The California Golden Bears hung in there against the powerful Oregon Ducks offense for two and a half quarters. Underdogs were playing inspired football across the country on Saturday, especially #15 Texas A&M who handed the #1 Alabama Crimson Tide their first loss of the year, 29-24.
In fact, the Bears stayed in the game until a key third down and nine with 6:20 to go in the third quarter. California had scored a touchdown on their previous possession to pull within 24-17, then forced an Oregon punt. Converting the third down was crucial for the Bears.
That is when the Ducks finally awoke from their slumber. Oregon blitzed hard through the middle casting immediate pressure upon Bridgford, who made the ill-advised decision to just throw for the sake of throwing. Boseko Lokombo of the Ducks caught it for an interception.
On literally the next play, Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota tossed a short pass to receiver Josh Huff, who ran it 35 yards for a touchdown. The score was 31-17. Oregon's offense had awoken.
Mariota proceeded to tear off three more touchdown passes to run the score to 59-17. He had a record tying day, throwing 27 of 34 for 377 yards and SIX touchdowns. The Oregon Ducks passing attack was in full swing.
Unfortunately rushing yards were hard to come by for other-worldly talented Kenjon Barner, running back for Oregon. Barner finished up the day with a total of sixty-five (65) yards on twenty carries. Having those twenty carries is indicative that the Ducks were trying to get a run game going, but it just wasn't to be.
"Good, Bad & Ugly" can be found in the slideshow. Enjoy!