Don’t be misled by the final score – this game was actually a pretty close one in the first half.
The Cal Bears entered tonight’s game against No. 2-ranked Oregon at a huge disadvantage, without starting quarterback Zack Maynard due to a knee strain.
So they had to go with backup Allan Brigford, who actually held his own in the first two quarters. After Oregon scored first with a touchdown midway through the first quarter, Brigford found Darius Powe with a nice lob throw in the end zone on the ensuing drive to tie the game at 7-7. That was Brigford’s first career touchdown pass.
The Ducks took a 24-10 lead into halftime, but Cal managed to cut the lead in half when they drove 79 yards to begin the second half, finished off with a four-yard touchdown run by Isi Sofele.
From that point, Oregon straight-up dominated, and before you could blink, the Ducks were up 52-17 late in the fourth quarter.
Jeff Faraudo explains the turning point of the game:
But with the Ducks clinging to a seven-point lead midway through the third quarter, linebacker Boseko Lokombo changed everything.
He intercepted Cal quarterback Allan Bridgford’s first real mistake, and the Ducks’ quick-strike offense had the opening it needed. Quarterback Marcus Mariota threw the third of his school-record-tying six TD passes on the next snap, a 35-yarder to Josh Huff for a 31-17 lead with 6:20 left in the third quarter.
From there, the Ducks coasted home to their tenth win of the year and remain undefeated. For the Bears, they fall to 3-8 and will face Oregon State next Saturday in their final game of the season.