College Football Preview: Oregon at Cal, Stanford at Washington

Cal plays final home game, Stanford plays second of three road games to end regular season

By Steve Drumwright

Oregon at Cal

When: Saturday, 4 p.m.

Where: Memorial Stadium, Berkeley


Records: No. 21 Oregon (3-1 overall, 3-1 Pac-12 Conference), Cal (0-3, 0-3)

Series: Cal leads 41-39-2

Last meeting: Oregon, ranked 13th at the time, scored all of its points in the second half for a 17-7 victory over the Golden Bears on Oct. 5, 2019, at Eugene, Ore. It was the Ducks’ 10th win in the last 11 games of the series and third straight.

About Oregon: The Ducks are coming off their first loss in more than a calendar year after Oregon State won the rivalry game 41-38, scoring 22 points in the fourth quarter including the go-ahead touchdown with 36 seconds left. … Sophomore quarterback Tyler Shough leads the Pac-12 in passing yards (1,158) and passing TDs (10). He also averages 50.8 yards rushing. Shough had two of his four interceptions against Oregon State. … The Oregon defense has struggled to stop the run. Oregon State pounded out 269 yards on the ground. The Ducks rank 10th in the Pac-12 and 104th in the FBS in stopping the run at 208.3 yards per game. … The Ducks lost a lot of depth from last season’s Rose Bowl team and has had 12 players make their first career starts this year. Also, 81 of the 110 players on the roster are freshmen or sophomores.

About Cal: The Golden Bears lost possession of the Axe when they dropped a 24-23 decision to rival Stanford in the Big Game on a blocked extra point. … After having its season-opening home game canceled due to COVID-19 protocols, Cal is playing back-to-back home games. There are no other home games scheduled. … True freshman running back Damien Moore highlighted Cal’s improved run game. Moore had 121 yards on 10 carries, including a 54-yard run. He is the first true freshman to hit the century mark since Marshawn Lynch had 122 yards in the Big Game in 2004. … The Bears had 241 yards rushing vs. Stanford, their most since putting up 308 against Oregon State in 2018. … The Cal defense continues to be stingy against the pass. While the Bears allowed a season-worst 205 yards through the air to Stanford, they rank second in the Pac-12 and 17th in the FBS in allowing 185.3 yards per game. … Senior outside linebacker Cameron Goode has 4.5 tackles for a loss and 0.5 sacks. … The Cal offense has scored on its opening drive in all three games this season.

Stanford at Washington

When: Saturday, 1 p.m.

Where: Husky Stadium, Seattle

TV: KTVU (Ch. 2)

Records: Stanford (1-2 overall, 1-2 Pac-12 Conference), No. 23 Washington (3-0, 3-0)

Series: Tied 43-43-4

Last meeting: Behind 151 yards rushing from Cameron Scarlett, the Cardinal knocked off 15th-ranked Washington 23-13 on Oct. 5, 2019, at Stanford. The Cardinal have won nine of the last 12 meetings.

About Stanford: The Cardinal blocked a late extra point to knock off rival Cal 24-23 in the Big Game to regain possession of the Axe. … This is the second of three straight road games to end the regular season. Stanford’s game next week against Oregon State was moved to Beaverton following Santa Clara County’s brief ban on contact sports during the pandemic. … With a win, David Shaw would become the sixth coach with 60 victories in 85 or fewer Pac-12 regular-season games. … Junior defensive end Thomas Booker sure made an impact in the Big Game. In addition to blocking the extra-point try with 1:02 left, Booker had a fumble recovery and a sack. His fumble recovery set up the go-ahead touchdown. … Senior quarterback Davis Mills has not thrown an interception in his last 144 passes, dating to last year’s Big Game. … Sophomore running back Austin Jones is only averaging 64.7 yards per game, which leads the team, but he also has a team-best five TDs. He scored twice in the third quarter of the Big Game, including the go-ahead score.

About Washington: The Huskies rallied from a 21-0 halftime deficit to upend Utah 24-21, scoring the go-ahead TD with 36 seconds left. … Washington can clinch a spot in the Pac-12 Championship Game by beating Stanford and Oregon to conclude the regular season. …Redshirt sophomore linebacker Zion Tupuola-Fetui has seven sacks and three forced fumbles in his first three career starts. He leads the nation in sacks with 2.33 per game. … The Huskies have not allowed a point in the second half of its three games this season. … Redshirt freshman Dylan Morris has started all three games. He is 52 of 87 for 643 yards with four TDs and three interceptions. All three of his picks came against Utah. He made up for it on the final drive, which culminated with his second TD pass of the game, a 16-yard strike to junior tight end Cade Otton with 36 seconds left.

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