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Oregon State Opens Week As 8 1/2-Point Underdogs To California

Will game three of the Cory Hall era mark the Beavers first Pac-12 win of the season?

NCAA Football: Arizona at California Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

There’s no way around it, Oregon State is simply a different team under interim head coach Cory Hall.

After the school decided to part ways with head coach Gary Andersen earlier this season, Hall stepped up from his role as cornerbacks coach and immediately seemed to re-inspire a lethargic and lackluster Beavers squad. And, while the team is still struggling to find their way into the win column at the moment, the effort shown in back-to-back, hard fought losses to Colorado (36-33) and #20 Stanford (15-14) demonstrate that their is still some fight left buried inside this Oregon State squad.

So just what will Hall have in mind for the first road game of his tenure, which will come this Saturday at California? It’s safe to say to expect the unexpected.

While there’s no doubt that Oregon State has looked better as of late, it’s also no surprise that they still sit as 8 12 point underdogs heading into the game against the Golden Bears, according to the Bovada-Las Vegas. The Beavers simply haven’t had an overly impressive game all-season long, outside last week’s effort against Stanford, and even their lone victory of the campaign came in nail-biting style over a now 0-8 Portland State squad. That’s not too impressive of a track record heading into the ninth game of the season.

For Oregon State to knock off California, they first will want to hope that the Golden Bears who were blown out at Colorado last week show up to play and not the version of California that squashed Washington State, 37-3, earlier this season. It seems as though that as much as the Beavers have been a largely hit-or-miss unit, the Golden Bears are also not too far behind in that category under first year head coach Justin Wilcox.

There’s just something very strange in the Pac-12 waters this season.

The Beavers will also need to contain the Golden Bears’ passing attack, which even in a tough loss last week to the Buffs, managed 374 yards and 4 touchdowns through the air, compared to the team’s 61 rushing yards. High-powered passing offenses have been a cause for concern for Oregon State all season long, as they tend to overextend and place too much pressure on a largely inexperienced Beavers defense.

With a road trip to a now ranked Arizona team, a match-up with Arizona State and a Civil War meeting still looming on their slate, Oregon State will need to dig in this week and try to find a way past California for their victory under Cory Hall. With a manageable spread (for once), there may be a serious shot at an upset for the Beavers.

It’s now time for Oregon State to simply make their move.