CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — This was quite the return for Sean Mannion.
Mannion passed for 325 yards and four touchdowns, and No. 15 Oregon State routed California 62-14 on Saturday night in what could be Jeff Tedford's final game as the Golden Bears' coach.
Markus Wheaton had seven catches for 99 yards for the Beavers (8-2, 6-2 Pac-12), who improved to 5-0 at Reser Stadium and will face Oregon in the Civil War next weekend. Terron Ward ran for 128 yards and two touchdowns, helping the Beavers rack up 559 yards of offense. The defense also forced three fumbles and an interception.
"We've been waiting for a game like this all year, with both sides clicking," cornerback Rashaad Reynolds said.
Isi Sofele had 104 yards rushing for the Bears (3-9, 2-7), who were hampered all season long by turnovers, penalties, missed assignments and sloppy tackling. Allan Bridgford was 18-of-31 passing for 132 yards.
Tedford, two-time conference coach of the year, has been at California since 2002, but the program has been in decline. The Bears are 15-22 in the past three seasons. This was the worst campaign for California since it went 1-10 in 2001.
"This is definitely a very disappointing season," Tedford said.
The high point of the year was back-to-back wins over UCLA and Washington State in October, but the Bears lost their final five games. They fell short of the postseason for the second time in three years.
"I don't know," Tedford said when asked if he would be returning as coach next season. "My job is to develop players. We have work to do. I'll go back to work tomorrow and get ready to keep going."
Oregon State got off to a 6-0 start for the first time in school history, but had dropped two of three before the easy victory over the Bears. The Beavers lost 27-23 at Stanford last week.
Mannion finished 24-of-34 passing in just over three quarters of work. A sophomore who took over as starting quarterback last season as a redshirt freshman, he led the Beavers to 4-0 start before he was sidelined by a knee injury that required surgery and caused him to miss two games.
He returned against Washington and threw four interceptions in a 20-17 loss. He was on the bench by the end of that game and backup Cody Vaz started against Arizona State. But Vaz was hurt in the final seconds of the loss to Stanford.
Mannion returned to the starting role this week and, other than an interception on the first drive of the game, he looked healthy and confident against the Bears. He had all four touchdown passes in the first half, tying a school record and helping the Beavers to a 35-7 lead at the break.
"Sean obviously prepared very well," Oregon State coach Mike Riley said. "And he had a look in his eye this week."
California's touchdowns came on a 9-yard run by Sofele in the first quarter and a 1-yard run for Bridgford in the third.