No. 10 Washington State hosts Cal in quest for playoffs
California (5-3, 2-3 Pac-12) at No. 10 Washington State (7-1, 4-1, No. 8 CFP), 10:45 p.m. EST (ESPN)
Line: Washington State by 10 ½.
Series record: California leads 47-27-5.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Washington State continues its quest for the Pac-12 North title and a spot in the College Football Playoff. The Cougars opened eighth in the CFP rankings this week, and have won 11 straight home games. Cal is seeking to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2015.
Washington State’s potent Air Raid offense, averaging 40.8 points per game, against a California defense that allowed Washington only 10 points last Saturday as the Bears won 12-10, knocking the Huskies out of the Top 25. The Bears allow 22 points per game.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
California: RB Patrick Laird has 660 rushing yards and five touchdowns this season, and is closing in on 1,500 career rushing yards. LB Evan Weaver is the Pac-12 defensive player of the week.
Washington State: Graduate transfer QB Gardner Minshew continues to lead the nation in yards passing with nearly 398 per game. Over the last four games, Minshew has thrown for 1,636 yards and 15 TDs During that streak, Minshew’s passing yards are more than 38 FBS teams have thrown for all season, while his 15 TD passes are more than 74 FBS teams have posted all season. Dezmon Patmon caught 10 passes for 127 yards last weekend as the Cougars beat Stanford 41-38. RB James Williams has 48 receptions to lead all running backs in the nation.
FACTS & FIGURES
Washington State coach Mike Leach logged his 45th win with the Cougars last weekend, taking over third place among winningest coaches in WSU history … Washington State has posted 13 fourth quarter comebacks in seven seasons under Leach, including two this season … Washington State LB Peyton Pelluer has played in 49 games, two short of tying the team record … Cal is first in the Pac-12 in pass defense at 165 yards per game … Cal’s defense has allowed opponents under 350 yards of total offense in seven of eight games … Cal has won 11 of its past 13 games against Washington State.