Cal, Washington State eye rebound from tough losses

NCAA Football

Two teams that watched potential Pac-12 Conference victories slip through their grasp last weekend hope to finish stronger this time when Washington State visits California on Saturday afternoon in Berkeley, Calif.

The home team has won the past five meetings in the 102-year-old rivalry, with Cal prevailing 33-20 two years ago behind three touchdown passes from Devon Modster, who was subbing for the injured Chase Garbers.

Garbers already has surpassed 1,000 passing yards in four games this season, including a season-high 319 last week in a 31-24 overtime loss at Washington.

Down seven in the extra session, Cal (1-3, 0-1 Pac-12) drove to the Washington 2 before Damien Moore fumbled at the goal line, preventing the Golden Bears from potentially either tying the score with a PAT or going for the road win with a two-pointer.

“In football you’ve got to have a short memory,” Garbers said afterward. “Obviously, losing (stinks). We’ve got to learn from it and move on.”

At least the Golden Bears came out of the game relatively healthy. The same could not be said of Washington State (1-3, 0-2), which held a 13-10 lead into the final five minutes at Utah before giving up two late scores in a 24-13 defeat.

Along the way, the Cougars saw standout running back Max Borghi sprain his left wrist, and three safeties left the game, so the visitors had only two remaining healthy safeties on the roster, according to coach Nick Rolovich.

Borghi rushed for 42 yards on six carries, with a long of 18 yards, before his injury on the first snap of the second quarter. Backups Deon McIntosh and Nakia Watson combined for 60 yards on 14 tries over the final three quarters.

“Those would be the two guys,” Rolovich said of this week’s possible replacements for Borghi, who has not been ruled out. X-rays taken over the weekend were negative. “They’re both very good in pass protection, both ready to play. It’s good to have two guys ready to go.”

Borghi was the team’s leading rusher, albeit with just 19 yards, and caught eight passes for 36 yards in the loss at Cal in 2019.

He has rushed for 259 yards and two touchdowns in Washington State’s first four games. The squad has just two other rushing TDs, one coming from quarterback Jayden de Laura, who missed the Utah game with a knee injury.

He, like Borghi, remains questionable to return this week.

–Field Level Media

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