Special Teams could be a factor in the Cal vs. Oregon game on Saturday.

Special teams play can be the decisive ingredient in determining who wins a game. This Saturday night at Autzen Stadium, the Oregon Ducks (5-3, 3-2), may need a big special teams play in order to beat the California Golden Bears (5-3, 2-2).

Last week, the Ducks needed something to turn the tide against Arizona State and Charles Nelson’s 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown fit the bill nicely. Nelson not only scored on the play, he also had 85 yards on three other kickoffs to help the Ducks win 61-55 in triple-overtime.

Special teams also saw Aidan Schneider kick two field goals from 24 and 37 yards out in the game.

In all, Schneider 13 points the total (six by field goal, seven by point after) and this has been the story all year long. For the season, Schneider has 13 field goals and 39 extra points for a total of 37 points, tying him with teammate Royce Freeman as the conference leading scorers. Consistency has been the keyword in describing Schneider as he is 13-of-14 in field goal kicking.  

Ian Wheeler is averaging 40.9 yards per punt this year with a long of 56, and Matt Wogan has had 38 touchbacks among the 58 kickoffs he’s made this season.

Cal’s place kicker Matt Anderson is 7-of-10 field goal kicking and has 30 extra points so far this year.

Cole Leininger has punted 24 times for the Bears this season, for a 42.7 ypp average with a long of 60.  Anderson also doubles as the kickoff specialist and has booted the ball 46 times and has 12 touchbacks.

Trevor Davis is the punt and kick return specialist and has a total of 27 yards in punt returns and 258 yards in kick returns.

Saturday's game will start at 7:30 p.m. (Pacific) and will be carried live on ESPN2.


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