Cal staying vigilant against Oregon State
CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) Boosted by a pair of wins over ranked teams this season - including last weekend's dramatic victory over Utah - the California Golden Bears are trying to stay vigilant against Oregon State.
The Golden Bears (3-2, 1-1) visit the Beavers (1-3, 0-1) on Saturday, with Oregon State still looking for its first conference win under coach Gary Andersen, now in his second season.
''I think there've been a lot of lessons learned this year on both sides of the ball. I think we're prepared, to hopefully play back-to-back weeks just like we did last week, which we haven't done this year,'' Cal quarterback Davis Webb said.
Webb, a Texas Tech graduate transfer, took over this season following the departure of top NFL draft pick Jared Goff. He leads the nation with 2,143 passing yards and 22 touchdowns.
He earned Pac-12 offensive Player of the Week honors for throwing four touchdown passes, all of more than 24 yards, in Cal's 28-23 victory over Utah last Saturday. The victory over the Utes was capped by a defensive stand that stopped Zach Moss from the 1-yard line on the final play.
The win was Cal's second straight over a ranked team. The Bears also beat then-No. 11 Texas 50-43 on Sept. 17.
Oregon State lost 47-6 last weekend to surprising Colorado, which currently sits atop the Pac-12 South standings. The Beavers' lone victory has come at home against Idaho State.
There have been comparisons between Andersen's start at Oregon State and coach Sonny Dykes' start at Cal. Dykes, now in his fourth year with the Golden Bears, went 1-11 in his first season, while Andersen went 2-10. Colorado's Mike MacIntyre is similarly seeing results in his fourth season, after going 4-8 and 2-10 in his first two seasons.
STICKING WITH GARRETSON: In his weekly media address, Andersen said he's sticking with starting quarterback Darell Garretson, despite his struggles against Colorado, when he was 5-for-16 for 55 yards. He was replaced by freshman Conor Blount, who was 8-for-16 for 45 yards with two interceptions.
''The decisions that I make as we go through time, I don't expect everybody to 100 percent agree with them and kids sometimes get frustrated,'' Andersen said. ''But Darell's not looking over his shoulder in any way, shape or form. He understands that and he knows that, and the things Darell and I talk about and the decisions I make are to make sure I help Darell become the best quarterback that he can be.''
HURTING SECONDARY: Oregon State freshman cornerback Jay Irvine has been ruled out against Cal after hurting his shoulder last week. Nickelback Dwyane Williams, who missed the game against the Buffs, is questionable with a hamstring injury. Last week, safety Devin Chappell and outside linebacker Bright Ugwoegbu were pressed into duty as nickel backs.
''I'm proud of those kids to accept that role, have an understanding of what to do, how to do it and walk in there in a very difficult spot and really hold their own pretty good,'' Andersen said.
LOSING RAMBO: Dykes made it official this week: safety Evan Rambo will miss the rest of the season because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament. The promising sophomore starter, who was hurt in the Sept. 24 loss to Arizona State, had 10 tackles, an interception and a pass breakup this season. He was replaced against Utah by Luke Rubenzer, who had four tackles and a pass breakup.
SPEAKING OF RUBENZER: He's a former quarterback for Cal, and he may be called upon during the game to defend Oregon State sophomore receiver Seth Collins, himself the former Beavers quarterback. Rubenzer switched to defense when it became clear he wasn't going to get much opportunity behind Goff. Collins was the starting quarterback for Oregon State at the beginning of last season, but he was dogged by injuries. Although he mulled transferring, he returned to the Beavers and embraced his new role.
THE LAST TIME: Cal leads the series 36-32. Last season, the Golden Bears ended a four-game losing streak with a 54-24 win over the Beavers.