Ted Miller is the only writer who cares (or is obligated to care) about Saturday's matchup. Feldman, CBS, Tamahana, and the rest of them have no opinion on the matchup. They probably don't even know it exists. Those Cougs get no respect, no respect I tells ya. Miller picks us to win 40-17.
California 40, Washington State 17: Jahvid Best will pile up yards on the ground for Cal, but got a feeling this might stay close for a half until the Cougars' D wears down.
Since I don't have any other predictions, I'll give a recap of an lengthy, worthwhile article posted by the Spokesman-Review:
Spokesman-Review gives us three stories in one! It has a practice report, a story on James Montgomery and another on Brandon Jones, both transfers from Cal. I strongly recommend you read it, but I'll provide a summary anyway (since it has enough info for this post to take up the whole CGB front page). The Cougs have installed a few new plays during the bye week, but injuries keep popping up during practice. James Montgomery speaks for the first time since his season-ending leg injury: he talks about his injury and his decision to transfer (he didn't like Berkeley and said "it was an awkward place"). After having a hot dog-sized piece of tissue (that's literally how he described it!) removed from his leg, Montgomery is going to continue rehabbing and hopefully return to football. WSU cornerback Brandon Jones also transferred from Cal to Wazzu because he felt "a little disrespected." He didn't like the area and was put off by the dissension following the 2007 collapse. He looks forward to trying to take down Best one-on-one in open field.
Also this deserves some front-page action, some policies are changing at Memorial Stadium to facilitate crowd movement throughout the alumni section. Those of us who were caught in the gridlock this season should appreciate this. The changes include:
- Closing selected concession stands on the mezzanine level pregame to prevent long lines that can impede access to seats.
- Providing radios to security personnel located in the mezzanine to better communicate potential problems.
- Allowing fan access to seats inside the stadium through the North Tunnel before the game.
- Monitoring gate traffic through the use of video cameras focused on key entry points.
- Better oversight and maintenance of restrooms and portable toilets throughout the stadium.
After the jump we have practice updates, a look at how Gregory plans to increase pressure on the QB this week, articles on Anger and Jones, a look at Cal's NFL draft prospects, a revised plan for crowd control at Memorial, and more.
- Syd sits out practice (he'll still play Saturday), but Spencer Ladner, Kendrick Payne, and reserve LB Robert Mullins have all returned to practice.
- After registering 6 sacks against Maryland, Cal is averaging only 2.4/game since. Mohamed says they're working on improving that statistic. Daily Cal has more on how the Bears plan to pressure Tuel. In injury news, Giorgio will handle placekicking duties over the injured D'Amato (shoulder).
- For the second year in a row, injuries have devastated the Cougs. Here's a curious quote "If the offense can control the line of scrimmage and limit their mistakes, and the defense continues to come up with big plays, the Cougars will compete and defeat Cal on Saturday as they look to lock up their first Pac-10 win of the season."
- Marvin Jones' 6-2 frame and great jumping ability are making Riley's passes a little easier to complete.
- Bryan Anger went home during the bye week and spoke to his high school kicking coach. A few adjustments later and Anger took home the Pac-10 special teams player of the week award. His goal now is to bring his average up to 45 yards/punt. He's currently at 41.9.
- Jahvid Best is 15th on Mel Kiper's NFL Draft Big Board. Neither Syd nor Alualu makes it into the top-5 seniors for their positions.
- Monty's four-man recruiting class is 25th in the nation and second in the Pac-10 (behind 8th-nationwide Stanford).
- Cal athletics has modified its gameday procedures to prevent gridlock on the alumni side of Memorial Stadium.
- No. 2 men's water polo hosts no. 5 Pepperdine Saturday morning.
- No. 15 women's volleyball hosts No. 16 Arizona and ASU this weekend.
- No. 20/25 men's soccer looks for some redemption this weekend. They host No. 2 UCLA and SDSU, both of whom they lost to last weekend.