Will Cal be a trick, or a treat, for Beavs?

TRICK OR TREAT! It's Halloween weekend and fittingly, Oregon State faces a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde-type opponent in the visiting Cal Bears. So are the Beavers in line for a trick… or a treat on Saturday. Because thus far this season, Cal has been more difficult to figure out than a trigonometry test following an all-nighter spent sipping from a vat of Four Loko.

The Bears' defense put up a stifling effort against Arizona's high flying offense – if it weren't for a last gasp ‘Zona drive, Cal would have held the explosive Wildcat offense to a whopping 3 points.

And this was coming straight on the heels of an absolute shellacking at the hands of Nevada where the Bears defense gave up 45 points. Bear QB Kevin Riley contributed a 65 yard pick-6, for a total of 52 points surrendered by the Golden Bears.

Those two games are a microcosm of who the Bears are in 2010. Hot and cold? More like absolute zero and the Planck temperature. (That's like really cold and really hot. You don't have to look it up. You can trust me.)

As bipolar as the Bears have been, the Beavers have been equally opposite in their performances. The blueprint has been the same in most games – the Beaver defense has been porous against the run and the pass, Jacquizz Rodgers has had trouble finding even a crack to run through and the offense rides on the powerful arm of Ryan Katz.

Katz has been efficient if not excellent at diagnosing the blitz and making the correct reads, aside from few disastrous decisions, mostly coming in the UW game. But overall, given the lack of effective run blocking by the offensive line, and without the security blanket of a stout defense, the sophomore quarterback from Santa Monica has been stellar.

THE OSU OFFENSE has found a way to be productive despite A) a first year signal caller and B) playing the toughest schedule in the nation and arguably in Oregon State history. (For Jeff Sagarin's strength of schedule rankings this week, rating OSU's slate as the toughest in the land, click here.)

In a nutshell, if you asked Beaver fans for a four word synopsis of the 2010 team, you'd likely hear it would be wise to bet the mortgage on, "Good offense, bad defense."

Cal is the yin to the Beavers' yang; "Bad offense, good defense."

This one has all the makings of a barnburner.


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