Saturday, November 10, 2012
After a tense back-and-forth matchup with USC last week, the Ducks are licking their wounds (feathers?) this week and will get a bit of a reprieve when they visit Berkeley this week to face the California Golden Bears. Oregon survived the USC game by simply refusing not to score touchdown and handing the ball off to Kenjon Barner. Barner responded with the best game by an Oregon running back in school history (321 yards, 5 TDs) and yet may not have been the best player on the field last Saturday. Marcus Mariota was amazing. Amazingly perfect. Perfectly amazing. I can't believe the kid is just a freshman and his best football is probably still quite a ways ahead of him.
So the Trojans offense piled up a ton of yards and points on the Ducks, but the defense kept USC at just enough of a distance to not make the final outcome as suspenseful as it could have been. Oregon actually scored 62 points while intentionally running the clock down for much of the 4th quarter. In any case, it was exciting football. This week should, hopefully, prove to be less exciting. Cal has been dreadful once again this season and head coach (and former Duck offensive coordinator) Jeff Tedford appears to be on the way out. Berkeley has provided its share of nightmares to the Ducks over the years, but nothing short of a total collapse or some sort of perfect storm of terribleness could give Cal a victory over the undefeated Ducks.
Am I nervous? Yes. I still am. I am always nervous about Ducks games in ways I never get about the Cardinals or Blazers. I don't really get it. I guess the stakes are just higher in college football, with so few opportunities to prove yourself on the field and no real playoff system to truly work out who is the best at the end of the season. It's frustrating. Someday it may change. I don't really think a four team playoff really does much of anything, but at least it will be a start. Today's game probably won't be that eventful, but you never know. I'm hoping for a clean game, few mistakes and even fewer injuries. That would be nice.
Ugly game. Ugly uniforms (at least on the Cal side.) Also, faked injuries. Ugly all around.
Game time is 7:30 PST with national coverage on ESPN. Go Ducks!