When and where: November 9, 2019, Memorial Stadium, Berkeley, CA, 7:00 PM ET
A Pac-12 Conference showdown between the Washington State Cougars and California Golden Bears will be spotlighted in primetime on Saturday night. These last five weeks have been equally as horrendous for both teams. The Cougars have lost four of their last five games, including a heartbreaking loss at home to No. 11 Oregon. Meanwhile, the Golden Bears lost their fourth consecutive game in a 35-0 shutout loss to Utah.
Can the Cougars drown the Bears with offense?The only path to victory for the Golden Bears is a virtuoso defensive performance and turning this game into a dog fight. Quite the contrary, the Cougars will be looking to jump out to an early lead and force California out of their shell and into comeback mode. That’s when they can lull them into making mistakes with an offense that isn’t built to play from behind.
With starting quarterback Chase Garbers expected to miss Saturday’s game, backup Spencer Brasch could be behind center again. The Cougars don’t have a great defense by any stretch, but they should be encouraged with the thought of facing a freshman quarterback that hasn’t thrown for more than 47 yards in two outings.
Washington State quarterback Anthony Gordon will undoubtedly face some resistance against a California defense that ranks fourth in the conference. However, they are also nothing like the dominant unit the Cougars faced when going head-to-head with Utah a few weeks ago. The Cougars are averaging 41.8 points per game and 521.9 yards of total offense. They don’t have to have a huge offensive performance to win this game. All it takes is a few scores to take the Golden Bears out and drown them in deep waters.
The team will once again be without receiver Jamire Calvin, who is officially done for the season with a foot injury, according to head coach Mike Leach. Calvin was reportedly confirmed on Monday as the team’s redshirt option.
Defense-or-bust for the BearsCalifornia’s 35-0 loss to Utah was about as brutal of an offensive performance as you will ever witness. Brasch went 7-of-19 passing for 47 yards, culminating into a 36.8 completion percentage and 39.2 QBR. The team as a whole was held to 83 yards of total offense.
Things could get somewhat better for Saturday’s game against a vulnerable Washington State defense with quarterback Devon Modster potentially returning after missing the game against Utah with an undisclosed injury. While he isn’t Garbers, he does at least boast a decent enough arm to get the offense moving. He’ll have to play with his head on fire to keep pace with Washington State’s offense.
California is stout on defense, but they’ll run into a brick wall of an offensive line that won’t even let defenders close enough to smell Gordon’s cologne. No pressure up front could mean big problems for California’s pass defense. It doesn’t matter how well they’ve played throughout the season if Gordon has ample time to throw in the pocket. Guys are going to eventually get open.
The Golden Bears will be without leading receiver Nikko Remigio, who could be out indefinitely with an injury. Safety Jaylinn Hawkins and offensive lineman Michael Saffell are also listed as questionable for Saturday’s game.
The top supporting trends for this game, found on Covers.com, are:
- Cougars are 28-10 ATS in their last 38 games after allowing more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Cougars are 24-9 ATS in their last 33 games following an ATS win.
- Cougars are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games following a straight up loss.
- Cougars are 35-17 ATS in their last 52 games after accumulating more than 280 yards passing in their previous game.
- Golden Bears are 9-24 ATS in their last 33 games after allowing more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game.
- Golden Bears are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games after scoring less than 20 points in their previous game.
- Golden Bears are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games on field turf.
- Golden Bears are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 home games.