Day of Reckoning: Will Cal “Pop” Versus Oregon?

Charles Fischer Editorials 157 Comments

Many months ago, the Oregon-Cal game  was circled by many as the most crucial Pac-12 test the Ducks would face in 2020. It remains that way now, but for completely different reasons. No one anticipated the Golden Bears being winless at this point, and no one thought the Ducks would be giving up nearly 30 points a game. While today’s game is nearly meaningless on the national landscape, it remains a crucial contest for both programs. Let’s review and discuss the Bears with crossed fingers today…

Both teams have underperformed, but the trendlines for the two teams are different. Cal has been improving on offense, while Oregon has been declining on defense. Can the Ducks turn this around today, or will Cal finally put a complete game together and “pop” against Oregon? I do not need to review the Ducks’ defensive issues as we fans have been discussing them in-depth in the comments over the past two weeks. But I do have some observations of Cal that might be amusing and could also spur discussion in the comments.

The Ducks have had trouble defending against the run, while Cal’s run blocking has been improving game-to-game. The Bears ran well against Oregon State despite having three starting offensive linemen held out. Cal did surprisingly well running between the tackles against the stout Cardinal defense. Adding to these issues is Cal’s implementation of a throw-back offense, with the QB taking the snap under center and handing off from the old “I” formation with an H-Back acting as a lead-blocking fullback.

John Giustina

Bill Musgrave running the 1980s Oregon offense.

Cal’s offensive coordinator is Bill Musgrave, Oregon’s quarterback in the 1980’s when Oregon football was beginning to heat up and turn around. The Bears now run a Pro-Style Offense with the West-Coast passing attack, and I was struck at the coincidence of it. You see, that was the offense that Mike Bellotti operated at Oregon when Musgrave was the Duck quarterback! It leads me to two questions … is Coach Musgrave really running an offense from the 1980s?

And if so, Can the Ducks stop it?

I consider Chase Garbers to be an as good or better quarterback than Tristan Gebbia of OSU, a good enough passer and mobile enough to beat anyone. Cal wideouts Makai Polk and Kekoa Crawford have the speed to get behind defenses, and another receiver Nikko Remigio is a special teams player who had a punt return TD called back due to penalty against OSU and had a tremendous kickoff return called back as well.

Cal has a tough running back in Marcel Dancy who reminds me a bit too much of the UCLA RB that went off for over 160 yards against the Ducks two weeks ago. (Does everybody have career days on the Ducks?) When Cal is not running a 1980’s offense, they’ll run an Inside Zone out of a Shotgun alignment as Oregon did so well back in 2014 and as we saw last week on occasion from Oregon State. (Those plays of Chip Kelly and Mark Helfrich must still be pretty good if so many teams run them!)

What surprised me the most about the “Big Game” was how Stanford came out attacking Cal with their wide-outs, establishing an early passing attack and only later going to running plays for balance. If there is a weakness in the secondary of Cal, then that might match up well for Oregon with their veteran receivers and the return of Mycah Pittman.

Eric Evans, UO Athletics

The Oregon offense can score more if Jaylon Redd is released…

While most would consider the key to the game being whether Oregon’s defense shows up, savvy analyst and writer Mike West of FishDuck has a different view that I respect and in fact wrote about a couple weeks ago. He feels Oregon’s defense is not going to improve much and that our only chance to win is to outscore teams. The recent scores of 38-35 and 41-38 are testaments to this view.

Mike feels that while there is not much more upside to the defense, there is with the offense. He asserts that to realize that upside, Coach Mario Cristobal must let loose the hounds on offense and “let-Joe-go” in order to secure victories in our final games. He feels offense is our only path to the Fiesta Bowl and  has pointed out new tactics he believes can elevate Oregon’s offensive attack to an even higher level.

The question isn’t whether it can happen but whether Coach Cristobal will let it happen?

“Oh, how we love to ponder about Our Beloved Ducks!”

Charles Fischer   (Mr. FishDuck)
Eugene, Oregon
Top Photo from Pac-12 Video

Phil Anderson, the FishDuck.com Volunteer editor for this article, is a trial lawyer in Bend Oregon.

