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Football: Beleaguered Bears try to overcome longest of odds against No. 2 Oregon

Their bowl game chances are gone and their coach’s future is in doubt. Their best player is done for the season, and possibly their starting quarterback, too.

Against that grim backdrop, the Cal Bears will close their home schedule Saturday night as 28-point underdogs to No. 2 Oregon, the nation’s most electrifying team. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.

“The game is not won on paper,” said senior running back C.J. Anderson. “We’re thinking about ending somebody else’s national championship run.”

“If we can beat them, this is like our championship game — take somebody down with us,” senior safety Josh Hill said.

Click here to read my entire Cal-Oregon preview.

CAL VS. OREGON

RECORDS: Cal 3-7, 2-5 in Pac-12; Oregon 9-0, 6-0

KICKOFF: 7:30 p.m., Memorial Stadium, Berkeley

TV: ESPN

RADIO: 810-AM

SERIES HISTORY: Cal leads 39-33-2. The Ducks won 43-15 last year in Eugene. Oregon has won the past three meetings and 11 of the past 15.

STORYLINES: This is the Bears’ final home game of the season and could be the last game coached at Memorial Stadium by coach Jeff Tedford, depending on what  athletic director Sandy Barbour decides after the season. … A 28-point underdog, the Bears are attempting to avoid becoming the second Cal team to lose five home games in a season since 1984. … Oregon, No. 2 in the AP Top-25 but No. 3 in the BCS standings, needs to win impressively to keep pace or move up in its quest to qualify for the BCS national championship game. … Oregon running back Kenjon Barner, coming off a school-record 321-yard rushing performance with five touchdowns in a 62-51 win at USC, has climbed to No. 2 in a Heisman Trophy straw poll of voters conducted by CBS Sports.

INJURY UPDATE: Cal – WR Bryce Treggs (ankle), ILB Jalen Jefferson (concussion), CB Marc Anthony (concussion), LB J.P. Hurrell (concussion) are questionable. OT Matt Summers-Gavin (knee) is doubtful. QB Zach Maynard (knee), WR Keenan Allen (knee) and DL Keni Kaufusi (knee) are out. Oregon – DT Isaac Remington (leg) and DL Dion Jordan (shoulder) are questionable. NG Ricky Heimuli (knee) is doubtful.

MATCHUP TO WATCH: Cal junior quarterback Allan Bridgford vs. Oregon’s defensive secondary. Bridgford, expected to start for injured senior Zach Maynard, is 4 for 16 for 32 yards in limited action this season. He has yet to be intercepted in 48 career pass attempts, but faces an aggressive OU secondary that leads the Pac-12 with 17 picks, four of which they have returned for touchdowns.

STATS THAT MATTER: Cal has lost as many home games (4) as the rest of the Pac-12 North division combined. … Oregon is 34-2 in its past 36 conference games. The Ducks have averaged 45.1 points in those 34 victories. … Oregon has run 181 plays of at least 10 yards — that’s 24.5 percent of all its snaps. … Cal hopes to level the playing field against the Ducks by forcing turnovers, and boasts a 46-9 record under Tedford when it has fewer giveaways than the opposition. … Cal freshman WR Chris Harper has 18 receptions for 269 yards the past three games.

Jeff Faraudo

  • 66Bear

    I find it fascinating that we are hearing again about Tedford’s winning percentage when the Bears win the turnover battle. Although JT used to insist that his players not turn the ball over, he has contentedly watched Maynard turn the ball over (and take sacks) with great frequency for the last two seasons with nary a protest, while telling us (again) that they would be working on Maynard’s “consistency” in practice. In any event, the Bears played great at home against the Ducks two years ago, and I hope that they play them great again tomorrow night. Go defense! Go Bridgford and the offense! Beat the Ducks! It’ll be fun. :-)

  • DuckThis

    Cal does seem to play the Ducks tough and I think the Bears will cover the spread. However, Tedford will throw someone under the bus again and it will be Helmet-gate. The bears will pop the chin strap to slow the Ducks down. Look for the signal on the sideline.

    Injury-gate
    Deflate-gate and now….
    Helmet-gate

  • Will L

    DuckThis – before HelmetGate was LightsOutGate in 2003.

  • Eric

    Just came back from the Sherman Oaks Ntre Dame-Oaks Christian playoff game (won by the Knights 28-27 when the OC kicker missed an extra point with 1:00 to go – that is a crappy way to lose, even though my kid’s team won). I heard that Koa Farmer, a ND WR/safety who was offered a scholarship at the Big Game, committed to Cal. Is that true?

  • Jeff Faraudo

    Farmer is a Class of 2014 prospect — a high school junior — who did give Cal an oral commitment last month. Whether he actually arrives in Berkeley 21 months from now, time will tell. He cannot formalize the commitment by signing a letter of intent until sometime in late January 2014.

  • Dan

    Have fun this weekend guys. Ill have to be content to watch the Bears somewhere in downtown San Diego on Saturday night.

    I will miss being at Cal Saturday night, but I’m off to support the Aztecs in person this weekend with what I hope will be a great doubleheader- Saturday vs. Air Force to get within a game of winning the MWC championship, and then to kickoff the hoops season vs. Syracuse on the USS Midway on Sunday. Been excited for this weekend for quite awhile.

  • Eric

    Thanks JF. Granted, it is 21 months from now, but on the field after last night’s game I was hearing Cal was a dream school for him. He is talented.

  • Larry

    I’ll be at Memorial Stadium tonight. My expectations are very low to avoid a depressing evening.

    On the positive side, Oregon might not fully show up and we may be a trap game for them since they were in a knockout/dragout game against U$C last week and have Stanford next week, we may see Oregon play down to us this game. If that’s the case, we may be close or possibly winning at halftime, then they will wake up and hang 35 points on us in the 2nd half. Hopefully some of the redshirted younger players will get some playing time for next year’s benefit.

    Bridgford most likely will be Mansion II (due to the lack of prep from the coaches-no 1st team reps all yr), but I’m hoping he shows well this game and the next game.

    As always, GO BEARS!!!

  • http://! BlueNGold

    I was at the WU game last weekend and thought AB played well given the circumstances. With a week to practice with first team reps, he could be a nice surprise. Of course, the O line has to play well too for that to happen.