Cal vs. Oregon: Live Game Grades and Analysis for the Ducks

Brandon AlisogluCorrespondent ISeptember 28, 2013

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - SEPTEMBER 7: Marcus Mariota #8 of the Oregon Ducks looks to throw a pass against the Virginia Cavaliers during the game at Scott Stadium on September 7, 2013 in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The No. 2 Oregon Ducks handled the Cal Golden Bears at Autzen Stadium, cruising to a lopsided score early. The win pushes the Ducks to 4-0 and keeps them in the driver's seat for the Pac-12 title game.

Score: Ducks 55, Bears 16, Final

The full box score can be found here

Game Analysis for the Oregon Ducks

Pass Offense: The passing game struggled with the weather like anyone would. However, the short-passing game used Oregon's perimeter speed to its advantage. 

Run Offense: The Ducks were able to do anything they wanted on the ground. The offensive line pushed the Bears around while the backs sliced them apart. Both backup running back Byron Marshall and Thomas Tyner went over 100 yards. 

Pass Defense: The Bears tried to pass throughout the game with little luck. The Ducks swarmed to the ball and created pressure, only allowing three points before the lead ballooned to 52.

Run Defense: The starters were dominant. Cal was held to just three yards a carry, and that's only because they ran well against the second team.

Special Teams: Another punt-return touchdown for Bralon Addison in the second half means the Ducks had to finish with an A. The third-quarter fumble by the second-string returner doesn't help, but it had zero effect on the outcome.

Coaching: It's impossible to find any fault in the game plan or in-game adjustments. The reliance on Oregon's explosiveness was well founded, as the Ducks routinely broke big plays.

Sep 28, 2013; Eugene, OR, USA; Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) hands the ball off to Oregon Ducks running back Byron Marshall (9) at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports
Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

 

First Half Analysis for the Oregon Ducks

Pass Offense: The rain in the Pacific Northwest made passing extremely difficult. So the Ducks gave quarterback Marcus Mariota easy throws to execute and his receivers responded by taking those short passes for large gains. Mariota ended the half with 114 yards and two touchdowns despite the challenging weather.

Run Offense: Backup Byron Marshall initially struggled to hold onto the ball, fumbling his first two carries after starter De'Anthony Thomas got hurt on the opening kick return. But he bounced back with 103 yards and two scores. The Oregon offensive line chipped in by creating great rushing lanes that the backs were able to exploit to the tune of 177 yards.

Pass Defense: Again, the rain was a factor, but the Ducks didn't hurt themselves in any way. They tackled well and created enough pressure to keep the Bears from moving the ball through the air.

Run Defense: The Oregon defense was dominant against the run, forcing Cal into several uneasy third-down situations. It didn't allow the Bears offensive line to create any holes and finished tackles.

Special Teams: Anytime a guy returns a punt for a touchdown like Corey Leininger did, the team is going to start with an A. The botched handle on the first extra point brings it down just a touch. However, the work by the coverage teams keeps the grade high.

Coaching: The game was going to be ugly because of the weather, but Oregon made it even uglier with their play. And that's meant in a good way. Also, the offensive adjustment to limit the air attack to swing throws and short passes was a brilliant move.