The Washington State Cougars get conference play going when they take on the No. 24 Cal Bears on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. PT. The Cougs and Bears lit up the scoreboard last season, combining for 119 points. Cal escaped Pullman with the win after WSU missed a chip-shot 19-yard field.
The Golden Bears are improved this season, rattling off four-straight wins to open the campaign due in no small part to its highly potent offensive attack. Brian Anderson did a great job breaking down what makes quarterback Jared Goff and the Bears offensive in his Pre-Snap Read:
Cal's offense is a juggernaut and Jared Goff is likely the top NFL quarterback prospect in college. These things you know. They rank 34th nationally in Passing S&P+, 16th in Passing Success Rate, and 34th in explosiveness (IsoPPP).
But the Cougs might be able to keep up thanks to a porous Cal defense. WSU will put points if it holds onto the ball, writes Jeff Nusser:
The Golden Bears have taken the ball away 14(!) times in four games. (Have I already mentioned that Cal and WSU had pretty much the same plan for improvement?) Predictably, that has had an outsized impact on the unit's effectiveness. But while coaches love to preach ball hawking and having a takeaway mentality and all that sort of stuff, the truth of the matter is this: Turnovers are wildly unpredictable, and counting on them to sustain a defense is a recipe for getting exposed.
Can the Cougs do enough to pull off the upset in Berkeley? Will the game be as wild as last year's meeting? Your options for answering those questions are below.
Game time: 1 p.m., PT
TV: Pac-12 Networks
Radio feed: WSU TuneIn Network
Stream: Pac-12 Live (sign-in required)