If this one were being played in Strawberry Canyon, it would be a piece of cake for Oregon State.

OSU has won five in a row at California's Memorial Stadium, the Beavers' home away from home in the Pac-12.

But with a year-long renovation pushing Cal's home games to San Francisco's AT and T Park - home of the baseball Giants - all bets are off.

The Bears have been up and down, but their two best wins of the season have come in the last three weeks - 34-10 over Utah and 30-7 over Washington State, both at AT and T Park.

I'm not overly impressed with Cal quarterback Zach Maynard, and the Beavers need to take advantage of the situation there much better than they did against Utah's so-so QB, Jon Hays.

Cal does have a fine tailback in junior Isi Sofele and two of the conference's top receivers in sophomore Keenan Allen and senior Marvin Jones. The Bears have a veteran defense, with six seniors starters, and lead the league in pass defense.

Sean Mannion needs to have a precise game - few or no interceptions - and it would help if Oregon State could forge a semblance of a running attack for a change.

Cal coach Jeff Tedford is tired of losing to the Beavers, and this game has special meaning for the Bears, who at 5-4 are a victory away from being bowl-eligible. With road games against Stanford and Arizona State left on the schedule, the Bears are looking at this one as a must-win.

Oregon State is still minus two key players up the middle - center Grant Johnson and middle linebacker Feti Unga, both out with injuries. Even with those two, a triumph would be a tall order for the Men in Orange.

THE PICK: California 30, Oregon State 23

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