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Place: AT&T Park, San Francisco, California
Most teams don’t like short weeks, but California probably can’t wait to play again after last week’s embarrassing 49-27 loss at Utah. The Bears will look to rebound in a rare Friday game against visiting Washington, which knocked then-No. 7 Oregon State from the unbeaten ranks with a 20-17 win last Saturday.
The Huskies are seeking their first road win this season after losing their first three by a combined 146-41. California needs to win its final three games to become bowl eligible, which is unlikely considering the Bears finish against Oregon and Oregon State. This figures to be a low-scoring contest since Washington hasn’t scored more than 21 points against any FBS opponent, while California ranks ninth in the conference in total offense.
Washington Huskies (4-4, 2-3 Pac-12): The inconsistent Huskies snapped a three-game losing streak with their second victory over a top 10 opponent last Saturday. Washington has been awful on the road, but its three losses have come to LSU, Oregon and Arizona.
The offense has been surprisingly ineffective, with quarterback Keith Price throwing eight touchdowns and nine interceptions. Bishop Sankey leads the rushing attack with nine touchdowns, including two against Oregon State. One week after giving up 533 total yards in a 52-17 loss at Arizona, safety Sean Parker pulled in one of Washington’s four interceptions against the Beavers.
California Golden Bears (3-6, 2-4): The Bears have lost five of their last seven games, leading to rampant speculation about coach Jeff Tedford’s future. California has lost two straight games by a combined 70-30, and the Bears trailed Utah 42-6 in the third quarter last week.
The team’s best playmaker appears to be tailback sophomore Brendan Bigelow, but Tedford seems reluctant to increase his workload. Bigelow is averaging 12.7 yards per carry and 13.8 yards per catch on only 33 touches, and recorded his third touchdown run of at least 50 yards this season against Utah. The Bears have allowed an average of 4.1 sacks per game, which ranks 118th in the country.
1. According to the NCAA, Washington has played the second-toughest schedule in the nation. The Huskies’ first eight opponents are 47-17 while the remaining four are 9-24.
2. California K Vincenzo D’Amato has made his last nine field goal attempts after missing five of his first nine tries this season.
3. The Huskies hold a 50-38-4 edge in the all-time series, and have won three straight.