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The good, the bad, and the unknown: Cal

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The good, the bad, and the unknown of Washington’s blowout win at Cal

NCAA Football: Washington at California Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Good

John Ross (Oh my God) - Ross might have had the best game I have ever seen from a Husky receiver. Six catches for 208 yards and three touchdowns in limited action? Holy s***. Enjoy him while you can, Husky fans, because he looks like a player you created on NCAA Football 03 whom you gave 99 speed and 99 quickness.

Dante Pettis - The only sad thing about Ross is that he overshadows Pettis. He had another All-Pac-12 day with eight catches for more than 100 yards and three touchdowns along with a 39-yard touchdown pass. He also showed again that he is the go-to player for clutch plays when the Huskies really need them.

Jake Browning - Was he perfect? No. But let’s be realistic here. Browning was damn impressive in Berkeley. He has become such a stat monster that a 19-28 378-yard, six-touchdown performance doesn’t even seem like a huge deal anymore. People are going to rag on him for the deep balls to Ross taking too long to get there, but a lot of that has to do with throwing to maybe the fastest guy in college football.

Lavon Coleman - Coleman filled in again as a relief pitcher and made the most of it. 108 yards and a score on just seven carries—it was the best he’s looked since the Arizona game.

Run defense - The Husky run defense hasn’t been popular in recent weeks, but they turned in a nice performance against a decent Cal run game. They gave up just 100 yards on 27 carries, with a lot of those yards coming after the game was well decided.

Pass defense - People need to remember that Davis Webb and the Bears’ overall pass game have been really good at home. Except for a couple of mistakes, the Huskies shut them down. They held Webb under 50 percent for less than 275 and picked him off three times (he had only eight coming into the game). Well done.

Sidney Jones - Jones showed why no one has been throwing against him all year, picking off Webb twice when the Husky defense really needed big plays.

Killer instinct - This was a game where a lesser team would have let Cal remain in the game after narrowing it to 21-20. By not flinching, the Huskies showed they aren’t that team anymore. The same could be said of Pettis’s fumble on the punt return, following which the defense held strong and the offense got right on the gas.

Coaching - This was a potential trap game that Chris Petersen and company turned into a comfortable Saturday night scrimmage. The Huskies came in prepared, focused, and blew away what Cal had schemed up against them.

The Bad

Punt game - Not much here, but some good punting by Cal and some horrible punting by the Huskies let the Bears get ahead early and stick around for a bit in the third quarter. Also, Pettis’s fumble on the return didn’t end up meaning anything, but it was another negative on a bad night in the punt game for the Huskies.

The Unknown

Jake Eldrenkamp and Joe Mathis? The senior leaders at guard and in the buck position were missing again. The Huskies could easily survive Cal without them, but could really use them next week against USC. Will we see Eldrenkamp and/or Mathis against the Trojans?

Myles Gaskin? The Bears were gunning for Gaskin early when it counted. That helps explain why he didn’t have a great game statistically, but overall, it did kind of seem he had the kind of performance he had early in the season where he didn’t look like his usual self. Plus, he seemed to be limping at points. Will the Huskies have Gaskin at 100 percent against USC when they will really need him?

Apple Cup Light preview? The Bears are a lot like a less good version of the Cougars right now. Did we see a little bit of how the matchup against the spread pass, red-hot Cougars might look?

How good is USC? After UW, thanks to winning five straight, USC is being trumped up as the best team in the Pac-12. Thing is: all of those five teams other than Colorado (who USC beat in LA by four points) have a combined five Pac-12 wins, so it might just be that the Trojans have played opposition that made them look better. The Trojans may not be the elite team of which they have shown flashes, but they will still be the most talented team the Huskies will have seen to date, so we may be in for a tough, tough game.

Playoff ranking? I have a serious feeling the Huskies will be behind Ohio State at number five in the Playoff rankings this week. Will they be left out of the Top Four again?