6:30 PM ET, November 12, 2011
Isi Sofele's big day helps Cal reach bowl eligibility for first time in 2 years
SAN FRANCISCO -- Isi Sofele rushed for a career-high 190 yards and one touchdown, quarterback Zach Maynard threw for one score and ran for another, and California beat Oregon State 23-6 on Saturday night.
The win, the Golden Bears' third in four games, makes them bowl eligible after sitting out the postseason last year. It also snapped Cal's four-game losing streak to the Beavers.
Backup running back C.J. Anderson ran for 96 yards and wide receiver Michael Calvin, a fifth-year senior, caught his first career touchdown for the Bears, who overcame a season-high 15 penalties in their final game at AT&T Park. Cal (6-4, 3-4 Pac-12) will move back home to Memorial Stadium, which underwent a $321 million facelift, for the 2012 season.
Sean Mannion passed for 247 yards for Oregon State (2-8, 2-5), but the Beavers turned the ball over twice inside the 5-yard line.
Sofele, whose previous high of 138 yards was set in last week's win over Washington State, easily eclipsed that mark while anchoring a ground game that dominated the last-place Beavers.
Cal outgained Oregon State 296-27 on the ground and held the ball for more than 36 minutes while beating the Beavers for the first time since Sept. 30, 2006.
The Bears had not won at home in this 106-year-old rivalry since 1997 but easily handled the Beavers, who have dropped three straight.
It could have been worse.
Sofele had a 29-yard touchdown run negated by a holding penalty, and Anderson had scoring runs of 44 and 19 yards wiped out by yellow flags.
Cal's defense made sure it didn't matter by forcing three turnovers in the second half.
Cornerback D.J. Campbell intercepted a deflected pass by Mannion at the Bears 4-yard line to stop one drive, safety Sean Cattouse recovered a fumble at the 3 and linebacker Mychal Kendricks picked off a Mannion pass with 32 seconds left to end the Beavers' night.
Mannion played well but got little help from the rest of Oregon State's offense. Several of Mannion's passes were dropped, while the 27 rushing yards were the second-fewest by the Beavers this season.
Maynard got off to a shaky start before he got the Bears rolling with a pair of long scoring drives.
Cal's junior quarterback, who was knocked out of last week's win over Washington State after getting hit in the head while trying to recover a fumble, was intercepted by Oregon State safety Lance Mitchell on an underthrown pass early in the first quarter.
After they punted and pinned the Bears at their own 9-yard line, Sofele got them out of the hole quickly with a 56-yard burst up the middle on a trap play. Sofele ran twice more for 13 yards and Maynard completed one pass and took a sack before finding Calvin for a 19-yard touchdown.
Maynard later directed a 96-yard scoring march that took nearly nine minutes off the clock.
Cal overcame three penalties on the drive, including back-to-back holding calls inside the Beavers 10-yard line, but got a big break when Oregon State linebacker Rusty Fernando hit Keenan Allen in the back of the head with his forearm after Allen had been stopped well short of the end zone on a third-and-goal play.
That gave the Bears an automatic first down, and Maynard made it pay off when he scampered into the end zone on a keeper around the left side to make it 14-3.
The Beavers cut the gap to 14-6 on Trevor Romaine's second field goal of the game, a 46-yarder with 2 seconds left in the half.
Oregon State wide receiver James Rodgers caught six passes for 76 yards. He needs three receptions over the next two games to break the school's single-season record held by Mike Hass.
Cal's defense was missing both of its starting outside linebackers. Chris McCain suffered a concussion last week against Washington State and did not suit up, while David Wilkerson's bruised knee kept him on the sidelines. ... Members of the famed Tuskegee Airmen were honored before the game.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||3-11||5-11|
|4th Down Conversions||0-1||0-0|
|FG||10:45||Trevor Romaine 32 Yd||3||0|
|TD||01:02||Michael Calvin 19 Yd Pass From Zach Maynard (Giorgio Tavecchio Kick)||3||7|
|TD||01:06||Zach Maynard 5 Yd Run (Giorgio Tavecchio Kick)||3||14|
|FG||00:02||Trevor Romaine 46 Yd||6||14|
|TD||10:01||Isi Sofele 20 Yd Run (Pat Failed)||6||20|
|FG||02:23||Giorgio Tavecchio 32 Yd||6||23|