Oregon currently occupies the Pac-10 lead in rushing offense with 227 yards per game; Cal is 7th with 153 yards. For rushing defense, Cal is 7th, Oregon 9th.
And for Total Offense in the Pac-10? It's Oregon and Cal, 1 & 2. Total Defense? It's Oregon in 4th place, giving up 309 yards per game with Cal 9th at 370. While the offenses match up fairly well, Oregon's defense outranks Cal's.
When it comes to closing out drives, to scoring from within the red zone, it's Cal #1, Oregon #2 in the Pac-10.
This is going to be a game of offensive firepower against just adequate defenses. Expect fireworks.
For a closer comparison than perhaps Pac-10-wide statistics can provide, the table below presents key statistics taken from Cal vs. ASU last week and Oregon vs. ASU this week. Since the two teams played ASU just one week apart, the numbers may have more significance than the typical A played B, B played C scenario.
|Each Team vs ASU||California||Oregon||Comment|
|Net Yards Rushing||139||315||the major difference, +UO|
|Yards per Rush||5.1||7.9||UO O-line|
|Passing Completions - Attempts||18-26||23-37||Cal cooled off in 2nd half|
|Average Yards per Completion||12.2||11.3||nearly even|
|Total Offense||409||574||Oregon rush is difference|
|Yards per play||7.5||7.5||even|
|Yards per punt average||48.3||30.7||Punting may be an OU weakness|
|Punt Returns||2-83||1-5||A difference, +Cal|
|Kick Off Returns||2-54||1-27||even|
|Interceptions - yards returned||4-83||1-0||Revealing re DBs, -UO|
|Third Down Conversions||2 of 10||8 of 13||O-Line, +UO|
|Sacks By - Yards||6-25||5-26||even|
1. Given that so many factors are relatively even, Oregon's strong running attack and offensive line - and Cal's relatively weaker rushing defense - could key an Oregon dominance of the clock - and the game. Oregon gained 315 ground yards against ASU, Cal only 139. Oregon's rushing yards were the core of their 574 yards of total offense. Cal's 409 yards of offense against ASU might have been reduced because many second and third team players were used in the second half.
2. Oregon's offensive line strength is further indicated by their success on 8 of 13 3rd down plays (vs Cal's 2 of 10) - and that they have given up just one sack to Pac-10 opponents this season (Cal has given up 7).
3. That Oregon managed only one interception against ASU seems a surprise given Cal's success: 4 interceptions and 83 yards of returns. It is likely, however, that having been burnt by interceptions at Cal, Arizona State decided to be extra cautious in throwing the ball in their next game against Oregon: they were 6 of 19 against Oregon (with one int) compared to 16 of 36 against Cal, with 4 interceptions.
4. On balance, Oregon seems lightly favored in several categories and potentially dominant in one: their rushing attack.
5. Cal played much better on special teams against Arizona State than did Oregon. Can a few big plays by Cal's special teams keep this game even?
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