PREGAME FINAL THOUGHTS: Cal vs. Oregon State
San Francisco Chronicle
() Jeff Tedford is 1-8 against USC, with his lone win over the Trojans coming in 2003. The only other conference opponent against which Tedford has a losing record is Oregon State; he's 2-6 against the Beavers since coming to Cal in 2002.
"I just want to win up there," said quarterback Kevin Riley, a Portland native. "Early in my career, it felt great going back home, but now that I've played everywhere, it's just another game. We haven't beaten Oregon or Oregon State. We need a win."
Although the Beavers have the best defensive lineman in the Pac-10 in Stephen Paea, their defense overall has been a disappointment, giving up nearly 31 points per game.
For Cal, its defense was resolute in all four victories but was run over by Nevada and riddled by Matt Barkley's passing at USC. For that reason, Cal quarterback Riley said a back-and-forth, high-scoring game might be in the offing.
Story line: This is the time for Cal to make a second-half push and define itself with a meaningful road victory. After posting a 4-2 road mark a year ago, the Bears are 0-3 away from home in 2010, and coach Jeff Tedford is getting tired of discussing the home-away disparity.
…But the Beavers have been 37-14 from October to December for the past six seasons and they've earned a bowl berth five times. To extend the trend, the Beavers will have to see better production from their running game — something that they've leaned on in the past. Oregon State is ranked ninth in the Pac-10 with an average of just 120.7 yards a game.
It's a showdown between two of the Pac-10's top running backs -- Oregon State's Jacquizz Rodgers and Cal's Shane Vereen. Both are among the conference leaders in rushing. "... The Bears are looking to win their first road game of the season. They are 0-3 on the road and 4-0 at home.
Oregon State is ranked 119th in the country out of 120 Football Bowl Subdivision teams in total defense (459.2 yards allowed per game). ... Cal has been outscored 110-54 in three games on the road this season.
MATCHUP TO WATCH: Cal's interior offensive linemen against OSU defensive tackle Stephen Paea. Paea is one of the most havoc-causing defensive linemen in the country…The Bears' guards and center will have to be at their best to contend with him.
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