Oregon is not only riding high toward the BCS National Championship, they have pretty much a clean bill of health so far this season. Other than the season-ending injury to Nate Costa, only leading receiver Jeff Maehl seems to be in danger of not playing in Strawberry Canyon. He’s listed as questionable.
Maehl suffered a shoulder injury in the week 10 victory over the Huskies and is questionable to play Saturday at Cal. The senior leads the team in receiving this year with 746 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Due to Jeff Tedford restricting information on injuries, it’s hard to figure out who’s healthy and who’s not. So let’s say most of these injuries are official—they’re italicized. The rest are based on guesses of who’s been playing the past few weeks.
OUT: Quarterback Kevin Riley (season is over; Brock Mansion is starting), third string running back Covaughn Deboskie-Johnson (who tweeted his season is over, injury is undisclosed)
Questionable: NT Derrick Hill (didn’t play against Washington St, shoulder issue, this is partially why we saw Trevor Guyton on the inside), OLB Keith Browner (suited up, but only played sparingly), backup NT Kendrick Payne (also did not play against the Cougars).
Probable: WR Keenan Allen (tweaked something in pregame warmups), ILB Mike Mohamed (broken finger, wearing a cast), ILB D.J. Holt (looked limited against the Cougars Saturday, was often subbed out).
The big question is Hill, who is really needed to combat center Jordan Holmes in the trenches this week. No one else has the girth and physical ability of Hill to occupy the inside gaps. If Hill can’t go, the Golden Bears could try and go to a three defensive end look with Guyton occupying the middle like against the Cougars. This could cause size issues, although it would get the three most experienced defensive linemen on the field against the Ducks.
Holt and Mohamed have had to handle a lot of responsibility without any adequate replacements behind them ready to fill in and play up to their level. This Cal front seven could be very thin on Saturday.