Every week, Oregon seemingly looks even better and faster than they did the week before. On Saturday night in the pouring rain, the Ducks cruised past the California Golden Bears at home, 55-16, to improve to 4-0 on the season.
While everyone will focus on the Ducks' high-flying offense, the guys over at Addicted To Quack felt the defense played really well. California features one of the better offenses in the conference, but you sure wouldn't have known it by watching on Saturday.
But the defense was equally up to the task. The weather undoubtedly helped--and Cal benched starting quarterback Jared Goff after two first quarter fumbles in favor of Zach Kline. Kline managed to hold onto the football, only to throw an interception on his first series. Altogether, Cal never could get the Bear Raid going in the driving rain, the two quarterbacks going 21-44 for 176 yards. Cal rushed for another 149 yards on the ground as they switched strategies to a run game to try and hold onto the football--but averaged only 2.9 ypa on 51 rushes.
As for California, their fans didn't take the loss too hard. As California Golden Blogs notes, the schedule has been brutal so far, and anyone expecting the young Bears to knock off Ohio State or Oregon on back-to-back weeks was set up for disappointment. As for now, Cal will look forward to a much favorable upcoming slate of games.
There isn't too much reason to be upset following this loss, seeing as Cal was never going to reach six wins this season by beating Ohio State or Oregon - to expect that we would bordered on foolish optimism. And while I understand there might be some upset at the way we lost, let's not forget that this is what Oregon does pretty much every week, regardless of opponent - overwhelm you with their athleticism and then bury you under a deluge of points.
Over at our Pac-12 headquarters, Pacific Takes felt that despite the loss, California's defense did a pretty solid job against Marcus Mariota and Oregon's passing game, even if the rain did play a factor.
It's very likely that many east coast media members just saved this game for the box score and went to bed early. In the morning, the box score will show that Cal might have turned the ball over a few times, but the Bear defense held Marcus Mariota and the Oregon passing offense down pretty well (if you want a better box score, you have to check out Football Study Hall for excellent advanced box scores). Mariota threw for just 117 yards and completed under 50% of his passes, both of which have to be career lows, but of course even Peyton Manning and Tom Brady would have been lucky to have numbers much better than Mariota's in that monsoon