Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon loses its fifth straight game, this time to Cal, 51-49 in double-overtime.

BERKELEY, CALIF. – Freshman Justin Herbert threw for 258 yards and six touchdowns, but it was his last attempt that sealed Oregon’s fate when Cal linebacker Jordan Kunaszyk deflected Herbert’s pass into the air then caught the ball and the Bears defeated the Ducks 52-49 in double overtime.

For nearly the first the quarters of the contest, the Ducks look bewildered and lost as the Oregon defenders continued to miss tackles and give yardage. The Ducks trailed 31-14 at the half but then in later stages of the third the Duck offense and defense began to show signs of life.

Trailing 34-14 after Cal field goal kicker booted a 22-yarder to make the score 34-14 with 10:57 left in the third, the Duck offense began to move with 5:47 on the clock in the third, Herbert found Evan Baylis on a 1-yard TD pass for Herbert’s second TD pass of the game (the first one coming in the second quarter to Pharaoh Brown). Then with 3:20 in the third, Herbert struck gold again by hitting his third tight end Johnny Mundt on a 12-yard scoring pass.

The momentum was changing and in when the Ducks got the ball back on in the early part of the fourth quarter, Herbert was hitting a rhythm driving the ball to the Cal 6.  With third-and-goal from the Cal 6, Herbert reared back and threw a pass on a close line to a diving Charles Nelson in the back of the end zone and suddenly after four games, the Oregon Ducks were in control of a football game, leading 35-34 following the successful point after. 

The enthusiasm, the desire and the quest for a win was back in the heart of the Oregon Ducks.

Along the sideline after the score the players were up and excited.

But it was short lived.

The Oregon defense needed to establish control of the game, but it could not. Cal drove the length of the field to score, and to add insult to injury successful executed a 2-point conversion and Cal retook the lead, 42-35.

Still though, Oregon had plenty of time to tie the game with 9:50 left in the contest.

Trailing by seven, Herbert engineered another drive that culminated with another TD pass Nelson, this one covering 42 yards and following the PAT the game was tied at 42 with 3:15 left in the game and the score stayed that way when the clock expired in regulation play.

Oregon got the ball first in overtime and this time Herbert recorded his fifth TD pass of the game covering 20 yards to Jalen Brown and with the PAT Oregon led 49-42, but California had its chance and scored a touchdown tying the game causing the game to go a second overtime with the score tied at 49.

In the second overtime, the Ducks defense finally made a stand and forced Matt Anderson to come out on the field to kick a field goal. (Anderson had missed a game winner in the closing moments of regulation play) but the Ducks had the ball on the 25 trailing 52-49.

Unfortunately, the game ended when Herbert threw a pass that was a bit soft and a bit easier to defend than the 6-yard bullet he delivered to Nelson. The ball was picked off and the game was over.

Tony Brooks-James was the workhorse carrying the ball and ended up 109 yards of rushing on 15 carries and a touchdown. Charles Nelson was the leading receiver with seven catches for 84 yards and two TDs.

Defensively while the Ducks recorded only two sacks of four tackles for loss. There were no interceptions but there were six pass break ups. Troy Dye was the leading tackler for the Ducks with 14 total of which five were solos.

T.J. Daniel recorded one of the sacks while the second sack was credited to the team.

Oregon falls to 2-5 for the year, 0-4 in conference play and now has lost five straight, the first time that has happened since the 1996 season.

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