Oregon vs. Cal: Kenjon Barner Will Shred Golden Bears' Soft Defense

Steven CookFeatured Columnist IVNovember 10, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 03:  Kenjon Barner #24 of the Oregon Ducks gets tackled by Jawanza Sterling #29 of the USC Trojans at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 3, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Robert Laberge/Getty Images

Saturday's matchup with the California Golden Bears presents yet another positive matchup for the Oregon Ducks, and their star running back Kenjon Barner will make the most of it for another insane statistical performance.

The senior averages more than seven yards per carry, and his 20 total touchdowns to go along with 1,295 rushing yards isn't too shabby.

Barner had arguably his best showing of the season last week when the Ducks defeated the USC Trojans, 62-51. He gashed Monte Kiffin's defense for 321 yards (the most ever against the Trojans) and five touchdowns.

The Ducks would end up needing every one of those five touchdowns as they had plenty of trouble stopping Matt Barkley and the USC offense.

Fortunately for Oregon, they won't be presented with nearly as difficult of an offensive matchup, and the pressure on Barner and his offense will be much less severe. But don't expect that to keep him from putting up gaudy numbers yet again.

Cal is reeling to say the least. Last week's 21-13 defeat to the Washington Huskies mean that the Golden Bears, at 3-7, will be kept out of bowl contention for just the second time since 2003.

In the loss, Cal gave up a career-high 189 rushing yards and two scores to Washington running back Bishop Sankey. 

The only thing that will keep Barner from putting up more than 200 yards is how lopsided the score is at halftime. Barner's second-half stats usually pale in comparison to the first half, because his Ducks usually have the game wrapped up by the time the teams enter the locker rooms at intermission.

Don't expect Barner to play much in the second half in this one, either. The talent gap between these two teams is astounding and that will result in a big halftime lead for the Ducks.

Still, Barner will show through the first two quarters why he is set to become a finalist for this year's Heisman Trophy and will make for a smooth sailing to victory Saturday. 


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