Cal upsets Oregon, 26-16

Associated Press

Marcus Ezeff recovered Oregon’s fumble on a punt return to set up Shane Vereen’s two-yard touchdown run with 8:57 to play, and California persevered through the rain for a 26-16 victory at Berkeley to set up a showdown with USC next week.

Cal, 6-2 overall and 4-1 in the Pac-10, won despite floundering on offense for most of the final three quarters. Two Ducks turnovers allowed the Bears to make mercifully short scoring drives -- about the only kind possible in such awful weather.

“Now that’s a real football game,” said Cal defensive lineman Cameron Jordan, who had 10 tackles and a sack. “If you don’t love being on a field like that, you don’t love football. Everything about the rain and the weather fired us up.”


Cal’s big plays on defense and special teams decided it. Linebacker Worrell Williams returned an interception 50 yards to the Oregon three to set up Nyan Boateng’s touchdown catch 18 seconds before halftime, and Jairus Byrd’s fumble on a fair catch attempt doomed Oregon’s otherwise solid defense again.

Throw in a safety on a horrible punt snap, a bobbled extra-point hold and a missed field goal, and the Ducks (6-3, 4-2) knew the blame for this wasted opportunity rested on their shoulders.

“It was a bad day to play football. It was a bad field to play football,” Oregon Coach Mike Bellotti said. “There was standing water on the field, and in this day and age, that’s unheard of. . . . We got five takeaways in the first half, and other than the first one, we weren’t able to capitalize. Give Cal credit. They stymied us at the line of scrimmage.”

Stanford 58, Washington State 0 -- Toby Gerhart tied a Stanford single-game record by running for four touchdowns before halftime at Stanford, and the Cardinal moved one step closer to bowl eligibility with their most lopsided win in 59 years.

The Cardinal (5-4, 4-2) overwhelmed the overmatched Cougars (1-8, 0-6) in front of only a few thousand fans who braved the elements in a driving rainstorm. The victory was the biggest for Stanford since a 63-0 victory over Idaho in 1949 and its first shutout in conference play since beating Oregon 17-0 in 1974.

The Cougars were shut out for the second straight game after going 280 straight contests scoring at least once. That streak ended two weeks ago in a 69-0 loss to USC and Washington State has now been outscored 172-0 since late in the first half against Oregon State on Oct. 11.

Oregon State 27, Arizona State 25 -- Jacquizz Rodgers rushed for 134 yards and Sean Canfield completed 19 of 28 passes for 218 yards and two touchdowns and Oregon State (5-3, 4-1) held off Arizona State (2-6, 1-4) at Corvallis, Ore.

Sun Devils quarterback Rudy Carpenter completed a three-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Petters to make the score 27-25 with 21 seconds remaining in the game, but the ensuing two-point conversion try failed.

James Rodgers had 103 receiving yards for the Beavers.