California entered Autzen Stadium as the #6 team in the country with the hopes of finally living up to expectations and capturing a Pac Ten Title this season. The Bears leave Autzen Stadium with an embarrassing 42-3 loss to the Ducks. Now the USC/Cal game next week might be an elimination game leaving the loser with no shot at the Rose Bowl. After going down to the Ducks it will be very difficult for the Bears to come back and beat the Trojans next week. Oregon was off the radar after their disappointing 19-8 loss to Boise State in the first week of the college football season. Since that defeat the Ducks bounced back and beat Purdue 38-36 and Utah 31-24. After this impressive win over the Bears, Oregon will be ranked again and are back in the hunt for first place in the conference.
The Ducks were lights out on defense. They held Cal to 3/15 on third down conversions and kept the Bear defense on the field for the majority of the game. The Ducks limited the Bears to only 76 yards on the ground. Oregon won the time of possession battle 32:47 to 27:08. After this performance Jeremiah Masoli is now neck and neck with Jake Locker as the best QB in the Pac Ten. Masoli was 21/25, for 253 passing yards and 3 TD’s. Just a few weeks back when RB LeGarrette Blount was suspended for the season many thought that the Oregon running game took a major hit. Redshirt Freshman LaMichael James has proven that he can be a threat out of the backfield. James finished the game with 21 carries, for 118 yards, 1 TD and 5.6 YPC.
The Ducks have Washington State at home next week before traveling to UCLA. On October 10th at the Rose Bowl the Ducks could be unbeaten in conference play and the UCLA Bruins could be undefeated. This game will be the marquee game in the Pac Ten and the winner will be in a very good position for the remainder of the season. The way the games have been playing out after the first month there is not a team that will separate themselves from the rest of the pack until the last couple weeks of the season.