WTS: Two wins away

THE MEN IN Black took one step closer to their dreams of making it to the Rose Bowl for the first time in 44 years with a thrilling 34-21 victory over Cal. Here's what the Oregon, California and national media had to say about the Beavers victory.

| From an Oregon State Perspective |

Beavs surge past Cal, maintain Pac-10 lead
THE BEGINNING served as microcosm for Oregon State's slugfest 34-21 win over Cal -- the Bears came out swinging on special teams. But James Rodgers followed with a bigger punch. Then it was Sammie Stroughter's turn. Indeed, each time Cal gained momentum, OSU answered right back. And when the clock struck zeros, OSU remained in control of their Rose Bowl dreams with two games to play.

It started out with a bang. The Beavs gave up a long kickoff return and with a facemask flag to boot, the Bears started their opening drive on the OSU 26-yard line. Four plays later, Cal was in the end zone and the Beavs were in a 7-0 hole just a little over two minutes into the game ... more from BeaverFootbal.com.


Returns get OSU rolling
James Rodgers ran a kickoff back 86 yards for Oregon State’s first touchdown Saturday. Sammie Stroughter returned a punt 56 yards to set up the second score for the Beavers.

“That’s exciting. You love to see plays like that whether you’re a defensive guy or a redshirt guy in the stands,” OSU defensive end Victor Butler said. “It gets you pumped up, and it makes you want to do your job even (better) because you’ve got someone fighting just as hard for you." ... more from the Register Guard | OSU report


Beavers two wins from Rose Bowl
Oregon State can smell the roses.

A trip to Pasadena and the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1 is still two wins away, but the 23rd-ranked Beavers took a major step toward that goal Saturday with a 34-21 victory against California ... more from the Statesman Journal | Notebook


Rodgers brothers, Beaver defense prove to be more than Cal can bear
And on it goes for Oregon State.

The winning streak is now five games. The season is down to two games. There’s still scant talk about what that might eventually mean ... more from the Register Guard.


For Beavers, scent of Roses grows stronger
Another opponent down, two to go.

Oregon State’s march to the Rose Bowl proceeded Saturday with a 34-21 victory over California, and it was anything but easy ... more from The Portland Tribune.


Life of Riley
Football is so much about testosterone and ego, and that’s why it’s maybe so surprising what Mike Riley has accomplished at Oregon State.

In more than 30 years in this business, I’ve not come across anyone in a major college or professional coaching position more genuine or wholesome or humble than the 55-year old football coach ... more from The Portland Tribune.


Beavers rely on strengths to turn away California
In arguably its biggest game of the season, 23rd-ranked Oregon State stuck to its meat and potatoes style of football and to quality results, defeating Pac-10 foe California 34-21 to move one step closer to the Beavers' ultimate goal: a trip south to Pasadena, Calif.

With their seventh win of the season, the Beavers secured their third straight winning season and stayed within striking distance of Southern California (7-1 Pac-10), which defeated Stanford on Saturday to remain a half-game ahead of OSU (6-1 Pac-10) ... more from the Mail Tribune.


Cal down, two to go to Roses
It just keeps getting better for an Oregon State team now two wins from crashing the Rose Bowl for the first time in 44 years.

"One step closer," freshman tailback Jacquizz Rodgers said Saturday after the Beavers wrestled a bruising 34-21 victory from California in front of 45,969, the largest crowd in Reser Stadium history ... more from The Oregonian | Notes


Riley's homecoming not so friendly
Kevin Riley said California's game Saturday against Oregon State was never about coming home.

"It was all about the game," the Golden Bears sophomore quarterback said. "Playing back home, it was a cool deal; you don't get the chance very often. But it was always about the game." ... more from The Oregonian.


Don't let the 12-year-old get away
Michael Rodgers, age 12, played a Pop Warner football game in suburban Houston on Saturday. He plays running back and defensive back. This is why he missed seeing his two older brothers -- James and Jacquizz -- running around at Reser Stadium, slamming the door on another Oregon State victory.

I bring this up only because the Beavers should probably offer the sixth grader a scholarship today. As in right now, sight unseen. Don't care how tall he is. Don't care how fast he is. Just give the kid a full ride before the University of Texas shows up at the Rodgers family doorstep, apologizing for missing the first two times ... more from The Oregonian.


