Oct. 17, 2005
Television: FSN with Barry Tompkins (play-by-play), Petros Papadakis (analyst) and Jim Watson (sideline)
Radio: Cal Radio Network (Flagship: KGO AM 810, San Francisco) with Joe Starkey (play-by-play), Troy Taylor (analyst) and Todd McKim (sideline)
Rankings: California is ranked No. 25 in the Associated Press Poll and No. 23 in the USA Today Poll. Washington State is not ranked.
This Week's Game
Following back-to-back losses the last two weeks, California looks to return to the win column Saturday when the Golden Bears host Washington State at 7:15 p.m. in Memorial Stadium. The game will be televised nationally by Fox Sports Net.
Despite the recent setbacks, Cal still leads the Pac-10 in three key defensive categories: passing efficiency defense (96.87 rating), total defense (316.43 ypg) and scoring defense (17.57 ppg). The Bears have not allowed a passing touchdown at home all year and have given up just four scores in the air through all seven games in 2005.
Against Oregon State last weekend, Cal picked off three passes - two by linebacker Mickey Pimentel - and held an OSU aerial attack that entered the game ranked fifth in the country in passing (347.00 ypg) to just 196 yards.
Senior safety Harrison Smith recorded a career-high 13 tackles and a pass break-up against the Beavers. He has now broken up 31 passes in his career and stands four shy of the Cal record of 35 set by Chidi Iwuoma from 1997-00.
The Bear offense suffered through a sub-par day vs. OSU - generating just 315 yards - but Cal remains in the national top 20 in both rushing (8th, 243.14 ypg) and total offense (19th, 450.43 ypg).
Sophomore tailback Justin Forsett is averging 8.0 yards per carry and leads the Bears with 108.0 ypg on the ground, while sophomore tailback Marshawn Lynch stands right behind with an average of 98.6 ypg. Quarterback Joe Ayoob is completing 50 percent of his passes for 178.1 ypg and 11 touchdowns. In the OSU game, he threw for a six-yard score to DeSean Jackson, ran four yards for a touchdown and caught a 21-yard TD pass from Lynch.
At wide receiver, true freshman Jackson continues to pace the squad with 29 catches for 397 yards and four touchdowns, and sophomore WR Robert Jordan has 24 receptions for 375 yards and four scores. Eleven other Bears have at least one catch, but none has more than six on the year.
Enterprise Rally Towels will be distributed to 10,000 fans, while 2,000 ticket holders will receive a free Oski plush bear. Cal's official tailgate party, FunZone on Maxwell Family Field, features the Nissan College Football Tailgate Tour. March to Victory will be at approximately 4:55 p.m.
A Quick Look at Washington State
After opening the season with three straight victories, Washington State fell to 0-3 in the Pac-10 with a 44-41 overtime loss to UCLA last Saturday. WSU held a 38-21 lead entering the fourth quarter, but surrendered 17 unanswered points to the Bruins, which forced the extra period. Led by the Pac-10's No. 1 rusher in Jerome Harrison (166.83 ypg), the Cougars rank seventh in the country in total offense (504.83 ypg) and 11th nationally in scoring (39.33 ppg). Quarterback Alex Brink has completed 114-199 pass for 1,555 yards and 13 touchdowns, while Jason Hill is fourth in the NCAA in receiving yards (117.20 ypg). DE Mkristo Bruce paces the defense with 8.5 tackles for loss, including six quarterback sacks.
Washington State Head Coach Bill Doba
Bill Doba is in his third season as head coach at Washington State and owns a career record of 18-12. The 2003 Pac-10 Co-Coach of the Year, Doba guided the Cougars to a 10-3 record and a victory over Texas in the Holiday Bowl his initial year at the helm. Prior to taking over the program, he served as a WSU assistant coach for 14 seasons and was the Cougars' defensive coordinator from 1994-2002. Doba began his career in the high school ranks in 1962 and moved to the college level as an assistant at Indiana in 1977. He later coached at Purdue and the Citadel before going to WSU.
The California Golden Bears, now 5-2 overall and 2-2 in Pacific-10 play, stay at home this week for another Pac-10 battle. The Bears host Washington State University (3-3/0-3) with a 7:15 p.m. kickoff. Following the clash with the Cougars, the Bears will take a break from play for one week before returning to action Nov. 5 at Oregon.
For the fifth straight week, California will be making a national cable or regional network television appearance. Fox Sports Net will be in town for the rare night game from Memorial Stadium against WSU. The Bears' `TV streak' began with an ESPN appearance at New Mexico State. That game was followed up by two straight appearances on TBS (Arizona and UCLA) and an ABC appearance last week against Oregon State.
California finds itself in a bit of an unsual situation. The Golden Bears enter the Washington State game riding a two-game losing streak. The skid marks the first time Cal has lost consecutive regular-season games since October of 2003. Those consecutive losses in 2003 came at the hands of the same opponents, UCLA and Oregon State. Cal has had just three, two-game losing streaks in the Jeff Tedford era.