Cal Football Steamrolls Oregon State 39-25
Golden Bears racked up 255 rushing yards against the Beavers
Savvy college football fans came to FTX Field at California Memorial Stadium Saturday ready to see a run-heavy playstyle.
Oregon State’s star running back, B.J. Baylor, came to Berkeley, Calif., ranked sixth nationally, rushing an average of 118.4 yards per game this season. Baylor had also run for more than 100 yards in his last four games.
But the streak ended this weekend.
Instead, California’s stable of running backs would shine, leading the Golden Bears (3-5, 2-3 Pac-12) to a 39-25 win against the Oregon State Beavers (5-3, 3-2 Pac-12).
In the first play of the game, Oregon State tapped Baylor, perhaps unsurprisingly.
But California outside linebacker Marqez Bimage, who started for the first time in his career on Saturday, was there. Bimage stopped the Beaver running back for a three-yard loss. Less than six seconds later on the same play, the Brenham, Texas, native also forced a fumble and recovered the ball at the Oregon State 22-yard line.
“I think that play definitely helped the play of the game,” Bimage told reporters in the post-game press conference. “I definitely think it was huge.”
In the drive following the Oregon State fumble, quarterback Chase Garbers punched in the ball for a two-yard touchdown to give California the early lead.
Garbers’ score was his 10th rushing touchdown in his career, good enough to set a school record for career rushing touchdowns scored by a quarterback.
Garbers also added 262 passing yards and three touchdown passes, including two touchdowns to running back Christopher Brooks.
Brooks was targeted by Garbers twice and scored on both for a combined 40 yards receiving. The Oceanside, Calif., native also added 83 yards running the ball.
“I thought he had some big runs,” California head coach Justin Wilcox said after the game, referring to Brooks. “He had a couple of key tough runs late in the game especially... He gave us a new set of downs that changed the complexion because the clock became a major factor at that point.”
Damien Moore led California with 111 rushing yards, including a 56-yard run to the Oregon State 1-yard line with less than three minutes of game time remaining to ice the game for the Golden Bears. The sophomore running back also had an eight-yard rushing touchdown in the second quarter.
“All of them made some big plays,” Coach Wilcox said of Brooks, Moore and Garbers.
Baylor never recovered after his early mistake. California's defense limited Oregon State's star running back to a pedestrian 42 rushing yards and prevented him from scoring a single touchdown.
Oregon State, which had rushed for at least 200 yards in its last six games, only totaled 134. Meanwhile, California ended the evening with 255 rushing yards and an average of 5.4 yards per rushing attempt.