#1 Oregon's defense was the savior of the night against California, not the high-powered offense. Oregon's opening drive ended up in a failed 4th down conversion, and the Cal Bears offense took advantage. Running back Shane Vareen ran in for a touchdown early in the 1st, and it ended up being Cal's lone offensive touchdown. Cal only had 69 passing yards, and Oregon's defense kept the Bears offense to under 200 yards.
Cliff 'Cheese on top of the Nachos' Harris returned a punt 64 yards for a TD, his 4th punt return score of the year tying DeSean Jackson's mark from 2006. Oregon's Darron Thomas went 15/29 passing with 155 yards, 1 TD and no interceptions. Cal's athletic defense really put the pressure on the Oregon O-line, and made the Ducks offense look stoppable.
In Cal's opening possession of the 2nd half, Shane Vareen fumbled the ball and Oregon defensive end Kenny Rowe recovered it. The following play was a 29 yard pass on a slant route to Jeff Maehl, who outran the defense to dive past the pylon.The Ducks kicked the extra point (Kelly and the Ducks went for 2 on their first score and converted), going up 15-7.The Oregon defense kept the Cal offense in their own territory for much of the 2nd half. Cal's lone TD came on a Darron Thomas fumble in which the ball was slapped out of his hands during his pass and careened into the endzone, to be jumped on by a Cal player.
Oregon Heisman candidate LaMichael James was dinged up but gained 91 tough yards. Fake injuries were again an issue against the Oregon offense (see attached video), as Oregon's tempo was thrown off when Cal players mysteriously got cramps on the 1st or 2nd play of a drive.
Oregon now has a bye week before hosting #21 Arizona on November 26th at Autzen stadium. Oregon will surely focus on their offense during the bye week, and particularly in the early portion of the game. Oregon's extremely talented offense has been held scoreless in consecutive 1st quarters, and outscored now in Pac-10 play during the 1st 59-55. Despite this issues, the Ducks control their own destiny and are simply 2 victorys away from a date in Glendale, Arizona Jan. 10th.