Yeah, this is not a site focusing on college football. But we're talking about the hometown Cal Bears vs arguably the best team in the country in the Oregon Ducks. And I happen to know a great many Raiders fans who are either Cal fans or Oregon fans. So, let's chat. Here's the need-to-knows.
Oregon is undefeated on the season including decisive wins over Virginia and Tennessee by an average score of 59-12. They are ranked second in both major polls. The Bears are 1-2 and unranked and enter the hostile environment of Autzen stadium in Eugene.
With all this considered, Oregon is a 33-point favorite over the visiting Bears although Cal usually plays the Ducks pretty tough.
For the Ducks, it's all about QB Marcus Mariota. He 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 despite being pulled late in the game when the Ducks took their foot off the gas pedal.
Jared Goff lines up behind center for Cal. Head coach Sonny Dykes appears to have 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.
This is the first in-conference game this season for Oregon as it begins its push to win 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. A loss obviously would very likely devastate those national title hopes.
Now let's watch some good football and talk an even better game.