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Cal opponent review: WSU gets huge USC win, Bryce Love explodes for Stanford

The Bears have tough opponents the next few weeks. But then things should get easier.

NCAA Football: Southern California at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

#16 Washington State 30, #6 USC 27

What a game. The Trojans lost three offensive linemen during and before this game and still had this one tied in Pullman in the 4th quarter due to bizarre Sam Darnold plays that ESPN announcers could not stop talking about and Pac-12 After Dark voodoo.

The Cougars defense made some huge plays to force USC into field goals and halt drives (including the forced fumble on Darnold to clinch it), Luke Falk managed the Cougars capably despite huge Wazzu drops, and Jamal Morrow had the huge run that set up the game-winning field goal.

Washington State is a formidable foe. Cal will have its hands full trying to get the upset in Berkeley in two week’s time.

Stanford 34, Arizona State 24

As is tradition with Ron Gould running backs with awesome offensive lines, they become future NFL stars. So is the case with Bryce Love, who is now the most unstoppable force in college football. 301 yards with three touchdowns brings back the best of the Jahvid Best days, only it’s Stanford, so Love gets Heisman buzz in a way no deserving Cal running back ever got.

What is concerning for Stanford is their defense is continuing to surrender points and yards (214 rushing yards!). But Todd Graham is not a good coach and Manny Wilkins isn’t a particularly great decision-maker, so Stanford escapes upset for another week.

UCLA 27, Colorado 23

UCLA and Colorado are not destined to contend for anything this season, so this result seems about right. The Bruins could never put the Buffs away (poor run game, poor run defense) and the Buffs could not get Steven Montez to threaten UCLA enough, stalling tons of Colorado’s drives.

These are probably Cal’s two most winnable road games. Getting one of these would put us on the path to a bowl.

#6 Washington 49, Oregon State 7

Washington led 7-0 at halftime. That was weird. Oregon State has generally proven to be good for one half of decent football before getting run, and Washington has now had slow starts in their three Power 5 matchups before rolling things up in the second half.

But the Huskies have never been threatened in the second half in any of these games. Washington has outscored their opponents by 166 points through five contests.

#20 Utah and Arizona were on bye weeks. We play the worse of the two.

#1 Alabama 66, Ole Miss 3

Can they just move Alabama into the AFC South so we can all watch Deshaun Watson beat them again. The Rebels aren’t bad but I doubt they’re going to be competing for anything beyond a mid-range bowl this go-around.

Georgia Tech 33, North Carolina 7

I don’t think North Carolina is bad, per se, but they are getting bit by the injury bug and now cannot produce any offense at all. This is not the same team we faced in week 1, down eight starters due to injury and their top three receivers.

Weber State 25, Montana State 17

Weber State’s lone loss is to Cal, having now squeaked out road wins to Sacramento State and Montana State. Still think there’s a decent chance they end up in the FCS playoffs. They’re on the right trajectory.