Oregon Ducks Football: California Preview

Oct 6, 2011; Eugene, OR, USA; Oregon Ducks head coach Chip Kelly, right, shakes hands with California Golden Bears head coach Jeff Tedford, left, after the game at Autzen Stadium. The Ducks beat the Golden Bears 43-15. Mandatory Credit: Jim Z. Rider-US PRESSWIRE.

(3)Oregon vs. California

Saturday, November 10th – at California Memorial Stadium; Berkeley, CA

Ducks: 9-0, 6-0 (1st in Pac-12 North) | Golden Bears: 3-7, 2-5 (5th in Pac-12 North)

  • Kickoff – 7:30 pm PT
  • Television – ESPN
    Announcers: Joe Tessitore (PxP), Matt Millen (commentary)
  • Radio – Oregon Sports Network (affiliate list)
    Announcers: Jerry Allen (PxP), Mike Jorgensen and Jay Allen (commentary) 
  • Weather – Mostly clear, 49-47 degrees (via AccuWeather as of Friday night)
  • Odds – California is giving 29 points to Oregon and the total over/under is set 65.5 (via LVH as of Friday night)

Quick History

  • 75th meeting, California leads series 39-33-2.
  • Oregon has won last three games overall against the Golden Bears.
  • Five of last eight games at Berkeley have been decided by 3.8 points (Ducks are 4-4).

[See also: Last time in Berkeley]

De’Anthony Thomas and Kenjon Barner could have an early night if California’s battered offense can’t keep up.

There’s so much at stake left for Oregon, and two (potentially three) big games left to put themselves in position to reach the BCS National Championship for the second time in three years. First they’ll have to take care of business as they usually do against a Pac-12 team that expected to have a better season than this.

With California’s head coach, Jeff Tedford, already on the hot seat before the season, it’s hard to imagine seeing him back next year. The team couldn’t take advantage of a newly-renovated stadium and Zach Maynard didn’t have as great of a senior season as fans expected. Now, the Golden Bears won’t even have him in the game.

Without a starting quarterback, their leading receiver Keenan Allen, and losing senior offensive lineman Matt Summers-Gavin, it might be a very long day for California against an Oregon team that wants to prove their defense is a lot better than a week ago.

For the Ducks, all it needs to be is business as usual. What was most impressive is seeing how they responded last week when USC nearly came back and the offense was still able to move the ball and score without moving at their comfortable momentum. Pound the ball with Kenjon Barner, create havoc on the Golden Bears’ defense, and take advantage of mistakes by new quarterback Allan Bridgford.

[See also: Scouting California's special teams]

Injury Report

Three players on defense are questionable for Oregon. The biggest one is of course Dion Jordan (36 tackles, 21 solo) who continues to suffer a shoulder injury and re-aggravated it last week. Ricky Heimuli (10 tackles, 3 solo) and Issac Remington (14 tackles, nine solo) are the other two players with a knee and leg injury, respectively.

Allan Bridgford played against the Ducks last season, completing 8-19 passes for 103 yards in the loss. Mandatory Credit: Jim Z. Rider-US PRESSWIRE.

As mentioned, the Bears team is decimated with key injuries with Maynard (knee), Allen (knee), and Summers-Gavin (knee). Maynard and Summers-Gavin are listed as just doubtful, but Allen is out and expected to miss the next two games.

[See also: Scouting California's offense]

It gets worse. Wide receiver Bryce Treggs was downgraded to doubtful during the week with an ankle injury. Six more defensive players are also injured:

  • Marc Anthony (concussion) – questionable
  • J.P. Hurrell (concussion) – questionable
  • Deandre Coleman (ankle) – questionable
  • Jalen Jefferson (concussion) – probable
  • Aaron Tipoti (knee) – probable
  • Kendrick Payne (finger) – probable

The biggest loss would be Anthony, who is seventh on the team with 45 total tackles (29 solo), six tackles for loss, three passes broken up, and a forced fumble.

[See also: Scouting California's defense]

Prediction

With injuries and Oregon’s history of just destroying opponents they match up better with, there’s really nothing here for California to say they have an edge at. As long as they play with pride and perhaps take advantage of any mistakes Oregon makes, they could stay in it. The Ducks didn’t look ahead to USC when dominating Colorado, but some intensity may not be there when having to play this game between USC and Stanford.

However, Oregon won’t make enough mistakes. Barner will get his touches and break away for at least a couple touchdowns, Marcus Mariota should have more than enough time with how well the offensive line has protected lately, and if this one isn’t over in the second quarter there would be some surprise.

Oregon 52, California 24

[See also: Avoiding the "Trap Game" in Berkeley]

Brian Spaen is the lead editor for Autzen Zoo. See his banter with other FanSided writers and love for his favorite west coast professional teams by following him on Twitter.

Read his other work on the Iowa State blog, Clones Confidential, and Lacrosse the Web.

Topics: California Golden Bears, Football, Keenan Allen, Oregon Ducks, Zach Maynard

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