Who can be least sloppy between Cal and Oregon?
Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller
BERKELEY, Calif. -- California is winning this slop-fest in a drenched Memorial Stadium because it looks more comfortable dealing with the conditions than the Oregon Ducks, who hail from the sodden Pacific Northwest.
The first half has been about turnovers: three for Cal, two for Oregon.
And special-teams screwups. Oregon has muffed a hold on a PAT, given up a safety when a snap sailed over the punter's head and failed on a fake punt. Cal has missed two field goals, one due to a muffed snap.
If you like offense, well, you might want to turn away, particularly Ducks fans.
Oregon had 46 yards and three first downs on its opening drive, which produced a touchdown, the team's only points. It finished the half with 76 yards and six first downs.
Meanwgile, Cal has a respectable 264 yards -- the Bears' mix-and-match offensive line has dramatically outplayed their counterparts -- but only lead 16-6. And the Bears only secured that margin by scoring a touchdown with 18 seconds left before halftime.
Of course, that touchdown came because Cal took advantage of Oregon's sloppiness. Linebacker Worrell Williams returned a Jeremiah Masoli interception 50 yards to the Ducks 3-yard line.
And that will decide this game: Who can better handle the conditions in the second half?
The weather isn't going to get much better -- water is accumulating in the north end zone, meaning the Memorial Stadium drainage system is struggling.
If Oregon is going to come back, it's going to have to force Cal to make some more mistakes -- only the team has to take advantage of them, which the Ducks didn't in the first half.