The California Golden Bears were hoping for a win over the visiting Oregon State Beavers in order to attain bowl eligibility. They succeeded admirably with a relatively easy 23-6 win at AT&T Park in San Francisco on Saturday night.
There were two big stars for Cal in the game. The first was the Golden Bears defense, which held the Beavers to just two first-half field goals on the evening, and limited the Oregon State running game to just 27 total rushing yards. They also recovered a fumble and grabbed two interceptions.
The other star for Cal was running back Isi Sofele, who racked up 190 yards on 23 carries, with a long of 56 and a 20 yard touchdown in the third quarter. Quarterback Zach Maynard was responsible for the other two Cal touchdowns in the game. In the first quarter, he threw a 19 yard pass to Michael Calvin. He added a 5 yard rushing touchdown in the second quarter.
The California Golden Bears have used the run to dig out of poor field position to take an early halftime lead. Isi Sofele had a big run to help give Cal their first lead of the game over the Oregon St. Beavers. Cal then went to a more methodical approach, using the running attack behind Sofele and C.J. Anderson (42 rushing yards combined) to drive 96 yards down the field for the second TD of the game for the Golden Bears. Quarterback Zach Maynard has done well in support of the Cal run attack, completing 7 of 11 passes, throwing one touchdown and running for another one. He had two crucial completions to Anderson for 22 yards and Keenan Allen for 19 yards to put Cal up 14-3.
Oregon St responded on their final drive of the half, as Sean Mannion drove 43 yards in about a minute by completing five of his six passes to get the Beavers into field goal range. Trevor Romaine knocked in his second field goal of the game to cut the deficit to one score at the completion of the first half.
After some incremental progress on the first drive for Cal, Zach Maynard threw an interception to Lance Mitchell. Oregon State looked as if they were driving again to a second score before Trevor Guyton sacked Mannion and put he Beavers out of field goal range.
With Cal pinned inside at their own nine, Isi Sofele took the opening run of the drive 56 yards after two excellent cutbacks. Zach Maynard then hit Spencer Hagan for a first down and exploited the cover two hole between the safety and the underneath defender to find Michael Calvin for Cal's first points of the game. The Bears lead 7-3 early.
The California Golden Bears are coming off a big victory over the WSU Cougars and are looking to solidify their position among bowl eligible teams. The team needs just one more victory to clinch a postseason birth and they will have a good chance to do so against the struggling Oregon State Beavers.
For the Bears, it is all about building off what worked last weekend. A solid mix of moving the ball both on the ground and through the air worked wonders for a unit that has struggled throughout most of the season.
The Beavers (2-7, 2-4) are not having a good season and have not won since October 22. A win on the road would be absolutely huge for the program going forward. At this point, the coaching staff is looking to build towards 2012.
Start TIme: 6:30 EDT / 3:30 PDT
TV Coverage: Comcast Sports Net California will air the game live.
Radio: KGO News Talk 810 AM will carry the game in the Bay Area.
Fresh off a big victory this past weekend, the California Golden Bears have their eyes set on clinching a bowl bid and making a late season move in the Pac-12 North. With the Oregon State Beavers coming to Berkeley on Saturday, the Bears have a good opportunity to accomplish both of these goals.
As the week began, California opened as 11 point favorites, according to Odds Shark. Other gambling websites such as Bodog and 5 Dimes have the Bears as just 9 1/2 point favorites. Either way, most feel the Bears should have a good chance to come away with a conference victory.
A win could potentially keep Jeff Tedford off the hot seat for at least the near future. A sense of unrest had been growing with the fan base before the win over Washington State and they could be put to rest until the end of the season should California beat the Beavers.