With three losses in a row, Washington's passing offense has struggled a bit as of late -- against Stanford, Oregon and Arizona State, senior quarterback Keith Price completed only 68 of 119 passes for 749 yards, numbers that are a clear drop from his torrid start to the season. Some of that has been due to nagging injuries and better competition, but Price simply hasn't been the same player who started the season with three straight games of over 74-percent completion. Luckily, he gets a substantially easier matchup this weekend with the Cal secondary coming to town, a unit that ranks dead last in the country against the pass. Expect Price to explode for big numbers, and perhaps even get tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins back on track.
The Bears will be looking to get their offense back on track as well, which has steadily regressed after impressive outings against Ohio State and Northwestern. They have yet to be able to run the ball effectively all year, but the surprise has come in the decline of the passing attack. California quarterbacks have a 4:5 TD:INT ratio in their last three games and have seen drops in yards per attempt, quarterback rating and general production.
Rankings and records: Neither team is ranked. Washington has a 50-38-4 lead in the all-time series, and comes in winning four straight. The last three have all been decided by one score or less.
Vegas: Washington opened as a 23-point favorite, while the over/under opened at 64.5.
Weather: The forecast in Seattle calls for partly cloudy skies with a low of 44 degrees at night.
Three names to know
Zach Kline (California quarterback) - Despite Jared Goff's fantastic start to the season, the freshman has visibly struggled as of late, and was benched for the second half against Oregon State. As his replacement, Kline led the team to its only two touchdowns of the evening. He could be in line for a start in Seattle.
Bishop Sankey (Washington running back) - After a series of outstanding performances, Sankey -- who has rushed for nearly 1,000 yards so far on the year -- was bottled up against a physically dominant Arizona State team, and found only 22 yards on his 13 carries. Saturday will bring a sneakily decent Cal run defense to town for Sankey to do battle with -- the Bears have allowed only 2.42 yards per carry in the month of October. While some of that statistic comes from facing two of the worst running teams in the country in Oregon State and Washington State, Cal did perform strongly against a UCLA rushing attack that still ranks 38th in the FBS.
Deandre Coleman (Cal defensive tackle) - One of the leaders for this extremely youthful Cal team, the senior will be returning home to his native Seattle this weekend. Coleman has been one of the few bright spots on an otherwise porous California defense and has drawn some NFL interest. He has 4.5 tackles for loss and one sack this season.
Two things at stake
California desperately needs a win of any kind. The young, banged-up Bears have yet to beat an FBS opponent of any kind this season, and have actually lost 11 straight against FBS competition. Taking down the Huskies would technically keep their bowl hopes alive, but would mean more for progress than anything else.
As for Washington, three straight losses to Stanford, Oregon and Arizona State have Steve Sarkisian's crew suddenly spiraling. It was supposed to be a statement season for the Huskies, but their play against the Sun Devils has put that in jeopardy. With their three conference losses, they no longer control their own fate in the Pac-12 North, and it would take a stunning turn of events for them to get back in the race. Still, this is a game Washington should win handily. Losing to California -- a team Sarkisian has beaten four seasons in a row -- might turn up the temperature on Sarkisian's job security.
How to witness
TV: 11 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1 (Justin Kutcher, James Bates, Brady Poppinga)