The Eugene Register-Guard has determined that Oregon, at its current pace, could become the first BCS team to ever to score 100 touchdowns in a season.
It only seems like the Ducks scored that many just last Saturday against USC.
Which brings us to Oregon’s visit to Berkeley on Saturday night. Cal actually has played the Ducks about as well as any Pac-12 team in recent years.
2011: Oregon won 43-15 in Eugene, but Cal led 15-14 at the half.
2010: The Ducks scored just one offensive touchdown in a 15-13 victory at Berkeley.
2009: Well, let’s ignore this one (a 42-3 Oregon win).
2008: Cal won 26-16 at Memorial Stadium.
So, over the past eight halves of football between the two teams, Cal has either played better or virtually even with the Ducks in five of them.
The difference this year isn’t Oregon’s improved speed, better defense or the refinement of coach Chip Kelly’s offensive system.
The difference is Cal. While Oregon boasts the nation’s most prolific offense (54.3 ppg), the Bears rank 63rd in scoring defense (27.6 ppg allowed).
That defense has improved some in recent weeks, allowing 21 points or fewer in four of the past five games. At the same time, the offense has regressed, totaling just 22 points over the past three games, if you don’t count 21 garbage-time points in the lopsided loss at Utah.
And now the Bears will go at Oregon with their second-string quarterback.
There’s just no way this game adds up to anything other than an Oregon victory. And by a fairly sizable margin.
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