BY 750 THE GAME STAFF
Each week our staff at 750 The Game and fellow Pac-12 experts predict the score of every Oregon State Beavers game. This week No. 15 Oregon State (4-1) travels to Berkeley to take on the California Golden Bears (3-2). The Vegas line is Oregon State -9.5.
Cal is better than advertised. It should have won vs. Auburn in Week 2, but lost the game 14-10. The offense hasn’t been a consistent performer. Oregon State’s defense – which is allowing only 67 yards per game rushing – present a challenge this week for the Bears. I suspect we’ll see a little more of Aidan Chiles here and there at quarterback for OSU on Saturday. He played one series vs. Utah last week. But DJ Uiagalelei will continue to start and is more than capable of helping his team with this game.
Oregon State 24, Cal 14
The point spread reflects current views of each team but isn’t indicative of the broader series trend: The Bears have won three of the past four in Berkeley and the lone loss, in 2019, was by four points. Like every OSU game, this will be decided in close quarters at the line of scrimmage. The Beavers average 206 rushing yards per game and will dare Cal’s stout run defense to slow tailback Damien Martinez on first down. If the Bears are successful, they should hang around long enough for one play either way to determine the outcome. A must-win game for the Beavers if they hope to stay within range of a berth in the conference championship.
Pick: Cal +9.5
Cal has really struggled on defense at points this season, and I think Oregon State can find some success through both the air and the ground game. Don’t be surprised if DJ Uiagalelei has a little bit more success against the same Golden Bears defense that surrendered 344 passing yards to Arizona State’s third-string quarterback on Saturday. The Beaver defense should be just fine against a team that still hasn’t decided which quarterback to entrench as a starter this season.
Oregon State 31, Cal 17
Jaydn Ott ran for 165 yards last week against Arizona State and may very well be the best player on the field when Cal is on offense – better than any of Oregon State’s defenders. I think Cal can score some points against the Beavers. Last time we saw Oregon State on the road they were giving up 38 points to Washington State and losing. The final score was closer than the game actually was. DJ Uiagalelei is still not where I would like him to be even though the receivers have stepped up. Cal can keep this game close and I actually think Cal is live to win the game. Oregon State should be on upset alert.
Oregon State 28, Cal 27
The absences of James Rawls and Calvin Hart Jr. in the first half — both of whom are serving targeting suspensions, what a great rule — make me worried about OSU’s ability to slow down Jaydn Ott early in this game. And if Ott gets going early, it will be tough to pull away from California. I smell a close game, but the Beavers will survive with some clutch defense and a fourth-quarter touchdown drive.
Oregon State 27, Cal 24