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A halloween fright: Cal falls to No. 8 Oregon

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OCTOBER 31, 2022

Amidst the October breeze, with the aroma of treats looming, Cal played the first round of their nationally ranked teams.

The No. 8 Oregon Ducks certainly managed to spook Cal, with the Bears being mauled 42-24. The blue and gold had few tricks left in their trick-or-treat stash as they failed to produce big plays and consequently let opportunities dissipate in the wind.

“At this point, nobody feels sorry for us, we’re not gonna feel sorry for ourselves. We have to focus on our individual improvement and play through it. We have a lot of football left to play,”  said head coach Justin Wilcox

Cal got off to a ugly start on the offensive side of the ball during the opening two possessions of the game. A three play first drive ended with quarterback Jack Plummer throwing an interception — his first of two — on his second pass attempt of the game.

The Bears would later go three and out on the second possession that only took a minute and eight seconds off the clock.

The offense, however, showed signs of life late in the first quarter that followed into the second. An electric drive highlighted by Plummer throwing a 35 yard dart to J.Michael Sturdivant would stall out, ending in a Dario Longhetto 28 yard field goal. The next possession would again be highlighted by another massive throw off of Plummer’s arm, this time to Jeremiah Hunter for 57 yards, this one ending in a touchdown .

Defense, on the other hand, worked tirelessly, holding the top offense in the Pac-12 at pivotal moments. The Bears took the challenge without playmakers such as Lu-Magia Hearns, Blake Antzoulatos and Muelu Iosefa. They forced a three and out on the first possession, a turnover on downs in Cal’s endzone on the second. On the fourth possession, outside linebacker Orin Patu recorded his first career interception in the red zone.

There were small hiccups in the Bears defensive play before Oregon ultimately started gaining control. The Ducks’ quarterback Bo Nix was unstoppable on the ground, as were running backs Bucky Irving and Noah Whittington. Cal seemingly had no answers for the run game.

Nix scored the first two Oregon touchdowns of the game on his own feet. He soon added a third, amassing his season total to a total of 11 rushing touchdowns.

The second half progressed much slower than the first: The first two offensive drives lasted a total of seven minutes and 20 seconds off the clock. Oregon came out of the gates scoring immediately — a Nix to Whittington touchdown pass.

Cal methodically marched down the field, but a late penalty reversed a first down, bringing another Longhetto field goal attempt. In a scene that may only be akin to a nightmare, the attempt was blocked, handing the ball right back to the Oregon offense.

The Bears’ defense produced steady but ultimately futile play in the final two quarters of play. They would allow three more touchdown drives as the Ducks ran away with the game.

However, the game did not reach fever pitch until the fourth quarter. Plummer took multiple heavy tackles today piling onto the long list of beatings the transfer has taken in his fresh blue and gold jersey over the last few weeks.

After a heavy hit in the third quarter, Plummer was removed from the game, leaving redshirt freshman quarterback Kai Millner to close the game out for the Bears.

Millner immediately led the offense to its first score since the second quarter, capping it with his first career touchdown pass. Millner would lead another scoring drive in the closing minutes of the game, a drive that lasted less than a minute. He demonstrated expertise in his throws and progressions, and illustrated a high level of mobility in antithesis to Plummer’s.

When asked whether Plummer would see a start next Saturday, Wilcox simply said: “Yes.”

The Bears have now fallen to 3-5 on the year, trailing behind 1-4 in conference play. For the first time since 2019, Cal was winless in the month of October. Next week’s challenge may surpass this one, as the Bears take on the No. 10 USC Trojans on the road.

Cal has many decisions to make in the following weeks as it looks to attain bowl eligibility for the first time since 2019.

Contact Emmanuel Macedo at 


NOVEMBER 02, 2022