Oct. 2, 2004
By ANNE M. PETERSON
AP Sports Writer
CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) - A long layoff didn't slow No. 10 California. On the contrary.
The Golden Bears jumped out to a 28-7 lead over Oregon State before halftime and never let up in a 49-7 rout on Saturday.
Cal (3-0, 1-0 Pac-10) had not played for 20 days. A game against Southern Mississippi, originally scheduled for Sept. 16, was postponed by Hurricane Ivan.
"We had three weeks to focus on Oregon State," Cal cornerback Tim Mixon said. "I think that helped us out a lot."
California showed no lethargy against the Beavers, with Marshawn Lynch's 69-yard kickoff return to start the game. Rodgers capped the opening drive with an 11-yard scoring pass to Lyman, who pulled down the ball while sprinting through the end zone.
The Beavers (1-4, 0-2) responded with Dwight Wright's 45-yard touchdown run, evening the score. But it was as much as overmatched Oregon State could muster.
The Golden Bears' offense was not only faster than the Beavers, but Oregon State's normally capable defense left open big holes that Cal exploited.
California made it 14-7 on its second series when Rodgers handed off to Terrell Williams, who tossed it to Lyman for a 79-yard score.
Lyman added a 31-yard touchdown catch with seven seconds left in the first quarter to make it 21-7. Rodgers had a 1-yard keeper early in the second to make it 28-7, where it remained at halftime.
"It did start very fast for them," Oregon State coach Mike Riley said. "They absolutely beat us in every phase of the game. We came back and scored that touchdown, but it was their game."
The Bears held Oregon State to 91 yards rushing, something that has become problematic for the Beavers since losing tailback Steven Jackson to the NFL last season.
"When you make a team one-dimensional, it makes it a lot easier to play them," said California defensive tackle Lorenzo Alexander.
It was the 25th straight sellout at Reser Stadium, but many of the Oregon State fans either left by the third quarter or stayed to boo the home team.
The target of some of those boos was senior quarterback Derek Anderson, who completed 14 of 34 passes for 137 yards. He was intercepted twice.
Anderson's string of 22 straight games with a touchdown pass was snapped.
Chris Manderino caught a 7-yard scoring pass from Rodgers, J.J. Arrington ran for a 1-yard touchdown and Byron Storer caught a 58-yard scoring pass from Reggie Robertson to round out the scoring for Cal.
"We were fresh coming into the game, no question about that," Bears coach Jeff Tedford said. "I think the guys stayed focused and performed well in this hostile environment."
The Beavers were the only team in the league to beat Cal twice since coach Jeff Tedford took over in 2002. After upsetting then-No. 3 Southern California last season, Cal lost 35-21 at home to Oregon State.
"Oregon State has really had our number," Lyman said. "Especially last year - they got to celebrate at our place so we wanted to turn it around on them."
Lyman's three touchdown catches were the most in a game for a Cal player since Bobby Shaw had three in a triple-overtime victory over the Beavers in 1996.
Cal visits the top-ranked Trojans next weekend in Los Angeles.