Cal vs Washington Prediction - College Football Picks 9/23/23
Washington Huskies (3-0) vs California Golden Bears (2-1)
Game Info: Saturday, September 23, 2023 at 10:30 pm (Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium)
Betting Odds: Washington Huskies -20.5 -- Over/Under: 63.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds
The California Golden Bears will travel to Seattle to face the Washington Huskies in Pac-12 play this Saturday from Husky Stadium on ESPN. Conference realignment will alter this long running series, as Cal and Washington have faced off in every season since 1921. The Huskies hold the head-to-head lead, 56-41-4, after winning the last two meetings by a touchdown.
California Golden Bears Preview
Cal comes in at 2-1 after defeating Idaho in Berkeley, 31-17. The Golden Bears avenged their home opener loss to Auburn by pulling thru in the second half against the Vandals, and they face a steep test here to open conference play.The Cal offense is scoring 33.0 ppg, while passing for 195.3 ypg, rushing for 242.0 ypg, and converting 36% of their third downs.
Cal Player Notes
• Sam Jackson V earned his first win as the starter last week against Idaho, passing for 108 yards, and accounting for three touchdowns (2 pass, 1 rush)
• Sophomore back Jaydn Ott is set to return this week after missing the Idaho matchup, and he leads Cal in rushing yards (266). Senior back Isaiah Ifanse gained 137 yards in his absence.
• Junior wideout Jeremiah Hunter caught five passes or more for the third game in a row, and he’s first on the team in receptions (16) and receiving yards (147).
• The Cal defense has allowed 17.3 points per game.
Washington Huskies Preview
Washington moved to 3-0 after defeating Michigan State in East Lansing, 41-7. The Huskies closed their non-conference slate in style with the aggressive win over the Spartans, and they’ll now look to carry that success into Pac-12 play. The Washington offense is scoring 46.7 ppg, while passing for 195.3 ypg, rushing for 121.3 ypg, and converting 44.4% of their third downs.
Washington Player Notes
• Michael Penix Jr. delivered another Heisman-worthy effort against Michigan State, passing for 473 yards and four touchdowns. The veteran quarterback has been the most productive signal caller in the nation, despite being overshadowed by the talented trio at quarterback within his own conference. Penix Jr. has passed for 1,332 yards with twelve touchdowns to one interception through three starts.
• Running is an afterthought for the Huskies, but Mississippi State transfer Dillon Johnson leads the backfield with 83 rushing yards.
• Washington carries one of the best three-wide sets in the country with Rome Odunze, Jalen McMillan, and Ja’Lynn Polk.
• Odunze has caught seven passes or more in each of the first three games, and he leads UW in receptions (22) and receiving yards (419). McMillan had eight catches in the first two contests, and he’s caught 20 passes for 311 yards and three touchdowns for the season. Polk has surpassed the 100-yard mark twice, and he’s posting splits of 13/300/2.
• The UW defense is allowing 12.0 points per game.
California vs Washington Trends
• Cal is 1-2 against the spread, with a 1-2 O/U record.
• Washington is 2-1 ATS, with a 1-2 over/under record.
• California has only hit the 1H Moneyline in 3 of their last 12 games
• Washington has hit the 1H Moneyline in 9 of their last 12 games
Corey’s Free Pick
California looks a lot better than they did in 2022, but so does Washington, and I don’t think the visitors will be able to keep up here. Cal’s ground game and physical approach probably won’t lash positively here with UW’s quick strike aerial attack, and this one may wind up getting dark early. Something special is brewing in Seattle, and I like trusting Michael Penix Jr. and company to lay the boom here on the Golden Bears at home. Back Washington for this Pac-12 battle.