The Oregon State Beavers (3-4, 2-2 Pac-12) have won another conference road game against the California Golden Bears (4-3, 1-3 Pac-12), by a score of 21-17. The teams tied in total yardage at 282 but Cal's turnover proved to be the difference.
Here are some takeaways from the game.
1. Smith has the team bought in
The Utah game was a disaster and previous Beaver teams would have let it affect them for weeks to come. Not this team.
The Beavers’ start today was reminiscent of their start against UCLA. Both games were a week after a demoralizing loss and Oregon State came ready to play. From the beginning, Oregon State seemed to have more intensity in their play and slowly took control of the game. Coach Smith’s ability to instill a fight like this into the program should leave fans eager to see what his team will play like in future seasons.
Then, in the second half Cal took the lead and held it until late. However, the Beavers fought back to take the lead with 4:41 left in the game off a BJ Baylor run. The resilience shown in the second half showcased the grit of this team. Then on defense, redshirt sophomore cornerback Jaydon Grant intercepted a Cal quarterback Spencer Brasch to get the ball back and finish the game.
2. The offense is good
Cal’s defense ranks among the best in the conference and proved that when they shut out Oregon in Autzen in the first half earlier this year. The Beavers proved their offense is for real by winning the matchup against Cal’s impressive defensive front. Today it didn’t just move the ball against a struggling defense but rather one of the conference’s best.
3. Beavers’ defense is hot and cold
The much-ridiculed Beavers defense showed why there’s reason to be optimistic. A unit that used to be a laughing stock has now put together an impressive first half against Cal. The Oregon State pass rush constantly pressured Cal’s quarterback Devon Mobster into sacks or hurrying up his progression. In short-yardage situations, the Beavers’ defense came up big time and time again to get off the field.
A defensive possession that sticks out was when Cal had a 2nd and 1 on their opening drive, and then got tackled behind the line of scrimmage the next three plays. It not only gave the offense back the ball, but it set the tone for the day, but then the Golden Bears answered.
Cal took the lead in the third quarter by scoring two touchdowns on the Beavers’ defense. The Golden Bears challenged the Beavers’ secondary to beneficial results time and time again whether it be though catches or flags. But in the end, the Beavers’ defense played well enough to win.