Jason says: Cal game gives Oregon another shot at big number
He's only a true freshman, but California quarterback Jared Goff isn't lacking confidence.
The Bears play the second-ranked Oregon Ducks at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at raucous Autzen Stadium, which doesn't worry Goff at all.
"I've heard it's loud," he says. "It won't make a difference in how our offense runs."
"It shouldn't (bother Cal)," he adds. "We do all (non-verbal) signals. It shouldn't affect anything we do offensively."
He's either being naive or he's being honest with swagger. The Autzen crowd has bothered many an offense throughout the years.
Either way, fans will be the least of Cal's issues Saturday.
Although the UO defense could get caught on some of Cal's many passing plays, it should be able to contend with a true quarterback and a Bears team that could be 11th or 12th overall in the Pac-12 this season under new, pass-happy coach Sonny Dykes.
On the other side of the ball, the Bears' defense better duck and cover. It's not a formidable defense. If the Oregon offense doesn't score 50 points and threaten to put up 60, something has gone wrong. In barely beating FCS Portland State and dropping games to Northwestern and Ohio State, the Bears have given up 42 points and 556 yards per game; the Buckeyes won 52-34 at Berkeley with 608 yards offense.
The Ducks have scored 66, 59 and 59 points in their first three games. The scoring barrage should continue against California and probably Colorado next week before the expected Oct. 12 showdown at Washington.
We'll clearly know more about the Ducks once the games against Washington, UCLA and Stanford have been played.
In the meantime, it'll be interesting to watch the UO team evolve, particularly Marcus Mariota's rising stardom, the status of the running game and how the defense responds against a good offense (which the Ducks have not come close to seeing, yet).
Dykes and his triggerman, Goff, and their playmakers might do some damage Saturday. But, who in their right mind would pick the Bears to beat the Ducks at Autzen?
THE PICK: Oregon 56, California 20