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Oregon State vs. Cal: Preview/Prediction

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How will the Beavers fare against a Cal team that’s in transition?

NCAA Football: Oregon State at California Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The start of football season is just over two weeks away. So, we continue our pre-season game previews and predictions. In the first Pac-12 game versus Colorado we predicted a tight Oregon State victory and now look forward to the match-up with Cal.

Game 5: Cal

Oregon State squares off versus the California Golden Bears on October 8th in Corvallis. Last year, Jared Goff shredded the Beaver defense throwing for 453 yards and 6 touchdowns. Cal went on to crush Oregon State 54-24. Fortunately for the Oregon State defense, Goff is off to the NFL and the Golden Bears are trying to replace their star QB as well as most of their receiving corps.

The loss of Jared Goff and Cal’s top six receivers is particularly harmful for the Golden Bears, because their defense was not great last season. In 2015, they allowed 30.7 points and just over 450 yards of offense per game.

Sonny Dykes, Cal’s head coach, has done a great job of recruiting though, particularly on offense. He has lured graduate transfer Davis Webb to take over where Jared Goff left off. Davis Webb transfers to the Pac-12 from Texas Tech where he threw 46 touchdowns to just 22 interceptions, but became disgruntled after he spent much of the 2015 season taking a backseat to upcoming star Patrick Mahomes.

Davis Webb will have a great running game to lean on and will also have a number of former four-star recruits at wide receiver. While it is expected that Cal’s offense will take a step back; it probably won’t be as drastic as some are predicting. And Cal is hoping that the defense can improve enough to offset any offensive deficiencies.

The California Golden Bears visiting Reser Stadium provide the Beavers with one of the best opportunities to pick up a Pac-12 home win. But it will not be easy; Oregon State’s offense will need to keep the chains moving in order to win this game and they could find themselves in a shoot-out if Cal’s young offense quickly comes together.

Prediction:

The Beavers will do just enough to eke out a win at home against Cal. Oregon State wins it 38-35.