Cal football vs. Oregon State: Time, TV schedule, game preview, score

California Golden Bears battle OSU Beavers

Malik McMorris #99 and Kyle Wells #87 of the California Golden Bears celebrates after McMorris caught an 8-yard touchdown pass against the Arizona Wildcats during their NCAA football game at California Memorial Stadium on October 21, 2017 in Berkeley, California. Arizona won the game in double overtime 45-44. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Malik McMorris #99 and Kyle Wells #87 of the California Golden Bears celebrates after McMorris caught an 8-yard touchdown pass against the Arizona Wildcats during their NCAA football game at California Memorial Stadium on October 21, 2017 in Berkeley, California. Arizona won the game in double overtime 45-44. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State brings a 12-game conference losing streak into Saturday’s matchup against visiting California, which is having its own problems finding the win column. Cal opened the season with three straight wins but has dropped three consecutive Pac-12 games – including last week’s ugly 37-7 loss to previously winless UCLA.

TV: 4 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network. LINE: Cal -7

 

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Saturday’s contest features the top contender for Pac-12 Freshman of the Year in Oregon State running back Jermar Jefferson, who leads the conference in rushing yardage, touchdowns and 100-yard games. Jefferson has sparked an Oregon State offense that averages 31.5 points and 459.9 yards per game but will be tested by an improving Cal defense led by inside linebacker Jordan Kunaszyk. The senior leads the Pac-12 in total tackles per game (12.7) and had a career-high 22 tackles against UCLA. “At the end of the day, if we don’t win, it doesn’t really matter,” Kunaszyk told reporters. “It’s cool and all when you look at the stat sheet, but I’m here to win. My No. 1 goal is to win. I don’t care how many tackles I get. I’d rather have zero tackles in a win than 30 tackles and we lose.”

ABOUT CAL (3-3, 0-3 Pac-12)

Brandon McIlwain has started the last two games at quarterback with mixed results for the Bears, who need to win three of their final six games to earn bowl eligibility. The dual-threat sophomore had 100-yard rushing games against Oregon and Arizona but has committed 11 turnovers in the past three games - including five that have been returned for touchdowns. Running back Patrick Laird set career highs in rushes (33) and rushing yards (214) in last season’s win over Oregon State and could receive another heavy workload Saturday. 

ABOUT OREGON STATE (1-5, 0-3)

Jefferson rushed for 139 yards and four touchdowns in the Beavers’ 56-37 loss to Washington State on Oct. 6 and figures to be well-rested following last week’s bye. Sophomore quarterback Conor Blount has completed 65.6 percent of his passes with seven touchdowns against one interception and is expected to start Saturday after exiting the game against the Cougars with a shoulder injury. Linebacker Hamilcar Rashed Jr. has five tackles-for-loss to lead the defense, which ranks last in the Pac-12 and 127th nationally in rushing defense at 269.5 yards per game.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Cal holds a 37-33 lead in the all-time series – including a 37-23 victory in Berkeley last season.

2. Oregon State has been outscored 86-35 in the fourth quarter this season.

3. The Beavers have won seven of the last 10 meetings between the teams at Reser Stadium.

PREDICTION: Oregon State 31, Cal 24

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