Nov. 1, 1997
Cal Rolls to 33-14 Victory Over Oregon State
BERKELEY, Calif. -- Justin Vedder threw four touchdowns and Tarik Smith ran for a season-high 125 yards on 25 carries as the California Golden Bears broke a five-game loosing streak with a 33-14 dismantling of the Oregon State Beavers Saturday afternoon.
Cal scored all of its points in the first half, but it proved to be more than enough as Oregon State (3-5, 0-5, Pac-10) dropped its 14th consecutive Pac-10 road game. The victory was Cal's first conference win of the year and improved the Bears to 3-5 (1-4, Pac-10) on the season.
Cal completely dominated action for almost all of the first 30 minutes. In fact, with 2:11 left in the first half, Cal had outgained Oregon State by a staggering 331-to-15 yard margin.
Although the Bears put 33 points on the board, the Cal defensive players proved to be the real stars of the game. Entering the contest, Cal had been allowing 398.4 yards a game (ranking 85th nationally). However, the Bears turned in their finest performance since the first game of the year when they held Houston to 165 yards of total offense, limiting Oregon State to 69 yards on the ground and 128 in the air for a total of just 197 yards on the afternoon. Cal's defensive front pressured a pair of Oregon State quarterbacks all day long, as the Bears finished the afternoon with five sacks while limiting the Beavers to 10-of-36 passing.
It was team effort by the Cal defense, but soph linebacker Matt Beck, who returned to action for the first time in three games, came up with one sack among his five tackles on the afternoon. A telling statistic for the Cal defense was holding Oregon State to just 1-of-17 third down conversions.
In addition to Vedder and Smith on the offensive side of the ball, freshman Marcus Field posted another solid game rushing 11 times for 54 yards and a 31-yard touchdown. Dameane Douglas led the receiving corps as the junior turning his finest collegiate performance hauling 5 balls for 85 yards and a pair of TD receptions.
Cal appeared ready to have a break-out game from the opening kickoff. After holding Oregon State to three plays and out on the game's opening possession, Vedder led Cal on a nine-play, 72-yard drive to open the scoring. The drive was keyed by the Cal running game as Smith rushed five times for 42-yards, including a 20-yard burst on 3rd-and-3 from midfield that moved Cal to the OSU 30. A Vedder and Douglas 20-yard connection capped the drive and gave Cal the early 7-0 lead.
The Cal defense again held Oregon State to three-and-out on its second series. After taking over on their own 38, the Bears drove to the OSU 23-yard-line, but a Vedder pass intended for Shaw, was tipped into the air and intercepted by the Beavers Basheer Elahee to stop the Bears scoring threat.
After an exchange of punts, Cal put its second touchdown on the board, driving 69-yards in spectacular fashion. A 34-yard-pass from Vedder to Phillip Pipersburg moved to ball into Oregon State 37. One play later Fields took a handoff up the middle and bounced it outside, breaking containment en-route to a 31-yard touchdown run (his career long rush). Brache added the extra point and the Bears had themselves a 14-0 early second quarter lead.
Just over two minutes later Cal was in the endzone again. With another short field courtesy of a swarming Cal defense, the Bear offense moved 50-yards in only 1:23 with Vedder hitting Deltha O'Neal on a 23-yard touchdown pass for the score. Brache couldn't convert the extra point but Cal's lead stood at 20-0 with 10:25 remaining in the half.
The Cal offense continued to be unstoppable and a rout appeared to be in the making as the Bears scored on both of their next possessions. A Vedder to Douglas touchdown pass of 11 yards capped a 53-yard nine play drive and made it 27-0 with 6:45 left.
Then with 2:20 remaining in the half, Brian Surgener caught Vedder's fourth touchdown of the game on a 4th-and-goal from the OSU 2 and the Bears had a 33 point lead with 2:20 left until halftime.
The first half scoring was closed out by Oregon State which was finally able to move the ball. Starting from its own 27, Oregon State went 73-yards on just four plays, getting its first points of the game on a 29-yard pass from quarterback Tyler Tomich to wide receiver James Battle only 0:42 before intermission.
With much of the drama removed from the game by Cal's 33-7 halftime lead, both defenses came to life in the second half.
Neither offense could get anything going in the third quarter as Cal continued to shut down the Beavers and Oregon State finally began to solve the Bears explosive offense. There were seven punts in the quarter as the team's offenses could only generate 62 yards of combined total offense.
With 12:14 remaining in the fourth quarter, Oregon State did threaten as the drove the ball deep into the Cal territory. But the Bears defense rose to the occasion, turning away the Beavers on a 4th-and-8 from the Cal 14, as a Tyler Tomich pass into the endzone fell incomplete.
Oregon State did manage a late touchdown to make the final score somewhat respectable, but it was too little, too late for the Beavers. Taking the ball on their own 20-yard-line, Oregon State drove 80 yards in 4:48, scoring the game's final points with only 0:05 remaining in the contest on a Tim Alexander to Jason Dandridge touchdown pass.
Next Saturday, Cal returns to Memorial Stadium for the final time this season when they face the Arizona State Sun Devils at 3:30 p.m., while Oregon State will travel to Tucson to take on the Arizona Wildcats.