Halftime— Oregon 10 Cal 3

Eugene, OR- Oregon and California entered this game with all the hype expected for a game between two offensive juggernauts ranked 11th and 6th in the nation. Both teams are led by legitimate early-season Heisman candidates, and are littered with playmakers at the offensive skill positions. The first half of the game was a slugfest, however the defenses were the ones throwing the punches.

Cal started the game hoping to beat the Ducks deep through the air. However a tackle behind the line of scrimmage by Jairus Byrd followed by a false start penalty and then another great tackle in the backfield by Jerome Boyd forced the Bears to punt on 4th and 24.

Dennis Dixon kept the Ducks' first drive alive with his legs, but missed a wide-open Jaison Williams on the left sideline for what would have been an easy six points. Both teams appeared to be suffering from some early game jitters.

Cal followed their first possession by attempting to establish a running game, but quickly found out that Nick Alliotti had tightened up the run defense since the first part of the season. The Bears were successful through the air on a few 3rd and long plays, but punted after driving the ball to the Oregon 39 yard line.

Cal also contained Oregon's run game until Jeremiah Johnson broke a 26 yard run to the Cal 37 yard line that featured his signature stiff-arm. Jonathan Stewart followed him with a couple nice runs of his own, including an 11 yard run that featured his signature defender dragging. Dennis Dixon didn't see Cameron Colvin uncovered in the end zone for another sure touchdown, and then threw behind his target on the goal line before Matt Evensen kicked a 26 yard field goal to put points on the board with only 47 seconds left in the first quarter. Oregon 3, Cal 0

End of 1st Quarter- With one quarter in the books, two high-flying offenses were nearly shut out. Oregon showed the ability to move the ball, but could not find the end zone. Cal moved the ball on a few long passing plays, but was ineffective for most of the first quarter.

Oregon's defense stayed strong early in the second quarter, and forced Cal to punt again. Andiel Brown fielded the punt in heavy traffic and continued his stubborn streak of no fair catches. Dennis Dixon and Jonathan Stewart started Oregon's first drive with a couple of nice runs, but punted after failing to convert on third and long.

Cal found success again through the air to start their drive. The Ducks moved another defender into the secondary to stop the aerial attack, but Cal countered with a few long runs from their talented running back duo of Justin Forsett and Jahvid Best. The Bears drove all the way to the Oregon 18 yard line before the Ducks forced them to kick a field goal. The crowd was electric on 3rd and 4th downs in this drive as the whole stadium rose to their feet to support their Ducks. Oregon 3, Cal 3

Oregon started their next drive on the 20 yard line after the kickoff squibbed through the end zone. Dixon and Jaison Williams connected on 3rd and long to move the chains before Jonathan Stewart took a 3rd and 2 for 7 yards to move them again. Two plays later Jonathan Stewart lowered his shoulder and put a hit on a Cal defender that had me hoping the poor Bear's parents had stepped away from the TV. The Bears stopped the Ducks on third and long, but a dead ball personal foul against the Bears kept the drive alive. Oregon capitalized on its fortune by running Derek Jones on a reverse for huge yardage to the Cal 9 yard line. Jonathan Stewart sealed the drive with a 5 yard run through the middle of the Cal defense for a touchdown. Oregon 10, Cal 3

California's next drive stalled and they pinned the Ducks deep in their own territory. Oregon kneeled on the ball to run out the clock and jogged into the locker room with a narrow 7 point lead.

End of first half. Interesting first half stats.

Total offense: Oregon 186, Cal 119
Running yards: Oregon 123, Cal 31
Passing yards: Oregon 63, Cal 88
leading rusher: Oregon Stewart 15-82-1; Johnson 4-27, Cal: Forsett 7-19
Passing: Oregon - Dixon 11-17-0, 63; Cal Longshore 13-21-0 88.

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