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
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.