Friday, October 31, 2008

Oregon vs. Cal

I am headed over with a group of 13 to Berkeley tomorrow. It is a mixture of Ducks and Bears but we have one thing in common, we are family. Any time you can get the family out for a football game it is awesome. We are leaving early in the morning so we can tailgate with breakfast burritos, pastries and beverages of one's choosing. It all has me wondering if I am even going to be able to sleep tonight. The threat of rain (90% chance) does not bother me at all. Though sunshine would be nice, the opportunity to see the Ducks trumps that. There is not a single Duck fan that follows this blog that wants me to make a prediction so I won't. My upset specials have been anything but special. I will predict a couple of things though.

First, my brother-in-law (a Duck grad) has no idea how happy he will be that he got Lasik surgery done today. Though he may not be fully recovered, without the surgery he would have had zero chance of seeing the Cal video board. Now with those wicked shades the doctor provided him there is hope that he will be able to see a Duck touchdown on the screen.

My other prediction is that the game will be close. I do not see the Ducks winning a blowout and Tedford's ultra-conservative playcalling when in the lead means this one will be a nailbiter. I'll provide a layman's breakdown of the key positions.

The Ducks appear to have the advantage on the lines since Cal's O-line is banged up. The quarterback position isn't necessarily a strength for either side but if forced to I would give the slight edge to Oregon since for whatever reason Riley has not been the man for the entire season.

Running backs end up being a draw for me and that is because of the linebacker play. As long as I have been a Duck fan the linebackers have never been better than servicable. This year's bunch doesn't strike fear into anyone and when healthy (not sure how healthy he is at this moment) Jahvid Best is the type of runner that wreaks havoc on unathletic linebackers. On the other side the Ducks running backs are solid and so are the Cal linebackers. That is likely where the game will be won or lost.

I think both secondaries are overrated and more so if the weather is wet. If I'm Masoli I throw at whoever Syd'Quan Thompson is covering. Though he appears to be a Strawberry Canyon favorite I have not seen anything from him that suggests he can actually cover a receiver. His name gets called a lot because he has a knack for tackling the receiver that just caught the ball in front of him. Hopefully the Ducks defensive line is able to make a mess of the pocket so that Riley doesn't have time to find the open receivers.

I admit to knowing very little about the special teams play for either team. Contrary to popular belief I actually have a life. So you have to figure the kickers, along with the weather, is what will decide the game since I have not broken them down. As for the prediction: I'm going 30-27.

1 comment:

Allison said...

I wish I was there!

I agree that it's going to come down to the kickers. Is it too much to ask for our crew not to miss PATs?