37-3 Bears Win
Friday the 13th started with a surprising upset of Syracuse over Clemson. #PAC12AfterDark is not one to be outdone, and submitted a blowout victory committed by a team that was a 16.5 point underdog. It wasn’t just that the Cougars lost, it was the way Cal completely overwhelmed them.
37 points against Washington State is a great performance, but it’s the 3 points that is truly stunning. The Bears were relentless against the Cougars, particularly adept at causing havoc at every opportunity. 9 sacks, 12 TFLs, and 5 interceptions were crucial parts of an extraordinary effort from the Cal defense, who needed those massive swing plays to overcome an otherwise decent effort from the Cougars.
Cal struggled to move the ball early, but generated ball movement with returns. 31 yards on punt returns, 36 on kick returns, and a 26 yard fumble return for a touchdown that put the game utterly out of reach. Although Cal found an offensive rhythm of their own eventually, the strong returns and slew of turnovers were what kept them ahead in the field position battle until they found their feet.
Cal stays home, welcoming Arizona to Berkeley and seeking their fifth win, a crucial step on their path to bowl eligibility and a chance to solidify conference respectability. The Cougars will look to right the ship against Colorado, who visits Pullman late Saturday night.