Oregon Blows out Cal for Win No. 4

EUGENE, Ore. – In a game where the number of fans left in the stands by mid-fourth quarter was more of a question than who would win the game, No. 2 Oregon rolled over California 55-16. The Ducks essentially ended this nightmare for Cal by halftime and the second half was simply playing the back-ups.

(PHOTO) Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota dives into the endzone in the second quarter to give Oregon a commanding lead. The Ducks went on to win the game, 55-16. (Photo by Rich Kolbell)

Even though Oregon was below its average of total offense with 381 yards, but the Ducks scored on good field position provided by the Oregon defense and aided in part by heavy rains and wind gusts that totally unhinged Cal quarterback Jared Goff in the first quarter. Goff fumbled twice in the driving rain and the Bears' cause was not aided by two more fumbles by California running backs. On the first six possessions in the first quarter, California turned the ball over four times by fumbling the ball four times and was intercepted once. The other possession the Bears punted.

"It was an outstanding effort by our defense, said Oregon Head Coach Mark Helfrich.

Oregon meanwhile converted four of those turnovers into touchdowns and the game for all intense and purposes was over by the end of the first quarter when Oregon led 27-0.

Oregon's starting quarterback Marcus Mariota threw for 114 yards on 11-of-25 and two touchdowns. Mariota found Josh Huff for a 19-yard scoring play. Later on in the first quarter Mariota hit Daryle Hawkins on a 14-yard TD route. Mariota also scored on a two-yard run at the beginning of the second quarter.

Huff was the leading receiver for the contest with two catches for 44 yards. Johnny Mundt had a catch for 28 yards; Hawkins had one catch for 14 yards. Bralon Addison had three catches for 13 yards and Byron Marshall also had three catches for 12 yards.

With De'Anthony Thomas unavailable due to an apparent ankle injury occurring on the opening kickoff, Marshall was the primary ball carrier and responded by tallying 130 yards on 19 carries and crossed the goal line on carries of 14 and 25 yards in the first quarter. Freshman Thomas Tyner scored his fourth touchdown in three games by rambling 21 yards for a score in the third quarter and had his first 100 yard game finishing up with 114 yards on 14 carries. (edited to reflect Tyner had a net 94 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown. He had 103 yards of total rushing yards minus nine yards lost due to a TFL.)

Punt returner Addison also got into the scoring parade twice with a spectacular 74 yard punt return in which he zigzagged his way across the field before walking into the endzone then followed that up with an equally thrilling return for TD of 67 yards.

Defensively the Ducks had six tackles for loss including two sacks. Oregon also forced three fumbles and recovered four fumbles and had one interception.

Joe Walker was the leading tackler, mostly in the second half, with nine tackles (six solos) including a TFL. Ifo Ekpre-Olomu had eight tackles (four solos) and the interception. Derrick Malone also had eight tackles (four solos) and was credited with half a sack. Rodney Hardrich recorded three solo tackles and he also forced a fumble. Tony Washington had one and half TFL including a sack assist plus forced a fumble. Others recording TFLs were Avery Patterson, Tyson Coleman (.5), DeForest Buckner (.5) and also had a fumble recovery. Jared Ebert and Torrodney Prevot also combined for a TFL. Alex Balducci had a fumble recovery.

Oregon's special teams were alive with Addison scoring twice on punt returns. Alejandro Maldonado punted six times for 256 yards averaging 42.7 yards with four landing inside the 20.

California had 325 yards of total offense though most of that was gained in the second half, well after the outcome of the game was decided. Starting quarterback Goff was 3-for-6 for 17 yards before leaving the game in the first quarter. Zach Kline threw for 165 yards on 18-for-37 with one touchdown and one interception. Brandon Bigelow was the leading rusher with 61 yards on 18 carries. Daniel Lasco had 15 carries for 54 yards. Jeffrey Coprich scored once on a one-yard plunge in the fourth quarter.

Lasco was also the leading receiver with five catches for 35 yards. James Grisom had one catch of four yards for a touchdown in the final quarter of the game. Cal got onto the score board initially in the second quarter on a 46-yard field goal by Vincenzo D'Amato.

Oregon now 4-0 for the season and 1-0 in Pac-12 competition travels to Boulder, Colorado next week to face the Buffaloes, who lost to Oregon State, 44-17 in Corvallis.

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