One quarter. One glorious quarter.
That would be the second quarter, the quarter where these Oregon Ducks looked like THE Oregon Ducks. Entering the second quarter, the California Golden Bears led a sputtering Oregon team 10-3. But Royce Freeman got going. Vernon Adams went airborne for a rushing touchdown, then used the ten minutes per play that he was getting in the pocket to throw for three more, and the seven-point deficit ballooned to a 21 point lead.
It certainly didn't look like it would be a rout early. The Ducks quickly went three and out, and Cal blocked the punt, leading to a Golden Bear touchdown. Oregon marched down the field as if to respond, only to throw an interception in the end zone. Jared Goff was shredding the Duck defense, and the offense couldn't stay out of its own way.
Then, it just started clicking.
Oregon amassed 777 total yards, 477 on the ground as four Oregon rushers had over 50 yards, including Royce Freeman's 180. Adams threw for 300, tossing four touchdowns, including two to Bralon Addison.
Even the defense was much improved, yielding only 432 total yards, with Khalil Oliver grabbing a key interception ito seal the game late in the fourth.
There were frustrating moments for Oregon, namely that they couldn't keep their second quarter momentum and really bury Cal. They let the bears linger, settling for field goals and giving up just enough to let Cal hang around in the game. There were also the two blocked punts, of which there is nothing good to say.
But, on the whole, the Oregon offense was what we all know of as the Oregon offense, and you start to wonder what this team may have been with a healthy Vernon Adams. But while Oregon's playoff hopes are dead for the year, few things would be sweeter than to ruin the playoff hopes of the Stanford Cardinal, the Ducks' next opponent, and one to whom the Ducks just may owe a thing or two.
It appears Oregon is peaking at just the right time.