There were plenty of expectations for Oregon football after a much-needed bye week, but a home date with Cal on Friday night didn’t get off to the start Duck fans had hoped for.
The Ducks struck first with a field goal to take an early 3-0 lead and it felt like the offense was running smoothly, but Cal marched right down the field and took a 7-3 lead. Oregon would bounce back to take the lead before halftime with a Travis Dye touchdown and he had a solid game as RB1 in place of an injured CJ Verdell.
Cal tied things up in the third quarter with a field goal and then the Golden Bears were driving yet again to take the lead. Down 17-10 in the fourth quarter was not a good spot to be for a team looking to make a statement off a bye week.
It didn’t take long for the Ducks to strike back again, but they needed some defensive stands.
They did just that and Anthony Brown ran in the go-ahead touchdown with under five minutes left. The defense stood tall on fourth-and-goal, holding on for a big 24-17 win.
What’d we learn?
3. The defense deserves a ton of credit
When Oregon needed a stop after tying things back up at 17-17 with about 10 minutes, the Ducks stopped Cal on the next drive to get the ball back with a chance to go up seven.
Travis Dye was able to take a little screen pass on first-and-20 and turn it into a huge gain on the ensuing drive and set the Ducks up to take a lead late. They did allow Cal to go back and get into Oregon territory, but this was a product of the defense being on the field for most of the game.
And then on fourth-and-goal with five seconds left, the Ducks made a huge stop which won the game and disallowed another last-second game-tying touchdown.
The Ducks did give up over 400 yards of total offense but they stepped up when they needed to and were never getting gashed by the Cal offense. They kept Oregon in the game when the offense wasn’t moving the ball.