2011 Prediction & Game Story
Week 11, Oregon State at Cal
Pac-12 Fearless Predictions &
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Nov. 12 at California 23 … Oregon State 6
CFN Analysis: Is it possible to have stranger blowout win? The Cal home games have been weird all season long, uprooted to AT&T Park, but there were too many mistakes, a slow start, and a slow, steady stream of production in a drip, drip, drip sort of game that was never out of the team’s control. … The 15 penalties were way too many, but that was about the only thing that went really wrong. … Zach Maynard has stepped up his play when the team has needed him the most, completing 13-of-19 passes for 128 yards with a score and a touchdown. He’s not being asked to do anything out of his comfort zone, and it helps when Isi Sofele is running for 190 yards and a score. … D.J. Holt had a huge game making ten tackles with several plays behind the line and a broken up pass. … Cal is going bowling, and now it’s gravy time. A win over Stanford or Arizona State would make the regular season.
It’s not like Oregon State has any bad losses. UCLA is the team’s worst defeat, but it’s not like things are improving. The offense continues to be dead flat, scoring a total of 27 points in the last three games since hanging 44 on Washington State. … Turnover margin continues to be a big problem for a team that can’t afford to make any mistakes. The Beavers gave it away three times and were -2. … Sean Mannion is a positive, though, to build around. He’s not leading the way to points and he threw two picks, but he threw for 247 yards. … There’s still time to come up with something positive. Can OSU come up with a good performance in the home finale against Washington, or better yet, stun Oregon in the Civil War? The defensive front has to do a better job of generating pressure into the backfield to have a shot in either game.
(AP) SAN FRANCISCO -- Isi Sofele rushed for a career-high 190 yards and one touchdown, quarterback Zach Maynard threw for one score and ran for another, and California beat Oregon State 23-6 on Saturday night.
The win, the Golden Bears' third in four games, makes them bowl eligible after sitting out the postseason last year. It also snapped Cal's four-game losing streak to the Beavers.
Backup running back C.J. Anderson ran for 96 yards and wide receiver Michael Calvin, a fifth-year senior, caught his first career touchdown for the Bears, who overcame a season-high 15 penalties in their final game at AT&T Park. Cal (6-4, 3-4 Pac-12) will move back home to Memorial Stadium, which underwent a $321 million facelift, for the 2012 season.
Sean Mannion passed for 247 yards for Oregon State (2-8, 2-5), but the Beavers turned the ball over twice inside the 5-yard line.
Sofele, whose previous high of 138 yards was set in last week's win over Washington State, easily eclipsed that mark while anchoring a ground game that dominated the last-place Beavers.
Cal outgained Oregon State 296-27 on the ground and held the ball for more than 36 minutes while beating the Beavers for the first time since Sept. 30, 2006.
The Bears had not won at home in this 106-year-old rivalry since 1997 but easily handled the Beavers, who have dropped three straight.
It could have been worse.
Sofele had a 29-yard touchdown run negated by a holding penalty, and Anderson had scoring runs of 44 and 19 yards wiped out by yellow flags.
Cal's defense made sure it didn't matter by forcing three turnovers in the second half.
Cornerback D.J. Campbell intercepted a deflected pass by Mannion at the Bears 4-yard line to stop one drive, safety Sean Cattouse recovered a fumble at the 3 and linebacker Mychal Kendricks picked off a Mannion pass with 32 seconds left to end the Beavers' night.
Mannion played well but got little help from the rest of Oregon State's offense. Several of Mannion's passes were dropped, while the 27 rushing yards were the second-fewest by the Beavers this season.
Maynard got off to a shaky start before he got the Bears rolling with a pair of long scoring drives.
Cal's junior quarterback, who was knocked out of last week's win over Washington State after getting hit in the head while trying to recover a fumble, was intercepted by Oregon State safety Lance Mitchell on an underthrown pass early in the first quarter.
After they punted and pinned the Bears at their own 9-yard line, Sofele got them out of the hole quickly with a 56-yard burst up the middle on a trap play. Sofele ran twice more for 13 yards and Maynard completed one pass and took a sack before finding Calvin for a 19-yard touchdown.
