The long regional nightmare for the citizens of Corvallis, OR, continued this weekend, as the Oregon State Beavers traveled to Berkeley, CA, to take on the California Golden Bears. Unfortunately, the Bears proved to be too much for the Beavers, winning 54-24, to drop Oregon State to 2-8 on the season, including an 0-7 mark in Pac-12 Conference play.
Cal built a 24-3 lead late in the first half, and although OSU scored its own touchdown in the final seconds of the second quarter to make it 24-10, the Beavers were unable to sustain any of the momentum into the second half. The Golden Bears got two TD passes from Jared Goff in the first five minutes of the third quarter to effectively bury Oregon State for good.
The Beavers never gave up, however, scoring two third-quarter TDs of their own, but Cal scored the only points of the fourth quarter to keep the game well out of reach for Oregon State. In the end, the Golden Bears racked up 760 yards of total offense on the defenseless Beavers, and few teams win when they give up that many yards.
Oregon State quarterback Nick Mitchell played better than he has at any time this year, but it was far from enough. For just the second time in four games, Mitchell completed 50 percent of his passing attempts, going 14-for-28 in this one. But those 28 throws only went for 161 yards, despite the nice two TD throws in the midst of the bunch. Mitchell also ran effectively for once, gaining a career-high 49 yards.
The Beavers ran the ball effectively, gaining 204 yards on 34 carries, for a 6.0 per run average. However, Oregon State could manage just a 4-for-15 effort on third downs, once again demonstrating an inability to sustain long scoring drives. This left the defense too vulnerable, yet again—Cal had the ball for more than 33 minutes in this matchup.
“We had a hard time playing together as a team,” Beavers Head Coach Gary Andersen told the media after the game. “When one side was playing well, the other side played poor. It just kept going back and forth.”
That can happen with young teams, and the Oregon State roster is the youngest one in the Pac-12 this season. Injuries have made it even younger as the season has progressed. Hence, the Beavers lost at Memorial Stadium for the first time since 1997.
Next week, Oregon State hosts the 4-6 Washington Huskies for the final home game of the season at Reser Stadium. The Beavers’ final game of the season is the Civil War: a matchup against in-state rival Oregon on the Friday after Thanksgiving, in Eugene.
The Ducks pulled off a huge upset against the Stanford Cardinal yesterday, all but burying the Pac-12 Conference’s chances of landing its champion in the College Football Playoff. With the Huskies desperate for bowl eligibility and the Ducks back flying high, it looks as if Oregon State will end the season on a nine-game losing streak—all in league play.