Stanford Cardinal

Anna Wilson, sister of Russell Wilson, is ‘not done yet’ with Stanford basketball

Anna Wilson, sister of Russell Wilson, is ‘not done yet’ with Stanford basketball

Sabrina Ionescu isn’t the only women’s basketball player with some unfinished business. 

Stanford announced earlier this week that point guard Anna Wilson has been granted a fifth year of eligibility and will return to the Cardinal in 2020. 

“With everything that is going on in the world at the moment, there aren’t enough words to describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to return to Stanford,” Wilson said in a statement. 

“Although there is plenty of uncertainty in this strange period of life, being with this team for another year and continuing to build bridges within this community is something I look forward to. Second opportunities come rarely, as life is proving that to all of us right now, so this gives me hope and I can’t wait to make more memories with this group of incredible people.”

Wilson played only 48 minutes of her freshman season while recovering from brain trauma. In a letter published via ESPN, Wilson detailed how concussions thwarted her career at Stanford. 

“I went through an intense rehabilitation to recover from significant brain trauma,” Wilson said. “I went on to play three more years at Stanford. Along the way, my focus started to shift. My vision of who I am began to align with who I was becoming because of all the obstacles I overcame.”

She also spoke about living in the shadow of her brother, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. The seven-time Pro Bowler has made frequent visits to The Farm to cheer on his sister. 

“Over the years, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten much closer with Russell,” she wrote. “And I feel like his shadow, for me, has dissipated. I don’t feel like I’m living in it as much as I was in the past. I feel like I’m very much my own person now, following my own path.”

As a senior, Wilson averaged 14.0 minutes off the bench for the Cardinal. She recorded 2.5 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.3. assists in 33 games. Now, Wilson will get another shot to finish the journey she’s started at Stanford.

Anna Wilson isn’t living in brother Russell Wilson’s shadow

Anna Wilson isn’t living in brother Russell Wilson’s shadow

Anna Wilson has been dealt plenty of hardship.

When she was in the fifth grade, her Dad was diagnosed with diabetes. He later stepped on a piece of glass in the house that resulted in an infection and his leg amputated.

After growing up a two-sport athlete at Dartmouth, Anna’s dad struggled to get out of bed in the mornings. One day, while she was staying with her grandmother, her dad fell and hit his head. He had a stroke. It didn’t get better from there. 

"He was in the hospital on June 8, 2010,” Anna told Katie Barnes of ESPN. “I remember it clearly because it was the day the Colorado Rockies drafted Russell. My mom and Russell were talking in a separate waiting room from me. When they came to get me, my dad stopped breathing -- he'd lost the strength to continue on his own. He died the next day. I was 12.”

Anna had to be strong for her mom, who was grieving the loss of the love of her life. She struggled to live in the shadow of her brother Russell, who by her senior year, had played in two Super Bowls and won a championship. 

So, she went to the gym, over and over again. And she found love on the basketball court. 

As a senior at Bellevue High School, Anna led her team to a 29-0 record her senior year. They won the state championship and the Nike Tournament of Champions. 

That was before a concussion sidelined her for eight months, and the beginning of her collegiate career at Stanford University.

“At that moment, basketball -- this thing that had provided such a path for me -- was being taken away. I was told I might never play again,” Anna said. “It took me a long time to feel that joy and happiness again.”

After recovering from significant brain trauma, she went on to play three more years at Stanford. Her career with the Cardinal ended in March 2020 when the NCAA Tournament was canceled. 

“Even though my senior season ended the way that it did, there is always something good that can come out of the bad,” Anna said. “I got to sit in our team's circle for the last time, and I got to tell those people how they made me feel. I got to express that regardless of how my journey started, I saw the struggle all the way through. I made it.”

As for carving her own identity, Anna finally feels like she’s her own person now. She’s no longer living in the shadow of a great athlete. She is that great athlete.

“Over the years, as I've gotten older, I've gotten much closer with Russell,” Anna said. “And I feel like his shadow, for me, has dissipated. I don't feel like I'm living in it as much as I was in the past. I feel like I'm very much my own person now, following my own path."

Her brother is proud, too. 

