|If Cal RB Brendan Bigelow gets the ball on Friday, Washington could have trouble stopping him. The Golden Bears sophomore has averaged 12.7 yards per carry this season. (US Presswire)|
Kickoff: Friday, 9 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
Spread: Cal by 4
Watchability: The winner of this game will be the frontrunner for fourth place in the Pac-12 North.
Shining Stars: Washington -- RB Bishop Sankey. Sankey has been a scoring machine for a Husky team that doesn't score a lot. Washington is 4-2 this season when Sankey scores and 2-0 when he scores more than once. Cal -- WR Keenan Allen. Allen's been one of the few consistent performers for the Bears this season, averaging 7.6 catches and 92.1 ypg. However, it won't easy reaching those season averages going up against a Washington pass defense that ranks second in the Pac-12. There's been a report that Allen may not play on Friday, which would be a devstating loss for the Bears.
Who could steal the show: Washington -- QB Keith Price. Price's highest QB rating (213.7) in a Pac-12 game last year came against the Bears. He hasn't reached that number once against anyone this season, but seeing Cal's uniforms might spark something in the struggling quarterback. Cal -- RB Brendan Bigelow. Bigelow has averaged 12.7 ypc this season, but he's only averaging three carries per game. If the Cal coaching staff decides to give Bigelow the ball, the sophomore could have a huge day against a Husky run defense that ranks 11th in the Pac-12.
You going? Ranking the road trip: Never say no to a trip to the Bay Area. You can see the Golden Gate Bridge from Memorial Stadium and of course, since the game's on a Friday, you can spend the weekend exploring San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley.
Magic number for Washington: 68. Its not exactly a magic number for the Huskies, but it is an odd stat: its been 68 years since Washington had less than a full week for game preparation. In 1944, Washington played USC on a Monday and followed that up with a game against Cal on a Saturday. Since then, all of Washington's weekday games have been preceded by a bye.
Magic number for Cal: 0. That's how many times coach Jeff Tedford has beaten Washington coach Steve Sarkisian in three tries. A fourth loss to the hated Huskies would guarantee Cal a losing season and possibly put the final nail in Tedford's hot seat shaped coffin.
The game comes down to: When two unpredictable teams get together, you have to predict the unpredictable and throw logic out the window. Logic says Cal will have the revenge factor going for them: former Cal coaches Tosh Lupoi and Eric Kiesau ditched the Bears last January for Washington. Logic also says the Bears will be fighting for Tedford's job. Again, we're throwing logic out the window.
Prediction: Washington 24, Cal 21