Oregon State (2-7, 0-6) at California (5-4, 2-4)
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Memorial Stadium, Berkeley, California
TV/Radio: Pac-12 Networks/Beaver Sports Network
Series: California leads 35-32. Last season, the Golden Bears defeated OSU, 45-31, at Reser Stadium. Daniel Lasco rushed for 188 yards and three touchdowns to lead Cal, while Jordan Villamin caught nine passes for 140 yards and a TD to pace the Beavers.
California’s last game: Lost 44-28 to Oregon.
Notable: Saturday’s game will mark the fourth time Gary Andersen has coached against Cal coach Sonny Dykes. He has a 1-2 record against Dyke, when he coached at Utah State and Dykes coached Louisiana Tech.
5 Things to Watch:
How will they respond: The Beavers are coming off being shut out at home for the first time since 1997. They also are in the midst of the six-game losing street. While Coach Andersen stresses that morale is fine, actions speak louder than words. How will the players come out?
Who steps up at running back: Bruiser Ryan Nall is out for the season, leaving the Beavers’ already-thin group of backs even more depleted. Offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin has hinted at a surprise. Will it be Paul Lucas?
Can they pressure Goff: Cal is struggling right now, having lost four straight games. But that doesn’t make quarterback Jared Goff any less dangerous. So the Beavers need to get pressure on him, otherwise OSU could be just what the doctor ordered for Goff and Co.
Keep the Cal receivers in check: OSU’s secondary has been hit hard by injuries this season, and the unit has went through a lot of different starters and lineups. Can they hang in there and at least slow the Golden Bears’ deep and talented group of wideouts.
Big plays needed: There’s no question about it, the Beavers are in desperate need of a spark and nothing gets things rolling like a big play or three. It would be nice to see the receivers have a good game, but at this point a couple pick-6s would be awesome, too!
Call me crazy. Or maybe this losing streak is making me delirious. But you have two teams who are in a funk, so just maybe, if the Beavers come out swinging, they can upset Cal. They need to be aggressive and gain momentum early on. Go Beavs! (RW)