The stage is set: Oregon-Stanford Pac-12 Tournament championship rematch

The stage is set: Oregon-Stanford Pac-12 Tournament championship rematch

After No. 1 Oregon's dominating 88-70 win over Arizona in the early semifinal game, No. 3 Stanford upset No. 2 UCLA 67-51.

The Ducks are 2-0 against the Cardinal this season.

Senior Sabrina Ionescu scored 37 points and tallied 11 rebounds in their first meeting, when No. 3 Oregon destroyed then No. 7 Stanford 87-55 in Eugene, Oregon. Forward Satou Sabally led the Ducks in their second meeting on February 24th, scoring 27 points and pulling down nine rebounds, as a 28-point fourth quarter surge from the Cardinal came up short, 74-66.

After Stanford's win on Saturday night over UCLA, Cardinal head coach Tara VanDerveer previewed the match-up with Oregon.

First of all, I think Oregon is the No. 1 team in the country. They are the No. 1 team in the country because the execute extremely well offensively... I don't think it's rocket science but they are a tough matchup because they are so skilled and so good at every position. -- Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer

This is a rematch of last season's Pac-12 Tournament finals where Stanford beat Oregon 64-57.

Tip-off is slated for 5 p.m. (PT) at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Oregon State WBB is on a mission with another crack at Stanford

Oregon State WBB is on a mission with another crack at Stanford

The Oregon State Beavers are on a mission. That is the message from senior standout Mikayla Pivec.

Last night after the Beavers dominated Washington State 82-55, Mikayla  joined me on the radio post-game show. She knows this is her last Pac-12 tournament as a player and she and her teammates want to make it something special.

We are on a mission. We have had two short stays at the Pac-12 tournament. We knows what it feels like to lose in the first round and then have to wait and wait and sit around to see what is next so we wanted to make the most of our opportunity here. We love having Beaver nation here who turned out to watch us and we wanted to make the most out of it for them as well. — Mikayla Pivec

Pivec, who finished with 17 points and seven boards against the Washington State Cougars on Thursday night knows it only gets more challenging here in Las Vegas. Tonight a third epic battle against No. 3 tournament-seeded Stanford.

I was walking through the casino where the Beavers and many other Pac-12 teams are staying and I ran into Mark Campbell the former Beaver assistant coach who now works for the Ducks under Kelly Graves. He said about tonight's game: "That is going to be a battle of heavyweights." You can't argue with that. 

Stanford did beat Oregon State twice in the regular season and both games were nail-biters. The first game in Corvallis could have gone either way. The Beavs played stellar defense but so did the Cardinal and Stanford escaped Gill Coliseum with a 61-58 victory on January 19th. Then a month later in Palo Alto, another winnable game that slipped out of the grasp of Oregon State, 63-60. Destiny Slocum was the offensive juggernaut in both games scoring 26 in each contest. 

The Beavers are now on a four-game winning streak and arguably playing their best basketball of the season in March when it matters most. Look for the Cardinal to try and shutdown the Beavers three-point shooting which was outstanding against the Cougars on Thursday. Kat Tudor's 6-for-7 effort was just so fun to watch. In the two games against Stanford she was 1-for-7 but no doubt her success last night will help build her confidence.

Look for the Beavers to mix up their defensive pressure and look to get the ball inside to Taylor Jones to potentially open up the long distance shooting. She had 14 points in the game in Palo Alto last month.

Pivec summed up what is at stake tonight: 

It's a big game for us and its a big opportunity to cement our chance of hosting (first and second round of the NCAA tournament) and we want to take advantage of that.

Because of the blowout win over the Cougars, not one player saw more than 28 minutes on the court last night. That bodes well for a team that must play four games in four days to potentially win the tournament.

One other note, the Beavers have had a first-round bye the past two years and had a play a game against an opponent coming off a big win. Lets see if they can turn the tables on a very talented Stanford team. 

Another late tip at 8:30 p.m. (PT) with the winner facing the winner of USC/UCLA. Total coverage of tonight's game can be found right here on NBC Sports Northwest.

What you need to know: No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 4 Stanford (round two)

What you need to know: No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 4 Stanford (round two)

Let’s rewind the clock back to week four of Pac-12 conference play. It was a Thursday night in Eugene, Oregon with the No. 3 Stanford Cardinal in town to battle the No. 6 seed Oregon Ducks. A nationally televised game with big national relevance. 

