Ducks vs. Golden Bears: Setting the Stage
No. 2 Oregon (9-0, 6-0 Pac-12) at California (3-7, 2-5), 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Line: Oregon by 28.
Series Record: Oregon leads 43-15.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
Oregon has won 13 straight games and is third in the BCS standings. The Ducks not only cannot afford a loss, but they probably can't afford to struggle against a huge underdog. At this point the story around Cal is will this be Jeff Tedford's last season as coach.
Oregon RB Kenjon Barner vs. California LB Nick Forbes. Forbes is coming off a stellar game with 11 tackles, two forced fumbles and an interception. But he will have to be at his best to help the Bears slow down the dynamic Barner, who rushed for a school-record 321 yards and scored five touchdowns in last week's win over Southern California.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Oregon: QB Marcus Mariota. Mariota has completed 39 of 49 passes for 486 yards, seven TDs and no INTs the past three games, giving the Ducks a dangerous passing attack to pair with their game-breaking runners. His 22 TD passes on the season are the most for a freshman in Pac-12 history.
California: WR Chris Harper. With star Keenan Allen out with a knee injury, the freshman Harper stepped up last week against Washington with seven catches for a career-high 101 yards. He also scored on a 14-yard reverse. He has 36 catches for 481 yards and needs 10 receptions to tie Allen's school record for a true freshman.
FACTS & FIGURES
California has won three of the past four meetings in this series at home with the only loss being a 15-13 defeat two years ago. ... The Ducks are averaging 36 ppg in the first half a mark Cal has reached just once in an entire game against an FBS opponent. ... Oregon has scored at least 42 points in 12 straight games, tied for the longest streak all-time. ... The Ducks have won 13 straight road games since Nov. 7, 2009, and have lost just one conference road game under coach Chip Kelly. ... Barner has 19 rushing TDs and needs two to tie LaMichael James' single-season school mark of 21. ... Of Oregon's 63 TD drives, 20 have taken a minute or less. ... Backup QB Allan Bridgford could start for the Bears in place of injured starter Zach Maynard. Bridgford is just 4 for 16 this season. ... Cal's defense has forced 15 turnovers the past five games. ... Cal RB C.J. Anderson is coming off a career-high 160 yards rushing in last week's loss to Washington, including one carry for 64 yards. Anderson has topped 100 yards three times in the past five games.