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Jon Joseph

I see a street fight brewing in Berkeley.

As you so correctly noted Charles, CAL has been its own worst enemy this season. And Musgrave and Wilcox I’m certain want this game as much or more, as any game on the schedule. (I have seen one game at The Shoe. I watched Oregon in Columbus in the 80’s playing the Buckeyes. It was a good football game; better than the Buckeyes fans anticipated. I think Bill Musgrave was the QB for that Ducks team?)

I agree that Mike West is a terrific analyst and I agree with Mike, the offense has to carry this team. Which begs the question you so aptly asked, Charles: Is it within Mario Cristobal’s genetic makeup to allow this to happen?

The Ducks is in a funk. Is playing for a conference title and a trip to the Fiesta Bowl enough to wake up these Ducks?

Unfortunately for Oregon, I think CAL picks a bad time to POP.

CAL 31 – Ducks 24 – CAL gets 2+ sacks and 2 turnovers.

Please, let me be wrong!

Jon Sousa

I can let you be wrong if you really want to be… but I´m really powerless here.

Do you really think that the Ducks are going to only score 24 when they are leading the PAC in points and efficiency? I’ll take CAL at your 31 (because you are so great in commentary). On offense, I will give the Ducks 2 more touchdowns and 1 more field goal (Cal is a shadow of itself on defense so far this year and won’t be able to make that big of a leap in one week).

Oregon 41 – CAL 31

Jon Joseph

I overestimated by a TD. And I am far from happy that I did so.

Glen Park

So far you’re correct. Cristobal still can’t let go of the offense and let Moorhead do his thing. That wretched pistol has to go, the inexperienced OL can’t block long enough for the RB to cover that kind of distance.

Tony

I’m almost as excited to watch the ducks play and everything we’ve been discussing the last few weeks and seeing if there have been any improvements, as I am to seeing Cals throwback offense!

For those of us old enough, this was the style that nearly everyone ran in the 90s when I was a youngin and I love seeing it again.

Jeremiah Geiger

I have Oregon taking down Cal in a Big 12-esque high scoring shootout, 54-51, in OT.

Jeremiah Geiger

Thank you Charles!

DuckUp

21 Cal 35 Oregon and the defense finally improves on all the missed tackles and shows up! We win the turnover battle at 2-0 🙏 🙏

oregon111

yesterday I said 45-30 Ducks, but it looks like the old bad offense again…

I won’t change my prediction now, but it is looking like the Duck offense will under-perform

chasman

And the Duck defense…

ducker1

Im prepared for another loss

Duckpop222

The fact that we finished the evening with a chance to win the North says little to nothing about us, and everything about the rest of the division. I feel like we joined the NFC East and we’re the Eagles.

ducker1

Catch you guys next year-maybe we will have a better QB and coach? and a D that will play ALL downs

Sherman

2 words::
Clown Show
1 other word:: Embarrassing

Used in a sentence:::
That was an embarrassing clown show.

🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡

Jon Joseph

1-3 in the last 4 road games versus unranked teams.

As to the rest of my comment: IBID.

Good night.

The Constitutionalist

Judging by these comments, it seems that everyone has forgotten that we are a team of freshmen and sophomores.

Glen Park

Who have gotten worse with each passing week.

DCDuckfan

Realize that the only team that Oregon has beaten with it’s full compliment of starters is WSU who had a true freshman QB. UCLA and Stanford were missing their QBs and skill players all over the field. This team is young but that isn’t why they can’t compete…it’s because they’re poorly coached.

jrw

Who here called Mario the Clay Helton of the North? Right now, I can begin to believe it, maybe.

GODUCKS15

That was me.

Haywarduck

Good news, bad news. The good news is the best Head Coach, Offensive Coordinator and Defensive Coordinator on the sideline were Ducks. The bad news they were the Head Coach, Offensive Coordinator and Defensive Coordinator of the Cal Bears.

Jon Joseph

Chilly.

Haywarduck

One big difference, our RB’s go down with a one arm tackle, or hand on the cleat. Opposing RB’s run through our best LB’s attempt at tackling and move the pile. We aren’t as good as we thought, think.

