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Golden Nuggets, 12/7: Takeaways from the Oregon victory

The Bears looked like a complete team, because, well, they were

NCAA Football: Oregon at California Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Well, 2020 may not be the year for the California Golden Bears, but we’ve known that for some time following three straight losses to open the year. But for once in 2020, the Cal Bears looked like the team that many thought could not only challenge the Oregon Ducks for the Pac-12 North title, but could even battle it out with one of the powers from the South as well.

The Cal Bears were a complete team in the win over the Ducks on Saturday, earning a hard-fought victory against a team many thought had College Football Playoff aspirations this summer. My, how wrong those were, but still the Ducks are a power and are going to be considered favorites until they’re not anymore.

Cal was paced by their strong defensive effort in the game against Oregon, and of course it was the leaders on defense setting the tone: Elijah Hicks and Camryn Bynum.

Bynum was targeted twice in coverage and allowed just a single completion on a dramatic throw and catch and broke up the other pass his way.

Hicks brought the wood and made his presence known on nearly a half-dozen solo tackles against Oregon, limiting one of the better rushing attacks in the conference to just 142 yards on the ground.

As we look to what made this performance so strong for Cal, it centers clearly around the defense. Here’s what everyone has had to say from both Berkeley and Eugene.

Cal’s win over Oregon shows what Bears look like as a full team | Cal Bears Maven

Bears stun No. 21 Oregon for first win of season | Mercury News

12 takeaways from Oregon’s loss to Cal | Oregon Live

Rewinding Oregon’s 21-17 loss to Cal | OregonLive

Four aces on defense helped stifle high-scoring Oregon | SI

Bears avoid turnovers and costly mistakes for big win over Oregon | Bear Insider

Oregon’s mental miscues and uncharacteristic penalties costly in loss to Cal | NBC