The California Golden Bears are here to play. They've been burned by LaMichael James and the Oregon Ducks on the rushing defense early on, but they've rallied to back to hold onto a narrow halftime lead in Eugene.
Although the struggles of Zach Maynard (who has missed a lot of throws) have kept him from really taking apart the Ducks defense, Maynard's connection with his brother Keenan Allen has come in handy. Maynard found Allen on a badly thrown ball on 3rd and 19 that Allen adjusted, came back toward, and hauled in for 28 yards. Maynard then rolled out, whipped his head out, and threw one out there that Allen went down for and grabbed for the Bears's only touchdown. Add in hard rushing by Isi Sofele (93 rushing yards on ten carries), three Giorgio Tavecchio field goals (including a monster from 54 yards) and Cal is narrowly up at halftime.
The Cal defense has clearly not shown the edge responsibility they did last year, and have given up big play after big play to James. But the inside is not opening up, as the Cal defensive line has won the line of scrimmage battle with the Oregon offensive line in there. And Darron Thomas has struggled as much as Maynard, completing only 8 of 19 passes. Thomas also has a costly interception to D.J. Campbell late in the second quarter that cost the Ducks a scoring opportunity. James has had a monster game (167 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown), but that's about all that's gone right for Oregon at this point on offense.
To discuss the game with Cal football fans, go to the California Golden Blogs. To discuss the game with Oregon football fans, go to Addicted to Quack.