What happens when Beav D meets Cal O...

THE QUINTESSENTIAL college football question will be asked and answered this weekend when Oregon State plays host to California on Saturday night (Pac-12 Networks, 7:30 p.m.) What happens when a productive offense meets a strong defense? That assumes of course that OSU’s defense really is stout, and Week Seven vs. Stanford was an anomaly.

And I believe that’s the case. Oregon State does not have an elite defense as many had hoped, but they can look like an elite defense against certain teams.

Whether Cal is one of them, I’m not so sure.

The Bears started out tremendously on offense, but they’ve since fallen back to earth. Which Cal team shows up, the one that started 4-1 and averaging 50 points per game… or the one that’s gone 0-3 in their last three contests while averaging 27.3 ppg during that stretch?

It will be critical for Oregon State to come out and hit the Bears in the mouth. You say that’s true of any game? Sure, but it’s especially important against Cal and here’s why:

Cal is on a three-game slide, they’re starting to drop their heads earlier. It’s human nature, especially when you’re considering college football student-athletes. If Cal finds some success early, they’ll become more resilient, they’ll start to get some of the confidence that has been lost over the last three games.

But if OSU turns Cal away on their first few possessions and does some scoring of their own, the sense of “here we go again” comes back into play the way it did last week against Oregon.

You could see it on TV. Cal’s body language was terrible, as realization dawned on them that they weren’t going to be able to come back and win that game.

OSU needs to force Cal to pick back up right where they left off.

According to the Oregonian, the first-team dime personnel group in Wednesday’s practice was cornerback Malcolm Marable, who replaced a resting Steven Nelson, and safety Cyril Noland (in addition to Ryan Murphy, Ty Zimmerman and Justin Strong).

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