Both Oregon and California should be fresh coming into today’s game after having a bye week to prepare. The Ducks aim to snap a four-game skid, while the Golden Bears look to bounce back from an overtime loss to the Oregon State Beavers. For their 79 meeting, Oregon and Cal will kick off from Memorial Stadium at 7:36 p.m. PT.
Here’s everything you need to know about tonight’s football action:
Week 8 — Oregon Ducks (2-4, 0-3 Pac-12) @ California Golden Bears (3-3, 1-2 Pac-12)
Date: Friday, October 21, 2016
Time: 7:36 p.m. PT
Place: California Memorial Stadium (Berkeley, Calif.)
Radio: 590AM (Eugene); 750AM/102.9FM (Portland)
Online Radio: Oregon IMG Sports Network
Follow Along: Live Stats; @AddictedToQuack
Odds: Oregon (+3)
Kickoff Weather: Partly cloudy, 77°
At A Glance
Oregon Ducks (2-4, 0-3 Pac-12) — Expect plenty of points in this matchup, as neither Oregon nor Cal are known for their defense. Out of 128 FBS teams, the Golden Bears rank at No. 121 and the Ducks come in at No. 127.... The Ducks have dropped four in a row for the first time since 2006. Their losses have progressively gotten worse, but to be fair, their competition has arguable gotten harder as they dive deeper into Pac-12 play.... Most recently, Oregon suffered a 70-21 setback to No. 5 Washington. The Huskies amassed 682 total yards, as the Ducks struggled to find any type of answer. In his first collegiate start, true freshman Justin Herbert completed 21 of 34 passes for 179 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
“Washington was one of the best defenses we’ll see all year. We survived it,” Herbert said. “I think going into this week there’s a lot of confidence.”
California Golden Bears (3-3, 1-2 Pac-12) — Cal looks to get back in the win column after falling 47-44 at Oregon State two weeks ago. OSU quarterback Darell Garretson rushed for 16 yards to seal the win in overtime... The Golden Bears have yet to win back-to-back games this season, but their three losses have all been by an average of six points... The Golden Bears have allowed an average of 40 points over their six games played so far this season... While the Ducks rank first in the Pac-12 in rushing offense (257.8 yards per game), the Golden Bears rank first in pass offense (377.8 yards per game).
“They want to run the ball more. I’d run against us, too,” Oregon defensive coordinator Brady Hoke said of the Bear Raid offense. “Do the same thing and see if we can stop the run. They really want to run it and commit to it a bit more.”
Although Cal leads the all-time series 39-37-2, the Ducks have won the past seven in a row, most recently topping the Golden Bears 45-28 in Eugene last year.
In Their Words
Below, you’ll find interviews from Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich and wide receiver Charles Nelson, as well as a preview from Andy McNamara and Rob Mosley of GoDucks.com.
“The transfers of the quarterback and then (wide receiver Chad Hansen), those guys have got tremendous chemistry, unbelievable chemistry,” coach Mark Helfrich said when asked about Cal’s receivers. “The guys just keep coming. Just a great group of guys who can go get it. They have a couple guys who can stretch the field vertically, and the way they deploy guys kind of in the way (offensive coordinator Jake Spavital) has done it a long time, kind of run just enough to make you honor it and open up a bunch of play-action holes. They’ve done a great job with it. It starts with (quarterback Davis Webb) for sure, and Hansen will be all over the field.”
“Tempo is something we do very well, but we haven’t been able to do this year,” wide receiver Charles Nelson said. “Tempo’s our edge. It gets us going. It gets our running game going. It gets our passing game going. Without that, we don’t play very well.”
“This will be the third game in seven for the Ducks where they’re going up against an air-raid offense,” said Andy McNamara of GoDucks.com, “so they should sort of expect what Cal’s going to try to do to them, but they need to come up with a different solution.”
“Oregon’s run defense against the other two air-raid teams,” added Rob Moseley of GoDucks.com, “the other two kind of Mike Leach coaching tree air-raid teams, Virginia and Washington State, Oregon’s run defense was porous as its been much of the season, so those offenses were able to find balance. They didn’t just have to throw the ball. Cal has some running backs that they can hurt you with in the running game. With Oregon, the confidence has to be waning at this point for this defense. Even though they played well against Cal last year, simply saying ‘hey do that again’ is a tough order I think right now for a team that’s probably doubting itself a little bit.”