Getting away from the more onanistic implications, the question really is about whether Cal has a realistic shot at beating OSU on Sat. The short answer is yes. The long answer follows.
What will it take for Cal to win? Pretty simple. We need to play better than them. Oh, you want specifics? Sure. with all apologies to Hiro Nakamura, in order for Cal to win on Sat the trick is "Stop the Quizz, save the game."
Here's what I think it comes down to.
1. OSU Running game. Cal's D has to make the effort to stop the run, and I think they can do it. They completely shut down the rushing attacks of MSU, Oregon, Fucla, Wazzu, and ASU. In each case, Cal forced those teams to try and beat them with the pass, and they simply couldn't. The one game which really stands out by it's absence is Zona. Particularly if you make the argument that Quizz and Antolin are similar runners. Accepting that as truth, the difference is that Cal's D was forced to pay far more respect to the Zona passing game, taking away the focus on the run. Which leads to the next point ...
2. The OSU Passing game. The Beavs are not even close to being as horrible as either Oregon or Fucla in the passing game, but they also aren't as proficient as either $C or Zona. Regardless of which QB plays for OSU, they'll be competent, won't take risks, and will avoid silly mistakes. But they also are not likely to make the huge play. Moevao gives the Beavs a stronger threat to run, but then Cal did pretty good against another running QB from the state to our immediate north. And Moevao, while being a good QB, has been prone to forced throws. In fact, pure luck bailed them out a number of times against $C.
3. Cal's O-Line. OSU has a good defense, but not an exceptional one. Teams have put points up on them, especially teams with a balanced offense. Here is where Cal's O-Line needs to be strong. If Cal can give Best & Vereen holes, and provide some protection, Cal can score - regardless of who is playing QB for us.
4. Corvalis. Reser Stadium has been very kind to us Bears for some reason. The real key will be whether the Beaver fans will be as hyped up for this game as they are for either $C or Oregon.
Now, all of these are way easier said than done. Especially points 1 and 3. Stopping the OSU running game will be tough, and establishing the Cal OL dominance even tougher. A few big plays by special teams wouldn't hurt, and a TD from either them or the defense would really help. Overall, this is a winnable game, but only if Cal plays like they did against ASU or MSU.
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