The scoreboard never reflected Oregon State's domination, so coach Mike Riley couldn't enjoy an impressive upset until California made its...
BERKELEY, Calif. — The scoreboard never reflected Oregon State’s domination, so coach Mike Riley couldn’t enjoy an impressive upset until California made its final mistakes.
Yvenson Bernard rushed for a career-high 187 yards and the go-ahead touchdown with 6:41 to play, and Oregon State snapped No. 18 Cal’s 10-game home winning streak in a 23-20 victory yesterday.
Matt Moore passed for 196 yards despite three interceptions, and Oregon State’s defense forced five turnovers in a miserable performance by the Golden Bears (5-2, 2-2 Pac-10), who lost their second straight after the school’s best start since 1996.
The Beavers (4-2, 2-1) throttled Cal’s vaunted rushing attack and moved the ball easily themselves — yet turnovers, penalties and mistakes kept it close.
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“It was scary,” said Riley, whose Beavers won at Cal for the second time in three seasons. “They were always in striking distance. … [But] our team never thought we couldn’t stop them, and that we couldn’t move the ball.”
With good reason. Bernard rushed 41 times, and scored two touchdowns in the second half for the Beavers, whose 35-21 victory at Memorial Stadium in 2003 was the most recent win by a visitor.
The Beavers also snapped an eight-game losing streak against ranked teams. They outlasted the mistake-prone Bears, stopping three potential game-winning drives by Cal’s once-potent offense.
“We felt the whole week that if we stop Cal’s run game and make [Joe] Ayoob throw it, we could win,” said linebacker Andy Darkins.
After Bernard’s decisive score, Cal had three chances to make a winning drive — but Ayoob sprayed incompletions all over the field, finishing his 13-for-39 performance for 219 yards and two interceptions.
“They blitzed a lot and played the run extremely well,” Ayoob said. “They almost made us a one-dimensional team. They forced me to make throws, and I didn’t make them. We were lucky to even be in the game with five turnovers.”
Meanwhile, Cal’s ground game vanished behind an injury-plagued offensive line. Marshawn Lynch rushed for 58 yards, but was benched by coach Jeff Tedford for the second half after two fumbles — and Justin Forsett, the nation’s ninth-leading rusher, had just 17 yards on nine carries.
Lynch threw an early 21-yard touchdown pass to Ayoob, who also threw a touchdown pass and rushed for a score. But Ayoob struggled to make the simplest completions against one of the nation’s worst pass defenses, going 4 for 20 in the fourth quarter.
“We need to grow up and understand that attention to detail is what makes us win,” said Tedford, who put most of the blame on his offense. “We need to be sharper at quarterback, there’s no doubt about that.”