Saturday, November 3 at 10:45 PM ET
Cloudy, occasional rain
The Washington State Cougars look for their fifth consecutive win when they host a surging California Golden Bears team in an intriguing Pac-12 game on Saturday.
California Golden Bears
The California Golden Bears haven't been to a bowl game since 2015 but they're close to going to on after back-to-back wins, including their 12-10 upset victory against Washington last Saturday.
Evan Weaver returned an interception 37 yards for a touchdown with one second left in the third quarter, giving California the lead and their offense ran out the final 4:51 after Washington got within two points. The Cal defense bailed out a struggling offense that was held to season-lows with 91 rushing yards and 242 total yards. Chase Garbers completed 16 of 23 passes for 153 yards and Patrick Laird ran for 83 yards on 22 carries in the win.
The Golden Bears are averaging 209.0 passing yards (90th in the nation) and 183.6 rushing yards (55th). California ranks 100th with 25.1 points per game and 34th with 22.3 points against. Chase Garbers has passed for 880 yards, nine touchdowns and four interceptions, Patrick Laird has 660 rushing yards and five touchdowns on 142 carries and Vic Wharton III has 36 receptions for 347 yards.
Washington State Cougars
The Washington State Cougars came back from a 14-point first half deficit to defeat Stanford 41-38 for their fourth consecutive win. Gardner Minshew continued to make a case for the Heisman Trophy, completing 40 of 50 passes for 438 yards and three touchdowns. Minshew completed 19 straight passes to start the second half and he led Washington State's game-winning seven-play, 50-yard drive to set up Blake Mazza's 42-yard field goal with 19 seconds left.
Minshew has passed for 300 yards or more in all his eight games this season and he leads the nation with 3,183 passing yards, ranks fifth with 26 touchdown passes, seventh completing 71.0 percent of his passes and he has five games with 400 passing yards or more.
The Cougars are averaging 405.4 passing yards (1st in the nation) and 70.9 rushing yards (129th). Washington State ranks 13th with 40.8 points per game and 57th with 25.1 points against. Gardner Minshew has passed for 3,183 yards, 26 touchdowns and six interceptions, James Williams has 343 rushing yards and eight touchdowns on 81 carries and Dezmon Patmon has 41 receptions for 578 yards and three touchdowns.
College Football Trends:
The California Golden Bears are:
2-6 ATS in their last eight road games against a team with a winning home record
1-6 ATS in their last seven games after accumulating less than 275 total yards in their previous game
The Washington State Cougars are:
6-0 ATS in their last six games following a straight up win
8-0 ATS in their last eight games overall
14-3 ATS in their last 17 games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game
22-6 ATS in their last 28 games following an ATS win
29-10 ATS in their last 39 games after accumulating more than 280 passing yards in their previous game
23-9 ATS in their last 32 conference games
Gardner Minshew is one of the best quarterbacks in the nation for a reason and he will put too much pressure on Chase Garbers and this California offense to keep up with Washington State. The Cougars have outscored their opponents by a combined total of 84 points in their four home games and if they go up big early the Golden Bears will have a hard time overcoming the deficit. Washington State beat Oregon 34-20 on October 20, the same Oregon team that crushed California 42-24, so expecting a similar outcome is not unrealistic.
College Football Pick: Washington State -9.5 (-110)