Oregon @


Fri, Oct 21
7:30 PM Pacific
Rotation: 311
Odds: California -3, Total: 89.5

Game Analysis

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Strong Opinion – Oregon (+3*)  47   CALIFORNIA  44

Both of these teams should be able to score at will against an opposing defense that appears incapable of putting up a fight. Cal has a pretty good pass defense but that won’t do them much good against an Oregon team that is happy to run the ball all night. The Ducks may actually do that, as Cal has allowed an average of 293 rushing yards per game at 6.3 yards per rushing play (against teams that would average 5.1 yprp against an average defense). I just don’t see how the Bears’ soft defensive front will be able to stop Royce Freeman (7.7 ypr) and the rest of the Ducks’ arsenal of quick running backs that have averaged 268 yards at 6.7 yards per rushing play (against teams that would allow just 4.9 yprp to an average team). I don’t particularly like the switch at quarterback to freshman Justin Herbert but it’s hard to judge him on his one start given that it was against Washington’s great pass defense. I significantly downgraded the Oregon pass attack (by 0.6 yppp) but the math model still projects 649 yards at 7.5 yppl for the Ducks in this game.

Cal’s offense will be able to score easily as well, as the Ducks defense has been even worse than the Bears’ defense so far this season. Oregon has allowed 6.5 yards per play to teams that would combine to average 5.7 yppl against an average team, which is actually 0.1 yppl worse than Cal’s overall defensive rating. However, the matchup is better, as Oregon is a predominately running team and Cal’s defensive weakness is defending the run. Oregon’s defensive weakness is also stopping the run (1.8 yprp worse than average) and the Ducks are actually slightly better than average defending the pass (6.4 yppp allowed to quarterbacks that would average 6.6 yppp against an average team). That matchup is favorable since Cal throws the ball far more often (52.3 pass plays per game) than they run it (29.5 rushing plays per game). I do expect Cal to run the ball more often in this game but Oregon’s defense is relatively better against a team that throws the ball a lot. My math model projects 657 yards at 7.1 yppl for the Bears in this game.

Basically, what we have here is two defensive teams that are a bit better than average defending the pass and among the worst in the nation defending the run. Oregon’s offense, which has been 1.5 yards per play better than average (6.9 yppl against teams that would allow 5.4 yppl to an average attack) is not only more efficient than Cal’s offense (6.5 yppl against teams that would allow 5.9 yppl) but the Ducks will take advantage of their opponent’s defensive weakness more often by running the ball more than the Bears will. Cal is expected to run more plays and the projected total yards is about even but Oregon has an advantage on special teams and the math favors the Ducks by a few points. I’ll consider Oregon a Strong Opinion at +3 points or more.


*Note: The line on this game was moved by a syndicate betting big on Oregon this afternoon. I still lean with Oregon but it was only a Strong Opinion at +3.

  • Team Stats
  • Game Log
  • Oregon
  • California


  • Run Plays 40.3 38.8
  • Run Yards 257.5 242.0
  • YPRP 6.7 6.7


  • Pass Comp 19.3 24.3
  • Pass Att 29.7 38.2
  • Comp % 65.1% 63.7%
  • Pass Yards 237.0 279.2
  • Sacks 2.0 2.7
  • Sack Yards 10.8 19.5
  • Sack % 6.3% 6.5%
  • Pass Plays 31.7 40.8
  • Net Pass Yards 226.2 259.7
  • YPPP 7.1 6.4


  • Total Plays 72.0 79.7
  • Total Yards 494.5 521.2
  • YPPL 6.9 6.5


  • Int 0.5 0.8
  • Int % 1.7% 2.2%
  • Fumbles 0.7 0.2
  • Turnovers 1.2 1.0
  • Points 36.8 41.8
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