Time to look at different qb’s, Shough isn’t going to own the qb position next spring, and shouldn’t now.

On defense, the zone isn’t working when receivers are catching balls surrounded by 5 guys, and nobody is on him. I will also say the only guy going full out each play is Thibs. I guess I have to qualify, full out, in a strategic way.

David Marsh

I think it was the first cal drive that their qb was like 5/6 or something… Way too high of a completion percentage.

I remember last year that Oregon had some nice man defense and the zone was always infuriating to watch as it was easy to pick apart.

Krsmqn

Anyone else tired of watching Verdel run straight into a pile of big men? Tired of a QB out there looking little better than a high school athlete? Corners who get burned by virtually everyone? A coach who makes poor decisions? Multiple players who cannot seem to make a tackle? Less than average special teams play in all phases?

Oregon reminds me of those USC teams after Cheat Carroll left; tons of talent wasted. Except with Oregon, the talent will not keep coming here, imo. Things need to be fixed… But can they be?

I can’t wait to read this upcoming weeks articles.

Krsmqn

I feel ya. I’m not much of a writer, or I would give it a go. I just love coming here and reading what the talent produces. There’s plenty to discuss though.

ducker1

Cristobal wont last another year

David Marsh

Neither do I…

But I do have an idea now… I just need to stop being so flipping angry.

I now get to work on calming myself and my dog down. She picks up on all my stress and as a result she will also get super stressed out.

Sherman

I’ll write an article.
Probably won’t be printable.

DCDuckfan

Great recruiter…..bottom tier coach. I became suspicious when Justin Herbert started dominating the NFL immediately but now there is no mystery at all. The MC is an incredible recruiter but absolutely does not have the ability to assemble a coaching staff that can use the talent he is amassing. I thought the OC hire would be good but nope. Either that or MC just won’t get out of the way and let him call the game…regardless it falls on the head coach.

ducker1

Word!!!

CJ

How many times are we going to watch Verdell get stoned on 4th and 1???

Will we get another season of it next year?

CJ

Yep, I pretty much had it pegged in my below prediction and commentary except the offense was even more inept than I expected and the defense was little better than expected but gave up some real bone head plays.

No interceptions for Shough, but a turnover still decided the game.

This team is in complete disarray.

Cristobal to Texas??????

Jon Joseph

Texas won big today against a K ST team that defeated Oklahoma.

Jeremiah Geiger

Wow….losing 21-17 to 0-3 Cal? What is going on with this program right now?

ducker1

weak players and bad coaching

Glen Park

Game over, what a mess of a game.

jrw

On the plus side, I really liked the uniforms.

duckcardinal

They looked like old white pajamas that you accidentally washed with a load of dark socks.

Duck out of Water

2020 is more confusing than ever! Covid! No defense and Great offense.. now it’s better defense and we can’t move the ball!! I can’t figure this out

jrw

Ducks are achieving parity: poor play across the board.

chasman

When do you try a seasoned back up quarterback? Shough looks like he needs a break.

jrw

Now.

ColoradoDuck

It worked with the kicker, why not QB?

Krsmqn

Our coach makes poor decisions.

30Duck

I agree. However much you think it might hurt his confidence, leaving Shough in to work through it, isn’t helping him or the team now. I think it could be a positive, a jump start to the team to give Brown the reps in practice and the start against the Huskies.

ducker1

Shough plays poorly under pressure

jrw

I say time to see what Anthony Brown can do.

Glen Park

I doubt he could do much more, it’s the OL that’s the problem right now.

jrw

Shough is having difficulty making decisions and sizing up his reads. So many mistakes that maybe Brown would not make.

David Marsh

The ol is only as big of a problem as it is because the pistol sucks! These pistol runs demand the ol win everything at the line and make big holes… Which is a tall order when everyone and their dog knows what is happening.

Glen Park

The OL has had a bunch of bad penalties this game and have provided shaky pass protection too. But yes the pistol absolutely sucks.

Glen Park

The defense has improved marginally but the offense is serving up warm poo on a platter. The OL is like a sieve!

