Cal vs. Oregon State prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins Saturday night’s matchup between the Golden Bears and Beavers.
When: Saturday, Oct. 8 – 9:00 p.m. ET
Where: Reser Stadium, Corvallis, Oregon
TV Broadcast: Pac-12 Network
To Cal’s credit, it is undefeated after losses this season. Taken another way: the Golden Bears have not been able to find a consistent brand of football so far. They sandwiched a loss on the road at San Diego State with wins over Hawaii and Texas. Then Cal lost a shootout with Arizona State two weeks ago before taking down Utah last week on the road, 28-23. Talk about a rollercoaster season.
As for Oregon State, the season has been a little less kind. The Beavers’ only win has come against Idaho State in Week 2, 37-7, and that followed a loss on the road at Minnesota. Two weeks ago, Oregon State fell at home to Boise State, and last week, it dropped a road game to Colorado, 47-6. The Beavers’ only lead of the game came on a field goal in the first quarter, and it lasted for about two minutes.
The all-time series between the Golden Bears and Beavers has been extremely close over the years. Cal leads it, 36-32, and it’s taken the last two matchups. Last year’s meeting in Berkeley ended with a 54-24 win for the Golden Bears.
What To Know About Cal
Davis Webb is going to sling the ball all over the place. He’s been doing it through five games, and that’ll only continue as the season progresses. Sonny Dykes isn’t going to give him the red light now. He and Chad Hansen have really been on the same page. Webb completed 22-of-35 passes for 306 yards with four touchdowns last week. Hansen brought in five of those passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns. True freshman Demetris Robertson, one of the most electrifying recruits from the 2016 class, also supplied four catches for 97 yards and two touchdowns.
The running game, though, was anything but brilliant for Cal. Vic Enwere was given only nine carries, and he took them for a measly 31 yards. Tre Watson took his four carries for 37 yards. The Golden Bears rank No. 115 in rushing offense with 119.40 yards per game, whereas their passing game is No. 2 in the country with 428.6 yards per game.
What to Know About Oregon State
Darell Garretson doesn’t have nearly the same amount of freedom to hurl the ball deep like Webb does. Garretson is getting the start over Conor Blount, and has completed 54.9 percent of his passes for 508 yards with three touchdowns this season. He and Blount split time last week, and they combined for 13-of-32 passing for 100 yards. However, Blount did throw two interceptions.
Ryan Nall, arguably the Beavers’ biggest offensive weapon, was unable to get going against Colorado. He was given only nine carries and ran for 35 yards. He also caught only one pass for one yard. Art Pierce was given eight carries for 61 yards, but it was not a great day for the Oregon State offense. The Beavers rank No. 121 in total offense with 312 yards per game.
Offense: Cal – Webb will throw the rock until his arm falls off, and Hansen will be waiting to catch it every time Plus, Robertson is a star in the making.
Defense: Oregon State – The Beavers have to get more of a pass rush against Cal than they did versus Colorado, but Oregon State is still stingier than the Golden Bears’ No. 112-ranked defense (481.8 yards/game).
Special Teams: Oregon State – Garrett Owens is reliable in the kicking game, and Victor Bolden has already amassed 286 kick return yards and brought one back to the house.
Coaching: Cal – Sonny Dykes and Jake Spavital know what they’re doing on offense. They’re why the Golden Bears get the nod.
Matchup To Watch
Demetris Robertson vs. Oregon State secondary
Robertson has the foot speed to create separation in the blink of an eye. He did it against Utah, and he can do it against Oregon State. Cal did a great job of varying and hiding routes to help get Robertson open deep down the field. But even if the Beavers guard against that and send safety help over the top, Robertson is explosive enough to turn short passing plays into long gains. When he gets in the open field, there’s no telling what he’s going to do. If Webb starts to look for Robertson more, Oregon State will be sorry.
Spread: Cal -13.5
Cal vs. Oregon State Prediction
One would argue that last week was Robertson’s breakout game. Sure, but let’s call that breakout game 1A, and this will be breakout game 1B. He’s going catch another touchdown pass and reel in a few grabs. Webb will work the ball around, though. He’ll find Hansen in short yardage situations and get the chain gang moving up the field. Cal will be Cal. It will toss the ball until the air comes out of it, hang 40-plus on Oregon State and earn it’s back-to-back victories for the first time this season.
Cal vs. Oregon State Score Prediction: Cal 45, Oregon State 28