Cal comes into its home game against Oregon State on a four-game losing streak, and if the Bears are going to put an end to that streak this weekend or at some point down the line, they're going to have to get better play out of the defense, which is getting manhandled this season.
And Oregon State can light up a scoreboard -- the Beavers have yet to score fewer than 33 points in a game, and they've scored at least 44 in each of their last two contests. Oregon State ranks fourth among Pac-12 teams in both total offense and yards per play.
Rankings and records: Oregon State comes into this game at 5-1 (3-0), while Cal is 1-5 (0-3). Neither team is ranked. The Bears hold a 33-31 edge in the all-time series.
Vegas: Oregon State is favored by 11 points. The over/under opened at 68.5.
Weather: Clear skies and a high of 77 are expected in Berkeley.
Three names to know
Sean Mannion -- The OSU quarterback leads the nation in passing yardage (2,511), passing touchdowns (25) and passing yards per game (418.5). It took him just six games to surpass his yardage total from last season, and he's also thrown just three interceptions in 289 attempts.
Jared Goff -- The true freshman was tasked with running the Bears' new offense, and as is often the case with freshmen, Goff has looked erratic at times. Cal's offense started the season in productive fashion, but the Bears have managed a total of 48 points over their last three games.
Brandin Cooks -- Mannion's favorite target is Cooks, who has 944 yards and 11 touchdowns on 63 receptions, putting him on pace for a monster season. He leads the nation in all three categories. It definitely doesn't hurt to play for a team that averages 50 passes per game.
Two things at stake
Oregon State is still very much in the mix for a division title, though the Beavers have yet to play division foes Oregon, Stanford or Washington. A win over Cal would improve the Beavers to 4-0 in league play, guaranteeing they maintain at least a share of first place with the rival Ducks. It would also make the Beavers bowl eligible.
We're beyond the point where Cal could realistically hope for a turnaround good enough to get it bowl eligible, but the Bears can play spoiler within the North, starting with the game this weekend.
How to witness
TV: ESPN2, 10:30 p.m. ET (Mike Patrick, Ed Cunningham and Jeannine Edwards)
Online streaming: WatchESPN and ESPN3