Sept. 26, 2009
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - Jeremiah Masoli answered his doubters by throwing for 253 yards and three touchdowns in Oregon's 42-3 upset of sixth-ranked California on Saturday.
Masoli went into the game without a scoring pass this season, prompting Ducks fans to call for his benching. But he responded by completing 21 of 25 passes for the Ducks (3-1), who had 524 yards in total offense to Cal's 206 yards.
Tailback Jahvid Best ran for just 55 yards for the Golden Bears (3-1). Widely considered a top Heisman contender, Best went into the game ranked third in the nation with an average of 137.33 yards on the ground.
Oregon tight end Ed Dickson had 11 catches for a career-best 148 yards. He caught all three of Masoli's scoring passes.
Cal scored on Vince D'Amato's 47-yard field goal early after Oregon fumbled on its opening kickoff return.
The Golden Bears would not score again.
Oregon tied it with Morgan Flint's 30-yard field goal. Masoli completed five passes on the scoring drive - surpassing the four completions he had last weekend in Oregon's 31-24 victory over then-No. 18 Utah.
Despite the win, Masoli was widely criticized for his performance and many suggested the Ducks go with backup Nate Costa against Cal. Oregon first-year coach Chip Kelly was steadfast in support of Masoli.
His first touchdown pass of the season was a 26-yard strike to Dickson that opened the second quarter. Masoli then tossed to Flint, who scampered into the end zone for the conversion to put the Ducks up 11-3.
After D'Amato missed a 43-yard attempt, Oregon pushed its lead to 18-3 on Remene Alston's 1-yard TD dive. LaMichael James ran for a 4-yard touchdown just before halftime to make it 25-3.
James is among a trio of backs that Oregon has looked to since LeGarrette Blount was suspended for punching a Boise State player in the aftermath of the season opener. Blount is out for the season, but he is allowed to practice and this week wore Best's No. 4 jersey on the practice squad.
James finished with 21 carries for 118 yards.
In the third quarter, Dickson caught scoring passes of nine and 36 yards from Masoli as Oregon went up 39-3. Ironically, fans who called for Costa got their wish when Masoli left the game early in the fourth quarter.
Flint added a 42-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.
Last weekend Best tied a Pac-10 record with five rushing touchdowns to lead the Golden Bears to a 35-21 victory at Minnesota, for which he earned Pac-10 player of the week honors.
But Oregon was able to shut him and the rest of Cal's running game down. The Golden Bears had just 77 yards on the ground.
Cal was averaging 488.7 yards in total offense going into the game to rank 11th nationally, and gaining 250.33 yards on the ground.
The Ducks were wearing throwback uniforms from the late 90s, featuring yellow helmets with an entwined UO.