The Cal Bears would be unable to mount any challenge, as they easily get manhandled by the #2 Oregon Ducks. The Bears would fall to the Ducks by a score of 55 – 16. The Bears defense was shredded for the fourth straight game, as the high octane Ducks’ offense rolled to the tune of 381 total yards. The Bears offense on the other hand was quieted for the first time this season, as they only put up 330 total yards. Turnovers and a lack of running game hurt the offense, as the quarterbacks would be unable to overcome the shortfalls.
The first quarter was heavily impacted by the weather, as the neither team really showed much in ball security. The Bears would turn the ball over five times in the first quarter alone, including for straight drives ended with lost fumbles. The Ducks on the other hand would capitalize on nearly every mistake made by Cal. The Ducks would find success through the air and on the ground with two touchdowns each way. A missed extra point and a fumble would be the few mistakes by a Ducks’ offense that rolled to 27 points in the first quarter alone. Freshman phenom Jared Goff would see his night end early due to his ineffectiveness, as Zach Kline would take over on Cal’s final drive of the quarter.
The second quarter would be much of the same, but minus the large turnovers numbers. The Ducks obviously would not put up as many points, as they started to take their foot off of the gas pedal. They would add a rushing touchdown from Marcus Mariota and a punt return for a touchdown from Bralon Addison. The Bears offense would remain stuck in neutral, as they would only gain 89 yards in the quarter. They best drive would be the final drive of the half, as they went 30 yards to set up for a 46 yard field goal. The Bears would head in the half down 41 – 3. The Bears were out gained 291 to 170 and down five to one in the turnover battle.
Cal would receive the opening kickoff for the half, but would fail to mount anything on offense as the go three and out. They would then watch Addison snake his way from the Bears’ punt team on his way to a 67 yard punt return. The Bears would go three and out again, and again the Ducks would drive down the field to break the 50 point mark. The Bears would get their first touchdown of the game following a muffed punt just outside the Oregon red zone. Jeffrey Coprich punched in the Bears’ lone score of the quarter from a yard out. Oregon would replace its starters on both sides of the ball and the Bears offense would be unable to mount any sort of drive against the second and third teamers.
The fourth quarter would just be procedural, with Oregon playing the reserves and going conservative to chew up the game clock. Neither offense would really mount much offensive push, but Cal would slowly start to get the running game moving in garbage time. Cal would add a late touchdown to make the score look a little better than what it was. Oregon cruises to the 55 to 16 victory.
The Bears were simply outclassed by a much stronger opponent on the road in a hostile environment in poor weather. It was a perfect storm of circumstances that required a near perfect effort from the young Bears and they simply were not up to task just yet. Sloppy play on both sides of the ball is to blame for this. The defense was abused for fourth straight game, as they had no answer to slow down the Ducks until the game was well in hand and the Ducks simply played to get to the end of the game.
The offensive display, on the other hand, was simply shocking. They looked rattled from the get-go, as the Ducks struck quickly and the Bears fumbled the ball away. The issues snowballed from that moment on, as the Bears piled up four straight turnovers. The poor played led to Goff being benched in favor of Kline. Kline never really got much going, but he was able to take care of the ball. The running game stats look much better than what was really shown, as most of the yards were gained in the late third and fourth quarter against the Ducks’ defensive backups.
This game could have been much uglier, but the Ducks had put this away so early that they called off the dogs sooner than had been expected. Cal needs to bounce back next week, as they get woeful Pac-12 North foe Washington State. Getting the running game going to take the pressure off of the young quarterback should be the first thing the coaches focus on this week.
Players of the Game:
Bryon Marshall, Oregon
19 carries for 130 yards and 2 touchdowns
3 Catches for 12 yards
Bralon Addison, Oregon
2 punt returns, 142 yards, 2 return touchdowns