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California Comes up Short Against No. 15 Oregon State, Falls 40-52
Fernando Mendoza passes for 207 yards and two touchdowns in his first start for the Bears
California head coach Justin Wilcox cannot catch a break.
The California Golden Bears (3-3, 1-2 Pac-12) seemed to take one step forward and two steps back in its 40-52 defeat to the No. 15 Oregon State Beavers (5-1, 2-1 Pac-12) Saturday night.
“The offense and Fernando were the reason we were even in that game with what the defense and special teams were doing,” Coach Wilcox told reporters in the post-game press conference, referring to redshirt first-year quarterback Fernando Mendoza.
In week six of the 2023 college football season, Coach Wilcox seems to be confident in his choice behind center. Mendoza earned his first start as quarterback for the Golden Bears, and the coach told reporters the Miami native would also start against the No. 18 Utah Utes next week.
Mendoza completed 21 of 32 passing attempts, throwing for 207 passing yards, two touchdowns and one interception against the Beavers. The play-caller also tacked on two successful two-point interceptions in the second half. His first two-point play narrowed California’s losing margin to 32-35 with 2:44 remaining in the third quarter.
But the Golden Bears’ upset bid was not meant to be, as the defense gave up big plays to the visiting Beavers all night. Oregon State finished the game with 19 plays of 10 yards or more.
The Beavers collected 499 yards of total offense against the Bears, including 296 in the air and 203 on the ground.
Oregon State quarterback DJ Uiagalelei threw for 275 passing yards, including five touchdowns. Uiagalelei's favorite targets were wide receiver Anthony Gould, who pulled in a team-high 117 passing yards, and tight end Jack Velling, who was often left wide open, good enough to bring in a game-high three receiving touchdowns.
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