Cal Bears hope to build win streak

Getty Images File PhotoGround game: If running back C.J. Anderson can pick up big yards

Getty Images File PhotoGround game: If running back C.J. Anderson can pick up big yards

Momentum is measured in winning streaks, and Cal has a chance to win consecutive games for the first time this season when it plays Washington State in Pullman, Wash., on Saturday.

The impressive 43-17 victory over a UCLA team that was ranked at the time gives the Golden Bears a chance to resurrect a season that seemed to be going down the drain. But it’s unclear whether Cal’s success against UCLA was a product of the Bears’ improvement or the Bruins’ six turnovers, which made things a lot easier for Cal.

And that victory won’t mean much if the Bears turn around and lay an egg against a team they should beat.

The Cougars (2-4) have a decent passing attack, but they have not done anything this season that should scare the Bears. Plus, Cal (2-4) has played pretty well on the road, giving itself a chance to beat both Ohio State and USC away from home before falling short both times.

As always, Cal’s success depends on quarterback Zach Maynard — not just his numbers, but his attitude, although they typically parallel each other.

When Maynard has a spring in his step and displays confidence, his passing percentage goes up and the Bears’ offense is productive. If he misses a few passes or gets sacked a few times, Maynard sometimes shows the frustration, and it tends to pervade the entire team.

The running game will be key for Cal to control the clock, as well. C.J. Anderson had a monster game last week, rushing for 151 yards and a touchdown.

Cal presumably will employ a defense similar to the one it used against UCLA when it had five defensive backs on the field most of the time. WSU has no running game to speak of, but the passing attack of a Mike Leach-coached team can never be dismissed.

Leach has not had consistent quarterback play, however. He said Connor Halliday will make his fifth straight start at quarterback against Cal, but Halliday was replaced by Jeff Tuel after throwing three interceptions against Oregon State on Oct. 6. So the Bears may see Tuel at some point if Halliday struggles.

Cal BearscollegeCollege SportsZach Maynard

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Dave Hodges, pastor at Zide Door, the Church of Entheogenic Plants that include marijuana and psilocybin mushrooms, holds some psychedelic mushrooms inside the Oakland church on Friday, July 22, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Psychedelic spirituality: Inside a growing Bay Area religious movement

‘They are guiding us into something ineffable’

San Francisco Police stand guard outside the Mission Police Station during a protest over the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd on Saturday, May 30, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Fired: California bill aims to decertify police for serious misconduct

By Robert Lewis CalMatters On a Wednesday afternoon in April 2018, Gardena… Continue reading

The Giants and Dodgers face each other again following a May series the Dodgers swept; Dodgers shortstop Gavin Lux caught stealing by Giants second baseman Donovan Solano at Oracle Park on May 23 is pictured. 
Chris Victorio/
Special to The Examiner
Giants vs. Dodgers: What you need to know before this week’s huge series

By Chris Haft Special to The Examiner That grinding noise you’ll hear… Continue reading

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday that state employees and health care workers must be vaccinated or undergo weekly testing and wear masks. (Photo by Anne Wernikoff, CalMatters)
California orders vaccine or testing for health care workers, state employees

By Ana B. Ibarra CalMatters Amid an uptick in COVID-19 cases and… Continue reading

Jeremy Kahn and Monica Ho are excellent in San Francisco Playhouse’s production of Lauren Yee’s “The Song of Summer,” being presented live and online. (Courtesy Jessica Palopoli)
Touching relationship at heart of ‘Song of Summer’

Lighthearted SF Playhouse show ‘feels right for this moment’

Most Read