Nik Jam: Oregon will hopefully be falling off a little bit, and this will be the best shot for the Bears in a long time to beat the Ducks. It's at home and there's a national audience. As important as the Texas game is to prove that the Bears are still a good team, the Oregon game (provided we win the said Texas game, but even if not) could be what shows that the Bears are going to be a nationally relevant team and program going forward.
Plus it'll probably be the game that makes up my mind for me whether I trek down to LA to see the Bears take on the demon Trojans.
Avinash: I don't know what to make of Oregon until I watch them play. If they correct their defensive woes from the Pellum era they could be a Pac-12 title contender again, but they are losing the majority of their front seven.
That being said, it might not matter, because Oregon should hit 40 points without a problem most weeks. The Ducks have one of the most explosive backfields in the nation and have one of the most productive receiving corps out there. It all comes down to whether Oregon can get even the barest minimum of competent quarterback play. But that question has yet to be resolved whether Dakota Prukop can step into Vernon Adams's shoes.
What do you believe is the path to victory for Cal to upset Oregon?
Nick Kranz: If Dakota Prukop can provide 90% or more of the production that Vernon Adams gave Oregon last year, then the Ducks will probably be roughly the same as they were last year - a flawed by highly entertaining team that goes 9-3 or so. If Prukop (and the rest of the quarterbacks on the roster that have convinced Oregon to twice take grad transfers) are more Jeff Lockie, then Oregon could be in big trouble.
I'm confident in assuming that Oregon will continue to have a killer run game, and their skill position players should make things easy for any half decent quarterback. The offense will probably be fine.
As much as Brady Hoke became a deserved punch-line at Michigan, I think he's probably a pretty good defensive coordinator in the right program (he recruited and developed much of the talent that made Michigan's defense so spectacular last year). Is he a right fit at Oregon, with the talent he inherited? That's a much harder question to answer, and I'm very, very curious to see what he does in Eugene.
Andy Johnston: I cannot wait for this matchup. Last season I expected us to beat Oregon until Vernon Adams decided to shatter my dreams in one big disaster of a game. If you ask an honest Ducks fan (they do exist), Prukop is far more of a wildcard than Adams was last year. The Friday night slot bugs me a bit but I think the Bears have a very legitimate chance to finally beat the Ducks. Add in that this game takes place in Berkeley and I think the Bears should win this game. The Ducks are one dimensional without a pass attack and we have the talent in our secondary to completely force them to rely on their run attack. If our defensive line steps up, we can beat Oregon.
boomtho: I'm still bitter we had to play Oregon with Vernon Adams back,... however based on the (admittedly limited) coverage I've read, I'm way less worried about whoever ends up at QB for Oregon this year (grad transfer Dakota Prukop or Travis Jonsen). That being said, Oregon is still going to put up a lot of points against us given our lack of defensive depth and their top-end talent at the skill positions.
The real question will come on the other end Cal struggled relatively vs Oregon (only 28 points) after putting up 41 the year before (and still losing by 18). Can we score enough to keep up with Oregon? I'm doubtful, so I'm expecting another loss, just one less frustrating than last year.