The Cardinal had the lead after one quarter, 17-13. And that was about it for Stanford. The Ducks outscored the Cardinal 74-38 the rest of the way behind Sabrina Ionescu’s 37 points.

A 32-point victory over the No. 3 team in the country, and the Ducks were rolling.

Since then, much has changed for both squads.

Stanford is without star freshman Haley Jones, who suffered a knee injury days later against the No. 8 Oregon State Beavers. She has yet to return to the court. However, 6-foot-3 forward Maya Dodson has returned from injury and proven to be an asset on both the offensive and defensive ends.

For the Ducks, they just seem to be getting better and better. Since their first meeting on Jan. 16, Oregon has played top opponents week after week: Twice against then-No. 7 Oregon State, at No. 4 UConn, No. 12 Arizona, No. 19 Arizona State and at No. 7 UCLA.

Their strength of schedule has only benefited the Ducks in terms of national ranking as well as preparation for whose next.

Could we be previewing the Pac-12 Tournament finals coming up in just a few short weeks in Las Vegas, Nevada? Possibly. But make no mistake, there’s no guarantee in this challenging conference. We do know one thing, it’s going to be a good one. 

Oregon (25-2, 14-1 Pac-12) and Stanford (24-3, 13-2 Pac-12) sit atop the Pac-12 conference standings at one and two. Oregon can clinch a share of the Pac-12 regular-season title with a win over the Cardinal.

Looking ahead, Stanford’s final weekend of conference play is a trip to No. 11 Arizona and No. 21 Arizona State. The Ducks will host the Washington schools. Advantage Oregon.

Here is what you need to know about the game tonight:

NUMBERS TO KNOW

POINTS PER GAME

Oregon - 85.9

Stanford - 75.9

SCORING MARGIN

Oregon - 28.8

Stanford - 16.7

REBOUNDS PER GAME

Oregon - 40.3

Stanford - 42.3

ASSISTS PER GAME

Oregon - 21.0

Stanford - 15.4

KEYS TO AN OREGON VICTORY

Contain Kiana Williams. This has probably been the best stretch Williams has played all season long. In their first meeting, Williams was the leading scorer for Stanford with 15 points. She loves to get out and run and push the pace. Against the Colorado Buffaloes last Sunday, she finished with 29 points including two three-pointers in the final 10 seconds that gave Stanford the victory.

A key to slowing her down is Minyon Moore, who has been heckling opposing guards all season long. Moore will have to do it again against Williams.

Take the crowd out early. A big advantage for Oregon in their first matchup was having the Matthew Knight Arena near-sellout crowd backing them up. It’s a different story when you’re the road team. The last time the Ducks were in Maples Pavilion, they won by 40 (88-48). Stanford may be looking for a bit of revenge in more ways than one.

How you do that? Oregon’s offense has been stellar lately with Erin Boley finding her outside shot. When opposing squads send double teams down low on Ruthy Hebard, Oregon and Boley need to capitalize with hitting three-pointers. Luckily for the Ducks, Boley has been on a tear lately hitting 15 three-pointers in their last two outings.

GAME INFORMATION

WHO: No. 3 Oregon at No. 4 Stanford 

WHEN: Monday, Feb. 24 at 6 p.m. (PT)

WHERE: Maples Pavilion, Palo Alto, California.

TV: ESPN2

RADIO: Oregon Sports Network

Instant Analysis: Oregon makes a statement with blowout win over Stanford

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USATI

Instant Analysis: Oregon makes a statement with blowout win over Stanford

EUGENE --  No. 6 Oregon stumbled against Arizona State last week, but that is already a distant memory. They bounced back with a win over Arizona, then welcomed the No.3 team in the nation to town in the Stanford Cardinal. Two of the top teams in the country battled it out for two and a half quarters before Oregon flexed its muscle. Standford trailed 44-42 with 6:00 minutes left in the third quarter, but Oregon turned on the jets and outscored them 43-13 the rest of the way. Behind another impressive performance from Sabrina Ionescu, the Ducks made a statement at Stanford's expense.

