Berkeley, CA – The No. 19 Oregon Ducks (4-1, 1-1) showed no loss in swagger in first-year head coach Mario Cristobal’s first road test,defeating the No. 24 Cal Golden Bears (3-1, 0-1) 42-24 under the lights at California Memorial Stadium.
Following their dramatic loss to Stanford at home last week, Oregon played a well-rounded game led by quarterback Justin Herbert and its defense, which ultimately secure five turnovers on the night.
Herbert caught praise from Cristobal as well as Cal head coach Justin Wilcox following another prolific performance displaying the type of play that has NFL scouts on watch.
“You’re going to hear me say it every single week, he continues to elevate his game,” Cristobal said. “He was on point 99 percent of the time today.”
Herbert finished with 225 yards and two touchdowns on 16-of-22 passing.
Wilcox after the game called him an “elite talent.”
After a short round of back-and-forth scoring, the Ducks broke away with a 21-point second quarter, capped by a fumble return touchdown from outside linebacker La’Mar Winston (32) to go up 28-10 at the half.
In the second half, Oregon would stretch the lead to 35-10 before the Golden Bears threatened a comeback with two touchdown drives, finished off first by senior running back Patrick Laird (28), followed by a toss from quarterback Brandon McIlwain (5) to Jordan Duncan (2), to make it 35-24.
But Ugochukwu Amadi (7) would cut all of Cal’s momentum with a pick-six, before freshman and fellow safety Jevon Holland (8) would seal the game with his second interception.
McIlwain and Garbers combined for 172 yards through the air on 15-of-30 attempts with just one touchdown and four interceptions.
The Golden Bears offense was dominated by its run game. McIlwain picked up 123 yards on fifteen attempts to go along with his rushing touchdown, and Laird would add 92 yards the ground with his score.
Wilcox said he was encouraged by his team’s fight in the game, ready to move on and learn from the loss.
“Nobody quit. We don’t have quitters. We’ve just got to play cleaner and we’ve got to take advantage of opportunities,” he said. “The tape will show it but our guys play hard, they compete, they play for each other and we can do some good things. We’ll use this experience to learn from and they’ll bounce back on Monday.”
The Cal Golden Bears will travel to Tucson to take on the Arizona Wildcats in another night matchup at 7 p.m. PST, while the Oregon Ducks will look to ride their confidence following the win through their bye week and into their rivalry match-up with the Washing Huskies in Eugene on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018.