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55


California (1-2) at (2) Oregon (3-0)



Saturday, September 28, 10:30 p.m. (et)

The Sports Network

By Nicholas DeLorenzo, Associate College Football Editor

GAME NOTES: The Oregon Ducks will attempt to defend their No. 2 ranking on Saturday night, as they begin Pac-12 Conference action against the California Golden Bears at Autzen Stadium.

Cal has been bogged down by one of the nation's most difficult early slate of games, having already lost to a pair of nationally-ranked Big Ten teams in Northwestern (44-30) and Ohio State (52-34). Even in the Bears' lone win over Portland State they did not look very sharp, letting the FCS squad hang around before squeaking out a 37-30 win.

"We have started poorly for three weeks," Cal head coach Sonny Dykes said. "I don't really have an answer at this point, but it is something we need to get fixed."

The loss of Chip Kelly in the offseason has not hindered the Oregon football program one bit here in the early part of the 2013 campaign. Under new head coach Mark Helfrich, the Ducks have shined with three straight blowout victories over Nicholls State (66-3), Virginia (59-10) and Tennessee (59-14), and after starting the season ranked No. 3, they have crept up to No. 2.

While Helfrich is surely enjoying the ride so far, he is fully aware that it won't be smooth sailing the whole season, and he needs to prepare his team for a strong Pac-12 run.

"At some point somebody is going to score on us and we have to see how we're going to respond and I think our guys did a great job of just playing the next play," Helfrich said.

Cal leads the all-time series with Oregon, 39-34-2, but that has skewed heavily in the opposite direction in recent years with the Ducks winning four in a row. The Bears are just 2-11 in Eugene since 1980.

The Golden Bears' early-season troubles cannot be attributed to their offense, which has performed well in scoring 33.7 ppg and racking up 556.0 ypg, ninth most in the nation.

The pass-happy squad is led by freshman Jared Goff, who ranks fourth in the FBS in passing yards with 1,306, while completing 61.3 percent of his tosses with seven touchdowns and four interceptions.

Chris Harper (21 receptions, 324 yards, three TDs) and Bryce Treggs (28 receptions, 317 yards, TD) are an outstanding duo out wide, with the two ranking sixth and seventh, respectively in the Pac-12 in receiving yards. In all, Goff has hooked up with 14 different receivers this season.

The rushing attack averages just over 117 yards per game, with Brendan Bigelow (175 yards) earning the most work.

Unfortunately for Cal, its defense has not shown the ability to stop anyone, as the unit ranks 119th in the country in allowing 42.0 ppg.

The defense's saving grace is that it has forced six turnovers through three games. Khairi Fortt leads the way with 25 tackles and 2.5 TFL, with Hardy Nickerson (24 tackles) and Jalen Jefferson (24 tackles, 2.5 TFL, sack) hot on his heels.

Under the new regime, Oregon's offense has not skipped a beat, as it ranks second in the nation in both scoring (61.3 ppg) and yardage (672.0 ypg), trailing only Baylor in both categories.

Marcus Mariota is proving why he's a bona fide Heisman contender. Not only is he completing nearly 60 percent of his passes for 889 yards, seven touchdowns and zero interceptions, but he has rushed for 262 yards and four more scores. In a nearly flawless performance against Tennessee the last time out, the sophomore had 456 passing yards, 27 rushing yards and five total touchdowns.

"His performance is one for the ages, especially with him being young and finally getting his first 400-yard game," wide receiver Josh Huff said of his signal caller. "He's probably one of the best quarterbacks in the nation."

Huff cashed in six receptions for 125 yards and a score versus the Vols to add to his team lead in catches (14) and yards (298). Bralon Addison (174 yards, two TDs), Johnny Mundt (121 yards, two TDs) and Daryle Hawkins (103 yards, TD) are also in the mix at receiver.

De'Anthony Thomas is as explosive as they come with the ball in his hands, turning 42 carries into 338 yards and six touchdowns. Byron Marshall (196 yards, two TDs) and Thomas Tyner (80 yards, three TDs) also average more than six yards per carry.

While the high-octane offense was expected from the Ducks, owning the nation's fifth-ranked scoring defense was something few could have anticipated as the unit allows just 9.0 ppg on 319.0 ypg.

"We want to put pressure on the quarterback, whether its anxiety in terms of our looks or rushing the passer," Helfrich said of his team's defensive philosophy. "When you tackle well and don't give up those explosive plays that's how that happens."

