California vs. Oregon State: Setting the Stage

California vs. Oregon State: Setting the Stage
Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion leaves the field as Washington fans rush in from the stands after Washington upset Oregon State, 20-17, in an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

No. 15 Oregon State (7-2, 5-1 Pac-12) vs. California (3-8, 2-6), 10:30 p.m. (Pac-12 Network)

Line: Off.

Series Record: Cal leads 34-30.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

It is California's final game of the season. The Beavers have three games remaining: After the Golden Bears they play top-ranked Oregon in the annual Civil War rivalry game before hosting Nicholls State on Dec. 1. The game against Nicholls State was originally scheduled for the opening week of the season, but concerns over Hurricane Isaac and student safety forced its postponement. Nicholls State's campus is in Thibodaux, La.

KEY MATCHUP

Oregon State's passing attack against Cal's pass defense. The Beavers will likely go with Sean Mannion, the team's starter for the first four games of the season. Mannion hurt his left knee, giving the starter's job to Cody Vaz, but Vaz was hurt in last weekend's loss to Stanford. Before his injury, Mannion was throwing an average of 339 yards a game. The Golden Bears are ranked 10th in the league in total defense, allowing 430 yards, and eighth in pass defense allowing 264 yards.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

CAL: RB Isi Sofele. Sofele needs 109 yards for 10th place on the school's career list. Last week he rushed for a season-best 134 yards against No. 1 Oregon. In last year's 23-6 victory over the Beavers, Sofele ran for a career-high 190 yards.

Oregon: WR Markus Wheaton. Wheaton is 14th among receivers nationwide with an average of 97.56 yards per game. The senior has had at least one catch in 32 straight games. He has 197 career catches, fourth all-time at Oregon State, and with nine touchdowns he is closing in on the single-season record of 12 set by James Newson in 2002.

FACTS & FIGURES

Cal has a four-game losing streak, its longest since 2001 when the team opened 0-10. ... Cal could be without QB Zach Maynard, who is nursing a left knee injury, for the second straight game. If he can't go, the Golden Bears will start Allan Bridgford. ... Cal will also likely be without wideout Keenan Allen, who also has a knee injury, for the third straight game. It could be Allen's last game as a Golden Bear, because he could leave school early for the NFL draft. ... It could also be the final game with the Golden Bears for coach Jeff Tedford, whose job security has been questioned this season.