The pressure might not feel like it’s on, but it is on. Cal must beat Oregon next week. The Bears had two must-win games against the Oregon schools in a row, and they’ve already blown one of them. They cannot blow the second.
The 2-4 Ducks appear to be in a tailspin sitting at the bottom of the Pac-12, and reports are coming out that half the team is already beginning to shut it down. Oregon offensive lineman (and former Cal commit) Cameron Hunt made those feelings publicly known. More from the Register Guard.
“We’ve got some guys on our team who are busting their tails to win and other guys on our team that don’t even care if we win or lose,” senior Cameron Hunt said, estimating 30 to 40 percent of the team falls into the latter category. “I don’t think everyone is bought-in.
“I think people really need to evaluate if they want to play. As a coach, figure out what guys want to play and what guys don’t want to play, and if they don’t want to play, they can leave.”
"Some of the young guys are so much caught in the hype like we have all the unis, we always make it to the natty or whatever, playoffs, bowl games but they don't really understand that you don't just come to Oregon and expect to win national championships," Maloata said. "Some of the young guys are here just to be here and think that, oh I'm here, by the time we play the next opponent we're just going to win. That's not how it works.”
Oregon currently sits at 0-3 in the Pac-12. This game is essentially must-win for them if they want to recover and make a bowl. But for those who feared Cal had the worst defense in the conference, fear not! The Ducks defense has surrendered 54 points a game in conference play.
If Sonny Dykes and Cal can’t beat a reeling Oregon squad at home on two weeks rest after a dreadful loss in Corvallis, then the season is probably going to end up where the prognosticators expected us: Four to five wins with Dykes in very warm water heading into 2017. With Cal’s three toughest opponents (at USC, Washington, at Washington State) coming up next and no freebies right after that, the Bears could be out of bowl contention come Big Game with an Oregon loss.
Cal has to win next Friday. Time to end seven years of misery against the Ducks, Golden Bears.