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Oregon State at 8-1 for the First Time

November 05, 2000|From Associated Press

BERKELEY — As it turned out, Oregon State didn't need Ken Simonton to stay on top of California.

Simonton, bothered because of a tight hamstring and groin, ran for 125 yards and three touchdowns against the Bears, then sat out most of the second half.

Backup Patrick McCall picked up where Simonton left off, running for two additional touchdowns as the No. 14 Beavers defeated the Bears, 38-32, on Saturday for their first 8-1 start.

"He pulled himself out, I guess he didn't feel he could run," Beaver Coach Dennis Erickson said. "He's been tight the last few weeks. But I assume he'll be back."

Simonton said he wasn't injured, but acknowledged a lingering groin problem. Instead, he said he told coaches he wanted to rotate with McCall.

"It's always going to be a problem until football season's over," Simonton said.

The nation's fifth-ranked rusher, Simonton ran 64 yards on his first carry to move to sixth on the Pacific 10 Conference's all-time rushing list.

Simonton, who had already earned a Pac-10 record with at least 1,000 rushing yards in his freshman, sophomore and junior years, passed Gaston Green of UCLA with 3,802 rushing yards.

The Beavers, 5-1 in the Pacific 10 Conference, extended their best start since their last visit to the Rose Bowl in 1964. The Beavers' best previous start was 7-1-1 in 1939.

"They have the talent to be the Pac-10 champions," Cal Coach Tom Holmoe said.

California (3-6, 2-4) rushed for only 27 yards, instead focusing on its passing game. Kyle Boller completed 17 of 44 passes for a career-best 349 yards and three touchdowns. He had two passes intercepted.

Oregon State's Jonathan Smith completed 11 of 28 passes for 317 yards, and the Beavers totaled 524 yards.

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