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Cal Football

Bears Face Beavers With Pride On The Line

November 9, 2022
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Close only counts in horseshoes and social distancing. A valiant, late effort against USC last week resulted in a fifth-straight loss for the Golden Bears of California. While becoming bowl-eligible is still mathematically possible, it seems about as unlikely as Berkeley voting Republican.

With pride on the line, Cal heads off to Corvallis, where, although hostile, at least the crowd will be small.  Reser Stadium is undergoing a major overhaul, and the west side is unusable for spectators after demolition and while under reconstruction, so the current capacity is just over 26,000.

Those seats will likely be full, however, as the Beavers are having the kind of season Justin Wilcox and Cal fans envisioned for the Golden Bears. 6-3 overall, 3-3 in the conference, Oregon State became bowl-eligible during October for only the fourth time in program history.

The Beavers are a solid defensive team. It’s not easy to run on them – over their past four games, against Washington, Colorado, Washington State, and Stanford, they have allowed a TOTAL of 297 yards rushing – only Washington reached triple figures, and barely, with 100 net yards on the ground.

So, rely on the passing game? Not so fast, my friend. OSU ranks #1 in the conference and #12 nationally with 55 passes defensed this year, allowing just over 238 yards per game.  Beaver defenders have intercepted 11 passes while only allowing nine touchdowns by air in nine games.
On Offense, OSU likes to run the ball. Over nine contests, they are averaging 39 rushing attempts per game, gaining 4.9 yards per carry. That helps explain why the Beaver offense consistently wins the time of possession battle, averaging 33:30 in their home games. Under head coach Jonathan Smith, the Beavers are 14-4 when controlling the ball more than 32 minutes in a game.

It's not that they don’t pass, or aren’t good at it. They have thrown the ball 232 times so far this season and they are averaging 9.8 yards per attempt and 13.6 yards per completion, while OSU quarterbacks boast an efficiency rating of 138.6. As this is being written, it is unclear who will start at quarterback for Oregon State. Chance Nolan started their first 5 games, but suffered a concussion early in the game versus Utah and has not yet been cleared to play. His backup, Ben Gulbranson, has been very effective, leading the team to a 3-1 record while completing 73 of 118 passes for 5 TDs and 905 yards.

When they pass, OSU mostly throws to their wideouts, Tre-Shaun Harrison (39 catches, 492 yds, 3 TDs), Anthony Gould (25-408-3) and Tyjon Lindsey (21-231-1), with the less-frequently used Silas Bolden chipping in 10 catches for 129 yards and 3 TDs.  Tight end Luke Musgrave has missed 7 games with an undisclosed injury; Musgrave started the year on the Mackey watch list. OSU has turned to freshman Jack Velling at the tight end spot, but the Beavers will use up to three tight ends in some running sets.

Oregon State has a triumvirate of productive tailbacks, with Jam Griffin and Deshaun Fenwick handling the bulk of carries early in the season. Of late, freshman Damien Martinez has asserted himself, having rushed for 100 or more yards in each of the Beavers’ last three games, becoming the first true freshman running back to do so for the Beavers since Jacquizz Rodgers in 2008. Martinez earned his first career start last week against Washington.

The Beavers tend to finish scoring drives on the ground. They rank 17th nationally with 23 rushing touchdowns, and their not-so-secret weapon in that area is “fullback” Jack Colletto. Colletto has 22 career rushing touchdowns for Oregon State, currently tied for 10th in program history, but just 3 scores behind Bill Enyart, a Beaver stalwart under legendary coach Dee Andros in the 60’s. Enyart is in 6th place in program history.  Colletto has 14 rushing touchdowns on just 54 carries since the start of the 2021 season. Colletto is listed on the roster as a linebacker, but obviously one cut from the Myles Jack mold.

Kickoff from Reser is set for 6 pm Saturday; the game will be televised on the Pac-12 network, featuring Ted Robinson and Yogi Roth on the call.

Other stories:

Ultimate Insider Podcast E48: Cal-USC Recap -Audio

Tuesday Weekly Cal Football Report

Discussion from...

Bears Face Beavers With Pride On The Line

1,373 Views | 6 Replies | Last: 13 days ago by 6956bear
Econ141
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"While becoming bowl-eligible is still mathematically possible, it seems about as unlikely as Berkeley voting Republican."

Once the writers have lost hope on the season, you know we are at rock bottom.

As a cal fan, I always frustratingly have hope.
KoreAmBear
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Econ141 said:

"While becoming bowl-eligible is still mathematically possible, it seems about as unlikely as Berkeley voting Republican."

Once the writers have lost hope on the season, you know we are at rock bottom.

As a cal fan, I always frustratingly have hope.
Well it's not that implausible.

If our offense continues what it did in the 2nd half of the SC game -- I know, a big if -- we could shock Oregon State.

Then Furd is a winnable game.

Then game v. UCLA would be like a game 7 at home, anything can happen and hopefully UCLA is demoralized after it's playoff hopes are shattered. You never know what state you will catch a team. And we would have a renewed energy. Although it shouldn't have mattered, CU was in its best state against us, with some new found hope after firing Dorrell.

Let's just start with beating Oregon State, then we can go from there.
72CalBear
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KoreAmBear said:

Econ141 said:

"While becoming bowl-eligible is still mathematically possible, it seems about as unlikely as Berkeley voting Republican."

Once the writers have lost hope on the season, you know we are at rock bottom.

As a cal fan, I always frustratingly have hope.
Well it's not that implausible.

If our offense continues what it did in the 2nd half of the SC game -- I know, a big if -- we could shock Oregon State.

Then Furd is a winnable game.

Then game v. UCLA would be like a game 7 at home, anything can happen and hopefully UCLA is demoralized after it's playoff hopes are shattered. You never know what state you will catch a team. And we would have a renewed energy. Although it shouldn't have mattered, CU was in its best state against us, with some new found hope after firing Dorrell.

Let's just start with beating Oregon State, then we can go from there.
Love the optimism. That's why many of us are still here I guess!!
calumnus
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KoreAmBear said:

Econ141 said:

"While becoming bowl-eligible is still mathematically possible, it seems about as unlikely as Berkeley voting Republican."

Once the writers have lost hope on the season, you know we are at rock bottom.

As a cal fan, I always frustratingly have hope.
Well it's not that implausible.

If our offense continues what it did in the 2nd half of the SC game -- I know, a big if -- we could shock Oregon State.

Then Furd is a winnable game.

Then game v. UCLA would be like a game 7 at home, anything can happen and hopefully UCLA is demoralized after it's playoff hopes are shattered. You never know what state you will catch a team. And we would have a renewed energy. Although it shouldn't have mattered, CU was in its best state against us, with some new found hope after firing Dorrell.

Let's just start with beating Oregon State, then we can go from there.


I agree, though the people who blame the OL do not.

With good playcalling, these games are each winnable and if we had good playcalling from the beginning we could have been one of the second tier teams at least, instead of the bottom.
Bobodeluxe
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A foundational effort.
6956bear
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Well they did not play like a team with pride on the line. They looked like they could hardly wait to get outta Corvallis.
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