Preview: How much will Cal running back Khalfani Muhammad run against Oregon State?

Vic Wharton is back on the inside, and Khalfani Muhammad is back among the living. How will they affect the outcome this weekend against Oregon State?

BERKELEY -- Until her son became the second-leading wide receiver in the nation, Sheri Hansen's brush with fame was attending UC Santa Barbara at the same time as then-nascent radio talk show host Jim Rome. On Wednesday, her little boy -- Chad Hansen -- was a guest on The Jim Rome Show, and no, he hasn't gotten tired of the spotlight, although he still bears it with a bit of unease.

"I still think it's pretty cool," said Hansen, the former walk-on receiver who transferred from Idaho State to be closer to his ailing aunt and the rest of the family, then earned his scholarship this summer, and is on pace for over 2,000 receiving yards this season. "I've never had to deal with this, so it's a blessing, really." Hansen, as a young man, listened to Rome "almost every day" in the car with his mother, so the appearance on the show was a bit surreal.

"She sort of made it out like she knew him," laughed Hansen, "but I don't think so."

Most of the nation now knows Hansen, and while it appears that Arizona State found a way to contain him (nominally, as he still had over 100 yards receiving against the Sun Devils, despite a two-catch, 10-yard second half), but last week, then-No. 18 Utah played a lot of single-high safety looks, which left one side of the field wide open when that safety rolled to cover Hansen.

One of our three things to watch this week when the Bears are on offense is just how the depleted Oregon State secondary deals with Hansen. The Beavers will play a mixture of cover-2 and cover-4, which means deep zones, leaving the underneath routes and medium-depth routes open.

"I know the corner that is on my side is really good," Hansen said. "I've heard that he's an NFL-caliber corner, so that's something I'm going to have to be prepared for." That corner is the bell cow of the Oregon State secondary, Treston Decoud, who has two of the Beavers' four interceptions on the year. Decoud was on Hansen last year at Memorial Stadium, when Hansen caught three balls for 29 yards. There is a shade of what Arizona State did in the secondary, but not much, Hansen said.

"I wouldn't say they're similar, but they do play a lot of different coverages, try to disguise a lot of stuff," Hansen said. "They do play a lot of man, and mix in a little bit of zone, but we don't really know exactly what they're going to be playing against us, but I guess we'll see."

"They do a great job defensive scheming," said quarterback Davis Webb. "Coach [Gary] Anderson is one of the best head coaches in the Pac-12. I think Oregon State, their record may not show that they're a great football team, but we'll have our hands full. If we don't play well on Saturday, they're going to beat us. They're a very good team on defense. Their secondary is the strength of their defense, I believe. Their corners do a good job of mixing up disguises, playing off, playing press, to keep you on your toes a little, kind of like Arizona State does. Thy do a good job, defensively, and we have our hands full as an offense."

Stay tuned for more previews, as we go in-depth with the offense, and then give you our three things to watch on defense, and watch the above video for more on Vic Wharton and Khalfani Muhammad.

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