California (4-4, 2-4) at Oregon St. (4-3, 1-3) / Reser Stadium / 7:30 PM PDT / Pac-12 Channel / KEJO 1240 AM / KEX 1190 AM
Oregon St. returns home for Homecoming, and starts a 3 game home stand tonight against California.
Both teams come in off lop-sided losses last week in the Bay Area.
California got their position overran by Oregon last Friday night, with the Ducks flying to a 59-41 win, in a game that was almost devoid of defense. Oregon rolled up 590 yards, including 264 yards rushing, but California's Jared Goff out-passed Heisman Trophy candidate Marcus Mariota, throwing for 360 yards. But he only connected for 2 touchdowns, whereas Mariota threw for 5 against the Bears' secondary, which is last in the country against the pass, and in the bottom 5 in total defense and scoring defense as well.
California has lost 3 in a row, also getting blown out by Washington, and throwing the game away against UCLA, on an interception while in field goal position, after back to back last second wins over Colorado and Washington St.
Oregon St. was dismantled by Stanford 38-14, which was the Beavers' 8th loss in their last 9 Pac-12 Conference games. It was also their second loss in a row, and 3rd in 4 games.
Stanford had their best offensive game of the season against the Beavers, but it was the Oregon St. offense that really sputtered against the Pac-12 best Cardinal defense.
Sean Mannion managed to throw for only 122 yards, which means he still needs 194 more to pass USC's Matt Barkley's record of 12,327 for first place all time in the Pac-12 in career passing yards.
It's just the 67th meeting is a series that dates back 109 years. California holds a dwindling 2 game 34-32 edge. Oregon St. has won 2 in a row, and 6 of the last 7 meetings, including the last 3 in a row at Reser, and 12 of the last 15 games.
Last year, Oregon St. blew out California in Berkeley, as Mannion completed 35 of 45 passes, for 481 yards and 4 touchdowns to lead the Beavers to a 49-17 win.
A key matchup today will be the California "Bear Raid" passing offense against the Oregon St. defense, and something has to give. The Beavers have only faced an average of 32 1/2 passes per game in conference games, while the Bears have thrown an average of 13 more, 45 1/2, passes in Pac-12 contests. Can Oregon St.'s secondary withstand more attacks, or can the play well enough to "force" California into trying to run more?
The Beavers opened as a 4.5 point favorite at home, though home field hasn't meant much in the Pac-12 this year overall, but that's gradually eroded to only a 3 point projected margin as game time has approached.
Oregon St. will also honor the 1964 team on the 50th anniversary of the Beavers' last Rose Bowl season as a part of Homecoming festivities.
BuildingTheDam will be at the game, and back in the middle of the night with coverage and analysis.