A school-record twelve straight wins and three more to go for the Oregon Ducks, who meet the California Golden Bears Eagles Saturday night at Alumni Stadium.
If the Ducks get past Cal, they host Stanford and travel to Oregon State for the deciding Pac-12 conference games.
Kenjon Barner led the Ducks to a 62-51 shootout victory over rival USC with a school-record 321 yards and five touchdowns on 38 carries. Quarterback Marcus Mariota also threw four touchdowns as the Ducks leapfrogged Notre Dame for the No. 3 spot in the BCS.
Still Oregon’s defense did allow 51 points, including five touchdown passes from Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley.
But they will have a much easier task against the Golden Bears, who will start reserve junior quarterback Allan Bridgford in place of Zach Maynard, who sprained his knee.
Bridgford has completed four passes for 32 yards this season, with half of those completions coming in Cal’s 21-13 loss to Washington last week. Cal totaled 450 yards, with running back C.J. Anderson logging 189 yards and both of his teams touchdowns.
Though later ruled out as serious, Maynard went down late in the fourth quarter, and Bridgford came in, leading the Golden Bears on their final drive that fell short on downs.
Cal will also be without receiver Keenan Allen for the second straight game due to a knee injury.
The last time these teams met at Berkeley was in 2010, and Oregon barely survived a 15-13 win, which was the lowest point total since coach Chip Kelly joined the Ducks.
The contest begins at 10:30 p.m. EDT and and will be broadcast by ESPN depending on your region of the country, or you can watch their live stream online at Watch ESPN here by submitting your cable provider information
Prediction: The Ducks can see the national title game, but won’t overlook Cal. Barner should have another top day and Oregon will steamroll to a win.
Betting Odds: Oregon is favored by 29.5 points
Over/Under: 67 points
Predicted Score: Oregon 42, California 17