HUSKIES’ OPPONENT THIS WEEK
CALIFORNIA GOLDEN BEARS (4-4 overall, 2-3 in Pac-12)
7:30 P.M. SATURDAY, MEMORIAL STADIUM, ESPN, 1000-AM, 97.7 FM
COACH: Sonny Dykes (40-42 in seventh year overall; 18-27 in fourth year at Cal)
AGAINST THE HUSKIES: Washington leads the series 53-39-4.
SCOUTING REPORT: California has one of the most potent offenses in the country. The Golden Bears rank 14th nationally with an average of 41.3 points per game. Cal also has one of the worst defenses in the country. The Golden Bears allow an average of 41.8 points per game; only four other teams in the country allow more. As a result, Cal has played several high-scoring games this season, including five in which the Golden Bears and their opponent scored 40 or more points each. Cal is 2-3 in those games. … The Bears’ best win of the season came at home against Utah, a 28-23 victory sealed by a goal-line stand in the final seconds. It was the Utes’ only loss prior to their defeat last weekend against the Huskies. … Cal quarterback Davis Webb, a transfer from Texas Tech, has thrown for 2,914 yards with 29 touchdowns and eight interceptions this season. He also leads the country in pass attempts (414) and ranks third nationally in completions (259). But he ranks only 48th nationally in passing efficiency. … Webb has been without his top receiving target, senior Chad Hansen, for the past two games due to an ankle injury. Hansen caught 59 passes for 770 yards and eight touchdowns in his first six games, and still leads the Pac-12 in receptions and receiving yards despite sitting out the past two weeks. It’s not yet known whether Hansen will play against UW. Demetris Robertson (469 yards, six touchdowns) and Melquise Stovall (396 yards, 3 TDs) are tough covers, too. … Cal’s leading rusher is Khalfani Muhammad, who averages 6.6 yards per carry and has 614 yards rushing in seven games. Junior tailback Vic Enwere played in Cal’s first six games before suffering a season-ending foot injury in the Bears’ ugly loss to Oregon State. … Cal ranks 36th nationally in offensive yards per play with 6.18, but ranks eighth in total offense at 536.5 yards per game because it has run 695 plays this season, third-most in the country. … The Bears are worse against the run than nearly every team in the country. They allow 5.99 yards per carry, which is better than only Arkansas (6.38) at the FBS level. They’re tied for dead last nationally in rushing touchdowns allowed with 24. … Cal is a little better against the pass, ranking 57th nationally in passing efficiency defense and 46th in yards per attempt allowed.
DID YOU KNOW: The first 10,000 fans to arrive at Saturday’s game will receive a bobblehead figure of former Cal and Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch riding a golf cart — an homage to Lynch’s postgame celebration after California’s overtime victory over the Huskies in 2006.
Aug. 26—W, 51-31, vs. Hawaii (Sydney, Australia)
Sept. 10—L, 45-40, at San Diego State
Sept. 17—W, 50-43, vs. Texas
Sept. 24—L, 51-41, at Arizona State
Oct. 1—W, 28-23, vs. Utah
Oct. 8—L, 47-44 (OT), at Oregon State
Oct. 21—W, 52-49 (2OT), vs. Oregon
Oct. 27—L, 45-24, at USC
Nov. 5—vs. Washington, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 12—at Washington State, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 19—vs. Stanford, TBD
Nov. 26—vs. UCLA, TBD
COUGARS’ OPPONENT THIS WEEK
ARIZONA WILDCATS (2-6 overall, 0-5 in Pac-12)
1 P.M. SATURDAY, MARTIN STADIUM, PAC-12 NETWORKS, 710-AM
COACH: Rich Rodriguez (110-74 in 15th year overall, 35-26 in fifth year at Arizona)
AGAINST THE COUGARS: Arizona leads the series 26-15.
SCOUTING REPORT: It has been another trying season for the Wildcats, who have once again been ravaged by injuries and must win each of their final four games to avoid missing a bowl game for the first time in Rodriguez’s tenure. They are also still searching for their first Pac-12 victory. … The good news (maybe) is that Arizona’s top two quarterbacks finally appear to be healthy enough to play. They did last week, anyway, as Brandon Dawkins started Arizona’s 34-10 loss to Stanford, and former starter Anu Solomon returned from injury to play a couple series, too, though Rodriguez said afterward that he still isn’t fully healthy. Neither did much: Dawkins completed only 5-of-15 passes for 116 yards with a touchdown and an interception and rushed for 65 yards on 17 attempts, and Solomon did not complete any of his three pass attempts. Third-stringer Khalil Tate remains an option, too. … Arizona is a statistical mess. Once a feared, up-tempo offensive team, the Wildcats rank just 95th nationally in scoring offense at 24.1 points per game, better than only Stanford in the Pac-12. … The Wildcats’ defense isn’t any better, ranking 105th nationally with an average of 33.1 points allowed per game. Arizona allows 6.07 yards per play, which ranks 97th nationally. … Dawkins leads the team with 549 yards rushing and eight touchdowns, and had his best game in Arizona’s near-upset of the Huskies on Sept. 24, rushing for 176 yards and two touchdowns on 13 attempts. But he has completed only 55.6 percent of his passes with six touchdowns and four interceptions. … Arizona lost freshman running back J.J. Taylor for the season due to a broken ankle suffered against UW. Nick Wilson, a productive back in 2014 and 2015, has battled injuries and has more than six carries in a game only twice this season, and not since Sept. 10. … The Wildcats’ top receiver is Shun Brown, who has 374 yards and three touchdowns in eight games. Trey Griffey, the son of Mariners Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr., is second on the team with 360 yards on 19 receptions.
DID YOU KNOW: The Wildcats are the only Pac-12 team without a victory in conference play.
Sept. 3—L, 18-16, vs. BYU
Sept. 10—W, 31-21, vs. Grambling State
Sept. 17—W, 47-28, vs. Hawaii
Sept. 24—L, 35-28 (OT), vs. Washington
Oct. 1—L, 45-24, at UCLA
Oct. 8—L, 36-23, at Utah
Oct. 15—L, 48-14, vs. USC
Oct. 29—L, 34-10, vs. Stanford
Nov. 5—at Washington State, 1 p.m.
Nov. 12—vs. Colorado, 8 p.m.
Nov. 19—at Oregon State, TBD
Nov. 25—vs. Arizona State, 7:30 p.m.