Dream up a scenario for how exactly Cal upsets Oregon.
Norcalnick: Typically, a good strategy to win in an upset is to slow the game down and play as few possessions as possible. By limiting the amount of times the opponent can try to score, you increase the possibility of unusual events shaping the game and decrease the number of chances your opponent has to assert their superiority. Two turnovers hurt much more in a 10 possession game than they do in a 20 possession game.
Sonny Dykes' insistence on running a high tempo offense eliminates that as a viable strategy, although slowing the game down against Oregon's excellent defense is a viable strategy only in theory.
I dunno. If Cal wins the turnover battle by something like 4 or 5, maybe something weird happens. Even the hope of competing against Oregon in a shoot-out a la USC last year would require a quantum leap in efficiency for Cal's offense.
Atomsareenough: Cal gets the ball and strikes first, sending a message that the Bears have come out of hibernation, and there will be no slow start this time around. On Oregon's first drive, it turns out they're the ones starting slow, and we get a stop, while Goff has the hot hand and leads another touchdown drive, putting the Bears up 14-0. The Bears are moving at a pace that Oregon has seen only in its own practices, and the Bears' early success has finally unlocked the run game, with Lasco and Bigelow opening up big chunks of yardage. The Ducks are so good though, they can't be contained forever, and they eventually break through, but they can't stop Cal and the teams trade touchdowns, leaving the Bears up 21-7 at the end of the first quarter.
However, in the second quarter the Bears get a crucial turnover which leads to another score, putting them up 3 TDs at the half. The game is a furious, fast-paced shootout in the second half and the Ducks end up getting some stops and closing the gap, but Cal manages to stay ahead of them with D'Amato kicking the winning FG in the midst of a frighteningly loud Autzen Stadium crowd as time runs out on Oregon, and the Bears come away with the shocking upset, 52-49.
Sam Fielder: Cal and Oregon trade TD's for most of the first half and then Cal gets a pick six to go into the half leading 35-21. They get the ball back to start the half, go up by 21 after a quick score, and then hold on down the stretch as they win 56-49.
TwistNHook: It's gonna have to be firepower. I don't think anybody thinks that the Cal D is going to stop the Oregon O entirely. Few, if any Ds, could. But hopefully, the post-6 minutes in D will show up. That D is much superior to the first 6 minutes of the game defense and seemed reasonable against OSU. Not great, but reasonable. If that D shows up, holds Oregon to under 40 and the offense can minimize turnovers and click on all cylinders, perhaps Cal can win a shoot out. It'd be fun, for sure!
Nam Le: It'll take no less than six, and maybe seven things:
Generate turnovers and prevent any of our own.
Tackle in space.
Practice good leveraging and control the edges.
Execute on offense.
Settle for no field goals.
Take risks and play to win.
EXTRA: Ideally, hang onto the ball so Oregon can't have it, although the full-throttle tempo in our offense kind of clashes with that philosophy.
Ruey Yen: Even if Oregon is overlooking the Cal game, it would take the perfect storm for the Bears to pull off an upset. I don't think the defense can realistically shutdown the Oregon D but if they are able to get some turnovers and possibly score some points (while still giving up its share of big plays and tons of yardage), then the Bears might surprise. The offense should be able to get its points, but it would still need to minimize mistakes and have almost perfect executions (no dropped catches, etc.) to rival the offensive output of the Ducks.
Charley Lu: Cal D stands up in the midst of a torrential rain. Ball pops out six times in the Ducks read option exchange and all recovered by the Bears.