Haywarduck

I’m out, going to watch a movie with my wife. I swear the ghost of slick is yelling from the sideline, ‘do something’ stupid, and the Ducks are listening. On top of that the play calling is pathetic.

Plenty of juice out there, just no execution and little intelligent football being played. Our receiver, again, missed a block to kill a play. When are we going to start playing smart! This isn’t just youth, Cristobal needs to get rid of the juice and instill discipline.

DuckUp

Meanwhile Bama is crushing LSU 45-14…..AT THE HALF. Can you imagine what Bama would do to Cal? Smh

Jon Joseph

And Ohio State missing 23 guys and 2 starters on the O line didn’t look rusty from the layoff.

BigDucksFan

Or any Pac-12 team.

BigDucksFan

Same old thing, run up the middle over and over and over on 4 and 1. Same as last year. Cristobal is making this call and hasn’t learned much. *@($*@*^_)*$^&(&%$^*$%@ )

jrw

It’s becoming a bad joke. Literally everyone knows what’s coming and how to stop it. But, Mario…

smith72

Third and one up the middle. Fourth and one up the middle. Why not jet sweep? Toss with a tight end leading? Sprint option? Something else please!!

UGLY!

ducker1

more very bad play calling.

jrw

I can’t stand it any longer. When will it stop? Run into the line out of the derringer, over and over and over, is just madness.

BigDucksFan

Agreed 100%, Bummer.

David Marsh

Wait wait wait … Do my eyes deceive me? Were those last two plays in the 3rd quarter runs from the shotgun???

Glen Park

Aaand now back to the pistol…

Glen Park

Aaand consecutive pistol runs come up short…

David Marsh

The pistol doesn’t work!

The shotgun made that drive and the pistol killed it!

Santa Rosa Duck

Troy Dye made that drive but was absent when we could have used him.

Glen Park

You mean Travis. But yes, they took him out and put in CJ to run the pistol. CJ looks off and I’m surmising that he’s got some kind of injury that’s hobbling him. Dye is much better out of the shotgun where his speed is more of an asset.

Glen Park

It just offers way too much time for the defense to set up and pile into the box. Someone needs to grab Cristobal by the collar and literally yell into his ear that it does…not….WORK.

ColoradoDuck

Pistol really is the absolute worst

oregon111

Everyone here would have called a better play. I would have called a fake up the middle, and then flipped to a WR on a reverse play. I am getting tired of seeing 4th and 1 get stuffed.

Same movie, three years in a row.

jrw

Four fingers are raised for the 4th quarter. Let’s hope they mean it this time.

CJ

Nope, they didn’t.

Glen Park

What is it about the OL tonight and all the dumb penalties? The absolute worst of it was consecutive OL-related penalties on an extra point kick, forcing Kattleman to kick from 41 yards out for just 1 point. Just nuts.

jrw

Shough is really having a hard time making the right read.

David Marsh

In the second half so far Shough looks completely lost… Some of those decisions and passes are just head scratching.

Glen Park

It’s weird, he can spot and make long-bomb throws but he completely misses wide-open teammates in the short to mid range. That drive with the FG should have been a TD but for some reason he didn’t see DJ Johnson who was right in front of him 7 yards out. Really inconsistent today.

oregon111

That is why I was calling for AB to play. Shough is better than Lockie, but he has a lot of bad plays.

ColoradoDuck

Someone who actually wants to play, perhaps? Interested to see how he continues to play

David Marsh

A few scholarship inside linebackers are out this week by the sound of it…

oregon111

Two linebackers from last year transferred. They could use them right about now.

Darren Perkins

Interesting how the Ducks scored two TD’s at the end of the first half after they FINALLY opened up the offense.

jrw

Mario will think it’s just a coincidence.

ColoradoDuck

Is it just me, or did that look like a different offense in the last two drives of the half?

Those three runs up the gut from pistol made me SICK. Maybe Cristobal realized his power run wasn’t working and let Moorehead take over?

David Marsh

If there is a real desire to have some power run plays in the playbook do what every other team does in those situations… Have the qb take the snap from under center and use some variation of an I formation.

