The Beavers lost at Washington on Saturday, however, are now 6-3, 3-3 in the Pac-12, good for sixth place. They’ll try to regroup against a Cal team that has fallen on hard times.
The Golden Bears played closer than expected against USC on Saturday, but still lost by six, dropping their fifth straight game. Cal is 3-6 on the year, 1-5 in the conference and a half game out of last place.
Oregon State’s stay in the top 25 was a short one, but the Beavers will try to get back on a winning track at home this week. Oregon State found itself ranked for the first time in nine seasons after starting the year 6-2, capped off by a three-game winning streak.
California Golden Bears vs. Oregon State Beavers
Saturday, November 12, 2022 – 09:00 PM EST at Reser Stadium
Finding Some Offense
After struggling on offense most of the year, Cal seems to have found a spark in recent weeks. The Golden Bears have scored 80 points in the last three games, including 35 against No. 9 USC.
Cal can still become bowl eligible if it wins out. The Golden Bears have been competitive in many of their losses. In addition to the six-point near miss against USC, Cal lost to Colorado in overtime and Washington and Notre Dame by one score each. So they’re not as shaky as their record might indicate.
Quarterback Jack Plummer had his best game with Cal over the weekend, throwing for 406 yards and three touchdowns against USC. That came a week after coach Justin Wilcox was asked about the QB’s job security.
Freshman running back Jaydn Ott gives the Cal offense a ground threat, and he’s also one of the team’s top receivers. He had seven catches for 70 yards against the Trojans. Receiver Jeremiah Hunter had 102 yards and a score against USC, while J. Michael Sturdivant had eight catches. So suddenly, Cal has a number of offensive options.
Bounceback for Beavers
Oregon State will look to rebound from its loss at Washington as the Beavers return home. Oregon State has won three of four home games and nearly upset then No. 7 USC in September, losing 17-14.
The Beavers have also found a new offensive weapon in freshman running back Damien Martinez. He earned his first start of his career last Saturday, at Washington, and responded with his third straight 100-yard rushing day.
He’s the first Oregon State true freshman to do that since Jacquizz Rodgers in 2008. He’s averaged nearly 7 yards per carry over those three games and nearly half his carries (28 of 57) have gone for first downs or touchdowns over that span.
Oregon State's Stats
Oregon State is ranked No. 17 in the country in rushing touchdowns. The passing game should also get a boost from facing Cal’s secondary. The Golden Bears have the worst passing defense in the Pac-12.
The Oregon State defense has been a big part of the team’s success this year. They’ve held the last four opponents to three yards per carry and an average of 75 yards per game. They’ve also recorded 11 interceptions and allowed just nine passing touchdowns.
USC is the only other Pac-12 team to intercept more passes than the number of touchdowns allowed, and only 18 teams nationwide have done so. The Beavers lead the Pac-12 in passes defended and are fifth nationally. They’re also fourth in the Pac-12 in passing yards allowed.
Oregon State is winning the games it’s supposed to. According to the NCAAF odds, the Beavers are 6-0 when favored in a game this season.
Cal has managed to avoid the blowout losses so far this season, but the Golden Bears' newfound offense will be tested against one of the best defenses in the Pac-12, against the run and pass.
For this betting pick, Oregon State should be able to grind away with its running game to control things against the visiting Golden Bears.
Score Prediction: Oregon State 31 - Cal 13
NCAAF Pick: Under 49 (-110) at Bovada
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