A few notes about tonight's game
Washington visits California tonight at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2. Here's what stands out to us gametime approaches.
- Two-faced Huskies: Washington has been stout at home this season. The undefeated seasons of Stanford and Oregon State came to an end in Seattle. Add in wins over San Diego State and Portland State and the Huskies are 4-1 in their home kennel, with the lone setback coming 24-14 to USC. Going on the road, however, is a completely different story. Washington is 0-3 and has been outscored 145-38 away from home. The competition in the first three games (LSU, Oregon and Arizona) is tougher than what Steve Sarkisian's team will face tonight, but the Huskies haven't beaten anyone away from Seattle in 13 months.
- In between a rock and a hard place: California enters tonight at 3-6, which means the Golden Bears must win out to avoid missing a bowl game for the second time in three seasons. Nevermind the fact that Jeff Tedford's next two games after tonight come against BCS No. 4 Oregon and BCS No. 11 Oregon State, the Bears will doom themselves to an extra-early hibernation (Cal's regular season ends on Nov. 17) without a win tonight.
- When the Huskies throw: Washington has struggled to throw the ball this year, standing ahead of only Colorado in the Pac-12 and 109th in the country in passing efficiency. Washington passers throw for a conference-worst 5.73 yards per attempt with a total of eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Meanwhile, Cal's defense has picked off eight passes in their last four games.
- The Tosh Bowl: Tonight marks the first time Washington defensive line coach/defensive run game coordinator Tosh Lupoi returns to Berkeley after a dozen years in the Cal program as a player, graduate assistant and defensive line coach. Lupoi has his work cut out for him in retooling a unit that ranks last in the Pac-12 in sacks and tackles for loss.
- Turnovers tell the story: Washington has not lost a game in which it won the turnover battle. Conversely, the Huskies have not won a game in which they did not force more turnovers than their opponent. (LSU and Washington tied the turnover battle, 1-1). On the opposite sideline, USC's win over Cal stands alone as the only time a team that lost more turnovers than it gained managed to win the game in the Golden Bears' nine outings this season. In the 17 combined games of Cal and Washington's season, only one time has a team lose the turnover battle and win the game.