Oregon at California
Time: 9:30 PM CT
Spread: ORE -2.5
Odds c/o 5dimes
The No. 19 ranked Oregon Ducks fell last week 38-31 to Stanford. It will try to get back on track this week as it travels to face Cal at 9:30 PM (CT) on FS1. Oregon enters as 2.5-point favorites, with an over/under set at 58 points according to NCAA football oddsmakers at bookmaker 5dimes.
Last week it took overtime for No. 7 Stanford to knock off the Ducks. Justin Herbert was accurate except for one costly interception, as he threw 26 of 33 for 346 yards and a touchdown. His top receiver Dillon Marshall had a monster game, catching 14 passes for 239 yards, but he did not make any end zone catches. Oregon turned to its backfield for three rushing touchdowns, while only Jacob Breeland had a receiving TD. CJ Verdell led all rushers with 115 yards on 20 carries and one of the three TDs, while Herbert was mildly successful in rushing for 35 yards on 11 attempts. Oregon climbed one rank despite the loss, due to its close and valiant effort against a top-ranked opponent.
Herbert has already thrown for 1,186 yards on the season with an impressive 10.40 yard per attempt average. He has 13 TD passes to his five interceptions and a 179.4 passer rating. Mitchell leads all receivers after last week, but he entered Week 4 with just 108 receiving yards. No. 2 WR Johnny Johnson III has caught nine passes for 168 yard and a team-high four touchdowns, and Jaylon Redd has caught eight passes for 135 yards and three TDs.
Oregon, as usual, can be devastating with its air attack, but that is not to overlook a great season from running back CJ Verdell. His 5.3 yards-per-carry lead all rushers (minimum 10 attempts) and he has a 48-yard TD rush to his credit along with 314 total yards. Tony Brooks-James is No. 2 in total yardage with 200 but leads the team in TDs with three.
Expect Oregon to continue its diverse offensive attack this week as it has balanced its touchdowns 12 rushing to 13 receiving. Verdell and Brooks-James have also come out of the backfield on some nice option plays, combining for 167 yards between them.
The No. 24 ranked California Bears are 3-0 after knocking off North Carolina, BYU and Idaho State. It now faces its first tough test in Oregon. Quarterback Chase Garbers, a freshman, won the QB battle and has been impressive since doing so. Last week in the 45-23 win over Idaho State, he threw 20 of 25 for 224 yards and three touchdowns, though he did throw one interception. Impressively, he has also rushed for 39, 45, and 42 yards in the three games on a total of 20 attempts.
Jordan Duncan and Kanawai Noa are the top two receivers, with 127 and 113 yards to their credit, respectively. Duncan has scored two TDs, while Noa has one. No. 3 receiver Patrick Laird has a pair of touchdowns from the backfield, and the running back has been more successful catching than rushing, as he is averaging just 2.9 yards-per-attempt when he carries the football.
Overall, Cal really has not been that impressive this year. The pass offense nearly ranks out of the top-100 and the team is mediocre at best rushing the football. Its defense has won it games, but averaging 30 points per game will not likely be enough to experience great success in the Pac-12 this year unless it can bottle up its opponents as it has the inferior programs it’s faced thus far this season.
Oregon is a slight favorite but has the potential to win this by at least a touchdown, and the 58 point total seems almost low in light of how explosive the Ducks can be at its best.