Coverage: ABC Regional coverage
3:30 PM ET, November 15, 2008
Reser Stadium, Corvallis, OR
CORVALLIS, Ore. -- While the Oregon State Beavers wouldn't dare mention it, their fans weren't at all afraid.
"We Smell Roses!" read a trio of signs lofted by fans at Reser Stadium following Oregon's 34-21 victory over California.
• Oregon State won its fifth straight, its longest single-season streak since it won the final seven games of 2000, behind 144 yards rushing from Jacquizz Rodgers, his seventh 100-yard rushing game this season.
• For the first time since 2002, the home team won in the series, snapping a streak of five straight wins by the road team.
• Jacquizz Rodgers and brother James combined for three touchdowns, the fifth time they've each scored in a game this season. The Beavers are 5-0 in those games.
• If Oregon State can win its final two regular-season games, it will make its first trip to the Rose Bowl since 1965.
-- ESPN research
With the win, the Beavers edged closer to their first appearance in the Rose Bowl since New Year's Day, 1965.
Because Oregon State defeated then-No. 1 USC 27-21 on Sept 21, the Beavers hold the tiebreaker for a Rose Bowl berth should both teams win out. Oregon State visits Arizona next weekend before hosting Oregon in the Civil War rivalry game.
"It's just one step closer to our goals," Jacquizz Rodgers said of the Beavers' fifth straight win.
Lyle Moevao completed 14 of 28 passes for 145 yards for Oregon State (7-3, 6-1 Pacific-10 Conference. Jacquizz Rodgers, the Pac-10's leading rusher, ran for 144 yards and a score while older brother James Rodgers caught six passes for 50 yards and ran 18 yards for a touchdown.
Miller: Swarming DefenseA six-point lead is supposed to be a precarious thing, but Oregon State's defense made that margin look and feel like 60 against California, writes Ted Miller. Blog
Moevao referred to the Rose Bowl as "It."
"The thing about having it in the back of our minds is that we get hungry for it. We want it so bad," he said. "But we know what we are going to have to do and how we're going to get there."
"The strength of this team is defense and we played pretty well," Golden Bears coach Jeff Tedford said. "But this is a team game and we have to play well in all three phases. So we need to regroup."
Cal jumped in front on its first series, scoring on Riley's 5-yard pass to Verran Tucker. Oregon State quickly answered, when James Rodgers returned the kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown. It was the first kickoff return for a score this season in the Pac-10.
The Beavers made it 14-7 when Sammie Stroughter returned a punt 56 yards to the California 2-yard line and Jacquizz Rodgers ran it in for the touchdown.
Justin Kahut added a 28-yard field goal for the Beavers in the second quarter. But the Golden Bears narrowed it when Riley lateraled to Jeremy Ross, who threw a 30-yard scoring pass to Nyan Boateng to make it 17-14 going into the half.
Kahut kicked a 24-yard field goal early in the second half before James Rodgers ran 18 yards for a score to make it 27-14.
Best's 65-yard touchdown run narrowed it for Cal before the end of the third quarter.
The Beavers missed a chance at the start of the fourth when Kahut's 29-yard field goal attempt went wide right. But Keenan Lewis sealed it for Oregon State when he intercepted Riley and ran 25 yards for a touchdown with 31 seconds to play.
Oregon State coach Mike Riley doesn't think he'll need to find ways to keep players loose down the stretch given what's on the line.
"I don't think we'll have to. I think these guys are having fun playing these games," he said. "I don't want them to get uptight about it. I just want this team to go out and have fun on Saturdays."
Mike Riley even admitted, sheepishly, that he does think about the possibility of going to the Rose Bowl.
"Yes, I do, and it scares me," he said. "We all know when the season starts what the goal is, and that's the Rose Bowl."
Last season the Beavers beat the second-ranked Golden Bears in Berkeley and probably kept them from reaching the top of the rankings for the first time in 56 years. No. 1 LSU had lost earlier that day.
It was the first start of Kevin Riley's career. He drove Cal within field-goal range in the final minute with the Bears trailing 31-28, but made an ill-advised attempt to run the ball with no time-outs. The clock ran out before the Bears could get their kicking team on the field.
The Golden Bears had won their last two games in Corvallis, but Oregon State had not lost at Reser this season.
The Beavers were coming off a 34-6 victory over UCLA in Pasadena last weekend.
Cal was coming off a 17-3 loss to USC in Los Angeles. The Golden Bears finish the season out at home with games against Stanford and Washington.
"We have to see where we are as a team now," Kevin Riley said. "We don't want it to happen, the same thing as last year where there were a couple of losses in a row. We have to look at ourselves and make plays, learn from mistakes and make something happen."
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||2-13||4-13|
|4th Down Conversions||0-1||0-0|
|TD||13:05||Verran Tucker 5 Yd Pass From Kevin Riley (Giorgio Tavecchio Kick)||7||0|
|TD||12:54||James Rodgers 86 Yd Kickoff Return (Justin Kahut Kick)||7||7|
|TD||01:50||Jacquizz Rodgers 2 Yd Run (Justin Kahut Kick)||7||14|
|FG||09:29||Justin Kahut 28 Yd||7||17|
|TD||07:44||Nyan Boateng 30 Yd Pass From Jeremy Ross (Giorgio Tavecchio Kick)||14||17|
|FG||11:45||Justin Kahut 24 Yd||14||20|
|TD||08:06||James Rodgers 18 Yd Run (Justin Kahut Kick)||14||27|
|TD||06:43||Jahvid Best 65 Yd Run (Giorgio Tavecchio Kick)||21||27|
|TD||00:31||Keenan Lewis 25 Yd Interception Return (Justin Kahut Kick)||21||34|