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Cal Football

Bears Hammered by Beavers, 38-10

November 12, 2022

RESER STADIUM - A week after a 28-point second half rally nearly netted them a comeback road win over #9 USC, the Bears looked to build on their late game offensive explosion to give 6-3/3-3 Oregon State a run for their money in their second two-game road trip of the season.

Mission not accomplished as the Bears failed miserably to string together any semblance of an offense or a competitive game, falling to OSU 38-10 on a frigid night in Corvallis. 

How deep was the offense’s futility? 4 quarters and 60 minutes netted the woeful Cal offense just 160 total yards and just a single field goal of offensive point production.

The defense wasn’t much better, giving up 31 points and nearly 11 yards per reception, though they were solid against the rush most of the evening.

“The performance is unacceptable,” said Wilcox after the game. We can’t accept that, regardless of who’s on the field. We’re going to go back and work hard to get better. There’s no other way to do it.”

The Beavers drew first blood in their first possession. After the Bears got a third down stop at midfield, OSU rolled the dice, going for it on 4th-and-1 from the Cal 47. In a bit of masterful execution, inside linebacker and short yardage specialist Jack Colletto took the snap and hit a streaking Anthony Gould for a diving 37-yard catch at the Cal 10 with corner Jeremiah Earby badly trailing.

Again facing 4th-and-one, OSU converted again with QB Ben Gulbranson taking it in with a QB keeper to give the Beavers a 7-0 lead with 5:37 left in the first quarter.

After managing to recover a Jermaine Terry fumble in the first series, the Bears weren’t so lucky on the turnover front in their next drive. Just the first play after the kickoff, ILB Kyrei Fisher-Morris jumped a quick slant at the Cal 31 and intercepted a Plummer pass. Just 6 plays later, the Bears found themselves trailing by two touchdowns before the first quarter ended when running back Jam Griffin ran through ILB Jackson Sirmon for a 5-yard TD scamper with 2:14 remaining in the quarter.

“The guy made a good play on me but inexcusable play by me,” said Plummer. “It’s one I wish I could have back, one where it changed the direction of the game. I think it gave them a big momentum boost and we basically spotted them 7 there.”

The miserable offensive stat line at the quarter break told the story with Cal’s 5 total yards in three possessions a stark contrast to OSU’s 101 yards and 2 TDs.

After the next Cal possession went for negative yards, OSU took over at the Cal 47 following a 15-yard Gould return on the 47-yard Jamieson Sheahan punt. The Bears finally managed to force a punt on the drive but were pinned back at their 4 on a perfect Luke Loecher punt.

After another 3-and-out, Sheahan was pinned in the back of the end zone for his punt but still managed to get off a rocket to the OSU 45 but returner Gould left several Bear defenders flailing in his wake on the return for a 55-yard TD return. Just 18 minutes into the game and the Bears trailed by 21 and had just one first down.

Still down 21 with less than 3 minutes left in the half, the Bears finally discovered a pulse. With OSU facing 3rd-and-1 at their 36, running back Damien Martinez was rocked on a big hit by DT Jaden Roberts. With the ball loose in the flat, cornerback Earby scooped up the ball and quickly scampered for a 33-yard scoop and score to go down 21-7 after the Dario Longhetto PAT with 2:33 left in the half, a score that would hold up heading into the break.

“As the play developed, I was just reading my man and saw that he was around the play and went to fill the gap,” said Earby. Then I saw the ball and said, ‘Okay, let’s grab it. I’ve got green grass ahead of me,’ so I just grabbed it and ran and kept running. 

It was the first scoop and score of Earby’s prep and collegiate career.

It was a rare moment of success for the Bears in the half as the offense only managed to best the defense by just 20 net yards with their meager 53 first half yards.

OSU took the second half kickoff and went on the move again, driving to the Cal 25 before settling for a 49-yard Everett Hayes field goal to extend their lead to 24-7 to start the half. The Bears tried to counter with a field goal of their own the next possession but a dying quail by Longhetto from 48 missed badly wide left.

OSU wasted no time moving the ball again, going on a 7-play, 70-yard drive culminating in a Gubranson TD pass to receiver Tre’Shaun Harrison for the 8-yard score to extend their lead to 31-7 with 4:03 left in the third quarter.

Adding to their futility on the night, the Bears had a chance to make a dent in OSU’s lead after their best drive of the night. Facing 2nd-and-goal from the 5, Plummer retreated from a heavy Beaver rush, retreated and retreated some more before attempting a throwaway that failed to reach the line of scrimmage, netting them a 24-yard loss on the intentional grounding call. The Bears ended up settling for a 36-yard Michael Luckhurst field goal -his first of his Cal career- to finally reach double digits, 31-10 with 12:30 remaining in the game.

It didn’t get any better from there, with OSU putting together back-to-back TD drives, this time driving 65 yards in 11 plays, punching it in again with Gulbranson hitting tight end Jack Velling for a 2-yard TD to extend their lead to 38-10 with 7 minutes left in the game.

Though the game was clearly out of reach at that point starting QB Plummer was still at the helm and unable to gain more than a single first down before the Bears punted again. Wilcox noted they’d planned to put backup Kai Millner in for the next possession or two but OSU salted away the final five minutes of the game so he didn’t get the chance to play.

Neither team dented the scoreboard from there as the Bears fell, 38-10 to fall to 3-7/1-5 to eliminate any chance to sneak into a bowl game with a 6-6 record after six straight losses. OSU moved to 7-3/4-3 as they continue to build a quality program in year five of head coach Jonathan Smith’s return to his alma mater after struggling for his first few years at the helm.

The Bears were led on defense by soph MLB Femi Oladejo with a career-high 13 tackles and a TFL and safety Daniel Scott with 8, a pass breakup and a ½ TFL.

Plummer totaled 22-for-34 passing (65%) for 151 yards and one interception. Starting running back Jaydn Ott was only able to pick up 20 yards on 8 carries with no room to run. Jeremiah Hunter led the receivers with 6 catches for 67 yards, including the catch of the night with a difficult back shoulder grab.

“They did a good job keeping us behind the sticks then on third down hitting us with some pressure packages, breaking our protection rules and finding ways to bring free hitters,” noted Plummer. “Credit to them. They did play well on defense but we also did not play well on offense.”

The Bears were without perhaps their best lineman in Ben Coleman, who’s still recovering from an injury sustained in their loss to USC last week as well as several starters on defense but the thorough dominance of the Beavers’ win over Cal can hardly be fully-attributed to the injuries and Wilcox wasn’t buying into the excuse for the loss.

“You never want to lose people but that’s an unfortunate part of the game,” said Wilcox. “So the other players on the roster have to prepare to go out and play the game. I think everyone out there besides maybe some special teams are on scholarship and that’s what we brought them here to do. They signed up and we need them to step up and perform. And we’ve got to do a better job as coaches preparing those guys as well.”

The Bears will have to regather and prepare to face fellow 3-7 Stanford in the Big Game next weekend in Berkeley to stem the tide from their 6-game losing streak, though after being eliminated from any slim bowl contention dreams, they're just playing for pride at this point.

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Bears Hammered by Beavers, 38-10

1,646 Views | 2 Replies | Last: 6 mo ago by Trumpanzee
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Bears Gnawed By Beavers?

Bears Dammed By Beavers?
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I remember when the Beaves were the doormat of the Pac12, now we own the sad. Last night Wilcox looked he was walking the Green mile.....
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