45-24 Ducks Win
A cloud hangs over what should be a joyous victory for the Ducks, who completed a thorough, three-phase beat down of a Bears team that looks to be a pretty good test this season. There was nothing not to like about this win- except the apparently serious injury to the Ducks’ starting quarterback. As for the Bears, they were manhandled on both lines of scrimmage, a problem that will only get worse as the season wears on.
Herbert Goes Down, Alie Struggles
After completing 7 of 8 passes for 86 yards and a touchdown, quarterback Justin Herbert went out with a shoulder injury, rumored to be a fracture collarbone. Backup Taylor Alie left quite a bit to be desired in his debut, throwing an interception and managing only 3.2 yards per attempt. There’s no time to get Alie’s feet under him, and Ducks fans have to hope that a week of practice will have him much more ready to perform.
Ducks Smother Bears’ Run Game
There are lots of impressive numbers in the Ducks’ beatdown of the Bears, but what stands out most is the 8 rushing yards Cal accrued. This dominant defensive showing set the tone for what would be a difficult night for the Bears, who were forced into a one-dimensional style that wasn’t equipped to keep up with the Ducks’ ferocious attack. The Ducks will need more performances like this to lean on as they wait for Herbert to heal.
Autzen welcomes the Washington State Cougars, flying high after defeating USC on Friday night. With Herbert unavailable, this promises to be tough sledding for Oregon. Meanwhile, Cal gets no relief as they travel to Washington to take on a superlative Huskies squad on Friday, October 6.