Final score: Oregon 87 - Stanford 55

Here are three quick takeaways from Wednesday’s win:

1. Sabrina takeover
The G.O.A.T was at it again. In a top 10 showdown, under the ESPN lights, senior guard Sabrina Ionescu recorded 37 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. Just shy of recording her 23rd career triple-double. However, her 37 points were good enough to put her at the top of the all-time scoring list at Oregon.

2. Defense steals the show
How do you take advantage of a home town crowd? Defense. The Ducks finished with 10 steals including two possessions in a row from Ruthy Hebard.

3.  Oregon dominated the final third of the game

Stanford trailed by just two points with six minutes left in the third quarter. Then, Oregon flipped the switch. The Ducks ended the quarter on a 21-6 run. Stanford never had a chance after Oregon landed that knockout blow. This team is scary good when the engine is running at full speed. 

Up Next: The Ducks host the California Golden Bears on Sunday, January 19. Tipoff is set 2:00 pm. 

Be sure to check back throughout the night and tomorrow morning for analysis, articles, and videos from the players.

Game Preview: No. 6 Oregon vs. No. 3 Stanford

Game Preview: No. 6 Oregon vs. No. 3 Stanford

Two days after Oregon Coach Kelly Graves’ birthday, No. 3 Oregon (13-2, 3-1 Pac-12) hosts No. 3 Stanford (15-1, 4-0 Pac-12) in what could be a preview of a Pac-12 tournament and NCAA tournament showdown later this season. Whenever these two programs face off on one another, there’s just a different feel to it. 

Last season, the Ducks got the jump on the Cardinal with a 40 point victory at Maples Pavilion. Stanford would get their revenge with a 64-57 win over Oregon in the Pac-12 tournament title game.

Both Oregon and Stanford historically have proven to sign top recruiting classes, unmatched facilities and outstanding coaching. 

Tonight, we get the first installment of this heated matchup this season.

Numbers to know:

POINTS PER GAME:

Oregon - 86.5

Stanford - 78.5

THREE-POINT PERCENTAGE

Oregon - 36.0

Stanford - 35.9

TWO STANFORD FRESHMEN TO WATCH:

Hannah Jump - the 6-foot freshman guard is only averaging 6.7 points per game, but is shooting lights out from beyond the arc at 47.6%. If you give her space, she will make you pay.

Haley Jones - The 6-foot-1, 3x Pac-12 Freshman of the Week guard is averaging 11.8 points and 4.3 rebounds per game.

Junior Kiana Williams, with her lightning quickness and fast-paced tempo, is having another great season under VanDerveer averaging 12.7 points and 3.7 assists per game.

The Stanford guard-play of Jones, junior Kiana Williams and sophomore Lexie Hull are averaging a combined 37.4 points per game.

They're just so smart — and that's not even a joke about the fact they go to Stanford," Ionescu said. "They're very smart. They know the scout religiously. They know every player's strengths, every player's weaknesses. We'll call out plays and they already know exactly what we're going to run. We're going to have to be able to battle and play our game. — senior guard Sabrina Ionescu

Slowing down the Cardinal guards will be key for Oregon’s success. 

On the other end, senior Sabrina Ionescu recorded her 22nd career triple-double and senior Ruthy Hebard recorded her 47th career double-double last Sunday vs. the Arizona Wildcats. The Ducks are coming off a split weekend vs. the Arizona schools losing to Arizona State 72-66 and defeating then No. 18 Arizona 71-64.

Ionescu is Oregon’s all-time leader in assists and three-pointers made and is 25 points away from becoming Oregon’s all-time leader in scoring.

Coach Graves said the other day in practice that we haven’t even reached our full potential yet, nothing close to our full potential. When that does come around and we’re able to get everything together, I think it’s a scary sight. I’m excited for that. — senior guard Minyon Moore

Only time will tell if the Ducks will be celebrating once again tonight at Matthew Knight Arena.

Tip-off set for 6 p.m. (PT) in Eugene, OR.

Opportunity lost! How the Beavers gave away a game to Stanford

Opportunity lost! How the Beavers gave away a game to Stanford

CORVALLIS – For a team hungry for a home Pac-12 win, on a night when one of its greatest coaches was on hand and several of its outstanding players from the past were there, the Oregon State Beavers missed a golden opportunity to pull off an upset of Stanford.

