The OREGON DUCKS (4-1, 2-0) remain undefeated in PAC-12 play after beating the CALIFORNIA GOLDEN BEARS (4-2, 1-2) by a score of 17 to 7.
Justin Herbert: 20/33 -214 YDS - 1 TD - 1 INT
Devon Modster: 17/34 - 190 YDS - 1 TD - 2 INT
TD SCORERS: (UO) Cyrus Habibi-Likio, Jaylon Redd (CAL) Chris Brown Jr.
Duck Yards: 404 YDS - 214 pass - 190 rush
Cal Yards: 256 YDS - 190 pass - 66 rush
Turnovers Forced: Cal 3 - Ducks 2
1ST QUARTER: Oregon started on defense. After the touchback, Devon Modster started the drive with a swing pass to Chris Brown for a short gain. Brown then ran it up the middle to make it 3rd-and-1, but Bryson Young and Jordon Scott were able to bring down the Golden Bears behind the line to force the game’s first three-and-out.
The Ducks served up a healthy dose of CJ Verdell early in their first drive, starting with a short pass that netted 11 yards and following that up with four straight carries. A Cal pass interference call was followed by an offensive holding call on Justin Herbert during a reverse.
In two plays, Travis Dye got the first down despite starting 1st-and-20, but Johnny Johnson III committed an unsportsmanlike penalty and put the Ducks in a bad spot. The drive ended with a late Herbert throw being picked off by Cal’s Ashtyn Davis; it was the senior quarterback’s first interception of the season.
The Golden Bears appeared to be heading for another three-and-out after an incompletion, false start and short run had them at 3-and-10 on their own 37, but a 36-yard pass to Jordan Duncan seemed to spark the Cal offense. A Duck substitution infraction gave the Golden Bears a short distance to the sticks, but the gift wasn’t necessary as Modster connected with Brown for a 22-yard touchdown pass.
Golden Bears 7 - Ducks 0
Cristobal remained committed to the run game, rushing the ball 11 times and throwing it only three times to travel 62 yards before committing another turnover in enemy territory. A quick pass to Jaylon Redd and an extremely rare Herbert keeper got the Ducks in the red zone, but Verdell was taken out of the game after suffering a lower-body injury which meant Dye became the primary back. A short Dye run put the Ducks at 4th-and-1, but in an attempt to reach out for the first down the back fumbled the ball and it was quickly snatched up by Kuony Deng.
2ND QUARTER: The mighty Duck D was able to force another quick three-and-out and on their first play of their third drive Mycah Pittman made an impressive debut catch for 19 yards. However, on the very next play, Trey Turner III forced another Dye fumble; this was Oregon’s third turnover in as many drives, all in Cal territory.
A couple big passing plays to Jake Tonges and Trevon Clark gave Cal a shot at a 32-yard field goal, but kicker Greg Thomas was wide left. Despite another impressive catch by Pittman on 3rd-and-long, Oregon was forced to punt the ball for the first time in the game.
Modster and Deshawn Collins were both able to move the ball for three yards apiece, but on third down Modster was unable to connect with Nikko Remigio resulting in a punt. Oregon once again ran into penalty problems when an offensive holding call on the punt return placed the Ducks at their own 15.
Herbert began airing it out and finding a lot of success - completions to Johnson III, Jacob Breeland and Brenden Schooler went for 11, 20 and 21 yards respectively - but on 3rd-and-8 Johnson III was unable to bring in a potential deep touchdown pass. Cam Lewis missed another field goal attempt, this time from the Cal 27, meaning Oregon has yet to make a field goal this season.
Since the Ducks were out of timeouts, Modster was able to move the ball enough to earn four first downs and run the clock down to just two seconds. The QB attempted a hail mary, but Jevon Holland picked it off and brought it to midfield.
Halftime Score: Golden Bears 7 - Ducks 0
3RD QUARTER: Travis Dye took the return out to the 30 to start the second half. He then carried the ball for one yard to open the drive but two bad passes by Herbert (the first an under-throw and the second a late pass, both to Redd) forced the Ducks to punt on their first drive of the second half.
Once again, the Duck defense kept it a one-score game by forcing another three-and-out. Modster connected to two of his receivers behind the sticks, but on 3rd-and-6 was unable to complete a pass to Duncan. However, Cal’s punter was able to pin Oregon back to its own 18.
