College Football – Soaring Ducks Face Limping Golden Bears (Friday)
John BensonNo comments
After losing at home earlier this month to Arizona, the No. 6 Oregon Ducks (6-1, 3-1 Pac-12) appear to have steadied the ship with recent Pac-12 wins against UCLA and Washington. Now, the Ducks fly south to take on the California Golden Bears (4-3, 2-3 Pac-12) in a Friday night contest.
Going into the season, all eyes in Oregon were on Heisman hopeful Marcus Mariota; lately, though, highly recruited running back Royce Freeman has caught fire.
Said Mariota, “Royce is Royce. I don’t know how to explain it. He’s done amazing things all year.”
This season, the true freshman has gained 75+ rushing yards six times and scored 11 touchdowns.
“I’m just trying to go each and every week and improve and get a breakthrough. I’m just trying as hard as I can,” said the 227 pound back.
As for the Golden Bears, they have had an up-and-down season. The offense has looked unstoppable at times and led the Bears to good wins at Northwestern (31-24) and at Washington State (60-59). At home against the Washington Huskies, though, they struggled, putting up just seven points (31-7).
There has been at least one constant for Cal this year, though: the defense has been terrible. They have allowed 26 touchdowns this season, which is the worst in the country. They have also managed to lose a game when their offense put up 45 points (49-45 at Arizona). Most recently, Cal lost at home to UCLA 36-34. Cal was close to pulling out the victory, but quarterback Jared Goff threw a late-game pick.
After the game, Cal head coach Sonny Dykes said, “It was a tough game and a tough way to lose down the stretch. There are some things we have to get better at as we move forward. It is a tough way to lose. We have got to give our guys credit for putting ourselves in a position to win it. We just came up a little bit short down the stretch.”
He added, “We gave up some pressure, and I thought Jared handled it pretty well most of the game. Obviously we have got to get better, but I thought he did a pretty good job extending some plays with his feet, moving around in the pocket and getting the ball down the field.”
Despite Goff’s upside and the game taking place in California, look for the Ducks to squash the Golden Bears. Take Oregon and lay the points.