Cal vs. Oregon
KICKOFF: Friday, 7 p.m. at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.
TV/RADIO: FoxSports1; 810-AM.
RECORDS: Cal 4-3, 2-3 in Pac-12; Oregon 6-1, 3-1.
SERIES HISTORY: Cal leads 39-35-2. Oregon has won five straight, including 55-16 in 2013.
STORYLINES: Cal faces its biggest challenge of the season to date in the first college game ever played at the 49ers’ new Levi’s Stadium. No. 6 Oregon has won by a combined margin of 87-50 the past two weeks against UCLA and Washington teams that beat Cal. . . . The Bears’ pass defense, which has allowed more yards per game (391.7) than any team in the country, will be severely tested by Oregon quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate Marcus Mariota, who needs just 45 passing yards to become the Ducks’ all-time yardage leader. Mariota has thrown a touchdown in 33 consecutive games. . . San Jose native Byron Marshall, who led the Ducks with 1,038 rushing yards last season, now is splitting time between running back and wide receiver. He has 249 rushing yards, leads the Ducks with 34 catches for 388 yards.
INJURY UPDATE: Cal: OG Chris Borrayo (head) will play; WR Chris Harper (back) is probable; S Avery Sebastian (quad), WR Trevor Davis (neck) and DE Brennan Scarlett (knee) are out. Oregon: RB Thomas Tyner (shoulder) is probable; WR Keanon Lowe (hamstring) is questionable; OT Tyler Johnstone (knee), WR Bralon Addison (knee) and OT Andre Yruretagoyena (knee) are out.
MATCHUP TO WATCH: While Mariota is the headliner, Oregon’s ground attack is a silent killer. The Ducks have led the Pac-12 in rushing offense eight straight seasons, and are on top this fall at 217.3 yards per game. Cal rates fourth in the conference defending the run, but will be challenged by the threesome of freshman Royce Freeman, Thomas Tyner and Marshall, who have combined to rush for 1,164 yards this season. The return of starting OT Jake Fisher from injury two weeks ago has helped spark the offense.
STATS THAT MATTER: Cal outscored its first three opponents by a combined 56-0 in the first quarter, but has been shut out in the first quarter of its past three games and outscored 52-7 in the opening period the past four outings. . . . The Bears are averaging just 60.7 yards rushing the past three games. . . . Oregon is the first ranked opponent Cal has faced this season. . . . Oregon is the only team in the Pac-12 that has not thrown an interception this season. . . . Quick-strike Ducks lead the conference in scoring (43.6 ppg) despite being last in time of possession.