Derrick Malone has a team-best 27 tackles, while Tony Washington has 3.0 TFL, 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. Dior Mathis had a 97-yard interception return for a touchdown versus Virginia, while Terrance Mitchell and Rodney Hardick also have picks.

While the Cal passing attack may be able to do some things against the Ducks, its porous defense has no chance to stop Oregon's high-flying offense. Much like all of Oregon's contests so far this year, expect this one to get out of hand rather early.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Oregon 60, California 20

09/25 10:34:28 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UNC 66
BUT 74
Final
ECU 73
HAW 75
Final
DUKE 93
FUR 54
 
1st
CHA 4
POR 13
 
1st
NCSU 17
RICH 17
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
CAR
1st
PHI 7
BRK 10
 
1st
ORL 2
GSW 10
 
1st
CHA 4
POR 13
 
1st
CLE 8
WAS 6
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
LAC
7:30pm Tonight
DAL
NYK
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
TOR
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
MIL
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
SAC
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
UTA
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
IND
9:00pm Tonight
PHO
DEN
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
MEM
Final
UNC 66
BUT 74
Final
FRES 64
MAR 68
Final
CHAT 61
RMU 46
Final
EMICH 68
ROCH 35
 
Final
MRGST 51
LIB 50
 
Final
HAMP 60
AMER 64
 
Final
BEL 78
DEN 57
Final
UMASS 79
NE 54
Final
JMU 79
SHU 72
 
Final
KNST 84
SAMF 71
 
Final
ECU 73
HAW 75
Final
CHAM 60
MIZZ 74
Final
CCAR 61
LAMON 48
Final
OKLA 75
UCLA 65
Final
ELON 65
UNF 72
 
Final
UWMIL 66
ORU 69
Final
WCU 66
CHIST 61
 
Final
DUKE 93
FUR 54
 
2nd
BYU 79
PURD 78
 
2nd
EVAN 57
USF 48
 
1st
COL 7
GTDNS 4
 
1st
VERM 7
BRY 2
 
1st
OSU 9
CAMP 8
 
7:00pm Tonight
CORN
CAN
1st
LOU 5
CLST 5
 
1st
UCF 11
DAVID 8
 
1st
IONA 4
DELST 2
 
1st
OU 11
UGST 13
 
1st
TOWS 9
GOUCHER 8
 
1st
ND 15
GRAM 10
 
1st
YALE 10
LAF 6
 
1st
GWU 9
LONG 4
 
1st
VT 3
UMO 2
 
1st
WAKE 7
MNTER 2
 
1st
NAVY 8
PSUHARRIS 7
 
1st
NCSU 17
RICH 17
 
1st
MINN 8
STJ 10
 
1st
JVU 6
TRINBAPT 4
 
1st
YOUNG 13
UMKC 7
 
1st
UAB 4
WISC 8
 
7:30pm Tonight
PITT
KYST
7:30pm Tonight
WVU
VMI
8:00pm Tonight
DEP
LEH
 
8:00pm Tonight
UNT
MVSU
 
8:00pm Tonight
MARS
MORE
8:00pm Tonight
TCU
RAD
 
8:00pm Tonight
SELA
TENT
 
8:00pm Tonight
SMU
TXSOU
 
8:00pm Tonight
UTAH
TXPA
8:00pm Tonight
LMU
UCR
8:00pm Tonight
SCAR
UNCA
 
8:00pm Tonight
SD
WAYNEST
 
8:30pm Tonight
UWGB
FLGC
8:30pm Tonight
IOWA
NILL
9:00pm Tonight
ORST
AUB
9:00pm Tonight
MONT
CARROLLMT
 
9:00pm Tonight
SUTAH
EKENT
9:00pm Tonight
NMST
FAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
WYO
STET
 
9:05pm Tonight
EWASH
NKENTUCKY
 
9:05pm Tonight
IDST
WLVRN
 
9:30pm Tonight
GEOR
UF
9:30pm Tonight
GONZ
UGA
9:30pm Tonight
NIOWA
NW
10:00pm Tonight
SDST
ARZ
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
CPSL
10:00pm Tonight
UCD
UTST
10:30pm Tonight
NDAK
ALAST
11:00pm Tonight
CSNO
PORST
11:30pm Tonight
AKAN
PAC
11:30pm Tonight
OKST
TULSA
1st
NYI 1
WAS 0
 
1st
BUF 0
WIN 1
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
CAR
7:30pm Tonight
TAM
NYR
7:30pm Tonight
DET
PHI
7:30pm Tonight
PIT
TOR
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
LOS
9:00pm Tonight
COL
CHI
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
CAL