CORVALLIS, Ore. — Oregon State’s Ben Gulbranson threw for two touchdowns and ran for a score, and the Beavers’ defense put in another strong performance in a 38-10 win over California Saturday night.
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 straight 100-yard rushing game with 105 yards and 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 losing 35 points at USC, the Bears (3-7, 1-6 conference) were limited to 156 total yards and failed to 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 in fourth and 2 from the Bears’ 48-yard line.
Linebacker Kyrei Fisher-Morris intercepted Jack Plummer deep in Cal territory on subsequent possession. That led to a five-yard touchdown run by Jam Griffin, who extended the lead to 14-0 by 2:14 in the first quarter.
Gould’s punt return for a touchdown early in the second quarter – his second Special Teams win of the season – gave the Beavers a 21-0 lead.
After Cal failed to convert on the fourth down at the Beavers’ 18, the Bears’ defense made a big play.
Cornerback Jeremiah Earby picked up Martinez’s fumble and returned him 33 yards for a touchdown, cutting the lead to 21-7 at the break. The Bears managed just 53 yards total offense in the first half.
Everett Hayes launched a 49-yard field goal on the first drive of the first half and extended 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 tight end Jack Veiling for a 2-yard touchdown inside fourth quarter.
THE TAKE AWAY
California: The Bears fell out of bowl consideration with a sixth straight loss and struggled offensively. Jaydn Ott, who entered the game and led all Pac-12 freshmen with 725 yards, was limited to 20 yards on eight carries.
Oregon State: The Beavers took care of business at home and won 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 on Sept. 14 against USC. Gulbranson continues to be productive as a quarterback on a ball-control offense.
California: host Stanford next Saturday.
Oregon State: Will be at Arizona State next Saturday.