5:00 PM ET, October 4, 2003
Memorial Stadium (Berkeley, CA), Berkeley, CA
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) -- When coach Mike Riley took over at Oregon State this year, he told Steven Jackson he would get the ball 30 to 35 times a game, and Riley has kept his word.
Jackson rushed for 227 yards on 35 carries and scored three touchdowns as the Beavers defeated California on Saturday for the fifth straight time, 35-21, as both teams showcased their star running backs.
"He's our thoroughbred workhorse," Beavers linebacker Richard Siegler said.
Quarterback Derek Anderson, who has struggled on the road, completed 18 of 27 passes for 224 yards and two touchdowns as Oregon State (5-1, 2-0 Pac-10) controlled the clock to win its fourth in a row since a 16-14 loss at Fresno State.
The Beavers are 2-0 in conference play for the first time since 1968.
"We got the edge for Steve all day, and he ran crazy," Anderson said. "It feels good to get a road win like this. It's big."
The teams' feature running backs put on a show at Memorial Stadium.
Cal's defense hadn't allowed a 200-yard rushing game since Jackson went for 239 against the Golden Bears last season.
Adimchinobe Echemandu had his third 100-yard game of the season for Cal and second in two weeks with 146 yards on 19 carries for two touchdowns -- but he was about all the Bears (3-4, 1-1) had in an unimpressive showing on offense.
Echemandu had 82 of Cal's 98 first-half yards, including a 10-yard catch. Then, on Cal's first offensive series of the second half, Echemandu gained 60 of his team's 80 yards in a scoring drive that was capped by his 2-yard TD run.
Then Jackson answered right back with a 66-yard gain that led to an Oregon State score, his own 5-yard TD catch from Anderson for a 35-21 lead.
Jackson, the 2002 Pac-10 rushing leader who was held to his lowest total of the season last week with 105 yards against Arizona State, has 877 yards through six games.
"I just do my job," Jackson said. "Give me the ball, I run."
A week after a thrilling, triple-overtime 34-31 victory over then-No. 3 Southern California, Cal couldn't establish a passing game. The Bears were only 2-for-14 on third-down opportunities and forced their defense to spend a lot of time on the field.
Cal receiver Geoff McArthur, who came in leading the nation in receiving yards, faced double coverage most of the day and finished with one catch for 13 yards and the Beavers frequently blitzed to keep quarterback Aaron Rodgers under constant pressure.
"That was huge. Defensively, we were pretty relentless," Riley said. "They got some plays, but we never really blinked."
Rodgers started the game 2-for-12 for 7 yards and an interception as Cal managed only 98 yards in the first half and had the ball for only 9:29.
The Bears' 52 yards passing was their lowest total since throwing for 89 yards in a 21-17 loss to Washington State on Sept. 30, 2000.
"Even sometimes when we made plays, he made better plays," Cal linebacker Joe Maningo said of Jackson. "His speed is deceiving."
Daymeion Hughes intercepted Anderson late in the first quarter and returned it 72 yards for Cal's first touchdown, but Anderson didn't let it get him down as he has in the past.
"I don't think anybody doubted we could win on the road," said Anderson, who had five interceptions at Fresno State.
When the Beavers took a 14-0 lead on Jackson's first touchdown with 6:14 left in the first, the Bears had been outgained 114-5. Cal was held to 237 total yards to Oregon State's 493.
Oregon State built a 28-7 lead in the second quarter on Anderson's 20-yard TD pass to Tim Euhus, but was flagged for pass interference, roughing the passer and holding penalties for 36 yards on Cal's next offensive series, leading to a negated interception and a touchdown by the Bears 52 seconds before halftime. Oregon State was penalized 13 times for 151 yards.
The Beavers' Jamaal Jackson was ejected with 10:56 left for a hit on Vincent Strang, who was waiting for a punt to come down when he was run over.