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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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Local
Final
GT 80
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Final
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1:00pm Today
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GSW 106
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MIA
 
2:00pm Today
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GT 80
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PITT 76
ND 72
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UNH 63
USB 48
 
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WVU 77
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Final
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WAKE 73
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NDAK 80
IDST 69
 
Final
ARMY 71
GHND 77
 
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BEL 71
TENT 53
 
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TXSA 57
UAB 65
Final
ILLCH 65
VALPO 70
 
Final
DRAK 70
EVAN 65
 
Final
IND 72
RUTG 64
Final
UMO 79
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Final
RMU 68
BRY 71
 
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WAGN 86
CCST 55
 
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GWEBB 66
CCAR 64
 
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MDES 92
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RFLSH 68
FD 63
 
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RIU 59
GWU 55
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SCAR 67
UGA 50
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Terriers 81
LIU 64
 
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PAC 71
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Final
STLU 56
UMASS 60
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HOW 64
MRGST 48
 
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DREX 85
UNCW 76
 
Final
LOU 78
UNC 68
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MIZZ 47
MISS 67
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ALCOR 56
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NIOWA 70
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JMU 65
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RAD 73
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EILL 57
SIUE 54
 
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UNCA 70
CAMP 63
 
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MORE 57
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NICST 58
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CMICH 74
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UWMIL 78
DET 74
 
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UNCG 73
WCU 78
 
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EWASH 98
IDAHO 95
 
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SDKST 69
DEN 39
 
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SHSU 63
HOUB 52
 
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MVSU 75
JST 62
 
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TXST 63
LALAF 72
 
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LATU 81
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SD 72
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PVU 89
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GRAM 53
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PRIN 64
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BAY 83
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CHAT 78
CITA 73
 
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SMISS 62
WKENT 73
Final
CORN 57
YALE 65
 
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NORST 63
HAMP 60
 
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SAV 59
NCAT 62
 
Final
BGU 68
AKR 69
 
Final
KENT 70
ALA 55
Final
CLMB 86
BRO 65
 
Final
LIB 62
CSOU 74
 
Final
BUCK 69
COL 71
 
Final
UVA 63
DUKE 69
Final
NE 80
ELON 61
 
Final
CHAR 70
FIU 78
Final
ODU 68
FATL 57
Final
SAMF 68
FUR 58
 
Final
DUQ 62
GMAS 53
Final
PENN 38
HARV 63
 
Final
LBSU 65
HAW 50
 
Final
BONA 56
LAS 66
Final
NAVY 65
LAF 74
 
Final
PBY 67
LONG 71
 
Final
WOFF 49
MERC 46
 
Final
ETST 61
NCCU 59
 
Final
MCNST 68
NO 61
 
Final
FLGC 74
NKENTUCKY 64
 
Final
IONA 68
PETE 61
 
Final
UNF 74
USCU 79
 
Final
LAM 84
ABCHRIST 74
 
Final
GSOUT 76
ARKLR 61
 
Final
STEPH 61
TAMCC 51
 
Final
UCR 66
CSNO 62
 
Final
SELA 73
NWST 88
 
Final
OKST 56
OKLA 64
Final
UNT 75
RICE 65
Final
SDU 77
USF 69
 
Final
NMU 67
SJST 41
Final
PEAY 64
SEMIZ 70
 
Final
NILL 69
TOL 80
 
Final
HOF 72
TOWS 86
 
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SMU 75
UCF 56
Final
MURST 65
TENNM 62
 
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SDST 62
UTST 42
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MIZST 52
SILL 46
 
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TXARL 54
TROY 55
 
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TXSOU 80
ALAST 65
 
Final
TENST 45
JVST 43
 
Final
WASU 89
STAN 88
Final
GRCN 55
CHIST 56
 
Final
UTEP 83
MTST 70
Final
SUTAH 60
NARZ 81
 
Final
BYU 78
SCU 57
 
Final
NMST 53
TXPA 48
 
Final
NCOL 71
WEBER 57
 
Final
UNLV 74
AFA 63
Final
UCD 81
CPSL 78
 
Final
GONZ 82
MEM 64
Final
UCI 77
UCSB 55
 
Final
SACST 70
MONT 69
 
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PORST 80
MNTST 62
 
Final
UCLA 72
COL 59
Final
CALST 71
SEAT 61
 
Final
WLVRN 59
UMKC 66
 
12:30pm Today
FSU
MIAMI
 
12:30pm Today
YOUNG
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1:00pm Today
ECU
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1:00pm Today
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MICH
 
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MAN
 
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2:30pm Today
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UTAH
 
3:00pm Today
WASH
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3:00pm Today
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3:00pm Today
WILL
NDST
 
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DET 4
NYI 1
Final
NYR 4
CAR 1
Final
WIN 2
DAL 5
Final
NJD 3
FLA 1
Final
PHI 1
TOR 0
Final
TAM 3
CLB 1
Final
CAL 4
EDM 2
Final
SJS 2
CHI 0
1:00pm Today
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ARI
 
1:00pm Today
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