No. 13 Oregon shrugged off its first scoreless first half in 15 years on Saturday, taking the lead for good late in the third quarter and going on to a 17-7 Pac-12 Conference win over California in Eugene, Ore.
Quarterback Justin Herbert completed 20 of 33 passes for 214 yards, an interception and a 1-yard touchdown to Jaylon Redd with 7:14 left in the game. That extended Herbert’s streak of games with a touchdown pass to 33, the longest active streak in FBS.
The bigger story for the Ducks (4-1, 2-0) was their defense, which, after yielding a first-quarter touchdown following a turnover, skunked the Golden Bears for the game’s remainder. Oregon has won four straight games, allowing only 22 points in that span.
It was the second straight loss for Cal (4-2, 1-2), which played without starting quarterback Chase Garbers after he was injured in last week’s loss to Arizona State. Backup Devon Modster connected on 17 of 34 passes for 190 yards with a score and two interceptions.
California struck first just 8:02 into the game, six plays after safety Ashtyn Davis registered the first interception of Herbert this season. Modster rolled right and found Chris Brown for a 22-yard touchdown pass and a 7-0 lead.
The Golden Bears’ defense nursed the lead through the half’s remainder, countering Oregon’s slight advantages in total yards and time of possession with key takeaways. Cal fell on a pair of fumbles in its own half, and Ducks kicker Camden Lewis missed a 45-yard field goal with 4:15 left in the half.
But Lewis was able to connect on a 32-yarder at the 7:32 mark of the third quarter, capping a 13-play, 72-yard drive.
The game became one of field position at that point, with Oregon earning the decisive blow when it started a possession at the Bears’ 30 late in the third.
The Ducks needed only three plays to cash in, with Cyrus Habibi-Likio plunging in from the 1 with 1:38 on the clock to give the Ducks a 10-7 lead going to the fourth quarter.
—Field Level Media