(Written by kencraw)
I must admit, I’m having a bit of cognitive dissonance with Washington. Is this the same Washington team that Cal was up 27 to 7 over early in the 3rd quarter last year? It’s not like they’ve had an influx of new guys. It’s mostly the same guys from last year. And this year the game is in Berkeley, not Seattle. How is it possible the Bears are such underdogs?
But at some point you can’t ignore the evidence: The beat-downs of Oregon and Stanford. The solid victory over Utah. Or perhaps it is just as simple as 8-0. There’s no doubt that UW is a vastly improved team. And the way they’re improved is precision and consistency. Turnovers are down. Penalties are down. Execution consistency is WAAAY up.
And let us not forget, UW turned the ball over 5 times against Cal last year. We can’t expect that again tonight.
And then there’s the Bear’s struggles. Last year the UW defense held Cal to 30 points, their lowest score in a win all season. It frankly wasn’t the Bears best offensive performance of the season. However, the defense played one of their better games. The game ball deserved to be given to the defense, not the offense. I don’t think I have to mention how much of a rarity that is.
So, this is what is going to happen this year: UW will play a clean game and not give the Bears extra possession and free points. The UW defense will frustrate the Cal offense enough that we won’t be seeing 40+ points on the Cal scoreboard. Of the above statements I am nearly 100% confident. The question mark, if there is one, is the defense. Can they keep the Huskies in check and get the ball back to the Cal offense. If they can repeat last year’s performance, the Bears have a chance to pull the upset. More likely, they’re the rusty swinging gate that results in another painful loss.
Cal loses big: Cal 24 – UW 45