Oregon State is hoping to continue its surprising run to a potential Pacific-12 Conference football championship when the Beavers face Cal on Saturday afternoon in Berkeley, Calif.
The five-of-six winners since an opening loss to Purdue, Oregon State (5-2, 3-1 Pac-12) grabbed conference attention last Saturday with their second shock in the past four weeks, overthrowing Utah 42-34.
The Beavers won 45-27 in Southern California on September 25.
Oregon State comes into play this week tied with Oregon’s No.7 atop Pac-12 North. The rivals are set to meet on Nov. 27, but the Beavers face Cal (2-5, 1-3), Colorado, Stanford and Arizona State in between.
Oregon State catches up with Cal as he rides the momentum of his most impressive effort of the season, a 26-3 home bombing from Colorado. The Golden Bears had lost a few inches a week earlier in a 24-17 loss at the time. 9 Oregon.
The game pits quarterback Cal Chase Garbers against prominent Oregon State defensive end Avery Roberts.
Garbers completed 22 of 29 passes for 225 yards and two touchdowns in the win over Colorado. The senior also did some serious ground damage, rushing 10 times for 96 yards.
Along the way, Garber broke Joe Kapp’s career race record at Cal for quarterfinals.
“All the credit goes to the other 10 guys on offense,” Garbers said. “They are the reason I can run, why I can pitch, the reason I succeed in this school and in this offense.”
When Garbers runs on Saturday, it would be wise to run away from Roberts, who made 16 tackles in the Beavers’ win over Utah, an effort for which he earned Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week honors.
The junior linebacker is third in the country with 11.1 tackles per game.
Oregon State coach Jonathan Smith gives credit to the guys ahead of Roberts.
“The (defensive) line of scrimmage has been better this year,” said Smith, “and that has given linebackers like Avery Roberts the production that he is. We’re doing some things on the line of scrimmage for the keep free.
Oregon State has beaten Cal in the last two meetings, including 21-17 in 2019 when schools last tangled in Berkeley.
-Media at field level