It wasn’t the prettiest game overall but the California Golden Bears got a big victory, knocking off the Oregon Ducks, 21-17. Cal utilized a strong showing in the first half to hold on to a victory, doing so in different ways in the second half.
The first half was all about ball control as the Bears had multiple scoring drives of at least 13 plays including an incredible 19-play drive that ate up 80 yards in 9:51 off the game clock. Despite dominating the time of possession in the first half, the Bears still had to head to the halftime break with a three-point deficit, down 17-14 after the Ducks were able to quickly rebound with a three-play, 75-yard scoring drive just before the half saw them take the lead back.
In the second half, however, it was a much different game. After four consecutive punts to start the second half, Cal QB Chase Garbers hit the second half’s first score, on an incredible play fake for a passing touchdown to Nikko Remigio.
That score marked Cal’s first lead since midway through the second quarter, and would ultimately become the game-winner after the teams traded punts and fumbles and fourth-down stops during the rest of the second half.
The ugliness continued after Cal couldn’t convert on fourth down and gave life to Oregon but Tyler Shough found Johnny Johnson on the ensuing possession only to have the ball forced out by Kuony Deng to end the game.
Garbers finished the game throwing 20-for-32 with 183 yards and a touchdown. Wisconsin-transfer RB Bradrick Shaw got on the board for the first time in his Cal career, finishing the day with six carries for just 14 yards. Remigio led all Cal pass-catchers with six catches for 81 yards and a score.
The Bears improved to 1-3 despite gaining just 280 yards on offense while the Ducks fall to 3-2 with back-to-back loses on their record, but still in it for the Pac-12 North spot in the Pac-12 Championship Game after Stanford knocked off Washington. Oregon and Washington play next week with the winner getting a spot in the Pac-12 Championship Game.
Cal moves on to play Washington State next weekend, Saturday, December 12.