CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) – Oregon State’s Ben Gulbranson threw for two touchdowns and ran for a score, and the Beavers’ defense turned in another strong performance in Saturday night’s 38-10 victory over California.
Oregon State (7-3, 4-3 Pac-12) got a punt return 55 yards for a touchdown by Anthony Gould, and did enough offensively to control the game. Damien Martinez had his fourth straight 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 held to 156 total yards and no offensive touchdowns.
Oregon State opened the scoring on Gulbranson’s 1-yard run, set up by a 37-yard pass from all-purpose Jack Collett 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, making the lead 14-0 at the 2:14 mark of the first quarter.
Gould’s punt return for a touchdown early in the second quarter — his second special teams score of the season — gave the Beavers a 21-0 lead.
After Cal failed to convert on fourth down at the Beavers’ 18-yard line, the Bears’ defense made a big play.
Cornerback Jeremiah Earby caught 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 hit 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 State a 31-7 lead at 4:03 of the third quarter, and Gulbranson connected with Jack Veiling for a 2-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
California: The Bears fell out of bowl consideration with their sixth straight loss and have struggled offensively. Jaydn Ott, who entered the game leading all Pac-12 freshmen 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 their last 11 games at Reser Stadium since the start of the 2021 season. The only loss was a 17-14 setback against USC on Sept. 14. Gulbranson continues to be productive at guard in a ball-control offense.
California: Will host Stanford next Saturday.
Oregon State: Will be at Arizona State next Saturday.
More AP College Football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/ap_top25. Sign up for AP’s college football newsletter: https://tinyurl.com/mrxhe6f2