BERKELEY, Calif. — Sean Mannion threw for 481 yards and four touchdowns as Oregon State rolled to its sixth straight victory, beating California 49-17 Saturday night.
Brandin Cooks caught 13 passes for a career-high 232 yards with one touchdown and added another score on a 14-yard run as the Beavers (6-1, 4-0 Pac-12) racked up plenty of gaudy stats against a Cal unit ranked 121st of 123 FBS teams in terms of total defense.
Cooks had 197 receiving yards before halftime, including catches of 50, 38 and 34 yards – the last providing Oregon State’s fourth touchdown of the first half and a 28-3 lead.
Mannion, already the nation’s leading passer, increased his per-game average to 427.4 yards after going 35 for 45 on the night. The Bay Area native found different receivers for each of his touchdown passes and pushed his nation-leading total in that category to 29. Mannion has thrown for at least 367 yards in every game this season.
Cal (1-6, 0-4) lost its 11th consecutive game to an FBS opponent, the longest such streak of any team in a BCS conference.
Golden Bears true freshman quarterback Jared Goff threw for 220 yards but committed three turnovers in his own half – an interception and two lost fumbles – before being replaced early in the third quarter by Zach Kline.
Kline immediately led Cal on an 88-yard touchdown drive, capped by a 7-yard swing pass to Darren Ervin. The redshirt freshman, who lost a preseason battle with Goff for the right to run first-year coach Sonny Dykes’ Bear Raid offense, finished 11 for 16 for 71 yards and two touchdowns and added 28 yards rushing on four attempts.
Cal gave the crowd brief hope with a stop on Oregon State’s first drive, but the Beavers took their next possession 91 yards in less than 2 minutes for the game’s opening score. Storm Woods dove in for a 1-yard touchdown run.
Cal came back with a 22-yard field goal by Vincenzo D’Amato, but the Beavers were handed great field position late in the first quarter when Scott Critchton sacked Goff, forcing a fumble that Mana Rosa recovered at Cal’s 15. Three plays later, Mannion found Caleb Smith in the middle of the end zone for a 14-3 lead.
Cooks put Oregon State ahead 21-3 on the Beavers’ next possession when he took an end around on fourth-and-2 and outran the over pursuing Cal defenders to the end zone.
With 3:44 left in the half, Cooks and Mannion combined for their 13th touchdown connection of the season, a 34-yard catch-and-run from a middle screen.
Oregon State killed off any lingering suspense after halftime by marching downfield with the opening kickoff. The Beavers cashed in with another interior screen touchdown pass, this one a 28-yarder to Woods that made it 35-3.
The Beavers responded to Kline’s first touchdown pass with another impressive drive, ending in a simple 15-yard slant for a touchdown by Richard Mullaney and a 42-10 advantage.
Terron Ward added Oregon State’s final touchdown, walking in from 1 yard with 9:26 remaining.
Kline pulled another touchdown back for Cal with 3:44 left, converting on fourth-and-goal with a 1-yard pass to Jacob Wark.