Oregon State suffered a tough 24-21 loss last week to Washington, but the Beavers have a strong chance to get back in the win column this week with a home game against California.
It’s getting late in the season, and the Beavers are 6-3 overall, 3-3 in the Pac-12.
Oregon State is already bowl eligible, but to improve on last season, it will need to finish with eight wins.
The Beavers’ seventh win could come Saturday against the 3-6 Golden Bears, who last week pushed No. 8 USC in a 41-35 loss.
“I have a lot of respect for them just from watching tape of them from the other night,” Oregon State coach Jonathan Smith said. “The record is not what they want, and they go down there and battle a really good SC team to the very end.”
Cal is seventh in the conference in scoring defense at 26.7 points per game, and 10th in scoring offense at 24.6.
The Bears are last in the Pac-12 in rushing offense, averaging 107.7 yards per game. They are 10th in passing efficiency at 134.9.
Cal quarterback Jack Plummer is having a good season, completing 62% of his passes for 2,374 yards, 16 touchdowns and six interceptions.
Running back Jayden Ott has rushed for 725 yards and seven touchdowns.
Earlier this week, Smith said there was no update on injured quarterback Chance Nolan. So it appears that Ben Gulbranson again will get the start.
This season, Gulbranson has completed 61.8% of his passes for 905 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions.
On the ground, Damien Martinez has 624 yards and five touchdowns. Deshaun Fenwick has 393 yards and six touchdowns, and Jam Griffin has 377 yards and two touchdowns.
Tre’Shaun Harrison has 492 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns to lead the Beavers, and West Salem graduate Anthony Gould is second with 408 yards and three touchdowns.
Oregon State is 3-1 at home this season, and Cal is 0-4 on the road.
After Saturday, the Beavers play at Arizona State, then end the regular season at home against rival Oregon.
“We’ve got a bunch still ahead of us. Excited about three games, two of them being at home,” Smith said. “Still have an opportunity to finish the season with a record we can be really proud of.”
About the game
Who: Oregon State vs. California
When: 6 p.m. Saturday
Where: Reser Stadium, Corvallis
Records: Oregon State (6-2); California (3-6)
Line: Oregon State by 14
TV: Pac-12 Network
Prediction: Oregon State 38, California 23