PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State football is coming off a bye week and a very winnable game is on the horizon.
The Cougs hit the road to take on the Cal Golden Bears this Saturday.
Both teams are 1-4 in conference play and share the bottom spot in the Pac-12 North.
WSU OFFENSE VS. CAL DEFENSE
Washington State’s offense will be going up against one of the better defenses in the country.
The Golden Bears are 28th in the nation in points allowed per game.
That being he case, Washington State never seems to have a problem moving the ball and scoring against any opponent. They played well against Oregon's defense that at the time allowed the seventh least points per game in the country.
However, Cal has held WSU in check in the last two meetings between these two teams. The Golden Bears have limited the Cougs to 22 combined points in those games.
Head coach Mike Leach credits Cal head coach Justin Wilcox's scheme for that.
"He has been a career defensive coordinator and always runs a good defense," Leach said. "As a matter of fact there are a ton of people that borrow and draw from his defense. Cal presents some problems, it's for that very reason. It's because they play together and are a synchronized team."
FORMER LOCAL HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETE LEADS CAL DEFENSE
Cal's defense is led by former Gonzaga Prep star Evan Weaver.
He leads the nation with 127 tackles.
"He's a big, gifted guy," Leach said. "He's got long limbs and runs well for a guy his size. So he's bigger than most linebackers, but runs well."
CAL OFFENSE VS. WSU DEFENSE
Cal is not good on offense.
They are worst in the conference in points per game, passing yards per game and rushing yards per game. It’s safe to say they are the worst offense statistically in the Pac-12.
However, the Cougs are focusing on themselves going into this one because they've had trouble closing out games with their defense.
“I think some of the disruption we've had on defense has hurt that effort a little bit," Leach said. "I think they are getting better and coming together."
Washington State is third worst in the conference in yards allowed per game.
Washington State visits Cal on Nov. 9 at 4 p.m. The game can be watched on Pac-12 Network.