EUGENE, Ore. – California took the right steps forward, scoring on its first two drives for the first time this season, taking a 10-0 lead over 2015 national title finalist Oregon. Griffin Piatt scored his first pick of the season, and Ray Hudson blocked the first of two punts the Bears would turn back on the day.
Then, it all went downhill, as the Ducks began to run -- and run, and run, and run -- downhill against Cal, piling up a school-record 777 yards of total offense, surpassing the 772 against Nichols State in 2013.
Cal, which fell, 44-28, has now lost four straight since starting 5-0 and vaulting into the national rankings at No. 19. It's been a long, hard fall, and Saturday was a long, hard night.
http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1608945-bttv-sonny-dykes-o... Oregon churned out 478 yards on 62 attempts -- 7.7 yards per carry. That's not a record, by the way, for Cal. The Bears gave up 611 rushing yards to Washington in 1915, and 532 to UCLA in 1972.
Two Oregon running backs – Royce Freeman and Tony Brooks-James – rushed for over 100 yards, with Brooks-James doing so for the first time. Two players – Brooks-James and Kani Benoit – averaged double-digit yards per carry (14.4 for Brooks-James and 11.8 for Benoit).
The Ducks ripped off 441 yards of offense in the first half alone, scoring on their final five drives, with four touchdowns, including scoring strikes of 28, 10 and 15 yards from Vernon Adams. But, the air attack wasn’t needed in the second half, as the Ducks rushed 15 out of their first 23 plays from scrimmage after halftime, piling up 102 yards on the ground and another pair of scores – a 21-yard field goal and a 20-yard scoring strike from Adams to Charles Nelson.
The Bears at times were missing four of their top defensive linemen, with James Looney out (knee), and defensive tackles Mustafa Jalil and Tony Mekari going down in the first half. Even when Mekari and Jalil came back, David Davis went down.
But, lack of personnel wasn’t nearly as crushing as lack of any kind of pass rush for the Bears up front. Cal did rush three at times, but mostly rushed four, sometimes adding a nickel blitz to a three-down linemen rush, but no matter what kind of pressure they brought up front, pass rushers essentially occupied blockers, rather than trying to spin off and create some kind of urgency for Adams, who finished the day 17-of-29 for four touchdowns, 300 yards and two picks – the first to Piatt, and the second, with 7:41 left in the game by Darius White.
That pick led to an 80-yard touchdown pass from Cal quarterback Jared Goff to senior wide receiver Bryce Treggs (one of just three targets of the most veteran receiver on the Bears squad on the day), and it was just about the only highlight for the Bears signal-caller. After starting the game 5-of-8 for 71 yards, Goff went 6-of-19 for just 23 yards, with four wide receiver drops, to finish the first half.
As Goff engineered a 63-yard drive at the end of the first half, one of his favorite targets – Kenny Lawler – went up for a would-be touchdown pass in the back of the end zone, but was knocked to the ground by former Bear Johnny Ragin III. He did not return to the game.
Goff went 18-of-41 for 329 yards and two touchdowns, and didn’t throw an interception (he’s thrown seven in his last three games) until there was just 2:23 left in the game, but the Cal offense, against the third-worst passing defense in the nation, once again wilted, for the fourth week in a row.