Race for the Rose
While the Oregon State Beavers wouldn't dare mention it, their fans weren't at all afraid.

"We Smell Roses!" read a trio of signs lofted by fans at Reser Stadium following No. 23 Oregon's 34-21 victory over California ... more from the Associated Press.


Moevao makes return as Beavers win
Lyle Moevao was sick on Saturday. His shoulder, however, was just fine.

Moevao wasn’t razor sharp during Oregon State’s 34-21 win over California in front of 45,969 fans at Reser Stadium ... more from the Gazette Times | Sideline briefing


Swarming the Bears
Early in the week, Oregon State football coach Mike Riley was asked what area of his team had improved the most this season.

After pondering it a moment, he couldn’t come up with one area, so he fudged ... more from the Gazette Times | Report card


Paea making major strides
Every game is a learning experience for Oregon State sophomore defensive tackle Stephen Paea.

You wouldn’t know it by watching Paea as he chased down California ball carriers all Saturday afternoon during OSU’s 34-21 win over the Golden Bears in Reser Stadium, but this is only his third year playing football ... more from the Gazette Times.


| From a California Perspective |


Offense Struggles in 34-21 Loss to Oregon State
For a moment, it looked like Kevin Riley might have his shot not just at redemption, but at exact revenge.

With the Cal football team trailing Oregon State, 27-21, and 42 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Riley and the Bears started a drive from their six-yard line. It was the exact spot from which Cal began its fateful final drive against the Beavers in 2007, and it appeared to give Riley the slim chance to complete what he couldn't in 2007 ... more The Daily Californian.


Bears are spiraling - can they avoid drain?
As Cal's opportunity for a Rose Bowl berth, a national ranking or any other highfalutin achievement vanished Saturday with its 34-21 loss to No. 23 Oregon State, the issue now becomes the team's 2008 identity.

The Bears have lost two straight, both times showing excellence on defense and limitations on offense, and they desperately want to avoid the kind of collapse that scarred the 2007 season ... more from the San Franciso Gate | Notebook


Going bowling? Who knows where for Cal?
Cal's bowl's destination is still unclear, and only the Rose and Orange bowls seem to have been eliminated.

Believe it or not, the Bears could still get into the Holiday Bowl, although that would require Oregon State to win its final two games against Arizona and Oregon and earn the Rose Bowl berth while USC also wins out and gets a bid to another BCS game ... more from the San Franciso Gate.


Cal QB rushed by Oregon State defense
For the most part, Cal's makeshift offensive line had survived the past few weeks.

Not Saturday ... more from the Mercury News.


Cal no match for Oregon State 34-21
Cal's players insist this year's team is different than last season's. They're about to find out how true that is starting against Stanford in the Big Game.

The heart and soul of the Bears will be tested in their final two games — against the Cardinal and Washington — after Saturday's 34-21 loss at No. 23 Oregon State ... more from the Mercury News.


Cal's goals downgraded
Cal's players insist this year's team is much different than last year's. We're about to find out how true that really is.

The heart and soul of the Bears will be tested in their final two games of the season after Saturday's 34-21 loss to No. 23 Oregon State. Cal still has a chance to finish the year strong with both games taking place at home, but it's looking like the Bears' most realistic goal is to finish in a tie for third place in the Pac-10 standings ... more from Inside Bay Area.


Struggling Bears remain consistently inconsistent
Kevin Riley swore it wasn't about the homecoming — to the point you expected him to renounce his Oregon citizenship just to prove his point.

The déjà vu? He was fine with that, as far as it went ... more from Inside Bay Area.


Offense fails to hold the line
For the most part, Cal's makeshift offensive line had survived the past few weeks. Saturday was a different story.

The Bears couldn't keep Oregon State's defensive front out of the backfield, allowing Kevin Riley to be sacked five times and consistently forcing him to break out of the pocket during a 34-21 loss against No. 23 Oregon State ... more from Inside Bay Area.


| From a National Perspective |


Upstart Beavers that much closer to Rose Bowl bid
The Oregon State Beavers have been the most overachieving team in the Pac-10 over the past five seasons, while the California Golden Bears have been the most underachieving team in the league.
College football roundup.

Saturday's game in Reser Stadium proved the point, and as a result, the kids from Corvallis are just two wins away from shocking the football world ... more from CollegeFootballNews.com.

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