The handoff is a lot closer to the line of scrimmage. The pistol is a nice change up on offense, it is not a full time formation.

ColoradoDuck

Agreed… unless you are Mario and Jim Mastro. I really miss Gary Campbell’s RBs

Krsmqn

Looks like the answer to this articles title is being answered. I’ve already resorted to treating this season as an exhibition, like extended fall camp. The Ducks have a lot to figure out, especially as a young team, before next season. If they pull it all together by next year, they could truly be a force in cfb.

Go Ducks!

ducker1

Cal looks way better than the Ducks

ducker1

I go to the store and we are up–figures

oregon111

Last week, I posted some bad stuff…

But I was on to how far this team has fallen. The game is all but over with 5 minutes left in the first half.

jrw

I think that up until now, I had failed to appreciate just how bad this team has become. What is going on?

oregon111

sometimes, there is… poor QB decisions, bad offensive play calling, lack of pressure on QB, receivers not covered, mental mistakes for penalties

When Oregon fixes these issues, then they look pretty good. But they can’t seem to stay consistent.

David Marsh

3rd and long doesn’t mean anything for this defense… They just give up the conversation.

jrw

This is the fired-up, something-to-prove, gettin’ physical team we were promised?

David Marsh

This is the… “Doesn’t care team” … They are playing so flat out there.

oregon111

The high school freshman team I played on in the late 70s had it more together.

chasman

Shough seems to need a little more coaching on how to interpret the read “option” play…

David Marsh

Play calling on offense has been pretty bad today so far as well…

duckcardinal

Thanks for the link. I’d wondered about how solid this commit was for a while, since we continued to chase high school athletes at the same position like Jeffry Bassa, Daymon David, and even Darren Barkins.

So, I’m not discounting the loss of Perkins, as the position is pretty well stocked – and going through its growth pains right now – just a bit concerned that our defense is not looking at all like championship potential this year.

ducker1

Ducks look awful

David Marsh

Another failed 3rd down conversion brought to you by the pistol.

David Marsh

Defense looks pretty bad still…

ducker1

D looks bad and O is playing very conservative

ducker1

12 on the field, good job coaches lol

GODUCKS15

Wow, Furd taking it to the pups.
24-3 at the half.

David Marsh

SPOILER ALERT

But id Stanford beats Washington the rubber match for pac-12 north is still next weekend… But if the game is cancelled it would give Oregon the edge by default.

Root for the trees! (Pun intended)

DuckUp

Furds up 5 with 7:54 to go! LETS GO TREES!!

Jon Joseph

I like the name for the A+M O line – The Maroon Goons.

30Duck

Mark Helfrich on the play by play for Stanford & Washington on FOX.

Mudslide

The Ducks were without starting safeties Jamal Hill and Pickett last week. Plus they were missing Jackson. They BETTER improve this week.

David Marsh

Lots of talk of Steve stevens as well at safety and he has only played on 1 game all year.

I knew Hill was out but I didn’t know Pickett was also out last week. Talk about a leadership deficit… I know Pickett gets a lot of flack and simply put he isn’t by far Oregon’s best safety, but he does have a lot of expirence and he is better than most on the team has he comes with a good amount of starting expirence.

Not excuses for Oregon’s poor play last week but it does help explain why things were worse… Still loads of problems in the defensive front seven.

ICamel

Ducks win 38-34
Shough runs for at least one TD

David Marsh

I haven’t got a clue… I’m hoping to see the defense have something click. I’m not expecting perfection and I am expecting cal to score some points but I am hoping to see some pressure from Oregon.

Really wanting to see the offense not hurt the team with turnovers this week.

The past decade as fans we have been completely and utterly spoiled at the quarterback position …. Thomas, Mariota, Adams and Herbert… All of them took great care of the ball and are Oregon legends, even Adams for his one year because he just jumped into the Oregon system and carried the team when he was on the field.

Shough is pretty good… Still learning and still pretty raw in some areas but it isn’t the same caliber of qb as those who came before him in the past decade.

