In preparation for Saturday's matchup between the California Golden Bears and Washington St. Cougars, SB Nation team blogs California Golden Blogs and Coug Center broke down elements of the contest that will go far in determining who comes out of the game a winner in a game between two programs still trying to find themselves.
For Cal, it all seems to come back to quarterback Zach Maynard. He is viewed as the epitome of what Cal is -- erratic. He can look decent at times and horrid in others, but his ebb and flow is indicative of the Cal's potential.
Zach Maynard is Cal and Cal is Zach Maynard. He gets criticized too much for his failings because when he looks bad he looks baaaaaaaaad. He doesn't get praised enough when he plays well, because when he does it feels like it's because Keenan Allen and company get the credit. The reality is that he's an average quarterback with more varied swings between his best and his worst. Just like Cal.
On the other side of the ball, California Golden Blogs provides a complete breakdown of the Washington State offense which has seen good times and bad times. It includes a breakdown of the Cougars starters as well as numbers to back up the ‘good times/bad times' claim. The Cougars are a pass-happy team with an anemic running game that won't outscore you. Cal's defense is actually pretty good, especially the secondary.