The first five minutes of the game were like nothing I have seen since covering Oregon football. The Ducks gave up the ball on the first pass of the game as a Bo Nix pass slipped past his wide receiver and into the hands of a Cal defender. A few plays later, Oregon had the ball back as the Ducks returned to favor.
The first quarter saw more penalties on Oregon than anyone wanted to see, more than 50 yards in penalties, but the Ducks were able to get back on track with a steady dose of Running Back Bucky Irving. At the end of the first quarter, it was 14-10 Oregon. California’s run game was stagnant with -1 yards in the first quarter.
Bo Nix quickly showed that he was the difference. The Heisman Trophy candidate finished the game with six touchdowns including two on the ground from short yardage and four through the air. He finished the game 29 for 38 for 386 yards and a completion percentage of 76 percent.
It was clear early that the California defense worked to keep the ball away from Wide Receiver Troy Franklin. He finished the game with 6 catches for 79 yards. Tez Johnson could not be stopped finishing with 180 yards and two scores. He also had 75 yards in punt returns on the afternoon vs the Bears.
One key area where Oregon found success was on third down. The Ducks were 10 for 14 when they needed conversion yards. The Ducks’ defense did not make it easy for Cal Quarterback Fernando Mendoza sacking him one and pressuring five quarterback hurries along with multiple ball deflections.
Despite 98 penalty yards, Oregon was a perfect 8 for 8 in the red zone. The Ducks found efficiency when it came to Cal turnovers converting three into 21 points. In the end, Oregon pulled away for a 63-19 win. Backup QB Ty Thompson found his way into the game late in the game and found success.
Thompson closed out the game going 6 for 8 for 58 yards and a touchdown.
Oregon will look to continue to keep pace with the Washington Huskies, who remained undefeated after beating USC 52-42 on Saturday night. The Ducks will host USC on Saturday night for a 7:30 pm Pacific time kickoff on FOX.
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