Tonight’s Pac-12 North road game at Cal isn’t a must-win for 3-2 Washington State, but it’s close. The Cougars have an important opportunity to move to 2-1 in the conference and just two more wins shy of the program’s first bowl appearance in 10 years, and to score that important victory, All Coug’d Up has five keys to watch.
Among the Cougars’ keys is rattling true freshman quarterback Jared Goff, thus limiting Cal’s potentially explosive Bear-Raid offense. Last week, the Washington State defensive front struggled against Stanford.
Q: Where was the Cougar front seven last Saturday?
A: Stuck. In. Mud.
It was massively impressive how the Cardinal stuffed the Cougar pressure packages. MASSIVELY IMPRESSIVE. 300 pound fullback at times impressive. I mean yes, we knew the “big” Stanford packages were probably going to emerge generally victorious in the run game, but I did not see what happened in the passing game coming.
[T]his is not the wallowing-in-self-pity Cougar team that they faced last season. They will instead get an angry, refocused and fired up Cougar front. That said, it’s not enough to be all that, you have to be efficient at creating pressure with as few people as possible.
Until its loss to the No. 5 Cardinal last week, the Washington State defense was among the conference’s early surprises. The Cougars have intercepted seven passes through five games, 16th most in the nation.
Cal’s pass-heavy offense is conducive to the Cougars creating turnovers, and as All Coug’d Up’s preview suggests, pressure up front sets the tone.
For more Cal vs Washington State coverage, read the following from All Coug’d Up and Golden Bear Lair: