The number 23 ranked Washington State Cougars picked up yet another win late Saturday Night over the California Golden Bears. Just like last weeks win over Arizona the Cougars jumped out to a sizable early lead and rode that wave of early momentum to a win. This win put Washington State in sole possession of first place in the Pac-12 North because of the USC win over Washington in Seattle.
The scoring started very early, after the defense forced a three and out to begin the game, Kaleb Fossum fielded a punt and went 75 yards right up the middle pretty much untouched for a touchdown. They didn’t slow down after that. The defense continued to be suffocating and the offense did pretty much whatever they wanted to. The second score of the game came on a Gerard Wicks touchdown run after a drive which saw a Luke Falk interception deep in Cal territory. Jordan Veasy caught a touchdown early in the second quarter for Cal to make it a 14-7 game, but after that Washington State put together two more scoring drives before the half, both River Cracraft touchdown catches to take a 28-7 lead into the halftime break.
River Cracraft wasn’t done having a big day after his first half touchdowns, because for the first score of the second half Luke Falk found Cracraft for yet another touchdown pass and at this point it became clear that the Cougars were going to have sole possession of first place in the division when this game was over. Cal scored one touchdown before the start of the fourth quarter to make it a 35-14 Washington State lead going into the fourth.
In the fourth quarter Cal was finally able to slow down Cracraft, but that was when Gabe Marks started to make his impact on the game felt, catching two touchdowns in the final frame in what amounted to a 56-21 win. During the second half a couple of Washington State players achieved some milestones. The first one was Luke Falk going over 10,000 passing yards in his career. Given the fact that he is only a junior and can still come back next year it is crazy to think of the numbers that he can finish with in his career if he decides to pass on the NFL Draft. The second milestone was receiver Gabe Marks becoming the all-time conference leader in catches when he made his 295th career catch during the fourth quarter, so congratulations to both of those players.
Even though Washington lost which guaranteed the Apple Cup will at the very least be a division championship game, it was good to see Washington State come out early and jump on top of a team that they are better than because it still gives them a good chance at a New Years Six Bowl if they happen to lose the Apple Cup. The defense also continues to show that they are a pretty reliable unit on this team.
Next week Washington State starts their very difficult two game finish to the schedule when they head to Boulder to play the Colorado Buffaloes. You would have to think at the very least that will be a top-20 matchup depending on where the College Football Playoff Committee decides to put both of the teams, but regardless of where they are ranked that game will go a long way in deciding who plays in the conference championship and who could possibly get a New Years Six Bowl bid.