No. 8 Washington State (6-0, 3-0 Pac-12) at Cal (3-3, 0-3)
Where: Memorial Stadium When: 7:30 p.m. TV/Radio: ESPN/810 Story lines: Washington State, which beat Cal 56-21 last season, hasn’t beaten the Bears in consecutive seasons since 2001-02. Cal, playing its third top-10 team in a four-week span, is trying to halt a three-game skid. Injuries: Washington State – none provided. Cal – none provided.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Cal defensive backs coach Gerald Alexander said, “All legs are on deck,” because the Bears could rotate about a dozen players in the secondary against Washington State’s passing attack, which ranks No. 3 in the country.
Cougars defensive lineman Hercules Mata’afa leads the Pac-12 in sacks (4.5) and tackles for a loss (10), which can’t be comforting to Cal. The Bears have allowed 15 sacks for a loss of 101 yards in the past two games.
Three of Cal’s players have been deeply affected by the North Bay fires, and the team appears to understand the role sports can play in the healing process. “Hopefully, we can give some inspiration to some of the people who are going through a rough time right now with the fires,” defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter said. — Rusty Simmons