So many mistakes. All over the place. And it cost OSU a 31-28 loss in which it out-rushed and out-passed the Cardinal.

Mistakes? Well, one of the biggest ones came in the fourth quarter with Oregon State in the midst of a comeback from three touchdowns behind. The Cardinal had to settle for a 46-yard field goal, which Jet Toner made. That would have worked out OK for the Beavers as the game turned out. But OSU was called for a personal foul on the kick, as Hamilcar Rashed Jr. was flagged for jumping on the back of a player in an effort to block the kick.

Stanford elected to take the three points off the board, accept the penalty and then scored two plays later. Three points subtracted, seven points added and a net gain of four points. And, of course, the Cardinal won by three.

But there were plenty of other miscues, too.

The Beavers had seven penalties for 56 yards and it seemed as if they all came at crucial times. They also allowed Stanford to convert several third-and-long attempts, including three on the same drive in the first half.

“Details,” Coach Jonathan Smith said afterwards. “We have to take care of those things.”

If you would have told Smith prior to the game that his team would roll up 64 more net rushing yards than Stanford and outpass them 337-253, I’m pretty sure he’d have believed he was going to win the game.

And the Beavers could have.

Jake Luton hit 27 of his 39 passes for 337 yards and a touchdown and Isaiah Hodgins caught 10 of them for 162 yards, including a beauty in the end zone.

The Beavers scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter and the last one gave them a 28-28 tie with 1:55 to play and Stanford with no timeouts left.

But what’s the worst possible thing that can happen in that situation?

Correct, a long kickoff return. Connor Wedington returned the ensuing kick 43 yards to midfield and Stanford was in business.

Davis Mills, who had a solid game at quarterback in place of injured starter K.J. Costello, completed an 18-yard pass on first down and then scrambled for 16 yards one play later to set up Toner’s game-winning field goal – a 39-yarder with just a second showing on the clock.

OSU suffered through a miserable first half that saw them looking up at a 21-0 deficit.

“It’s closer but not where we want to be,” Smith said of the final verdict. “It wasn’t enough. Obviously, very disappointing.”

Former Beaver head coach Dennis Erickson, whom Oregon State honored during the game for his induction into the college football Hall of Fame, did his share of turning programs around in his long career, and he is convinced it's going to happen at Oregon State.

“They hired the right guy,” Erickson said before the game. “But people have to understand it takes time.”

Oregon State vs Stanford: 10 Things to Know

Oregon State vs Stanford: 10 Things to Know

Coming off a bye, the Oregon State Beavers (1-2, 0-0 Pac-12 play) open their conference schedule against the Stanford Cardinal (1-3, 0-1 Pac-12) at Reser Stadium at 4 p.m. (PT). 

The Cardinal have struggled so far this season but are better than their record indicates given three consecutive losses to ranked opponents. Can the Beavers take advantage of the Cardinal’s slump and open Pac-12 play with a victory? We’re optimistic. But before kickoff you’ll need to prepare for the game.

Here are 10 facts to get you ready for the contest!

  1. The game kicks off at 4 p.m. on Pac-12 Network with Roxy Bernstein, Anthony Herron, and Jill Savage on the call. 

  2. At 1-3, Stanford is off to their worst start to a season since 2007, the first year under Jim Harbaugh as the Cardinal head coach. In their 5th game that season, the Cardinal defeated #2 USC despite being 41-point underdogs. The Cardinal are 4-point favorites over the Beavers on Saturday.

  3. RB Jermar Jefferson is 15th in the OSU record book with 1,650 rushing yards and Artavis Pierce is 20th with 1,476 yards. Pierce is currently on OSU career record pace for rushing yards per attempt at 6.0; Jefferson is tied for second at 5.8. In Jeffeerson’s absence, Pierce had 12 carries for 90 yards against Cal Poly. 

  4. WR Isaiah Hodgins leads the Pac-12 (8th nationally) for receiving yards per game at 115.7. Of his 23 receptions for the season, 19 were for either touchdowns or first downs. Pro Football Focus also grades Hodgins out as the top receiver in the Pac-12.

  5. Former head coach Dennis Erickson will be honored at the end of the first quarter for his upcoming induction into the College Football Hall of Fame in December in New York City. Erickson coached at OSU from 1999-2002 leading the program to new heights, including a 41-9 Fiesta Bowl victory over Notre Dame. He was honored last week at Washington State and will be next month at Miami.

