Final Score—Oregon 24 Cal 31

Eugene, OR- In a game between undefeated teams, only one school can walk away 5-0. Unfortunately for Duck fans that team this week was the California Bears. The win snapped a 20 year losing streak against the Ducks at Autzen Stadium that began in 1987… even though any knowledgeable Duck fan can tell you that football was invented in 1994.

The California Bears are now 38-30-2 all time against Oregon, but the Ducks had won eight of the last ten meetings between the teams before this game. Oregon failed to capitalize on a week that saw many teams ahead of them in the polls lose. The first half of the game shocked many observers as both defenses showed they too could play football. The second half of the game proved that both offenses were as dynamic as advertised.

The Ducks started out the second half on their own 33 yard line after Jonathan Stewart returned the kickoff 25 yards. After some early offensive success was stopped, Oregon punted to the Bears and pinned them on their own 13 yard line with a great 46 yard kick out of bounds by Josh Syria. Judging by his performance so far this season, Syria is easily the best punter the Ducks have had in many years.

Caifornia followed the Ducks' first drive with a balanced combination of long runs and sharp passes. On 2nd and 3, Desean Jackson was stopped for a 4 yard loss, then Walter Thurmond broke up a pass to Jackson to force the Bears to attempt a short field goal. The crowd got back to their seats late, but just in time to get loud for the attempt. Cal kicker Jordan Kay rewarded the defensive stand by hooking his kick wide left.

Oregon's offense continued to struggle on their next possession, and Syria punted again. The Bears benefited from a kick-catch-interference penalty to start their drive near mid-field.

Cal's offense continued to show great adjustments to the Duck defense as they methodically marched down the field on their second possession. Nathan Longshore and the shifty Desean Jackson connected for a 25 yard touchdown pass in man-to-man coverage as the Ducks tried to pressure Cal with a big blitz. The Cal offensive line easily picked up the extra rush, leaving Jackson plenty of time to shake Walter Thurmond loose. Oregon 10, Cal 10

Dennis Dixon and Ed Dickson continued to connect with each other much like they did against Fresno State and Stanford. Dixon to Dickson picked up a big first down to move the chains and keep the drive alive. The offensive line gave Dixon plenty of time in the pocket and allowed him to connect with Cameron Colvin across the middle for a 45 yard touchdown pass. Colvin outran his man to find the sidelines, and showed the speed and playmaking ability that made him such a widely regarded prospect. Oregon 17, Cal 10

The Bears got the ball back with great field position as they started on their own 40 yard line. Oregon continually showed the ability to stop the run, but the Cal passing attack shredded the Duck's secondary for big yardage. Desean Jackson shook his defender again for a long catch down the right sidelines before being pushed out inside the Oregon 10 yard line. Cal passed the ball again on first down and were stopped just short of the end zone at the Oregon 1 yard line

End of Third Quarter

On second down Patrick Chung stuffed a Nate Longshore keeper before Justin Forsett charged through the Oregon defensive line for the touchdown. Oregon 17, Cal 17

Oregon started again on their own 20 yard line after Andre Crenshaw muffed the kick and was barely able to fall on the ball before the Bear special teams gunners bowled into him. The Ducks could only muster 2 yard on their possession—a series that saw two passes fall to the turf after hitting Ed Dickson and Jaison Williams in the hands. Oregon's receivers continued to struggle catching the ball. Josh Syria shanked his first punt of the year and the Bears started their possession on the 50 yard line.

Oregon forced a 3rd and long, but Lavelle Hawkins made a great diving catch to move the chains on the crucial down. Desean Jackson made the Ducks pay for their inability to stop the long pass as he turned on the burners for a long touchdown reception. Oregon 17, Cal 24

Oregon continued its second half meltdown on the ensuing kickoff as the Duck returners collided as both attempted to field the ball. Cal recovered the muffed ball and took over at the Oregon 26 yard line. A holding penalty on second down backed the bears up to the 36 yard line. Nick Reed sacked Nate Longshore at the 40 yard line on third down to put the Bears out of field goal range. Cal pinned Oregon deep in their own territory again, this time on their own 9 yard line. Cal dominated the battle of field position up to this point in this game—a situation the Ducks have not found themselves in yet this season.

Oregon showed they were still alive in this game by racking up big plays through the air. A short pass to Cameron Colvin turned into a big play after he shook his defender and cut inside for a big gain. Jaison Williams followed Colvin with a big catch of his own up the middle of the field deep into Cal territory. Dennis Dixon scrambled for a first down to the Cal 5 yard line and two plays later the Ducks punched the ball into the end zone on a quarterback keeper. Oregon 24, Cal 24

Third down…third down…third down. Cal absolutely demoralized the Ducks on third downs. The Oregon defense proved it was solid many times on first and second downs, but Cal was phenomenal at converting third downs to this point. The Ducks forced a punt after Cal reached the 50 yard line, but on the Ducks' first play from scrimmage the unthinkable happened—Dennis Dixon threw his first interception of the season, and it could not have come at a worse time.

Cal started their possession at the edge of the Oregon red zone and a few dynamic Forsett rushes later they punched it into the end zone again. Oregon 24, Cal 31

Needing to shake off his first interception of 2007, Dennis Dixon started off well by throwing a nice ball for big yardage on the first play of the drive. Jeremiah Johnson reeled off a big run to move the Ducks down the field, and his backfield teammate Jonathan Stewart followed him with a big run of his own. Oregon's drive came to a crashing thud when Dennis Dixon threw his second interception in a matter of minutes.

Cal took over and ran the ball three times in a row to keep the clock moving. The Oregon defense held firm and forced the Bears to punt. Oregon took over at their 23 yard line with 1 minute and 45 seconds left in the game.

Jeremiah Johnson provided the spark the Duck's needed when he took a short pass over the middle and cut back across the field for a long gain into Cal territory. Cameron Colvin picked up another big first down on a catch across the middle, and Jaison Williams caught one of his own before the Cal Bears called a timeout to stop the bleeding. With 22 seconds left in the game, Oregon had the ball at the California 5 yard line and a fresh set of downs. Cameron Colvin caught a Dennis Dixon pass on the left side of the field and stretched the ball out to try and break the plane of the end zone. Marcus Ezeff, the Cal rover, knocked the ball out of Colvin's hands and the ball squirted across the goal line. The result of the play was a touchback and the ball was turned over to the Bears. Cal kneeled on the ball to run out the clock.

Final Score- Oregon 24, Cal 31

Link to first half recap

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