Oregon flexed its resiliency at a crucial time, entering the toughest part of its schedule.The Ducks are now 1-1 in conference play and get a bye week to rest before facing rival No. 10 Washington on Oct. 13.
Did the good outweigh the bad in Oregon’s victory over Cal? You decide.
Streaks, extended! Oregon has won nine of the last 10 meetings with Cal dating back to 2009. The Ducks have scored 40-plus points in eight straight games against the Bears.
Monkey off the back: Oregon’s victory over Cal marked the team’s first win against a ranked opponent since 2016 at then-No. 11 Utah. After going winless against Pac-12 teams on the road in 2017, the victory also marked Oregon’s first conference road victory since 2016 when they upset then No. 11 Utah.
Playmaker, Ugo Amadi: The senior had seven solo tackles, two interceptions and one pick-six against Cal, earning Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week honors. Amadi leads the Ducks in interceptions with eight career interceptions and his three picks in 2018 are tied for the Pac-12 lead and rank tied for second nationally. Fun fact, the safety is the first Oregon player with two interceptions, including a pick-6, in a Pac-12 game since Ifo Ekpre-Olomu in 2012 against Arizona.
2 interceptions, 1 pick-six, 7 solo tackles.— Bri Amaranthus (@BriAmaranthus) October 1, 2018
Ugo Amadi earns Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week🏆
(My gut told me he was going to have a killer game at Cal so I took this photo of him😉) #GoDucks @UAmadi7_ pic.twitter.com/VZM88kgui2
Oregon’s offense is soaring: The Ducks lead the conference and rank 10th nationally in scoring (45.6). Oregon’s total offense (503.6) also leads the conference and ranks 15th nationally. The Ducks are also getting it done on third down, leading the conference and ranking 10th in the nation with a 52.1 third down conversion percentage.
Rising in the polls: Oregon moved up to No. 18 in both the Associated Press Top 25 and Amway Coaches Poll. The Ducks moved up one spot in the AP Poll and two spots in the Coaches Poll.
Herbert’s pinpoint cannon of an arm: Quarterback Justin Herbert made it rain against one of the nation's top defenses and he did it in big play fashion. His first touchdown pass was a 30-yard bullet to transfer tight end Kano Dillon that made the nine NFL scouts present lick their chops. His second touchdown pass was a picture perfect 36-yard ball to junior wide receiver Dillon Mitchell.
The junior threw zero interceptions against a Cal team that lead the Pac-12 with seven interceptions. Herbert finished the game 16-of-22 with 225 passing yards, completing passes to eight different UO receivers.
Fe, Fi, Fo, Fumble! The Duck defense forced five Cal turnovers, two that led to defensive touchdowns.
Painful Penalties: The Ducks had seven penalties versus Cal. To be fair, two were purposeful delay of game penalties late in the game to milk the clock.
Oregon is averaging five penalties a game, which is a big improvement from 2017’s 9.4 per game average. However, an unsportsmanlike conduct flag on senior cornerback Haki Woods Jr. in the second quarter was particularly painful.
The Ducks had forced a three-and-out but the penalty extended a drive that ended with a Cal touchdown.
Injuries: The Ducks were without senior running back Tony Brooks-James. Despite playing on special teams, Brooks-James did not receive a carry because of an ankle injury he suffered against Stanford that limited his playing time. It’ll be important for Brooks-James to rehab over the bye week and be healthy in time for the Washington game. Running back Darrian Felix and defensive end Austin Faoliu were also out due to injury.
Freshman CJ Verdell and Travis Dye handled the rushing load, both surpassing 100 rushing yards.
Where did Oregon’s rush defense go? Oregon entered the Cal game ranked third in the FBS with just 2.13 yards per carry allowed but Cal finished the game with 241 total rush yards on 5.9 yards per carry.