Cal Bears’ upset bid dies at Oregon 2

Oregon quarterback Anthony Brown threw a touchdown and ran for one in the final 12 minutes on Friday night as the No. 9 Ducks held off Cal 24-17 at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Ore.

The Bears got the ball to the 2-yard line in the final seconds before their upset bid was turned back.

Brown, whose performance this season has sometimes drawn criticism from Oregon fans, scrambled 11 yards to the end zone with 4:50 left as the Ducks (5-1, 2-1 Pac-12) scored the game’s final 14 points.

Cal (1-5, 0-3) remains winless in road games against AP Top-10 teams since a 17-14 win at No. 10 Indiana in 1969. The Bears are now 0-34-1 in those circumstances over the past 52 years.

But this was a much-improved effort by Cal, which was coming off a lackluster 21-6 home loss to Washington State in its most recent game two weeks ago.

The Bears drove from their own 25-yard line to the Oregon 2 in the final moments before Chase Garbers threw incomplete against a blitz up the middle on a fourth-down play with 2 seconds left.

Garbers extended the drive when he pushed a backhand pass to Kekoa Crawford on a fourth-and-4 play just before being taken to the ground by Oregon star Kayvon Thibodeaux. Crawford landed at the 3 for a first down with 15 seconds left.

The Bears and Ducks traded touchdowns within a span of 2 minutes, 14 seconds early in the fourth quarter for a 17-all score headed into the stretch run.

Garbers was 4-for-4 passing on the Bears’ scoring drive, hitting tight end Gavin Reinwald with a 4-yard TD to put Cal ahead 17-10 with 13:37 left.

Oregon needed just five plays to draw even, as Brown hit Jaylon Redd with a 20-yard TD at 11:23.

Cal tied the score at 10-all with 8:34 left in the third quarter on a season-long 45-yard field goal by Dario Longhetto. The key play on the drive for Cal was a 26-yard pass from Garbers to Jeremiah Hunter.

The Ducks scored first on a career-long 49-yard field goal by Camden Lewis, capping the game’s opening drive.

Cal answered impressively, going 75 yards in 13 plays. The Bears mixed and run and pass effectively and were 3-for-3 on third-down conversions.

The touchdown came on a 9-yard pass to tight end Jake Tonges, who took the ball in the right flat and reached it across the goal line before tumbling to the ground for a 7-3 lead with 5:23 left in the opening quarter.

Oregon regained the lead with a seven-play, 67-yard drive that included completions of 19 and 21 yards from Brown to Devon Williams but was capped by Travis Dye’s 11-yard TD run with 5:17 left in the half.

Oregon obtained Cal 288 yards to 144 in the first half, but the Bears forced a pair of turnovers by a team that had just two in its first five games. Safety Elijah Hicks and linebacker Marqez Bimage each caused and recovered fumbles for the Bears.

 

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Author: Jeff Faraudo

EastBayTimes