Cal was given no chance to win Saturday's game by any sports pundit. It's not a surprise, because the Golden Bears were set to face No. 3 Oregon. And unfortunately for Cal, Aaron Rodgers wasn't available after using up his eligibility. Cal was able to keep pace with Oregon in the first half.
But whatever Ducks' coach Chip Kelly said to his troops during half time worked. Oregon took over the second half of the game, beating Cal 59-17.
Oregon was the first team to score in the game on a 10-yard Colt Lyerla reception from outstanding freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota. Two minutes later, Cal answered with a 10-yard touchdown pass of its own. Oregon's Byron Marshall ran for three yards to give the Ducks their second touchdown of the game.
In the second, Cal answered Oregon's touchdown with a 27-yard field goal, bringing the Bears within four. Oregon hit a field goal six minutes later and added a touchdown with 44 seconds to go bringing the score to 24-10. As he was leaving for the half, Oregon's wunderkind QB Mariota appeared as if he had injured his shoulder. Unfortunately for Cal, Mariota was fine.
Midway through the third quarter, Cal's Isi Sofele scored on a four-yard rush. With the successful point after, Cal was one touchdown away from catching up with Oregon. The Bears' touchdown would be the last time the team scored in the game. Oregon exploded with five straight touchdowns to win the game 59-17.
Box Score Hero: Mariota appeared to have injured his shoulder in the second quarter. Whatever pain he was feeling didn't impact his play. The freshman QB completed 27-of-34 for 377 yards and six touchdowns. Being a freshman could be the only thing keeping him from a Heisman.
Rankings Ramifications: With No. 1 Alabama receiving its first loss earlier in the day, the undefeated Oregon Ducks could find themselves at No. 1. The only thing in the Ducks' way is current No. 2 Kansas State. The Wildcats beat TCU, but it wasn't a blowout like Oregon's victory.
But Did They Cover? Oregon was favored by anywhere between 27 and 33, depending on the group presenting the odds. Nothing in that range could help Cal anyway. They lost by 42 points.
Next Week's Schedule: Oregon welcomes the Stanford Cardinal to town. Cal isn't done with teams from Oregon. The Bears head up to Oregon State.