Cal upends No. 23 Oregon, dings Ducks’ Pac-12 title hopes
California threw a wrench into 23rd-ranked Oregon’s Pac-12 title hopes Saturday night, holding the Ducks scoreless in the second half en route to a 21-17 upset in Berkeley, Calif.
Chase Garbers threw a 28-yard, go-ahead touchdown pass to Nikko Remigio with 5:14 remaining in the third quarter, and the Golden Bears (1-3, 1-3 Pac-12) forced two turnovers on Oregon’s final three possessions, denying the Ducks (3-2, 3-2) the inside track to the Pac-12 North title.
Oregon will host Washington (3-1) in its regular-season finale next week with a chance to catch the first-place Huskies, but Saturday’s second loss by the Ducks also opened the door for as many as three other teams in the chase.
The Ducks had one last chance to win when they held the Bears on downs at the Oregon 25-yard line with 2:01 to play.
Tyler Shough threw 12-, 13- and 5-yard completions to quickly get Oregon into Cal territory, but a fourth completion, this one to Johnny Johnson III, resulted in a fumble after a hit by Kuony Deng. Fellow Cal linebacker Muelu Iosefa recovered with 52 seconds left to secure Cal’s win.
After scoring touchdowns the last two times they had the ball in the first half, the Ducks couldn’t score on any of their seven second-half possessions, which ended in four punts, two fumbles and a fourth-down failure.
Garbers went 20-for-32 passing for 183 yards and the touchdown toss to Remigio. Garbers also scored on a 1-yard run in the first half for Cal, which played turnover-free ball.
Shough finished 14-for-26 for 231 yards and one score. He also rushed 13 times for 53 yards, but coughed up one of Oregon’s second-half fumbles.
Oregon’s Travis Dye was the game’s leading rusher with 71 yards on 12 carries. He also ran up a game-high 85 receiving yards on just two catches.
Oregon scored twice in the final 2:08 of the first half to erase an 11-point deficit and take a 17-14 lead into the break.
Shough threw 39 yards to Johnson for the first of the two touchdowns. Then, after a Cal punt, he connected with Dye for 67 yards to set up a 1-yard plunge by Cyrus Habibi-Likio two plays with 23 seconds left in the half.
Shough had 171 yards and a TD on just seven completions in the half.
Cal’s first-half scores came on 1-yard runs by Garbers and Bradrick Shaw.
–Field Level Media