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Golden Nuggets: Prediction Thursday

For those watching the Virginia Tech-ECU game, this will be your open thread.  Go Hokies? Go Pirates? I really don't care who wins.  Later this evening we'll have the Eating the Enemy post to serve as the live thread for Cal basketball's exhibition game tonight.

For the first time all season, our buddy Ted Miller has picked against Cal.

Oregon State 27, California 24: Went back and forth on this one. Three things swing the pick to the Beavers: 1. The Rodgers brothers; 2. The Beavers always turn it on this time of the year; 3. It might be best if I go with the opposite impulse when I feel a certain way about Cal (All week I've felt certain the Bears are on the brink of a big surge). 

Bruce Feldman is concerned about the porous OSU O-line, but believes Canfield will lead the Beavers to a narrow 31-30 victory.

John Tamanaha predicts a 36-29 Beaver victory.  He seems particularly swayed by the Beavs' strong record against Cal in Strawberry Canyon.

The five CBS experts are split 3-2 in favor of Cal.

Four of Yahoo's five experts predict a Cal victory.

After the jump I have details of Miller's arthroscopic knee surgery, articles on tonights bball exhibition game, a look at the struggling Beaver defense, and more.  Plus, Riley's beard becomes the target of controversy!


Cal Football
  • Bad news from practice last night: Miller underwent arthroscopic knee surgery and will miss the OSU game.  he is expected to return against Arizona.  Hill and Summers-Gavin will likely miss Saturday's too.  Best has sat out the last few practices with a minor concussion, tweaked ankle, and cold, but he is expected to return to practice tonight. Daily Cal has more details on Miller's knee.  Miller had felt pain in the knee but it was more intense than usual after the game.  An MRI revealed bleeding in a muscle, but indicated it had not torn from the tendon.  There was slight damage to the meniscus, but it was not enough to warrant stitching.  Instead it was simply trimmed.
  • Kevin Riley's mother wants him to trim that wild beard.  Riley's dad, Faustin, says Kevin's great success in 2007 may have been swayed by the NFL-caliber receivers, running back, and O-line he was working with.  When Kevin realized he was working with a different team in 2008, Faustin says, he realized he needed to do more mentally and physically both to succeed on the field and to attain a leadership role.  When Riley made those changes "he grew up some."
  • With the talk that Riley is going to have a big day against the OSU secondary, they are making a tremendous effort to prove those predictions wrong.  After losing three members of last year's secondary and two of its top pass rushers to the NFL, OSU has been giving up big plays to opposing passing attacks.  Prior to registering four sacks against UCLA, the Beavers had only four sacks in their previous seven games.
  • OSU's true freshman Jordan Poyer has been very impressive so far.  He's expected to start playing as safety soon, but for now he is a gunner on punt and kick coverage, blocker/rusher on punt returns, and James Rodgers' backup on kick returns.  Look for him to play a significant role against Alamar's units Saturday.
  • Here's a brief interview with the musically inclined OSU DE Latu Moala.
  • Cal checks in at 5th in Wilner's Pac-10 power rankings.

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