The numbers promise to be bloated Saturday night when Cal faces No. 2 Oregon in the Pac-12 Conference opener for both teams.
And it’s hard to find a combination of those figures that adds up to a victory for the Bears, rated as 36-point underdogs. Cal has failed to cover the spread in its past nine games, according to OddsShark.com — the longest such streak in the country.
The over/under betting total for the game is 84 points — the third-largest in college football since 2000.
Even that number may not contain these two fast-paced teams. Cal (1-2) has gone “over” in its past five games and Oregon (3-0) has gone over in its past three, thanks to an offense producing more than 61 points per game.
“They remind you of a basketball team,” Cal coach Sonny Dykes said. “Huge momemtum swings take place in their games sometimes. You watch the film and it’s 7-0 and all of a sudden it’s 52-0. It’s like their touchdowns are worth 25 points each.”
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CAL AT NO. 2 OREGON
RECORDS: Cal 1-2, Oregon 3-0.
KICKOFF: 7:30 p.m., Autzen Stadium, Eugene, Ore.
TV: Pac-12 Networks
SERIES HISTORY: Cal leads 39-34-2, but Oregon has won the past four games overall and nine of the past 10 in Eugene. The Bears’ most recent win at Autzen Stadium was a 31-24 victory in 2007.
STORYLINES: The Bears open Pac-12 play vs. their third Top-25 foe in four games after a nonconference slate that included a 44-30 loss to then-No. 22 Northwestern and a 52-34 loss to then-No. 4 Ohio State. … The Ducks’ roster features 43 players from California — 19 more than hail from within Oregon. Among those from the Bay Area are backup RB Byron Marshall of San Jose, No. 2 QB Jeff Lockie of Alamo and starting FS Avery Patterson of Pittsburg. . . . Cal LB Nick Forbes (back) is cleared and has practiced, but isn’t expected to see action on defense.
INJURY UPDATE: Cal – WR Maurice Harris (shoulder) is questionable. OG Matt Cochran (ankle), DE Brennan Scarlett (hand) and DT Mustafa Jalil (knee) are out. Oregon – None reported.
MATCHUP TO WATCH: Cal’s defense vs. Oregon’s run game. The Bears cannot get gouged here and expect to be in the game for long. The Ducks feature TB De’Anthony Thomas, who has scored 11 touchdowns in the past five games and boasts a gaudy 8.6 yards per-carry rush average for his career. QB Marcus Mariota is a spectacular running threat, averaging 17.5 yards per try this season. Oregon is second nationally at 355.3 rushing yards per game, while Cal is third-to-last among FBS teams in the same category on defense, allowing 262 yards per game.
STATS THAT MATTER: Cal is 4-51 all-time vs. Top-5 opponents, winning just once in 28 tries since 1975. . . . Jared Goff, with 1,306 yards after three games, already has thrown for more yards than any freshman in Cal history. . . . The Ducks are the only team in the country without an offensive turnover. . . . The combined record of Cal’s first four opponents is 14-1. . . . Cal has run at least 90 offensive plays in each of its first three games.
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