2011 Prediction & Game Story
Week 10, Washington at Cal
Pac-12 Fearless Predictions &
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Nov. 5 at California 30 … Washington State 7
CFN Analysis: COMING
(AP) SAN FRANCISCO -- Embattled California quarterback Zach Maynard threw for 118 yards and a touchdown before leaving with an injury, Isi Sofele ran for 138 yards and a TD and California routed Washington State 30-7 on Saturday to move within one victory of becoming bowl eligible.
Maynard, who had thrown seven interceptions in his previous three games, hit Anthony Miller for a 19-yard touchdown pass on the first series of the game by the Golden Bears (5-4, 2-4 Pac-12), who made a statement on a drizzly day in their next-to-last game at temporary home AT&T Park.
Maynard was hurt recovering a fumble by Sofele with 4:52 remaining in the third, and Allan Bridgford replaced him.
Quarterback Marshall Lobbestael and the Cougars (3-6, 1-5) faced constant pressure from the smothering Cal defense and managed only a 5-yard TD run early in the fourth quarter by Rickey Galvin, who attended Berkeley High School but wound up on the Palouse.
Will Kapp, the son of former Cal coach and Bears 1959 Rose Bowl quarterback Joe Kapp, ran 43 yards for his first career touchdown on fourth-and-1 early in the third quarter for the Bears' lone points of the second half.
Trailing 30-0 after Kapp's TD, Washington State had more yards in penalties (61) than total offense (55) on the way to losing its fifth straight game since opening Pac-12 play with a 31-27 victory at Colorado on Oct. 1.
The Bears have won the last seven meetings against Washington State -- outscoring the Cougars 248-98 -- and four in a row at home. Cal won 20-13 last season in Pullman.
The Bears still have a tough task ahead to win one more in their final three games. After next Saturday's home finale against Oregon State, Cal plays the Big Game at rival and No. 4 Stanford on Nov. 19 and then travels to Arizona State the following week.
Last season, the Bears went 5-7 and missed out on a bowl game for the first time since now-10th-year coach Jeff Tedford's initial season in 2002.
Cal is 3-1 in the San Francisco Giants' waterfront ballpark while Memorial Stadium is undergoing a renovation and retrofit across the bay in Berkeley. Most of Saturday's announced crowd of 35,506 left early to get out of a steady rain.
Sofele carried 23 times on the way to his third 100-yard game of the season, and C.J. Anderson added a 5-yard touchdown run as Cal outgained the Cougars 411-224. Washington State managed only 22 yards in the first quarter, including four yards passing.
Maynard made solid decisions and completed 10 of 17 passes. He was sacked once but didn't throw an interception.
Tedford has defended his junior transfer quarterback in recent weeks -- even after Maynard threw four picks in last week's 31-14 loss at UCLA.
Keenan Allen's 29-yard catch set up Sofele's touchdown late in the first quarter and put him over 1,000 yards receiving, the sixth player in Cal history to do so in a season. He finished with eight receptions for 85 yards.
Giorgio Tavecchio kicked a 43-yard field goal but had an extra-point try blocked. It marked his fifth failed PAT this season compared to three missed field goals in 15 attempts.
Washington State had its own problems in the kicking game and on special teams.
The Cougars set up for a 52-yard field goal attempt by Andrew Furney, but Zach Koepp's snap went high and through the hands of holder Dan Wagner for a 28-yard loss. Coach Paul Wulff shook his head in disappointment.
Furney got a good snap in the third quarter and missed a 27-yard attempt wide left.
Cal's attacking defense made things difficult all day for a Washington State passing game that came in ranked second in the conference, averaging 316.1 yards per game.
Lobbestael finished 15 for 37 for 155 yards.
Cal freshman linebacker Chris McCain was helped off the field midway through the third quarter. The Bears also lost linebacker David Wilkerson in the first quarter.
World Series-winning manager Tony La Russa, who announced his retirement after the St. Louis Cardinals' title, received a donation to his Animal Rescue Foundation.
Washington State (3-5) at California (4-4) Nov. 5, 6:30, Root
Here’s The Deal … The North Division race will not be impacted by this weekend’s game in San Francisco. Bowl eligibility, however, will. Both Washington State and Cal are clinging to hopes of playing a game in December. Neither, though, has been performing very well of late. The Golden Bears have dropped four of their last five, including last weekend’s clunker to UCLA, 31-14. It was a game the program had to have, but five turnovers and uncharacteristically poor run defense sealed its fate in the second half. The school, specifically head coach Jeff Tedford, needs to capture these next two winnable home games, or else head could roll.
The Cougars are the Duke of the West, starting fast against lesser competition before settling back to Earth with four consecutive losses. Oh, Wazzu didn’t get embarrassed by Oregon a week, but the program is clearly past the stage of counting moral victories at this juncture of head coach Paul Wulff’s tenure. If it has even a prayer of bowling for the first time since 2003, a win at AT&T Park is non-negotiable.
Why Washington State Might Win: The offense continues to provide glimmers of hope on the Palouse, cranking out 462 yards against the Ducks last weekend. QB Marshall Lobbestael has had plenty of success playing catch with receivers Marquess Wilson and Jared Karstetter, and backfield mates Carl Winston and Rickey Galvin each showed flashes a week ago. The Cal defense, on the other hand, has been a far cry from the unit that was such a pleasant surprise in 2010. After getting trucked on the ground for 294 yards and four scores by UCLA, the Bears have now given up at least 30 points on five separate occasions this season. Oh, and unless their QB Zach Maynard can do an overnight transformation, they’ll be a one-note attack that’s prone to turnovers.
Why Cal Might Win: If the Bears offense was hopeful about getting back on the rails, this would be a good time to do it. Washington State has weak links all over the defense, allowing no less than 43 points in each of the last three games, and no fewer than two touchdown passes in each of the last six. Maynard, while erratic, will get the time he needs to find Marvin Jones and Keenan Allen, a mismatch when going up against the Cougars defensive backs. Isi Sofele, while not a gamebreaker in the mold of recent Cal backs Jahvid Best and Shane Vereen, is a steady producer who’ll keep the chains moving, and the offense from becoming predictable.
What To Watch Out For: Lobbestael has been a potent backup for Jeff Tuel this season, but he’s also been prone to the kinds of mistakes that emanate from forced passes. He’ll have to be extra careful when facing a Cal pass defense that’s overachieved throughout the season. Ever since the Week 2 close call with Colorado, the Bears have been limiting the big play, with help from cornerbacks Steve Williams and Josh Hill. Tempting as it may be to put the ball up for grabs for Wilson and Karstetter, Lobbestael needs to know when to eat the ball or chuck it out of bounds.
What Will Happen: Cal is a much better team at home than on the road. Witness the blowout of Utah at AT&T Park the week before last Saturday’s implosion in Westwood. It’s an incomplete and frustrating squad, but one that can still manage Washington State, particularly when its back is against the wall. Maynard, with backup Allan Bridgford breathing down his neck, will bounce back from the UCLA mess, managing the game effectively enough to put his team in a position to poke its head back over the .500 mark.
CFN Prediction: California 31 … Washington State 23
Click For Latest Line From ATS: California -9.5 O/U: 54
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