|Cal RB Isi Sofele could cause some trouble for Oregon State on Saturday. Sofele ran for a season-high 134 yards against Oregon last week. Last season, he ran for a career-high 190 yards against the Beavers. (US Presswire)|
Kickoff: Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network)
Spread: Oregon State by 6
Watchability: If you're a Cal fan, you may want to tune in because this is the last time you'll be able to watch your team until Aug. 31, 2013.
Shining Stars: Oregon State -- WR Brandin Cooks. Coach Mike Riley hasn't committed to a quarterback for Saturday, which might not matter to Cooks, who seems to produce no matter who is under center. The sophomore receiver was named a Biletnikoff Award semifinalist this week and is second in the Pac-12 in receiving. Cal -- RB Isi Sofele. Sofele had his biggest game of the season against Oregon last week, rushing for 134 yards and one touchdown. With backup QB Allan Bridgford most likely starting for Cal again, the Bears will need a strong performance from their running game if the offense is going to find any success on Saturday.
Who could steal the show: Oregon State -- DL Scott Crichton. Don't be surprised if you hear Crichton's name a lot on Saturday. The sophomore defensive lineman is fourth in the Pac-12 in sacks (9) and he'll be going up against an offense that has surrendered the third-most sacks in the country this season. Cal -- QB Bridgford. He only has two career starts and in one of those starts, he didn't even last a quarter. However, Bridgford did get his feet wet last week, when he played all four quarters against Oregon. Now that he has game experience, don't be surprised if Bridgford puts up solid numbers against the Oregon State defense. If Zach Maynard (knee) ends up starting, it will be the senior's last career start at Cal.
You going? Ranking the road trip: If you really want to go to Corvallis, wait until next week when the Beavers host Oregon. The atmosphere should be livelier, the food should be better and tailgates should be wilder.
Magic number for Oregon State: 100. When the Beavers have a 100-yard rusher, they usually win. Oregon State is 26-4 in the last 30 games that they've had a running back cross the century mark.
Magic number for Cal: 30. If the Bears hit the 30-point mark, that usually means a win under coach Jeff Tedford. Since Tedford took over in 2002, Cal is 64-5 when hitting 30 points.
The game comes down to: Oregon State's mindset. The Beavers had a tough loss to Stanford last week and they play No. 1 Oregon next week. If Oregon State overlooks Cal at all, the Bears can pull the upset. Don't be surprised if this game is close.
Prediction: Oregon State 21, Cal 17