Back in the days when I was a student at Cal beating Washington was not a rare occurance, it was unheard of. The Huskies beat Cal 19 times in a row. So indulge me while I briefly look back on that glorious day when the streak ended.
Cal marched into Seattle to face the 12th ranked Huskies. They were 3-2 in Tedford's first year and the offensive explosion was bringing hope to all Cal fans. Kyle Boller threw for 5 touchdowns to lead the Bears to a 34-27 victory. Boller was carried off the field and a small contingent of Cal fans in the Northwest celebrated in the stands.
Back to present day: Part of the reason I spent some time reflecting is because my preview for this game has changed dramatically. With the lose of dynamic QB Isaiah Stanback the Huskies don't look like the formidable team that took USC down to the wire. Actually, with the lose of Stanback, the Huskies look like Oregon St., a team they lost to last week. This makes for a much less exciting preview.
Unable to watch the game, I heard that the Cal offense sputtered. 21 points is not the 40 plus we Cal fans have become accustomed to, but it was a respectable showing. Also, rumor is that Longshore was battling the flu or some illness. But, fear not, the Cal offense will be back in a big way this Saturday at Memorial Stadium. Here are the key reasons why:
1) Cal plays great at home. Correction, Cal plays extremely well at home.
2) UDub ranks last in pass defense in the Pac 10. If only Cal had some fast receivers to take advantage of this situation...
3) Desean Jackson has gone 2 games without a touchdown. 2 games??? He is due for something big. I am thinking 2 TD receiving, 1 TD returning and possibly a TD on a WR reverse.
4) Defense Bears Defense. The Cal defense is really rolling. Another team tried to throw on Hughes and of course he picked it off. D line is getting to the QB with great frequency and the linebackers are making it hard for the opponents to do anything.
5) Marshawn Lynch is ready to roll. He looked (heard) great against WSU. I think he is hitting a stride that will take him over the 150 mark again with a couple TDs.
That looks like a lot of TDs you say. Well I am thinking Cal puts up 50 plus this week. Also, on a personal note, Willingham made my college football experience miserable by denying me a single Big Game win in my 4 years there, so I hope we pile it on.
Washington had looked like a darkhorse in the Pac 10 up until last week. Not a darkhorse to win the league but one of those teams no one wants to play in case their QB has a crazy game (a la Vince Young) and carries his team to victory. Since then we have seen the following: QB lost to season ending injury --> loss to Oregon St. --> playbook scaled back to accomodate back up QB. I would bother to look up the back up QB's name but I have a feeling the Cal defense might be replicating their Portland St. performance where they knocked out 2 QBs. So perhaps I should be looking up the 4th string QBs name.
Final Score Prediction: 56 - 10. (Is there a team that has scored more than Cal and kicked less field goals?)