Maynard later directed a 96-yard scoring march that took nearly nine minutes off the clock.
Cal overcame three penalties on the drive, including back-to-back holding calls inside the Beavers 10-yard line, but got a big break when Oregon State linebacker Rusty Fernando hit Keenan Allen in the back of the head with his forearm after Allen had been stopped well short of the end zone on a third-and-goal play.
That gave the Bears an automatic first down, and Maynard made it pay off when he scampered into the end zone on a keeper around the left side to make it 14-3.
The Beavers cut the gap to 14-6 on Trevor Romaine's second field goal of the game, a 46-yarder with 2 seconds left in the half.
Oregon State wide receiver James Rodgers caught six passes for 76 yards. He needs three receptions over the next two games to break the school's single-season record held by Mike Hass.
Oregon State (2-7) at California (5-4) Nov. 12, 6:30, Root
Here’s The Deal … If Cal is going to make a coveted return to the postseason after skipping last year, it’ll need to get past an old nemesis. No matter the record of either school, the Golden Bears always seem to have trouble with Oregon State, losing four straight and 10 of the last 12 in the series. The program has used its adopted home of AT&T Park as a launching point, handily beating Utah and Washington State in San Francisco over the last three weeks. On the road, however, where Cal will spend the final two weekends, it has been horrendous, making this weekend a must-win for bowl eligibility.
The Beavers were never quite able to hit their stride this season, the second straight under Mike Riley that the program will not be bowling. While there were glimmers of hope with October wins over Arizona and Washington State, they quickly faded with back-to-back losses to Utah and Stanford. Over the next three weekends, Oregon State will be resigned to a spoiler’s role, which ought to concern upwardly-mobile Cal, Washington and Oregon.
Why Oregon State Might Win: Fast and loose; that’s how the Beavers will play this weekend’s game now that the postseason is officially off the table. They’ll be facing a Cal team that’s been wildly inconsistent on offense, too often sputtering with its execution. Oregon State has shown signs of making strides on defense, plugging a few of the holes that plagued it earlier in the year. It boasts the athletic linebackers to corral RB Isi Sofele, while defensive backs Lance Mitchell and Anthony Watkins will press up to narrow the field for QB Zach Maynard. WR Keenan Allen aside, the Bears are light on playmakers capable of stretching the field out.
Why Cal Might Win: What has happened to an Oregon State offense that was supposed to enjoy a revival with the healthy returns of RB Malcolm Agnew and receivers James Rodgers and Joe Halahuni? Oddly enough, it’s actually regressed with only 21 points over the last two games. Cal’s 3-4 defense is capable of keeping that trend going.
The Bears are 19th nationally in total D, generating a steady push at the line of scrimmage from linemen Trevor Guyton and Ernest Owusu, and linebackers Mychal Kendricks and D.J. Holt. Facing a tattered Beavers offensive line, Cal will win the battle at the point of attack, forcing skittish QB Sean Mannion into costly turnovers.
What To Watch Out For: The Cal offensive line is coming off arguably its best game of the season, allowing just one sack, and springing Sofele for a career-best 138 yards on the ground. Even better, it did so without LG Brian Schwenke, who’s back atop the two-deep for this week’s tilt. The Bears—and Maynard in particular—really need a similar effort from the front wall this weekend in order to maximize the skills of the playmakers. When Maynard has time to set his feet, Allen becomes one of the most lethal pass-catchers in America.
What Will Happen: Cal is the better team, and has more motivation, but this is a tricky spot in a game that has to be put in the win column. The Bears will struggle against a Beavers team that’s going to take chances, and play with absolutely nothing to lose. Playing at home with a superior defense, though, will help guide them through the woods. It won’t be pretty or without the occasional hiccups, but it will be effective in the quest for bowl eligibility. Cal will tough out a hard-fought victory, finally breaking through against pesky Oregon State.
CFN Prediction: Cal 27 … Oregon State 16
- Click For Latest Line From ATS: California -9.5 O/U: 50.5
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