Bulletin wire reports
Oregon St. at Arizona
When: 7:15 p.m. No. 11 TV: ESPN2
BERKELEY, Calif. — The busiest afternoon of Patrick Laird’s season also turned out to be the best of his career and the most productive by any California running back in nearly a decade.
Laird rushed for 214 yards on 33 carries — both career-highs — helping California hold off Oregon State 37-23 on Saturday.
Oregon State interim coach Cory Hall said Cal did not show anything different offensively to get Laird on track.
“It’s the same offense,” Hall said. “It’s nothing that’s different. Just again, we’ve got to make our plays. The boys were prepared, nothing caught us off-guard. So what I’ll do is as a staff we’ll go, we’ll reassess, we’ll grade it and then we’ll continue to coach them for it. We’ve got to coach them better.”
Laird, who began the season third on Cal’s depth chart, became the first Bears running back to top 200 yards since Jahvid Best put up 311 against Washington in 2008.
“It’s awesome to watch but it’s nothing new,” quarterback Ross Bowers said. “I know the numbers are a little bit more flashy today than some other games but he’s a really good player. It’s funny, we almost expect him to do that.”
The Beavers rushed for just 104 yards and finished with 299 total yards to Cal’s 475.
“They did a really good job up front, their front seven,” Beavers quarterback Darell Garretson said. “They didn’t bring anything I hadn’t seen before, that I didn’t see on film or anything like that. A different defense than they were last year, obviously, but I knew that coming in, so hats off to them.”
Cal came up with what looked like a back-breaking 53-yard touchdown drive to go up 37-20 with 10 minutes, 30 seconds left.
But the Beavers put together a 10-play, 73-yard drive but settled for a field goal when they stalled out at the Cal 13.
Targeting was costly for the Beavers, who lost Kyle White in the first half, and then Bright Ugwoegbu was tossed after a replay in the second half.
“Things happen. Once those rulings are made, you have to live with it,” Hall said. “It’s not just Oregon State, it’s happened all over the country. Questionable targeting calls. It’s real controversial this season and any other season in both leagues. It’s the same way in the NFL. What are the parameters?”
The Beavers were called for nine penalties for 99 years, getting flagged for everything from offensive pass interference to illegal substitution for too many men on the field.
“We’ve got some things we need to clean up,” Hall said, “We had some administrative penalties and there was some aggressive penalties that have to be channeled in the right way. And we will, we’ll clean that up.”
Inside linebacker Manase Hungalu led the team with 20 total tackles.
Oregon State used a little trickery on its first scoring drive. Garretson threw a backward pass to tight end Tuli Wily-Matagi, who then threw back across the field to Ryan Nall for a 26-yard touchdown.
“It was designed to do what it did and it was well executed,” Hall said. “At the end of the day it was about our players having fun and they had fun with that one.”