Amid injuries to the entire defensive line, running back Kenjon Barner, and even the starting quarterback Marcus Mariota, the Ducks were able to overcome their first half struggles to blow away California in a shocking finish.
Known mostly as a running team, the Golden Bears had a solid gameplan to shut the rushing attack down. They certainly shut down Barner who had just 65 yards on 20 carries. But they couldn’t stop a freshman quarterback.
No, he isn’t Johnny Football, but he made his own name for himself tonight. Super Mariota threw for 377 yards and six touchdowns on 27-34 passing. He disguised a blowout that looked all but another struggle in Berkeley in the first 30 minutes of the game.
Key stats for the 35-7 run in the second half were a couple of turnovers by the California offense and the Oregon defense getting off the field when they needed to on third down. The Ducks shut down the Golden bears to just 2-12 on third down conversions.
Allan Bridgford, backing up Cal’s normal quarterback, looked comfortable and had the aid of Isi Sofele keeping the Golden Bears in it in the first half. After strong first halves, the backup QB was held to just 9-21 passing for 113 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. Sofele led the team in rushing with 15 carries for 134 yards and one touchdown.
Oregon will host Stanford next week at Autzen Stadium. Kickoff time is yet to be determined.
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.