(Take this article with a grain of salt…the subheading was “Both the Cougars and the California Golden Bears will be looking for their first Pac-10 win,” which is slightly inaccurate.)
The Cougars (1-5, 0-4 Pac-10) will travel to Berkeley, Calif., this weekend to take on the California Golden Bears (3-2, 0-2) and their highly explosive offense that has put up 197 points through six games this season. Cal’s offense is led by a Heismen Trophy hopeful, running back Jahvid Best, who has torn up defensive lines throughout the entire season. The play-making back has rushed for 616 yards and nine touchdowns, and he is good enough for third in the Pac-10 behind Oregon State’s Jacquizz Rodgers (13) and Stanford’s Toby Gerhart (12).
“This is our biggest test by far,” Head Coach Paul Wulff said. “We’re defending a great runner.” Behind center for Cal is gun-slinging quarterback Kevin Riley, who has thrown for 1,225 yards, eight touchdowns and only one interception. Riley is coming of a great game last week against UCLA, where he threw for 205 yards with three touchdown passes.
“Riley is a very talented passer, and we understand that,” said co-defensive coordinator Jody Sears. “Coach (Jeff) Tedford is a quarterback guru, and he does a tremendous job of getting the ball downfield.” Meanwhile for WSU, their are some big name players who look to return to action. Redshirt junior left guard Zack Williams will start after missing four weeks with an ankle injury he suffered against Hawaii. Redshirt sophomore left tackle Steven Ayers (ankle) and redshirt sophomore right guard B.J. Guerra (knee) were able to return to practice this week, and both shared reps running with the first team. Wulff announced that redshirt junior right guard Joe Eppele will start on Saturday over Guerra, who is still recovering, and that he is not sure as to whether Ayers or true freshman Alex Reitnouer will get the nod at left tackle.