CU opponent glance
Opponent: California Golden Bears
Game time: Saturday, 12:01 p.m., at Folsom Field in Boulder
Coach: Justin Wilcox, 1st season (4-4)
Record: 4-4, 1-4 Pac-12
Last week: Lost at home to Arizona, 45-44 in double OT
Key players: QB Ross Bowers, So. (174-of-309, 1,997 yards, 12 TD, 10 INT); ILB Raymond Davison III, Sr. (47 tackles, 2 sacks); RB Vic Enwere, Sr. (85 att., 302 yards, 4 TD); OLB Cameron Goode, Fr. (40 tackles, 5.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 1 INT); ILB Jordan Kunaszyk, Jr. (37 tackles, 4.5 TFL, 2.5 sacks, 2 INT); RB Patrick Laird, Jr. (93 att., 530 yards, 6 TD; 26 catches, 191 yards, 1 TD); WR Kanawai Noa, So. (36 catches, 547 yards, 2 TD); WR Vic Wharton III, Jr. (39 catches, 552 yards, 3 TD).
Notable: The Bears have lost 10 consecutive Pac-12 road games, dating back to a 30-24 win at Washington Sept. 26, 2015. ... Cal has scored 227 points (28.4 per game) and allowed 227 points. ... Cal's defense has more interceptions (13) than any team in the Pac-12, returning one for a touchdown. Nationally only South Florida (16) has had more INTs. ... The Bears are last in the Pac-12 in red zone offense, scoring on just 80 percent of their chances (18 TD, six FG in 30 tries). ... As a team, the Bears are 11th in the Pac-12 in rushing, but Laird is eighth individually with 75.7 yards per game.
PULLMAN, Wash. — Colorado didn't show a lot of fight in its 28-0 loss to Washington State on Saturday night.
The Buffaloes (4-4, 1-4 Pac-12), however, insist there's still plenty of motivation as they prepare for the last four games of the season, beginning with Saturday's home date with California (4-4, 1-4).
"This team is full of fighters," quarterback Steven Montez said. "I think there's fighters all over the place.
"We just get back into the film room, get back on the practice field, have another week at it, and we'll get ready for Cal."
Safety Evan Worthington said he's not worried about the Buffs moving past a bad performance.
"It doesn't feel good at all, but we just have to go back in on Monday, work on everything and get right back to it," he said. "It's frustrating, but we're just going to keep moving on every week and just take every game by game."
Junior linebacker Rick Gamboa is one of six team captains, and the Buffs will have to lean on that group going forward.
"Leaders and captains, we have to push people a little more and be more accountable as leaders," Gamboa said. "No, I don't think there's bigger issues off the field. Everyone is buying in, everyone wants to win, everyone is giving it their all. It's just little things here and there. Maybe a little more attention to detail at practice or in meetings."
Although his team was flat against Washington State, head coach Mike MacIntyre said the group really has no choice but to bounce back and give good effort in the final four games.
"No, it's not going to be tough (to bounce back)," he said. "If guys aren't playing hard, I'll put other guys in, so I think they'll play hard. They always do."
While the final result was not pretty, the Buffs did take a step forward defensively.
In the two previous games, against Arizona and Oregon State, the Buffs allowed 39.0 points and 568.0 yards per game.
Washington State finished with 28 points and 406 yards — both well below its season averages coming in.
CU's offense couldn't get anything going, but the defense kept the Buffs in the game most of the night.
"I think we had a good game plan going in," Gamboa said. "As a defense, we knew what we had to do for us to give us a chance to win this game. We knew we had to get some turnovers and give our offense the ball and give them a chance to score."
Falk on the loose
Of course, the defense wasn't perfect. Washington State, which came in last in the country in rushing, ran for a season-high 194 yards — 119.9 more than its average. Even quarterback Luke Falk ran for a career-high 41 yards, and three times gained a first down with his legs.
Falk came into the game with minus-376 rushing yards in his career and had never finished with more than 29 in a game. His 16-yard run in the second quarter was the longest of his 39-game career.
"There was times where the penalties or not keeping an eye on the quarterback, where they kept drives going," Gamboa said. "Learn from this move on, watch the film on Monday and get ready for California."
Center Jonathan Huckins (concussion) and cornerback Isaiah Oliver (right leg) both left the game in the first half with injuries and did not return. ... Of the 74 offensive plays the Buffs had against Washington State, 34 of them came in Cougars' territory. The Buffs gained just 46 yards on those 34 plays, however. ... CU finished with 80 yards rushing on 40 carries. It's the first time the Buffs had 80 yards or less on 40 or more attempts since a 52-7 loss at Cal on Sept. 11, 2010. ... Tight end George Frazier caught one pass for nine yards. It was his 12th career catch, but first since a touchdown reception against USC on Nov. 13, 2015.