TV Schedule: Saturday, October 3, 4:00 p.m. ET, PAC12
Location: Memorial Stadium, Berkeley, CA
Line: Cal (-19.5)
The No. 24 Cal Bears (4-0, 1-0) enter Week 5 as one of just three teams in the Pac-12 that remain undefeated after winning back-to-back hard-fought contests on the road. Now, they return home to Memorial Stadium for a battle of explosive passing attacks when the Washington State Cougars (2-1, 0-0) come to Berkeley on Saturday.
Washington State has bounced back from an embarrassing season-opening loss to FCS Portland State to win two games in a row and are looking to be clicking offensively. Luke Falk leads the Pac-12 in passing, averaging 356.7 yards per game this season while completing 73 percent of his passes with eight touchdowns and just one interception. Gabe Marks has stepped up at receiver to be a leader on the outside, averaging a Pac-12 best 8.3 receptions and 91 yards per game, setting the pace for a balanced WSU passing attack with three of the top six receivers in the conference right now.
On the other side, the Cal offense has continued to blossom under the leadership of Jared Goff, projected by many to be a high first-round pick in the next NFL draft. Goff has been excellent in some tough spots this season, averaging 310 yards per game while completing 69.2 percent of his passes with 11 touchdowns and three interceptions, while leading the Bears to road wins at the Texas Longhorns, 45-44, and the Washington Huskies, 30-24. At the moment, Cal sits atop the Pac-12 North and Goff’s playmaking and leadership are major reasons why.
When these two teams matched up last season, fans got to see an exciting, back-and-forth contest ultimately won by Cal 60-59 thanks to a late special teams gaffe on a missed chip-shot field goal by the Cougars. With the No. 1 and No. 3 passing attack in the Pac-12 getting set to square off in Berkeley, there’s no reason to think this year’s contest will be just as entertaining.
Prediction: Cal 52, Washington State 42