Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE
Beleaguered Cal coach Jeff Tedford will try to do what no one thinks he can: lead his team to an upset victory against #2 Oregon.
The California Golden Bears and Oregon Ducks meet tonight at Memorial Stadium in a matchup of teams that, to say the least, are headed in opposite directions. The vaunted Ducks are undefeated (9-0, 6-0 Pac-12), ranked third in the latest Bowl Championship Series standings, and are eyeing their second appearance in the BCS National Championship game in the last three years. The Bears, meanwhile, are floundering at 3-7 (2-5 Pac-12), a season that the conventional wisdom suggests will end Coach Jeff Tedford's 11-year tenure as Cal head coach. On top of it all, Cal starting quarterback Zach Maynard suffered an injury last week against Washington, meaning that junior Allan Bridgford "likely" gets the start.
Will this one be ugly? Or will the Bears shock the college football world with an upset? Heck, will the Bears shock us all by playing a competitive game, a la the 2010 meeting with Oregon at Memorial Stadium? Talk about it here on the pregame thread. Watch for a link the first quarter thread as the kickoff time draws near.
More game information below for your reading pleasure (or nightmares). GO BEARS!
Saturday, Nov. 10, 7:30 p.m. (PT)
Cal (3-7, 2-5) vs. Oregon (9-0, 6-0)
Memorial Stadium, Berkeley, CA
TV: ESPN - Joe Tessitore (Play-by-Play), Matt Millen (Analyst), Samantha Steele (Sideline Reporter)
Cal Commercial Radio: KGO 810 AM (San Francisco) - Joe Starkey (Play-by-Play), Mike Pawlawski (Analyst, *Pregame Show), Todd McKim (Sideline, *Pregame Show), Lee Grosscup (^Postgame Show), Matt Foley (^Postgame Show) Postgame Show: Claremont Hotel Club & Spa, 41 Tunnel Road, Berkeley, CA
IMG College/Cal Radio Network Affiliates: *KFPT 790 AM (Fresno), KGO 810 AM (San Francisco), +KLAA 830 AM (Los Angeles), KRAK 910 AM (Los Angeles), KAHI 950 AM (Sacramento), KESP 970 AM (Modesto), KFIG 1430 AM (Fresno), XEPE 1700 AM (San Diego) ^Primary, *Secondary; + will be joined in progress at approximately 8:30 p.m. PT after conclusion of Notre Dame-Boston College football game
All-Access Radio: The Cal commercial radio broadcast of the Golden Bears' game vs. Washington can be heard on the Internet through the All-Access channel on CalBears.com. All-Access can be found under the Multimedia tab at the top of the page at CalBears.com.
Cal Student Radio: KALX 90.7 FM, kalx.berkeley.edu (Berkeley) - Josh Toyofuku (Play-by-Play), Jeff Angius (Analyst), Jamie Silva (Analyst)
Sirius XM Satellite Radio:Cal's commercial radio broadcast feed of the Cal-Oregon game can be heard on Sirius XM satellite radio on channel 85 on both Sirius and XM.
CalBears.com: Visit CalBears.com for complete coverage of Cal football, including a live play-by-play update via Gametracker.
With it being the Bears' final home game of the season, it is Senior Night at Memorial Stadium. Nineteen Cal seniors will don the Cal uniform at home for the final time in their college football careers. Unfortunately for the Bears, one of those seniors, OT Matt Summers-Gavin, was injured last week against Washington and is not expected to play tonight.
As for the game between Cal and Oregon, the one aspect of the game that perhaps strikes the most fear in hearts of Cal fans is the matchup between the Duck offense and Bear defense. Oregon's attack is prolific: the Ducks average 54 points per game (1st in the NCAA FBS) and a gaudy 341 yards rushing per game (2nd in FBS). As if the Oregon offense weren't prolific enough, the Ducks might be inclined to pick up the pace a little more against Cal tonight: with the Ducks needing to move up a spot in the BCS standings, Oregon might be looking not only to win but to do so with style points.
ManBearCal previewed the scary Oregon offense and, in particular, running back Kenjon Barner and the rest of the Oregon stable of speedy runners:
The Michael hasn't been missed much.Kenjon Barner is leading the conference in rushing and is top 5 nationally in just about every rushing category that matters. After a banner day in the Coliseum last week where he went for 321 yards and 5 touchdowns on 38 carries, Barner has 1295 yards and 19 touchdowns on the year...averaging an impressive 7.23 yards per carry. Questions about Barner's durability seem to have been answered this season, as he's shown an ability to run inside for the hard yards and carry a heavier workload while still possessing that breakaway speed and quickness that all of these little Oregon backs are so known for. Speaking of little backs and quickness, there is one other dude worth mentioning here. I'll discuss DAT in this space, even though he will frequently line up out wide. In fact, he's the Ducks' leading receiver with 29 catches for 277 yards and 4 touchdowns. But he's listed as a running back, and has 61 rushes for 508 yards and 7 touchdowns on the year. That's 8.33 yards per carry, in case you were wondering. While very slight in stature, he's big on speed and agility...capable of making DB's look like defensive linemen in the open field. A truly absurd talent. There's a high likelihood that we'll also see true frosh Byron Marshall this Saturday...probably in the third quarter or so if this game plays out how I expect it to. Marshall has rushed for 371 yards and 3 touchdowns on 71 carries in mostly mop-up duty this season. He's bigger than Barner and Thomas and plenty fast, but more of a straight-ahead runner than those two. That's scary.
Speaking of scary, the matchup of the Oregon defense against the Cal offense isn't exactly something that Cal fans should expect to be all glitter and unicorns. It's a tough task for Bridgford making his second collegiate start. norcalnick said as much when he went over some numbers in his analysis of the Oregon defense.
Stats of Dubious Value
126 turnovers forced (10 fumbles, 16 interceptions), 3rd in the nation. Abandon all hope ye who enter.
BRIDGFORD YOU THROW THE BALL TO GUYS IN BLUE NOT . . . wait what asinine color will Oregon be wearing on Saturday?
Opponent conversion percentage of 31.43%, 16th in the nation
Opponent scoring percentage of 57.89%, 2nd in the nation; Opponent touchdown percentage of 42.11%, 7th in the nation.
Like I said last week - Cal's red zone struggles are so pronounced that it doesn't really matter who the opponent is. The Bears have the 4th worst red zone success rate in FBS football. One of the teams behind Cal is in the transition phase from the FCS. Sigh. Oregon's red zone touchdown percentage on offense is nearly double Cal's. Double sigh.
Let's make that a triple sigh.
Let's remember a happier time, shall we? Though I find it awkward that the rest of the season was canceled after this....