FOOTBALL | NCAAF

California Golden Bears vs. Oregon Ducks Pick & Prediction OCT 15TH 2021

Complete Autzen Stadium Eugene
121Golden Bears California
122Ducks Oregon
OP
55.5
-15.5
CU
55.5o -108
-13.5 -110
ML
ML: 450
ML: -600
Partials
1 2 4
7 0 3 7
3 7 0 14
Score
17
24

The Oregon Ducks had a full weekend off to rest up, heal up and try to get beyond a disappointing upset loss to Stanford on Oct. 2. That loss, coupled with results of a wild weekend in college football, sent the Ducks down to a No. 9 national ranking.

They'll get back on the field Friday night at home against Pac-12 North rival California at Autzen Stadium, but without two key players. Leading rusher CJ Verdell is out for the season after suffering an apparent leg injury against Stanford, and defensive back Bennett Williams will also miss the rest of the season after surgery for a broken fibula.

Travis Dye looks likely to step in as the lead back with Verdell out.

Oregon (4-1, 1-1 Pac-12) will also be without star defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux for the first half of Friday's game, after he was ejected for targeting late in the Stanford game, a 31-24 overtime defeat.

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Offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead was not calling plays against Stanford as he was in a hospital for a non-COVID-related procedure. If he is not ready to resume duties, running backs coach Jim Mastro will do so for another game.

After the Stanford loss in which he did not throw a touchdown and was intercepted once, there had been talk of turning from starter Anthony Brown to freshman Ty Thompson going forward. But Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal didn't seem ready to make the switch.

"(Brown) certainly gives us the best chance to win," Cristobal told USA Today. "He's done enough in practice, he's done enough in games. I think a lot of times when you have a game like this and things don't go well, it pours on people. ... Anthony has shown a lot, and he's done a lot of good things in a lot of different ways. He's going to improve and get better."

Brown threw his first interception of the season, but Cal's Chase Garbers has five and is facing a ball-hawking Oregon secondary. The Golden Bears (1-4, 0-2) also had a bye last week, but lost two straight prior to that.

Still, Cal stunned the Ducks in Berkeley last season 21-17 with Garbers running the offense, and the Pac-12 has already seen its share of surprising game results in 2021.

The win over Oregon last December was the last time the Golden Bears won a conference game.

"Last year was last year, and we're focused on playing better as a team," Cal head coach Justin Wilcox told Sports Illustrated. "That's what we need to do. I don't feel like the guys are lacking confidence. We just haven't finished games."

Garbers has 1,245 passing yards and seven touchdown passes on the season, but the Cal defense is allowing 281.4 passing yards per game and has given up 12 passing touchdowns.

Damien Moore's 313 yards and five touchdowns lead the rushing attack.

The Bears are 42-39-2 all-time against Oregon, but since 2009, the Ducks have dominated the rivalry. Oregon has won 10 of the last 12 meetings.

--Field Level Media

California Golden Bears vs. Oregon Ducks

No. 13 Oregon shrugged off its first scoreless first half in 15 years on Saturday, taking the lead for good late in the third quarter and going on to a 17-7 Pac-12 Conference win over California in Eugene, Ore.

Quarterback Justin Herbert completed 20 of 33 passes for 214 yards, an interception and a 1-yard touchdown to Jaylon Redd with 7:14 left in the game. That extended Herbert's streak of games with a touchdown pass to 33, the longest active streak in FBS.

The bigger story for the Ducks (4-1, 2-0) was their defense, which, after yielding a first-quarter touchdown following a turnover, skunked the Golden Bears for the game's remainder. Oregon has won four straight games, allowing only 22 points in that span.

It was the second straight loss for Cal (4-2, 1-2), which played without starting quarterback Chase Garbers after he was injured in last week's loss to Arizona State. Backup Devon Modster connected on 17 of 34 passes for 190 yards with a score and two interceptions.

California struck first just 8:02 into the game, six plays after safety Ashtyn Davis registered the first interception of Herbert this season. Modster rolled right and found Chris Brown for a 22-yard touchdown pass and a 7-0 lead.

The Golden Bears' defense nursed the lead through the half's remainder, countering Oregon's slight advantages in total yards and time of possession with key takeaways. Cal fell on a pair of fumbles in its own half, and Ducks kicker Camden Lewis missed a 45-yard field goal with 4:15 left in the half.

But Lewis was able to connect on a 32-yarder at the 7:32 mark of the third quarter, capping a 13-play, 72-yard drive.

The game became one of field position at that point, with Oregon earning the decisive blow when it started a possession at the Bears' 30 late in the third.

The Ducks needed only three plays to cash in, with Cyrus Habibi-Likio plunging in from the 1 with 1:38 on the clock to give the Ducks a 10-7 lead going to the fourth quarter.

--Field Level Media

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