Saturday, November 13, 2010
Oregon Ducks Leave Little Weakness For Cal Bears To Exploit...But
In other words, it looks like it's going to be that kind of day.
It's rare to see an opponent that has an average game score of 54.7 points, versus just 17 points allowed. Oregon is first in not just the Pac-10, but the nation in total offense, with 567.2 yards per game. That's totally insane.
However, there are some notable statistical openings for Cal.
First, Oregon allows a total 329 yards of total offense per game, which can be divided into 229 yards passing and 100 yards rushing. That's enough to be effective, and means that Oregon's pinball scoring machine forces opponents to try and play their game. Few teams can beat Oregon in a track meet, and none in the Pac-10 so far.
What's the weakness? Frankly, giving up 3.38 yards per rush is one. As long as Cal's willing to be patient and play a grind it out ground game of misdirection running, Cal can win. (Yep, you read that correctly.)
If Cal can get 3 yards per carry on the first two downs, then throw short on 3rd down just to move the chains, the Golden Bears can mount long drives and keep the ball from Oregon.
But the runs must be of misdirection design: not just reverses, but counter-action, and draws. The Ducks defense is aggressive to the point-of-attack, and can down runs for a loss if they can be tracked. Misdirection must be the plan of the day.
If Cal comes out with a plan of smash-mouth football in the first quarter, call Henry's or The Bears Lair and reserve a table - you're going to need it after all the pale ale you're going to consume.
Me? I prefer a screw-driver.