Preview: Cal at Washington State

NCAA Football: Washington State at California

Points should be plenty Saturday when two of the nation’s best passing offenses clash in The Palouse. In fact it’s Mike Leach’s Air Raid against Cal’s Bear Raid, which runs a similar scheme.

Washington State leads the nation with 480.8 passing yards. Connor Halliday leads the country in passing yardage (2,318) and touchdowns (20).

But Cal has the offense to keep pace with the Cougars. Jared Goff threw for 458 yards and seven touchdowns in last weekend’s 59-56 win over Colorado. The Golden Bears have the nation’s seventh-best passing attack at 366.0 yards per game and like to stretch opposing defenses, as Goff averages 10.5 yards per pass.

Cal, however, also has a running game to back up its passing attack. The Bears average 172.3 rushing yards per game and have run the ball 55 percent of their plays. Daniel Lasco has rushed for 347 yards on the season, for an average of 6.8 yards per carry.

A resurgent Cougars defense could make the difference in this game. The defense allowed just 135 yards in the second half of last week’s come-from-behind win at Utah. More impressive was holding the Utes quarterback Travis Wilson to 18-for-38 passing for 165 yards.

Cal, meanwhile, allowed 455 yards passing to a Colorado offense that has only surpassed 300 yards once previously.

Cal at Washington State

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Martin Stadium, Pullman

TV, radio: Pac-12 Network, AM-1330

Records: Cal (3-1, 1-1), Washington State (2-3, 1-1)

Key to game: The Cougars have a combined 10 sacks over the past two games. If the defense can pressure Goff, it will go a long way toward a repeat performance of last week’s second-half shutdown.

Quotable: “It doesn’t matter what you are, whether you’re a chef or a plumber or car salesman, you have to learn to do it well. Maybe, sorting and using time efficiently carries over.” Mike Leach on how his law school background carries over into coaching.

Prediction: WSU 45-35

Micah Rice

Micah Rice

Columbian Sports Editor Micah Rice is the author of Tailgate Talk: College football from a Clark County perspective.

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