30Duck

Good news about the basketball team. After the first game that looked like one where the Ducks were playing their first game against a veteran team that had already played 2 games, and lost. The Ducks played their 2nd game, and looked a lot better!

Oregon 83 Seton Hall 70

This seasons team is going to be a lot of fun to watch, a lot of talent, led by Eugene Omoruyi. He leads the team in scoring, can get his points from anywhere, and he doesn’t foul.

duckcardinal

Huge improvement across the team – defense, ball movement, shooting, you name it. No doubt Figueroa added a great presence as a ‘glue guy’ with 9 boards, plus steals, points, and lots of energy. Excellent depth for the rotation so defense doesn’t wear down. True frosh point Jalen Terry also had a profoundly better game than the opener, and may be the major beneficiary of Richardson’s absence.

Dante looked his best since coming to Eugene; an even or better performance than Seton Hall’s 7’2″ center. Plus Duarte flashed some of that great defense and hot streak shooting that he had prior to his injury in 2019. Lots to look forward to!

CJ

Lot of seniors on the team. If Dante gets going at all, or even just provides the needed defensive presence and rebounds big time then this team could be really really good.

The question is can so many transfers gel? It might take Altman a few months but my bet is that the Ducks are a tough out come March.

30Duck

Dante is huge, both on the court, and how you say what he can potentially mean for the team. If he could get to where he really can be a go to guy on offense, and even more of a presence on defense, it could mean a lot. This season will be the first in quite a while that the Ducks won’t feature a shot blocker, thus forcing the team defense to be even more of a priority, starting with rebounding.

Lawson is starting slow, and I feel lie he will pick his game up, last season he came in and was always a plus. It’s a new role for hi this season, and as every player is adjusting to new teammates, same as Duarte. Hopefully 6 weeks for Richardson being out is extreme case, an dhe could be back earlier. One problem right now for the Ducks is games. They don’t have any between now and the conference opener @ Washington on the 12th, and after that it’s blank until the 23d and UCLA.

jrw

Willfully choosing optimism in this, but I think the players are torqued off at being rightly slagged by everyone, lots film has been watched, and there’s some pride on the line. Still, the defense will remain porous. But, Shough will not throw a pick, and the Ducks will score more points than the Bears, 35-28. Devon Williams will have a big game and Mycah Pittman will make his presence felt. Thibs will get a sack.

Santa Rosa Duck

It pains me to say this but Cal generally plays Oregon tough in Berkeley. Cal 31 Ducks 27. I hope I am wrong.

Haywarduck

So we have the prevent offense, along side a defense which is, again, giving up career days. My only problem is I am admittedly blind to all the issues when I think about the outcome of the game. My Duck blinders always work. If I ever win the guessing game of the score, it is because all is right with the Ducks.

The offense needs a defense which will give up the pass. Shough is effective when he can key on one player and fool the defense. I suppose just like our running offense, he is extremely effective when we do the obvious, and the opposing defense can’t believe we would do something so stupid. Fortunately the Cal defense just might be up to the task. I give our offense 45 points. The prevent offense, is given a pass, actually quite a few passes and some runs too. My favorite new offensive threat is back too, DJ Johnson blocks like nobody before and catches 4 for 58 yds.

On defense, I will say it again, Thibs goes off and gets 3 sacks. Noah becomes a force from here on out, and has 4 TFL’s and 14 tackles in all. The key is, one of my favorites from last year, Funa gets a sack and helps shut down the run. Basically we have some ESPN highlight worthy tackles from these 3.

Next Scott has been eating all week, and again looks like the force he was in the past. The key is pressure on the qb, along with intimidating tackling, gang tackling like we haven’t seen all season, Cal get 10 points. We have the beginning of what we saw last year, a dominating defense again. Oregon 45 Cal 10.

There are a number of caveats which may effect the outcome of my prediction. Bill Musgrave is my dream offensive coordinator. He is everything right about who the Ducks were as underdogs. With this in mind one of Oregon’s greatest players just might pull off a miracle and show the Duck faithful he should be our OC and score 45.