Dye gave the Ducks some breathing room by barreling to the right for a 12-yard gain, then on 2nd-and-7 a pass to Redd was able to move the drive to midfield. Back-to-back passes to Pittman earned the Ducks another first down then Breeland fought his way forward for an 11-yard gain. Oregon moved the ball 72 yards in 13 plays but were forced to settle for a field goal attempt. And five games into the season, the Ducks made their first field goal, a 28-yard beauty from Camden Lewis.
Golden Bears 7 - Ducks 3
After the kickoff, a bad snap from Cal’s backup center flew over the head of Modster who was barely able to jump on it in time. The loss of thirteen yards proved insurmountable for the Golden Bears who were forced to punt it once more after their fifth three-and-out of the game.
Starting on their own 45, Dye erupted for another double-digit gain, but his 12-yard play was followed by a run for a loss and two incompletions. Oregon punted the ball from the Cal 44 after another poor decision by Herbert (attempting to force a pass to a covered Breeland as opposed to completing the sure-thing crosser) put them in 4th-and-11.
Three straight rushes by Brown fell just short of the sticks and Cal was forced to punt from deep in their own territory. The 38-yard kick from Steven Coutts was made even less effective by Holland’s 24-yard return. And on 2nd-and-11, Herbert connected with Breeland for a 30-yard gain that finished at the Cal one-yard line. The next play, Cyrus Habibi-Likio pounded it in for the score.
Ducks 10 - Golden Bears 7
A false start doomed the Golden Bears to another three-and-out after an incompletion, a short Brown run and a pass to Clark left them 14 yards shy of the markers. The final play of the third quarter was a Herbert run that nearly ended in disaster when the quarterback fumbled near midfield, thankfully Dallas Warmack was able to recover the ball.
4TH QUARTER: Herbert and Breeland added to their successful relationship with an 18-yard completion followed by an 8-yard completion shortly after. But a failed pass to Redd on 4th-and-short led to a turnover on downs.
Cal’s excellent field position was made worse by an offensive holding call, though Modster was able to earn back 10 of those yards on the ground. Gus Cumberlander was then called for offsides but on the next play Cal committed another false start. A completion to Jordan Duncan for 11 yards kept the sticks moving, but on the next play Troy Dye blew up a run by Brown.
A pass to Jeremiah Hawkins gave Cal a manageable third down and Modster ran for the first down and then some. Yet another offensive holding penalty put Cal at a disadvantage on first down, and on the next play Troy Dye picked off Modster, giving the Ducks the ball at the Oregon 36.
After a quick pass to Dye was abruptly shut down, Herbert escaped the pocket on the next play and ran for 26 yards. A late hit to Herbert gave the Ducks even more yards and after two rushes by Habibi-Likio put Oregon at the one-yard line, a bit of misdirection led to Herbert’s first touchdown pass of the game. Redd caught his fourth TD in four games and Oregon built a two-score lead in the fourth quarter.
Ducks 17 - Golden Bears 7
A return by Cal’s Hawkins was heavily reviewed but ultimately deemed a non-fumble. Modster threw back-to-back incompletions but was able to pick up 21 yards on the ground. Gus Cumberlander was carted off the field with a left leg injury and after further review it was clear that Modster was not the victim of targeting.
After an injury break for Cumberlander, Oregon’s defense ruthlessly attacked the quarterback, resulting in a 9-yard sack by Isaac Slade-Matautia. But on 3rd and 19, Modster completed a pass to Clark for 20-yards. Then, Lamar Winston Jr. was called for roughing the passer on third down, which gave the Golden Bears another first down.
Replacing the injured Cumberlander, Popo Aumavae had a crucial sack on second down. A run by Brown fell five yards short of moving the sticks and a field goal attempt, made more difficult by another false start, once again failed to hit its target.
Cristobal wanted nothing more than to run out the clock, but after two straight carries by Habibi-Likio, a Pittman first down was wiped out due to a personal foul by Warmack. Dye ran towards the boundary and Oregon punted the ball for the final time.
On the first play of Cal’s final drive, Kayvon Thibodeaux sacked Modster for a 6-yard loss. An incompletion was followed by a 12-yard pass Remigio but the Golden Bears were unable to hold on to their final pass, returning the ball to Oregon who was happy to run out the clock.