  6. Head Coach Jonathan Smith had great success playing Stanford when he suited up for Oregon State. His 405 yard passing performance at Stanford in 1999 remains a school record. Smith also set the school record that stands today with a 97-yard touchdown pass to Chad Johnson at Reser Stadium the following year against Stanford.

  7. The offense has scored a touchdown on the first drive of every game this season. Isaiah Hodgins has two of these touchdowns, against Oklahoma State and Cal Poly respectively.  Against Hawai'i, Jermar Jefferson ran for a 4-yard touchdown to cap off the Beavers’ opening drive. 

  8. OSU co-leads the country for fewest turnovers (1). The Beavers are tied with Appalachian State, Boston College and Iowa. 

  9. The Beaver offensive line is rated second in the nation by Pro Football Focus for pass blocking efficiency. They have allowed only two QB sacks through three games; the best start to a season since the 2003 team gave up two sacks in as many contests.

  10. The Beaver defense has 24 tackles-for-loss this season through three games; nearly half the total for the entire season last year. That ranks 3rd in the Pac-12.

Oregon Duck defense suffocates Stanford but about that offense...

Oregon Duck defense suffocates Stanford but about that offense...

STANFORD, Calif. – A win is a win – at least that’s what most Ducks will think coming away from Oregon’s 21-6 triumph over Stanford late Saturday afternoon. I mean, the Cardinal have been a problem over the last several seasons, including last year when they stole a victory at Autzen.

Except in college football, that’s really not true – a win isn’t always enough. If you want a piece of postseason play or merely a high ranking in the polls at the end of the year, the whole season turns into a beauty contest.

You have to look good. Better than good, in fact. You better look real good – especially when on national television – if you want to pick up votes in the poll, which is critical to having any thought of a playoff berth.

And the Ducks, who managed only three touchdowns against a team that had allowed a combined 90 points in its two previous games, struggled on offense.

Not that the UO defense didn’t continue its stellar run. The Cardinal managed only 234 yards of total offense and was dominated by Oregon’s quick and hard-hitting defense, which hasn’t allowed a touchdown since the opening game of the season.

Oregon chose to run the ball 30 times in this game and netted just 61 yards. And it allowed four sacks. That doesn’t sound like an offensive line that the media touted as one of the best in the country prior to the season.

And while the running game wasn’t consistent all day, Oregon stayed conservative on offense. Quarterback Justin Herbert, with NFL scouts populating the press box, threw the ball only 24 times and completed 19 of them for 259 yards and all three touchdowns.

Just once, I’d like to see the Ducks open up the passing game and give this man about 45 attempts. And if that happened, you can bet the running game would come alive, too.

And OK, I had to ask Coach Mario Cristobal, why didn’t you throw the ball more often, given you seem to have one of the best quarterbacks in the country?

“We’d like to get as many points on the board as possible, so whatever is called – sometimes these are throw/run options,” Cristobal said. “The look, the leverage, the number of the box count, will determine where the ball goes. If I could guarantee 80 points by throwing the ball more, I certainly would. But we’re trying to move the ball, score points and get effective offense.”

OK.

The Ducks are still running a lot of what appears to be a read-option at times but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of reading there, as the ball was handed off every time Saturday by Herbert, rather than pulling it out and taking yards himself.

He admitted after the game that “I probably should have pulled it out a few times,” but he’s pretty comfortable with the backs carrying the ball. I get that – and I understand that the last thing the Ducks need is for Herbert to get hurt.

But if that’s the case, just forget the option – the Cardinal wasn’t honoring Herbert as the possible ball carrier very often, anyway – and just get another back behind the quarterback and go to more of a power running game.

Now don’t get me wrong – the Ducks dominated this game and seemed to have it locked up when they led 14-3 at the half. Not only was their defense suffocating Stanford but their punter, Blake Maimone, was spectacular. He booted the ball six times for an average of 45.7 yards. Those punts kept Stanford backed up in the shadow of its own end zone most of the day.

This one was not close – but it wasn’t impressive, either.

Oregon has a bye next week before squaring off with undefeated California.