September 29, 2006

Beavers ready to take on potent Cal offense

Never mind the fact Oregon State upset California last season in Strawberry Canyon, 23-20. Or that OSU has won seven of the last eight meetings between the two teams. That's because Jeff Tedford has the Golden Bears primed to end Southern California's three year reign as Pac-10 champs this season.

Cal leads the Pac-10 in scoring offense, passing offense, pass efficiency, net punting,
red-zone offense and opponent penalty yards.

"I think their last game kind of summarizes all of it," said OSU coach Mike Riley. "They had big plays on defense for scores and big special teams plays for touchdowns. They have an explosive offense with a lot of talent and I think that overall they've got very good team speed and athletic ability."

The Golden Bears are coming off an impressive 49-21 rout of Arizona State at home. The victory was its third straight after losing to Tennessee in the season-opener. As usual, the Cal offense was firing on all cylinders. Quarterback Nate Longshore completed 18-of-26 passes for 270 yards and four touchdowns. Star running back Marshawn Lynch ran for 124 yards and caught his first touchdown of the season.

And while Tedford's squads are known for their offensive prowess, it was the Cal defense that stole the show against the Sun Devils. It picked off heralded ASU quarterback Rudy Carpenter four times. Cornerback Daymeion Hughes had two of those interceptions and returned one 47 yards for a touchdown. Meanwhile,linebacker Zach Follett recorded a career-high 10 tackles, a pair of sacks and forced two fumbles.

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