Cal Bears Gashed By Oregon’s Run Game to Lose Fourth Straight


In just four games, the season’s focus has shifted drastically for the California Golden Bears. After five games, they were undefeated, ranked, and looking to keep the momentum up and get through the season with a chance at competing in the Pac-12 Championship game. Now, they’re just looking to win one more game to become bowl eligible. A fourth straight loss, this time to the Oregon Ducks, continued the Cal Bears’ free fall.

The game started extremely well for Cal. After winning the coin toss and deferring, the Bears forced a three-and-out defensively, and blocked Oregon’s punt attempt. With a short field to work with, the Bears drove down the field, and finished it off in the endzone, as Jared Goff hit Stephen Anderson for a seven-yard score. On Oregon’s next drive, they moved down the field quickly, but junior safety Griffin Piatt’s team-leading fourth interception in the endzone shut down the scoring attempt. Cal would add a field goal, extending their lead to 10 points.

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After that, the positives came to a screeching halt for the Bears. The mistakes stopped for Oregon, and they put up 31 consecutive points to end the half. The Bears’ defense had no answer for anything the Ducks’ offense attempted to do, and through the air and on the ground, Oregon ran wild. At the half, the Ducks racked up 441 total yards, including 231 on the ground. Sophomore running back Royce Freeman piled up 116 yards on his own on just 17 carries, while quarterback Vernon Adams threw for 210 yards and three touchdowns.

On the other hand, Cal’s offense was stagnant again, as their “Bear Raid” attack continues to fall flat. Cal totaled just 196 yards in the first half, while Goff struggled. He completed only 11 of his 27 pass attempts for 129 yards. Everything went wrong for the Bears, as the offensive line struggled mightily, and forced Goff to make some bad passes. There were dropped passes, penalties, and injuries as well, at least eight Bears’ players were down on the field aftr a playat one point or another.

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Out of the half, Cal made a run to at least get back in the game. On their opening drive, Matt Anderson kicked a career-long 48 yard field goal to make it 31-13. Oregon was forced to punt on the proceeding drive, and Cal came up with another block. With another short field, Cal moved down, and on fourth-and-one from the nine, Vic Enwere took a handoff as the fullback, and carried multiple defenders into the endzone, giving Cal a little life. After, Goff scored on a keeper for the two-point conversion, cutting Oregon’s lead to 31-21.

Oregon scored 10 more points to put it back to a 20-point lead, but after another interception in the endzone, this one by Darius White, Cal scored one play, an 80-yard tipped pass to Bryce Treggs to bring it back to a 13-point game. Another field goal by Oregon made it 44-28, which would be the final score.

The Bears’ defense was gashed by the Oregon run game all night long. When the final whistle mercifully blew, Oregon had 477 total yards on the ground, and they got it from all over the place. The quarterback Adams picked up 43 yards and a touchdown (strangely, the only rushing touchdown for Oregon). Freeman carried the ball 29 times for 180 yards. Tony Brooks-James gained 101 yards on only seven carries. Kani Benoit had 94 yards on eight carries. Taj Griffin had 59 yards on eight carries.

Cal’s run game was effective, but wasn’t used with regularity because the team was forced to throw to get back into the game. Daniel Lasco gained 51 yards on eight carries (6.4 per carry), and Vic Enwere picked up 68 yards on nine totes (7.6 per carry). The Bears couldn’t establish a consistent run game early, and it hurt the offense.

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The Bears have now lost four straight overall, and seven in a row to the Oregon Ducks. The downward spiral continues, and things don’t look very bright for the immediate future. After such a hot start, the Bears are ice cold, and are still not Bowl eligible. The bright skies that shined over Berkeley in the first five weeks have clouded over, and the downpour keeps on going.