The California Golden Bears and Oregon Ducks, at first blush, have several similarities. First-year head coaches Sonny Dykes and Mark Helfrich have their offenses clicking, both ranking in the top-10 this season. That is where the similarities end.
Whoever said “stats can lie” had never seen the Oregon Ducks in action, because these stats don’t lie:
Cal’s defense is allowing 556 total yards per game; Oregon’s offense is averaging 672 total yards per game.
- This does not bode well for Cal, as their defense will be asked to hold an offense that is more imposing than any in recent memory. With an increasingly-dominant receiving corps and De’Anthony Thomas running the ball, the Ducks should easily exceed 550 yards.
Cal is averaging 438 passing yards per game (with a freshman quarterback); Oregon’s veteran-laden secondary is allowing 189 passing yard per game.
- Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and Terrance Mitchell are lockdown, physical corners and senior safeties Avery Patterson and Brian Jackson are highly-dependable in coverage. If the Ducks can put pressure on Cal’s young quarterback and force him to make quick decisions, the secondary should combine for at least one takeaway (and don’t be surprised when they take it to the house for six).
Cal has six turnovers; Oregon has forced seven turnovers and committed zero.
- I find it remarkable that though Oregon has two fumbles, they have not turned over the ball this season. The Ducks’ effectiveness has made it impossible for opponents to keep pace.
Cal’s defense is allowing 42 points per game (and gave up 30 to Portland State); Oregon is averaging 61.3 points per game.
- Final score: Oregon Ducks-58 Cal Golden Bears-24