It's Cal's turn to try and slow down the Oregon offense, and the odds of that appear unlikely, to say the least. The Bears are allowing 42 points per game through their first three games, including 54 to Ohio State a week ago, and more than seven yards per snap. Those numbers do not in any way suggest Cal has a defense prepared to handle the Ducks (or anybody else.)
Oregon has scored at least 59 points in all three of its games this season, looking like the same monster it was during the Chip Kelly era. Vegas sportsbooks are betting on another big game -- a 58-point outburst was the initial guess, and that may well prove conservative. The Bears are capable of scoring plenty of points themselves, but they probably won't be able to keep pace with Oregon.
Rankings and records: Oregon is 3-0 (0-0), and ranked second in both major polls. The Bears are 1-2 and unranked. Cal owns a 37-33-1 all-time record against the Ducks.
Vegas: Oregon opened as a 33-point favorite, and the over/under opened at 83.
Weather: The high in Eugene is expected to reach 64, and there is a 60 percent chance of rain.
Three names to know
Marcus Mariota -- Mariota is averaging an outstanding 10.8 yards per attempt, and he has yet to throw an interception. He's also averaging 17.5 yards per carry. He threw for a career-high 456 yards against Tennessee last week.
Jared Goff -- While the defense may need a lot of work, it appears Sonny Dykes has found the quarterback to lead his program for the next several seasons in Goff. The freshman already has 167 pass attempts and 1,301 yards through air; needless to say, the Bears rely on him heavily. And after throwing three interceptions in his college debut, he's thrown just one pick since.
Josh Huff -- Huff is averaging 4.7 grabs per game, up from 2.9 a year ago, and he's making the most of it. He leads the team with 298 yards receiving, and his average of 21.3 yards per grab ranks fourth in the conference.
Two things at stake
For Oregon, this is step one in winning the Pac-12 title. The Ducks are also in the driver's seat for a national title game berth thanks to their No. 2 ranking in both major polls, and they won't lose any ground by defeating the Bears. A loss obviously would devastate those national title hopes, but it's something they could overcome to win the conference, at least.
Short of stunning and heroic efforts on both sides of the ball, Cal isn't strolling out of Eugene with a win. A loss here leaves the Bears at 1-3, putting a dent in whatever bowl hopes they might have had. Their difficult non-conference schedule probably dismissed any plausible notion of getting to 6-6 or better, especially with four conference road games against teams currently ranked in the top 20. Progress will have to be measured in other ways during Dykes' first year.
How to witness
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Networks)
Online streaming: Available via the Pac-12 website. Depending on your television provider, you may not have access to the stream.