Berkeley, CA – The Oregon State Beavers (3-4, 2-2 Pac-12) edged out a 21-17 road victory over the Cal Golden Bears (4-3, 1-3 Pac-12) at California Memorial Stadium on Saturday, October 19, 2019, delivering on a fourth-quarter, go-ahead scoring drive to prevent a comeback win for the Bears.
The Beavers jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first half with redshirt senior quarterback Jake Luton (6) delivering scoring passes in each of the first two quarters. In the first, Luton found running back Artavis Pierce on a seven-yard scoring pass, and in the second, it was Isaiah Hodgins (17) hauling in a four-yard touchdown.
Hodgins, who led the league in reception yards entering the game and averaged the fourth-most yards per game across the nation with just over 118 per contest, has now brought in at least one touchdown reception in each of his last six games.
Despite a struggling offensive attack, the Bears were able to put points on the scoreboard prior to the half with Greg Thomas (39) driving in a 44-yard field goal to make it 14-3.
Cal seemed to have found their identity again to start the second half as they held Oregon State to just 20 yards of offense and found the endzone twice in the third quarter to go up 17-14.
Running back Christopher Brown Jr. (34) drove in a one-yard rushing score near the midpoint of the third quarter to give the Bears their first touchdown in six quarters of play. Then it was transfer-quarterback Devon Modster (6), who took the reigns for the Cal offense since it lost its starter, Chase Garbers, to an indefinite throwing-arm injury against Arizona State, finding senior receiver Jordan Duncan on a 33-yard scoring pass with just over half a minute remaining in the quarter to give the Bears the lead.
Despite the momentum swing, the Beavers found a way to earn the win in the end.
Starting at their own 20-yard line with just over 9:30 remaining, the Beavers capped a balanced, 12-play drive with another Luton touchdown pass, this time finding fellow redshirt senior, tight end Noah Togiai (81), to go ahead for good, 21-17.
Statistically, the two teams finished remarkably even. Both offenses finished with 282 yards, with Cal rushing for 107 and passing for 165, while Oregon State earned 108 on the ground and threw for 166.
Linebacker Evan Weaver, who has earned both national and conference Player of the Week honors this season, eclipsed the 100-tackle mark on the season tallying 21 on the day to give the senior All-American candidate two-straight seasons with 100 or more recorded.
Modster finished with a team-high 76 yards rushing on 19 attempts, but was also sacked 7 times. He left the game with an undisclosed injury late in the fourth quarter, which could lead to even greater difficulty for the Bears as they look to end a three-game losing streak since Garbers’ injury.
With the win, Oregon State earned back-to-back road victories for the first time since 2013.
Having fallen to Utah 52-7 last week, the Beavers were looking to put the tough loss behind them with a strong showing against the Bears.
“We talked about putting the previous game to rest, and I thought our guys did it, learned from it and had a great week of work,” Oregon State head coach Jonathan Smith said after the game. “That’s a good football team over there, I have a ton of respect for that staff. I’m pleased to come out on top today.”
The Beavers now head into their second and final bye week on the year, while Cal will travel to Salt Lake City to take on No. 13 Utah.