Can Oregon Ducks Stop Cal’s Bear Raid?


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If you like points (and who doesn’t) then this is the game for you. The Oregon Ducks are already last in D-I football by allowing 27 touchdown passes. With the Cal Bears coming to Autzen Saturday night (7:30 pm PT, ESPN2), the sky is probably the limit on how many TD’s the Ducks will allow to Cal QB Jared Goff.

Cal started 5-0, but in the last three weeks they’ve lost to Utah, UCLA, and USC. They almost beat the Utes and were a few plays away from making a game of it against the Trojans but got whomped by the Bruins. I don’t know if Oregon could have done any better. Considering the Ducks got rolled by Utah and Cal had a late chance to win, probably not.

The Oregon defense had a week and a half to prepare for Arizona State and still gave up 55 points and only won because the Sun Devils somehow didn’t believe they could run the last two yards for the game-tying touchdown. That’s not a good sign, and there’s no sign that the Oregon defense has miraculously found a cure since.

This is not to say the Ducks aren’t capable of putting up a lot of points themselves. Scoring 61 against a decent Arizona State defense proves that. But what good is putting up 61 if Cal scores 70?

In addition, the much-maligned Cal defense has improved. The Bears have only given up 8 passing TD’s this year, good for 14th overall and tied with current number one team Ohio State, among others. This is a huge test for a resurgent, apparently healed Vernon Adams and the Oregon receivers. If the pre-broken finger Adams shows up, then this ought to be a track meet.

The last time Cal visited Oregon there was a tremendous rainstorm, and both teams said it was some of the worst weather they had ever played in. This time, while it may rain at- er, very near Autzen- the biggest storm may be the points both teams put up.

Next: Pac-12 Week 10 Preview: All Eyes On Stanford

One final note- the winner of this game becomes bowl eligible. That alone may cause both teams to dig into the playbook a little deeper than usual. Because in the end, the points scored/points allowed stat doesn’t really matter, as long as the “W” shows up when it’s all said and done.

Oregon and Cal kickoff at 7:30pm Pacific Time on ESPN2.