OREGON STATE in the loss to Cal may have found their kickoff return man of the future. And although…
Beavs lose ground war, then game
Oregon State wide receiver James Rodgers caught six passes for 76 yards. He needs three receptions over the next two games to break the school's single-season record held by Mike Hass.
Cal quarterback Zach Maynard threw for one score and ran for another, and California beat Oregon State 23-6 on Saturday night.
The win, the Golden Bears' third in four games, makes them bowl eligible after sitting out the postseason last year. It also snapped Cal's four-game losing streak to the Beavers.
Backup running back C.J. Anderson ran for 96 yards and wide receiver Michael Calvin, a fifth-year senior, caught his first career touchdown for the Bears, who overcame a season-high 15 penalties in their final game at AT&T Park. Cal (6-4, 3-4 Pac-12) will move back home to Memorial Stadium, which underwent a $321 million facelift, for the 2012 season.
Sofele, whose previous high of 138 yards was set in last week's win over Washington State, easily eclipsed that mark while anchoring a ground game that dominated the last-place Beavers.
Cal outgained Oregon State 296-27 on the ground and held the ball for more than 36 minutes while beating the Beavers for the first time since Sept. 30, 2006.
The Bears had not won at home in this 106-year-old rivalry since 1997 but easily handled the Beavers, who have dropped three straight. It could have been worse. Sofele had a 29-yard touchdown run negated by a holding penalty, and Anderson had scoring runs of 44 and 19 yards wiped out by yellow flags, though Cal still scored a touchdown on the drive where two of those fouls were committed.
Cal's defense made sure it didn't matter by forcing three turnovers in the second half.
Cornerback D.J. Campbell intercepted a deflected pass by Mannion at the Bears 4-yard line to stop one drive, safety Sean Cattouse recovered a fumble at the 3 and linebacker Mychal Kendricks picked off a Mannion pass with 32 seconds left to end the Beavers' night.
Maynard got off to a shaky start before he got the Bears rolling with a pair of long scoring drives.
Cal's junior quarterback, who was knocked out of last week's win over Washington State after getting hit in the head while trying to recover a fumble, was intercepted by Oregon State safety Lance Mitchell on an underthrown pass early in the first quarter.
After they punted and pinned the Bears at their own 9-yard line, Sofele got them out of the hole quickly with a 56-yard burst up the middle on a trap play. Sofele ran twice more for 13 yards and Maynard completed one pass and took a sack before finding Calvin for a 19-yard touchdown.
Maynard later directed a 96-yard scoring march that took nearly nine minutes off the clock.
Cal overcame three penalties on the drive, including back-to-back holding calls inside the Beavers 10-yard line, but got a big break when Oregon State linebacker Rusty Fernando hit Keenan Allen in the back of the head with his forearm after Allen had been stopped well short of the end zone on a third-and-goal play.
That gave the Bears an automatic first down, and Maynard made it pay off when he scampered into the end zone on a keeper around the left side to make it 14-3.
The Beavers cut the gap to 14-6 on Trevor Romaine's second field goal of the game, a 46-yarder with 2 seconds left in the half.
Cal's defense was missing both of its starting outside linebackers. Chris McCain suffered a concussion last week against Washington State and did not suit up, while David Wilkerson's bruised knee kept him on the sidelines.
Members of the famed Tuskegee Airmen were honored before the game.
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