On the other side is Justin Wilcox and Peter Sirmon, the Cal defense is stocked with legendary Oregon defenders. Knowing this I am going to go out on a limb and say the Cal defense shuts down Oregon’s prevent offense to 10 points, the 3 turnovers don’t help. Cal 45 Oregon 10.

Haywarduck

Both are based on an emotional process, one a dream, one a nightmare. I’ll go with the dream, Oregon 45 Cal 10.

Jon Sousa

I would do a lot better if you could give me 10 tries each week.

duckcardinal

I’ll have a 16 oz Irish coffee to savor your first 4 paragraphs, followed by a double shot of room temperature Jagermeister to gag down the last two.

Tony

Oregon 41
Cal 33

Our new finely mustached kicker goes 2/2 on fg’s today including a 48 yarder!

In other news: Texas is reportedly pursuing Cristobal and PSU’s head coach if they can’t get Urban Meyer…
https://247sports.com/Article/Texas-Longhorns-coaching-search-Tom-Herman-Urban-Meyer-James-Franklin-Mario-Cristobal-156073162/

duckcardinal

Seems like a bad time for any coach in a solid position to be jumping; so for me, Meyer is the only legit candidate of that trio.

Tony

I hope your right…

Santa Rosa Duck

Urban Meyer is toxic perhaps not to boosters or athletic directors but he would be a tough sell to any university administrators,

FGLumber

Oregon 28 Cal 17…at least I hope

GODUCKS15

All things being equal and Cal and Oregon continue on their current paths, then Cal will not score enough points to win. Oregon has scored more points in the games that both teams have played against.

I see no reason why Cal will all of of sudden get it together and score 30+ points to beat Oregon. Oregon’s averaging 38.5 pts a game while Cals averaging 20 pts per game.

Both teams are giving up the same at 29.75 (UO), 29.6 (Cal)

Ducks 38
Cal 31

CJ

I like your assessment and would normally agree with it except for one thing. Cal has not faced a defense as bad as Oregon’s. It is very plausible that they score more today than they have in any other game this year.

GODUCKS15

Good point.

Notalot

I don’t know what we will see on the field this evening. Will it be more of the same or an altered attack? In this season of hope a few requests on my list to Santa are:

  • More 1st down passes by the Ducks
  • Better defending of the right side flank to prevent an unobstructed rushing
  • A few more carries for Travis Dye with more outside the Tackles

From the “D”:

  • Inspired “pants on fire” play
  • Gang tackling
  • DB’s staying with the downfield WR’s and getting their heads around before the ball arrives
  • Smash mouth tackling and wrapping up

Oregon 38 Cal 28

With more of the same as we saw last week a double digit loss margin could happen, but I look for inspired play and a rebound. That happens when I drink too much lemon and limeade.

30Duck

That’s a great wish list, the rule is that your expectations not exceed your reach, and none of those should be beyond the grasp of a championship football team; actually they should be commonplace.

CJ

Cal 38 Oregon 31

Cal runs for over 200 yards. Duck D is still a no show and will remain that way for the rest of the season. Cal D is a smidge stouter than the Beavers was and holds the Ducks in the lower 30’s and that makes the difference. Shough throws at least one maybe two interceptions to stay on pace as we continue to lose the turnover battle.

Last week I went against my gut and took Oregon to win. This week I am going with the gut. I don’t think we have seen the worst yet…..which kind of defeats my mantra from last week that it was a good loss because hopefully it wakes up the team. For some reason I now believe we won’t see that wake up this year.

I think one element we have underestimated is the impact of stress on these young guys from the situation with the virus and I believe that factors into why we won’t see a wake up. I wonder if because the virus has been taken a bit more seriously out here in the west, particularly in Oregon, that it weighs a little heavier for our guys….especially the young ones. I say this after reading a couple interviews with Dana Altman who clearly articulated that his players are stressing more than he has ever seen in his long career (which makes sense). Of course that same stressor is affecting opposing teams so not an excuse, just something we may be underestimating.

Jon Joseph

CJ, good points all. But I am not sure why COVID would be more of a ‘stressor’ in Eugene, than in Corvallis, LA and Berkeley? Maybe a lesser concern in Pullman, but in these other places?

Of course I do note that you did, of course, observe that the situation is not unique to Eugene.

