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November 18, 2012

Bears fall 62-14 in Corvallis



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CORVALLIS, Ore. -- For many Cal fans, head coach Jeff Tedford's career may as well have ended against Oregon State. Not tonight, though. Not in Corvallis. But five years ago, on Oct. 13, 2007. While the Bears have lost 38 games since that night, Saturday's may have been the last for the 11th-year head coach.

"I don't know," Tedford said, when asked whether he would be back next season. "My job is to develop players. We'll go back tomorrow and get to work."

Cal fell 62-14 to Oregon State on Saturday, with the Beavers (8-2, 6-2 in the Pac-12) benefitting from 12 Bears penalties for a total of 144 yards, as well as four Cal turnovers -- three in the first half -- with three of those turnovers leading directly to scores on the ensuing drives. The loss -- coupled with last week's 59-17 thrashing -- marks the first time since 1973 that the Bears have given up back-to-back 50-point games.

Along with quarterback Zach Maynard and star junior wide receiver Keenan Allen, Cal was also missing starting freshman wide receiver Bryce Treggs, starting outside linebacker Brennan Scarlett (infection in his right hand), starting safety Avery Sebastian (knee) and defensive tackle Viliami Moala (concussion) were unavailable, and none of the three defenders traveled to Corvallis, making it 141 man-games lost due to injury for the Bears this season, including five players who were lost before the season began.

On its first offensive drive, Cal appeared to be in-rhythm, advancing 20 yards on three plays, but after a six-yard run by Isi Sofele, wide receiver Maurice Harris was flagged for illegal hands to the face, costing the Bears 15 yards. After yet another six-yard gain by Sofele, offensive tackle Tyler Rigsbee was flagged for a false start, bringing up third-and-11, and, eventually a Bears punt -- beginning Cal's night-long woes with the yellow laundry.

After starting the night 2-for-2, redshirt junior quarterback Allan Bridgford went 0-for his next four, including an interception by Jordan Poyer on a pass to Darius Powe over the middle, which led to a 44-yard scoring drive by the Beavers, capped by an 11-yard touchdown strike to Markus Wheaton.

Cal ran the ball as effectively as it had all season, with the rain pouring down, gashing the Beavers for 88 yards in the first quarter alone, before finishing the game with 190 yards on the ground. However, the Bears had no answer for Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion, who finished the night 24-for-34 for 325 yards and four touchdowns, with just one interception.

Cal needed to run to even have a chance against Oregon State, as Bridgford finished the first half 11-for-21 for 94 yards and one interception, with the only touchdown drive coming on the back of Sofele, who finished with a team-high 104 yards on 18 carries for his ninth career 100-yard rushing game, but fell five yards short of taking over 10th place on the program's all-time rushing yard rolls. The 5-foot-8 senior touched the ball three times for 32 of Cal's 59 rushing yards on the Bears' nine-play, 82-yard scoring drive with 6:25 left in the first quarter.

It took just two more minutes for the Beavers to engineer another scoring drive, in part thanks to one of Cal's six first-half personal foul penalties (eight on the game), on a hands-to-the-face call on defensive lineman DeAndre Coleman. Aided by the miscue, Oregon State traveled 68 yards in just 1:51 to go up, 14-7, on a one-yard Tyler Anderson touchdown run, necessitated by a TD-saving drag-down tackle on the previous play by inside linebacker Jalen Jefferson.

The Beavers would score another 21 unanswered points before the half, scoring on three of their four second-quarter possessions, while Cal fumbled the ball away twice in the second stanza, with each one leading to an Oregon State touchdown.

The 35-7 score at halftime accounted for the most points the Bears have given up in a first half this season, and their largest halftime deficit.

While Bridgford struggled to an 11-for-21 half, Mannion was very strong, showing off his big arm, going 18-for-24 with 239 yards and four touchdowns before the break, including a 48-yard TD strike to Brandin Cooks -- the first time the dynamic true sophomore touched the ball -- with 10:56 left in the half, at the same moment that Stanford knocked off No. 1 Oregon.

On the Beavers' first drive of the third quarter, Oregon State methodically marched down the field, thanks to a big 26-yard catch-and-run by tight end Connor Hamlett and a pass interference call on corner Steve Williams. After Hamlett was brought down by a Williams arm tackle at the one-yard line, tailback Storm Woods rumbled the final yard for the score, putting the Beavers up, 42-7. Woods would finish the game with 11 carries for 64 rushing yards.

With 10:25 left in the third quarter, Mannion already was 21-of-28 for 296 yards and four touchdowns, while the Bears had more penalty yards (98) than passing yards (92). After two straight Cal three-and-outs, the Beavers engineered yet another drive on the back of a big play, going 66 yards in 1:56 with the final straw being a 47-yard slipping-and-sliding run by Terron Ward, who shook four tackles on his way to the house, making it 49-7, Oregon State.

In all, the Beavers tallied five plays of over 20 yards, including four of at least 38 on the night, with three plays over 20 yards coming through the air.

After a 35-yard scamper by Sofele, the Bears got down to the Oregon State 19 before being pushed back by a holding call on right tackle Bill Tyndall. However, Bridgford -- who finished the game 18-of-31 for 132 yards and one pick -- was able to find Chris Harper for nine yards and Harris for 19. Harris fumbled the catch at the five-yard line, but recovered at the two, setting up a one-yard pitch right by Sofele and then Bridgford's first career rushing touchdown on the QB sneak.

Ward then took over completely for Woods, taking the offense on his back as the Beavers ground 3:14 off the clock with a seven-play, 69-yard scoring drive, finished off by a 17-yard Ward TD rumble to start the fourth quarter. Ward finished the game with 14 carries for 128 yards and two touchdowns.

Malcolm Agnew finished the scoring for Oregon State with an eight-yard touchdown run with 2:15 left in the game.


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