Bears Lose Best, Game to Beavers, 31-14
Nov. 7, 2009
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) -Sean Canfield threw for 342 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a score Saturday night in Oregon State's 31-14 victory over No. 23 California, which lost star tailback Jahvid Best to a concussion after he took a scary fall.
Cal (6-3, 3-3 Pac-10) couldn't recover from seeing Best land on his head in the end zone after a leaping touchdown over a defender in the second quarter. The Golden Bears, who had won three straight to get back in the Top 25 for the first time following a four-week absence, lost their fifth straight at home to the Beavers - and this one made Oregon State (6-3, 3-3) bowl eligible.
Canfield completed 29 of 39 passes with nine to Jacquizz Rodgers and six each to James Rodgers and Joe Halahuni. It was the third straight game Cal gave up more than 300 yards in the air. Damola Adeniji had five catches for Oregon State, which leads the Pac-10 in passing.
Lance Mitchell's 18-yard interception return early in the third quarter set up Justin Kahut's 24-yard field goal that made it 24-7. The Beavers have won three in a row against Cal and nine of the last 11.
Canfield completed 11 of his first 13 passes, including five straight to start the game. Canfield's first incompletion came in the final minute of the first quarter, but he then immediately connected with Adeniji on a 32-yarder.
Canfield threw a 15-yard TD strike to James Rodgers early in the second quarter for the Beavers, who have won four of their last five games and are in position for a school-record fourth consecutive bowl berth. Jacquizz Rodgers was held to 67 yards rushing on 25 carries but had a late 24-yard TD run.
Cal, meanwhile, struggled to get anything going offensively - and that only became worse after Best's injury. The Bears were held to one first down and 45 yards in the first quarter, 37 of those coming on one pass play.
Best sustained a concussion and was carted off the field and taken to the emergency room. He had movement in all of his extremities, Cal spokesman Herb Benenson said. Benenson also said more tests were being done on Best before a final diagnosis would be announced by the school.
Best's helmet came off on impact. He vaulted into the air over Oregon State safety Cameron Collins and was at least 5 feet off the ground. Best's jersey was removed and he was wearing an oxygen mask when taken away.
Best missed practice Tuesday and Wednesday with a slight concussion sustained in the team's 23-21 win at Arizona State last Saturday, but participated in full during Thursday's workout. The concussion wasn't diagnosed right away.
The latest injury - with 6:07 before halftime - silenced Memorial Stadium, where fans chanted 'Jahvid! Jahvid!' before everything went quiet to see what happened with the 20-year-old junior.
His teammates went down on their knees and waited, then moved to the end zone as trainers and doctors took him away on a stretcher. The game was delayed 13 minutes. Some of Oregon State's players who were on the field at the time huddled together in support.
Cal quarterback Kevin Riley, who was helped off the field just before halftime after a hard hit, was 19 of 34 for 200 yards and one touchdown, a late 3-yarder to Verran Tucker. Riley had thrown eight TD passes in his previous three games and was leading the conference with 13 TD passes. He had just his third interception of the season Saturday.
In Cal's last 39 home games, the Bears are 0-7 against Southern California and Oregon State and 32-0 against all other opponents.
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