The California Golden Bears (3-2) went into Autzen Stadium on Thursday night with high hopes of taking down the No. 9-ranked Oregon Ducks (4-1). The Bears unveiled bright white helmets and went for the "Storm Trooper" look that Oregon came to popularize.
But the brand new uniforms didn't give Cal the talent of the Ducks, as the Bears lost their second straight game and find themselves 0-2 in the Pac-12.
Despite the loss, this game revealed a lot of important facts about Cal, both good and bad.
Let's take a look.
Keenan Allen continues to prove that he is one of the most prolific wide receivers in not only the Pac-12, but the entire nation.
Allen is averaging 133.6 receiving yards per game, and as of Friday, that's good enough for sixth-best in the country. He has proven to be a game-changer, as he caught a huge 29-yard reception on third-and-19, which continued the Cal drive and led to Cal scoring a touchdown to go up 15-14.
If he keeps playing like this, odds are that you can expect to see Allen playing on Sundays.
Cal finished the game having only converted 29 percent of their third downs. That's not a good percentage at all.
By not converting on third down, Cal's drives stalled, leading to a field goal or punt. While a field goal is still points on the board, the Bears definitely have enough firepower in the offense to be getting touchdowns, not field goals.
That can only mean one thing.
It's time to get Isi Sofele involved in the passing game.
Zach Maynard needs to become more comfortable throwing to players other than just Keenan Allen and Marvin Jones. He needs to spread the ball, and more specifically he needs to throw more accurately on short passes like screen plays.
Cal didn't look terrible on defense. D.J. Holt led the team with 11 tackles and D.J. Campbell had a great interception that kept Oregon from putting up another score.
But let's face it: tackling was a big problem for the Bears against Oregon. Yes, it was raining and wet the entire game, but this has been a problem for most of the season.
Cal kept switching their coverage packages throughout the game, and none worked as well as last year when Cal barely lost to Oregon by a score of 15-13. The Ducks' running backs were so quick to the outside that it was essentially a screen pass, something Cal hasn't been able to cover all season.
The Bears need to make the first tackle and not leave an entire half of the field open on those sweep runs by LaMichael James. The line would go left, James would go right, and Oregon would score yet again.
That being said, Oregon has some of the most prolific offensive players in the nation. The only team that has stopped them so far this season has been LSU, and they're the best team in the country.
Week after week this season, junior transfer Zach Maynard has impressed the masses with his ability to throw the long ball and get out of almost every tough situation he's faced.
But the fact of the matter is that Maynard is still learning the Pac-12 way of playing football. It's a much tougher conference to play in than the Mid-American Conference, the last conference he played in at Buffalo before transferring to Cal.
Maynard finished 21-40 for 218 yards and a touchdown. That's a good number of yards, but he should have had more completions, as most were errant short screen passes.
Those should be completions for good four-yard gains but they were going right by the receivers. The rain didn't help either.
A 3-0 record heading into conference play gave a lot of hope to the Cal community.
A 31-23 loss to Washington was frustrating, as it was a game that the Bears practically gave away.
Thursday night's 43-15 loss to Oregon isn't the end of the world, and head coach Jeff Tedford knows that. The Bears are a fairly young team, specifically on defense.
The team is still working out kinks on both sides of the ball. They'll continue to iron out their problems over the rest of the season, and that's okay.
Cal is a very exciting team to watch play, and no one can take that away from them. As long as the team continues to improve through both wins and losses, this season will have served its purpose.