California Golden Bears +3 (6-3) 7-2 ATS, 5-4 O/U at No. 23 Oregon State Beavers -3 (6-3) 6-3 ATS, 5-4 O/U Saturday, November 15 at Reser Stadium (45,674) Corvallis, Oregon 3:30 p.m. EST
by Wilson of Predictem.com
The Pac-10 conference is still very much up for grabs as far as what team will secure the title and appear on New Years Day in Pasadena for the Rose Bowl game. In the past its usually been USC or whoever finished second if USC was playing for a National Championship. This year may be different now that Oregon State has the ball in their court- so to speak. By beating USC earlier in the season the Beavers can capture the conference title by winning out their last three games versus Cal, Arizona, and the interstate rival Oregon in the Civil War game.
The Beavers will host the California Golden Bears this weekend in Corvallis. Oregon State is playing well as of late as they have won four straight games and last week beat UCLA 34-6. Back up QB Sean Canfield was 16-of-22 for 222 yards, 2 TDs, and 1 INT. Canfield was overshadowed by Jacquizz Rodgers, the freshman sensation who stole the show by setting a Pac-10 freshman rushing record. Rodgers rushed for 144 yards and a touchdown. His performance launched him to a total of 1,089 yards rushing on the season- the most ever by a freshman in the conference. He is amazing to watch run, and I have to compare him, as far as running style, to a guy named Barry Sanders who did OK in the NFL as back for the Detroit Lions.
Jacquizzs brother, James, also contributed by catching 6 passes for 115 yards as the Rodgers brothers have caused havoc on most Pac-10 defenses all season.
California comes into Corvallis licking their chops after a tough loss to powerhouse USC in LA last weekend 17-3. The Golden Bears played the Trojans tough, but a big penalty and a tenacious USC defense kept them from threatening the upset.
California looked to come within striking distance on an apparent TD pass but it was negated after a flag was thrown for an illegal receiver down field. Coupled with the Trojans defense the Bears faded away as USC closed the deal. USC held Cal to just 165 yards total offense- 27 on the ground!
On paper both of these teams have similar numbers with both averaging near 33 points per game and allowing between 20-22 points to their opponents. Cal may rotate their QBs as they did against USC because of the style of play. Nate Longshore is more in-the-pocket oriented while Kevin Riley has the ability to be a bit more mobile. Cal will do anything to get the advantage or better yet, find a weakness in Oregon States game.
California saw first hand USCs faults, especially on the offensive side of the ball. The Trojans had 10 penalties for 105 yards against the Bears, and the offense was less than stellar- this has happened a few times this year, but the Trojan defense has bailed them out every time outside of the Oregon State loss.
The Beavers are looking to return to the Rose Bowl and play on New Years Day for the first time in 44 years when in 1964 they lost to Michigan 34-7. Sportsbetting.ag and 5 Dimes have the Beavers favored by 3 points, as do most online books. I disagree with the tiny point spread in this particular game. My feeling is that the Beavers are dead-set on getting back to the Rose Bowl and they will be dominant on their own turf. California will not be ready for the Rodgers brothers as much as they may try to contain them- Coach Riley will have another great game plan, and you can bet it will key around these two fellas.
Wilsons Pick: Oregon State and the Rodgers brothers get it done again at home. This game is not even close. I like the Beavers to explode at home and cover the tiny 3 points! Luck to ya.