Saturday, September 28, 2013

Good Luck Ducks, Week 5: Bear Raid

Oregon opens conference play against a team that has suddenly become pass-happy.

After a week that saw Oregon's stock only rise despite not taking the field, the Ducks are faced with a number of firsts heading into tonight's game. First night game. First conference game. First questionable weather game. Unseasonably torrential rain is supposedly headed to the Willamette Valley this weekend, and despite the fact that it "never rains in Autzen Stadium", things are expected to be rather... damp?

New head coach Sonny Dykes has brought his "Air Raid" offense from Lousiana Tech to the Bay Area, and considering how California has fared in recent years, the change can't be the worst thing in the world. Cal's fans are even talking in confidence about how their team will fare against an Oregon team that many feel is the best in the nation right now. It could be exciting - hell, it should be exciting, especially if the weather wreaks havoc on the field conditions.

The Cal Bears have been a prickly opponent over the years, but things have been decidedly different in recent years. Save for a nailbiting defensive struggle in Berkeley in 2010, things have tilted heavily in Oregon's favor for the last four years. Oregon outscored Cal a combined 85-18 in their last two meetings in Eugene and won last year's game on the road 59-17. While Cal may be finally headed in the right direction after floundering under former Oregon offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford, I don't think tomorrow is the time where the Bears get their comeuppance.

Some highlights from last year's drubbing. I am not usually a fan of game footage set to music, but the song selection here was especially interesting.

Game time is 7:30 PDT with national coverage on the Pac-12 Network. Go Ducks!

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