As always on the day before a game (though making a debut appearance on a Thursday) here is the fact box for the UW-Cal game, which will be played at the newly renovated Memorial Stadium (pictured above) in Berkeley.
Time: 6 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.
TV: ESPN2 (and also available on other ESPN platforms such as espn3). Radio: KJR-AM 950-AM, 102.9-FM.
The line: Cal by 4.
The setup: Huskies come in revived after a 20-17 win over No. 7 Oregon State and now enter a portion of the schedule that on paper appears more favorable, looking for two more wins to get bowl eligible. Cal is 3-6 after a 49-27 loss at Utah last week which only increased speculation about the future of head coach Jeff Tedford. Cal needs to win out to have a chance at making a bowl.
Key matchup: UW’s front seven vs. Cal’s offensive line. The Bears have some solid skill players (though lessened considerably with the news that standout receiver Keenan Allen is out with a left knee injury). But what has really ailed the Bears this season is an offensive line that has allowed 34 sacks, tied with Washington State for the most in the Pac-12. UW, meanwhile, has often struggled to get a pass rush, ranking last in the conference in sacks with 11. UW, though, got two last week against Oregon State and came close a few other times. Whichever team defies its season-long trend in this area will take a big step toward winning the game. UW’s defensive efforts should be simplified a bit with the loss of Allen, who is fourth in the conference in receptions at 6.7 per game. Cal is sure to try to lean on its running game now with Allen out.
What to expect: There isn’t a whole lot that separates these two teams in a number of the major statistical areas, and the two teams also run a number of the same schemes on both sides of the ball. UW, knowing it hasn’t played well on the road but that it now is going against a vulnerable opponent, could get aggressive early to try to get a lead and put the Bears on their heels. Cal’s biggest strength may be a running game that averages 168.8 yards per game, and the Bears are sure to test a UW rushing defense that is 11th in the Pac-12, allowing 185.1 yards per game, especially now with Allen out..
Notes: UW and Cal are the only two teams that have played in what is now the Pac-12 in every season since it was founded in 1916. UW holds a 50-38-4 edge in the all-time series, which frist began in 1904. UW has won the last three, including 31-23 last year in Seattle and 16-13 two years ago in Berkeley. … This will be UW’s first game in Cal’s renovated stadium. The Huskies played the last game in the stadium before it was renovated in 2010. … Cal has declared the game a “Gold Out” with all fans being encouraged to wear gold. … The game will be televised to a national audience on ESPN2 with the broadcast team of Carter Blackburn, Rod Gilmore and Jemelle Hill. … The only player on the Cal roster expected to play that is listed as from the state of Washington is junior defensive lineman Deandre Coleman of Garfield. Coleman has started all nine games for the Bears and has 39 tackles, 5.5 for a loss. … Receiver Cedric Dozier of Lakes High officially lists Roanoke, Ala., as his hometown. He is a true freshman this year and is redshirting. … This will be UW’s first game in Cal’s newly renovated stadium, which cost $321 million. The capacity of the new stadium is 63,186 and Cal is averaging 58,246 in five home games so far. …
Upset brewing? Cal is listed as a four-point favorite, no doubt due largely to UW’s recent road woes — six straight losses all by 17 or more points. But the Huskies appear to have a lot more momentum coming into the game, fresh off an upset of No. 7 Oregon State while the Bears have lost their last two. If UW can get off to a quick start and quiet whatever crowd is there, the Huskies could snap their six-game road losing streak.
Injuries: Out for UW are RB Jesse Callier (knee), DE Hau’oli Jamora (knee), RB Deontae Cooper (knee), WR James Johnson (wrist), OL Erik Kohler (knee), OL Colin Tanigawa (knee) and DL Lawrence Lagafuaina (leg). For Cal, WR Keenan Allen is out with a left knee injury suffered last week against Utah. OLB Chris McCain (ankle), ILB Jalen Jefferson (concussion), OLB Brennan Scarlett (broken hand), DT Viliami Moala (ankle), WR Bryce Treggs (ankle) and CB Marc Anthony (concussion) are all questionable.