Cal Whacks Wazzu. What Does It All Mean?
Cal sacked and whacked Washington State in a brutal 37-3 blowout to change around the Pac-12 season.
Cal 37, Washington State 3
Prediction: Washington State 34, Cal 24
Line: Washington State -15, o/u: 54
Washington State was overdue for something like this.
As amazing as the Washington State first half of the season was, there was some thought that it lucked out by getting an exhausted USC team, and got Oregon without Justin Herbert, and caught a few breaks against Boise State … whatever.
This is a fantastic Cougar team with a whole lot of talent. It was an ugly clunker when the scheme didn’t work – Mike Leach-coached teams have these once in a while. Wazzu still gets Stanford, and it still gets Washington.
Seven turnovers. Seven. Cal turnovers? 0.
It was a miserable performance by the Wazzu O line. The Cal defensive front was special, but the Cougars couldn’t figure it out as the game went on.
This is exactly why the hire of Justin Wilcox was brilliant. He brought in a fantastic coaching staff with Beau Baldwin taking over the O after his stint at Eastern Washington, and with Tim DeRuyter handling the D. Wilcox is a fantastic defensive mind, and he and his staff pitched an absolute gem.
You’ve got the No. 8 team in your house, and you have the ball on the two with four seconds left in the first half up 10-3. Wilcox set the tone for the rest of the game, and maybe the program, by going for the touchdown. Ross Bowers made the throw to Kyle Wells for the score, and that, effectively, was the ball game.
The Cal defense wasn’t afraid to pressure Luke Falk. Usually, he gets the ball out of his hands in a hurry, but he was getting knocked around all night long. He never had time, he rushed, and he was never quite right – getting sacked nine times will do that.
And there goes any and all Heisman talk. 28-of-43, 286 yards and five picks. They weren’t all Falk’s fault, but he was supposed to be the best player not he field, and he never got any time to show it.
It was a blowout, and Cal isn’t going to complain about a 37-3 win. But what is there to work on? The offense had to settle for three field goals when it could’ve put the game away faster. Yes, welcome to nitpicking central.
So now what? Cal has a great shot at going bowling. It was going to be tough with a rough finishing kick, but now with four wins, and the Oregon State free space for five wins, it’ll take a home win over Arizona and/or a road win over Colorado, Stanford or UCLA to get it done.
So now what for Washington State? It’s a bad night. However, the same thing applies to Wazzu that applies to Clemson, Oklahoma, Michigan and Ohio State – win out, and it’s fine. Colorado and Stanford have to come to Pullman, road games at Arizona and Utah are tough, though, and then comes the Apple Cup at Washington.