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NCAAF Game: Oregon Ducks vs. Cal Golden Bears football Live
Gameday: Friday, October 15, 2021
Kickoff Time: 10:30 PM ET
TV Channel: ESPN
Location: Autzen Stadium, Eugene, OR

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On air: Radio on 1080 “The Fan” in Portland, KUGN-AM 590 in Eugene

Coaches: Mario Cristobal, fourth year (29-11 at Oregon, 56-58 overall); Justin Wilcox, 5th year (22-25)

Latest line: Oregon by 13.5

What’s at stake: Oregon needs a win to move atop the Pac-12 North again and to keep its slim hopes of reaching the College Football Playoff alive. Cal is vying for its first conference win of the season and attempting to win back-to-back games in the series for the first time since 2006-08. If the Bears fall to 1-5 a losing season is a virtual lock.

Oregon offense vs. Cal defense

Oregon’s strength is its running game, which will be without CJ Verdell, and the Ducks have lacked deep passes. Cal’s strength is stopping the run and the Golden Bears have given up a lot of long throws. Taken together that would ordinarily sound like an opportunity for Oregon to throw more and that may be true, but the ground game won’t be abandoned by any means. Cal’s run defense statistics are boosted by the fact that their opponents to date all struggle on the ground. Oregon should be able to have at least moderate success running behind Travis Dye and its three freshmen and also through the air.

Oregon defense vs. Cal offense

Oregon’s front seven should be as healthy as it can be at this point in the season. Cal’s offense has been inconsistent. Damien Moore is a solid back. Chase Garbers is a solid quarterback. The receiving corps has a balanced distribution of receptions. In short, nobody has broken out as a primary weapon on a weekly basis. The Ducks should be able to keep the ball in front of them all night and the Bears will have to be mistake free and sustain drives in order to be productive.

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Did you know?

Wide receivers Johnny Johnson III and Jaylon Redd each have 125 career receptions, tied for No. 12 in UO history

Matchup to watch: Oregon tackles, tight ends & running backs vs. Cameron Goode and Luc Bequette

Goode has done more damage against the Ducks than any team over his career. Bequette is back at Cal after a year at Boston College. Both have played a ton of college football and have far more game experience than Oregon’s offensive tackles, tight ends or three of four running backs. Cal’s edge players can get to the passer and stop the run so blocking and chipping will be critical.

They said it:

“It looks like he’s going to be another one in the long line of guys hat keep us up late at night.” – Cal offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave on Kayvon Thibodeaux

Key stat:

Oregon is 11-1 in games Travis Dye has scored a touchdown

The last time these teams met:

Oregon overcame a sluggish start on both sides of the ball as Cal built a 14-3 lead following a 19-play, 80-yard rive that spanned nearly 10 minutes thanks in large part to a pair of UO penalties. The Ducks connected on a pair of explosive plays and took a 17-14 lead at halftime but Cal regained the lead during the third quarter. Oregon was stopped on a fourth-and-one early in the fourth and a pair of fumbles sealed a 21-17 loss in Berkeley.

Prediction: Oregon 28, Cal 14

By rajib