CORVALLIS, Ore. — Oregon State’s Ben Gulbranson threw for two touchdowns and ran for a score, and the Beavers’ defense turned in another strong performance in a 38-10 victory Saturday night over California.
Oregon State (7-3, 4-3 Pac-12) got a 55-yard punt return for a touchdown from Anthony Gould, and did enough offensively to control the game. Damien Martinez had his fourth consecutive 100-yard rushing game with 105 yards on 23 carries.
Gulbranson completed 15 of 23 passes for 137 yards, and is 4-1 since replacing Chance Nolan as the Beavers’ starting quarterback.
A week after scoring 35 points in a loss at USC, the Bears (3-7, 1-6 conference) were limited to 156 total yards and didn’t score an offensive touchdown.
Oregon State opened the scoring on Gulbranson’s 1-yard touchdown run, set up by a 37-yard pass from all-purpose standout Jack Colletto to Gould on fourth and 2 from the Bears’ 48-yard line.
Linebacker Kyrei Fisher-Morris intercepted Jack Plummer on the ensuing possession deep in Cal territory. That led to a 5-yard touchdown run by Jam Griffin, extending the lead to 14-0 at 2:14 of the first quarter.
Gould’s punt return for a touchdown early in the second quarter — his second special teams score this season – gave the Beavers a 21-0 advantage.
After Cal failed to convert on fourth down at the Beavers’ 18-yard line, the Bears defense made a big play.
Cornerback Jeremiah Earby scooped up Martinez’s fumble and returned it 33 yards for a touchdown, cutting the lead to 21-7 at the break. The Bears managed just 53 yards of total offense in the first half.
Everett Hayes booted a 49-yard field goal on the opening drive of the first half, extending the lead to 24-7.
An 8-yard touchdown pass from Gulbranson to Tre’Shaun Harrison gave Oregon Sate a 31-7 lead at 4:03 of the third quarter, and Gulbranson connected with tight end Jack Veiling for a 2-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
California: The Bears fell out of bowl consideration with a sixth straight loss and struggled offensively. Jaydn Ott, who entered the game leading all Pac-12 freshman in rushing with 725 yards, was limited to 20 yards on eight carries.
Oregon State: The Beavers took care of business at home, winning for the 10th time in the last 11 games at Reser Stadium since the start of the 2021 season. The only loss was a 17-14 setback Sept. 14 against USC. Gulbranson continues to be productive at quarterback in a ball-control offense. … Camas High grad Jack Colletto, the Beavers’ all-everything player, completed a pass for 37 yards.
Oregon State will be at Arizona State next Saturday.