and ended up completing 15-of-17 passes for 163 yards and two scores as well. Two of Falk’s touchdowns went to Tavares Martin Jr., who had nine catches for 66 yards, and the other two were split up between Gabe Marks and James Williams, who combined for 14 receptions and 113 yards.
On the ground, Williams rushed for 72 yards and a touchdown off of 12 carries. He was joined by Gerard Wicks, who navigated his way for 44 yards and two touchdowns on seven rushes. Jamal Morrow also picked up 35 yards on seven carries, but he didn’t find his way into the end zone.
Offense: Washington State – Falk is coming off of another great game, and Webb is coming off a bad performance. Plus, Falk has a much more explosive running game to help him out.
Defense: Washington State – Right now, Cal couldn’t stop an offense if it built a 100-foot wall that extended from one sideline to the other.
Special Teams: Cal – Matt Anderson has hit all 41 of his extra points and knocked home 16-of-18 field goals. His two misses were from outside of 40 yards, and his longest made kick was from 47 yards out.
Coaching: Washington State – Mike Leach has his Cougars scoring in bunches right now.
Matchup To Watch
Davis Webb vs. Luke Falk
This is going to be a fun, fun matchup. Both Webb and Falk can sling the rock with the best of ’em, and you better believe they’ll both spray the ball around. Webb needs to get Hansen the ball on the perimeter and then try to hit it big over the top with Robertson. That could help the Golden Bears come up with some big points early on. As far as Falk is concerned, he needs to keep finding Williams and the other tailbacks out of the backfield to help create some passing lanes down the field for Marks and Martin.
Spread: Washington State -14.5
Cal vs. Washington State Prediction
There won’t be a whole lot of defense in this game. Both teams are going north of 40 points. Webb is going to throw for four touchdowns, and two of them will be to Hansen. However, the Cal quarterback will get picked off at least once, and Wazzu will take advantage. Falk will be flawless again and will be highly efficient with the football in his hands. He’ll hook up with Martin for two touchdowns as well, and Marks will chime in with his own score and at least 100 receiving yards. Morrow will do work on the ground and lead the rushing attack with Wicks and Williams in a win for the Cougars.
Cal vs. Washington State Score Prediction: Washington State 52, Cal 45