Is No. 1 Oregon Heading Into A Bear-Trap?

Duck and Bear

Ducks vs. Bears. It’s on.

#1 Oregon at California

Oregon rolls in to Berkeley this weekend #1 in the country, undefeated, and with its eye on a BCS Championship invitation. The Quack Attack are led by their QB Darron Thomas the Pac 10’s 2nd rated passer and Lamichael James who leads the conference in yards gained on the ground is almost guaranteed a seat in New York come Heisman season.

The Ducks will encounter a hungry Bear team who views this game as their Bowl Game for its otherwise disappointing season. At  5-4 (3-3) on the season the Bears have gone 4-0 at home while limiting opponents to 34 points total and all of their victories have been blowouts by +28 points or more.

Key to this Game:
Cal starter Kevin Riley suffered a season-ending knee injury Oct. 30 at Oregon State. That loss hurts the Bears, as junior Brock Mansion now assumes the reigns of the offence and struggled in his first career start last Saturday despite winning, going 12 of 24 for 171 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions in a 20-13 victory at Washington State.

The key question here is can Brock Mansion move the chains consistently to rest his defence and try and slow down the fastest offence in football today?  The Ducks who top the nation with 54.7 points and 567.2 yards per game will look to exploit Cal much the same way they do all of their opponents by running a constant no huddle offence and wear down the Bears.

The Pick:

While national pundits know little about Mansion we at the know that Mansion pushed Riley all spring and into the pre season for the starting job. While he has proven little in limited snaps we believe he will surprise the Ducks with his effectiveness and the balance they have on offence with star RB Shane Vereen. Plus if there is one trait that Jeff Tedford is known for it is his development of QB’s and a consistent standard of success.

While the Ducks will look to run the ball up and down the field they will find it more difficult than usual with Cal who allows a conference-low 177.7 passing yards per game and leads the conference in total defence.

Plus this game is a classic trap game for the Ducks as it is sandwiched between their NW rival Washington last week and #18 ranked Arizona the following week. While we don’t expect the upset here we do like the Bears to cover the number.

The Pick: California +21

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