Oregon will come out in the second half down 31 to 14. Cal will receive the kickoff. The Ducks have had their moments on both sides of the ball but have not consistently shown up enough for a sustained impact.
Justin Herbert continues to avoid really bad mistakes and has found some success on mid-range bullet passes. His long passes have too much muscle to find the downfield receivers with an extra step. Tony Brooks-James is running well and Royce Freeman is still extremely limited. Brooks-James has had two big explosion plays, although one was called back after a bad review. His second long run led to a touchdown to pull the game within two scores. Cal marched down the field for a touchdown before the half pushing the score to 31-14.
On defense, the backs are playing it extremely safe but have badly blown a few coverages, directly resulting in two touchdowns. If you’re listening to the commentators you have probably heard former head coach Mike Bellotti point out the soft coverage more than ten times. Cal’s ability to stay two-dimensional has been causing the extreme pains. So far Oregon’s defense has unsuccessfully been trying to cover both. Cal has been able to convert with ease on third and fourth down because of the short distance they have needed to get.
There has been some talk about players getting on each other for a perceived lack of effort. It was a storyline going into the bye week and Tyree Robinson reportedly got after some players on the sideline today. I’m interested to see how the players respond in the second half to the deficit.