Oregon State rallies past Cal thanks to Jefferson, and blocked punt
A blocked punt set up Tristan Gebbia’s second touchdown, a 1-yard touchdown plunge with 4:30 remaining, as Oregon State came from behind to beat California 31-27 in a Pac-12 clash on Saturday in Corvallis, Ore.
Shortly after Cal (0-2) took a 27-24 lead on Chase Garbers’ third touchdown pass, a 2-yarder to tight end Jake Tonges with 8:04 to go, the Bears were forced to punt in their own territory and Jamieson Sheahan had his kick blocked by Oregon State’s Jesiah Irish.
The Beavers (1-2) took over at the Cal 14 and needed just three plays to get into the end zone, with Gebbie sneaking in after Jermar Jefferson had run for seven and six yards on his team’s first two plays.
Down 31-27, Garbers directed Cal 69 yards in 10 plays to the Oregon State 10 with a little more than a minute remaining, but a deflected pass was intercepted by John McCartan to clinch the win.
Jefferson, who took the game’s first snap 75 yards for a touchdown, finished with a game-high 196 rushing yards on 18 carries. It was his third straight 100-yard game of the season.
Gebbia, who earlier had caught a TD pass from wide receiver Tyjon Lindsey on a trick play, threw for 147 yards and one score. He suffered two interceptions.
Garbers went 28-for-42 for 315 yards and three scores for the Bears. He also had two interceptions.
Cal’s Kekoa Crawford was the game’s leading receiver with 10 catches for 141 yards and a touchdown.
The Golden Bears came into the game without top running back Christopher Brown Jr. because of an injury, and three starting offensive linemen were out due to COVID-19 concerns. The Beavers put the pressure on early when Jefferson took a handoff on the first offensive snap of the game and sprinted 75 yards for a 7-0 lead.
Cal rebounded to get the better of the rest of the half, however, with Garbers throwing for 227 yards and two touchdowns, one a 7-yarder to Makai Polk in the first quarter and the other a 21-yarder to Crawford in the second period.
Dario Longhetto provided the difference in Cal’s 20-14 halftime lead with a pair of field goals, including a career-best, 52-yarder on the final play of the second quarter.
Oregon State’s other TD in the half was the product of a 35-yard connection between Gebbia and Teagan Quitoriano late in the first, putting the Beavers up 14-7.
There were three lead changes in the second half.
–Field Level Media