Running back Daniel Lasco said the Golden Bears are more than excited about this weekend’s first road trip of the season.
He said they are confident they can play with the No. 2 Oregon Ducks.
Asked after practice Monday about the Ducks’ defense, Lasco said, ”They’re fast, they swarm to the ball. Other than that, they’re just another football team. Nothing special, nothing we can’t handle.
“In my mind, I know we’re going to go in there and we’re going to win.”
Lasco, told by the coaching staff he could get more opportunity to play on Saturday night, said the Bears feel good about their Pac-12 schedule opener.
“If we’re trying to go to the Rose Bowl, this is the game we have to win,” he said. “I feel this team is focused and we’re about to go in there and shock the world.”
Oregon, averaging 61.3 points per game this season and a winner in 33 of its past 36 home games, is favored by more than five touchdowns.
Both teams are coming off bye weeks, so they’ve had extra time to prepare. Cal is 1-2 after a nonconference schedule that featured games against Northwestern and Ohio State, both Top-25 teams.
“We had the first three games to figure out what kind of team we are,” Lasco said. “We understand the offense, understand what the coaches are going to do. We’re more comfortable.”
Lasco’s solid performance in the Bears’ 52-34 loss to Ohio State — 10 carries for 64 yards and a touchdown — have apparently earned the 6-foot-1, 200-pound sophomore the chance to play more this week.
“Honestly I kind of give the RBs a different persona. We have a bunch of speed in the RBs,” he said, referring to backfield mates Brendan Bigelow and Khalfani Muhammad.
“Toward the end of the game, a lot of things weren’t working for us. We kind of threw me in and I had to lower my pads and do when I’m taught to do. When they threw me in, I just had to be that bruising back.”
He said there is much he still need to work on, but added, “It’s exciting to know they believe in me.”