I think us fans are looking for excuses where there may be no excuses for what we are seeing on the field?

This team is simply mediocre, at best. This team does not have the crutch of a 4 year starter at QB who is likely to be the NFL Rookie of the Year. This team does not have the leadership on D from a guy now playing for the Vikings, Troy Dye.

Wait ‘Till Next Year?

CJ

Yeah, you are probably right about looking for excuses where there aren’t any. Just have to come to terms with a mediocre team (essentially decent on offense and horrible, one of the worst in FBS on defense).

Mostly I was reacting to those interviews from Altman, because he seemed very sincere in his assessment of his team. Of course he was also trying to make an argument for getting a couple guys eligible so maybe he was telling some stretchers.

30Duck

It turns out that this is still a “trap game”, the season teetering on the ledge. In this era of wide open offenses, Mario embraces the “Prevent”. Can the Ducks take control of the game from the start? Achieve the dominance that it needs to grind the Bears to dust?

Oregon 43 Cal 33, 3 TD passes for Shough, 280 yards, how about 2 sacks for the defense!

Jon Joseph

Man, I like your prediction far, far better than mine!

BigDucksFan

Cristobals comments during this last week worry me a little in that he kept repeating that the players have to find it in themselves to improve. Which indicated to me that he was putting the blame for the Oregon State loss more on the players then the coaches. I only remember one time where he admitted that he had to improve his coaching but without giving any details as to how he was going to do this or what specifically he wanted to improve about his coaching. That comment he made seemed very “canned”, like someone would say just to be nice or because its more of an the accepted thing to say even if you don’t believe it yourself.

Because of this I’m not sure we will see much of a change in Cristobals approach to coaching the game. I’ve seen a lot of comments this past week that we hope Cristobal will let Moorhead go and run the offense and he himself saying out of play calling. IMO, I don’t think that will happen like we want it to. I see much of the same “prevent offense” in the later part of the game that we have learned to expect and dislike.

My prediction is: Oregon 44, Cal 41, with Oregon losing the turnover battle by two.

Jon Joseph

Great take BDF. But with the Ducks D in disarray, can Oregon lose the TO battle and win the game?

Jon Joseph

BTW, Ducks win this game, Oregon goes 2-2 in its last 4 road games vs unranked opponents. Not good. But 1-3?

Recruiting #s tell a positive story, but the above #s do the opposite. In 2019, Oregon was 2nd in the conference against the run. In 2020, Oregon is at 11 in this category.

What good is quality raw material if it is not properly crafted?

Of course, fine wine and whiskey both take years in the crafting,

BigDucksFan

There is your two turnovers, and at a bad time.

BigDucksFan

Yes, with some “depending of things”. Depending on how much field they leave Cal to cover after they give them the ball. Depending how early in the game they give Cal the ball. Early take aways don’t count as much as late take aways.

ducker1

Oregon 40 Cal 21 -Oregon finally plays a complete game and the D comes through creating 2 turnovers for scores –hopefully!

Mike West

Ducks 35-28. Cal’s offense gives the Ducks a scare. Cristobal’s offense resembles the walking dead—the offense scores, just like those zombies eventually find someone to eat—no matter how long it takes them to do so.

I sure hope Cristobal learned his lesson. It would be even better if he pulled a Utah surprise. One can only dream…

I did want to compliment Logger29 on his astute comment yesterday. I’ve been thinking about that ever since ASU’s President blurted out the conference is doing fine.

BigDucksFan

I also liked Logger29’s comment yesterday about the state of the Pac-12 and hope we don’t stop talking about the need for change in its leadership.

Jon Joseph

ASU’s President, Michael Crow, glowingly opined that Larry has the Pac-12 ‘perfectly positioned’ to capitalize on the conference’s ownership of the Pac-12 Network? SCHMUCK!

Logger is spot on. It’s not just Larry who is burying the conference, the board of directors he reports to are incompetent. Incompetently managed businesses fail with regularity.

I don’t know about zombies, but if you have watched the Pac-12 network lately, it looks like the programs are being broadcast from Dracula’s crypt.