Oregon-Cal grades: Webb, Watson lead Golden Bears to win
Here are the biggest takeaways and highest graded players from the California Golden Bears’ 52-49 win over the Oregon Ducks.
California Golden Bears
QB Grade: Davis Webb 67.5
Webb efficient in short passing game
QB Davis Webb was 36 of 40 on passes that traveled 10 yards or less. In a marathon game that saw more than 250 plays and two overtimes, it was clear the Golden Bears wanted to utilize the quick passing game and up-tempo offense against the Ducks. Of Webb’s 325 yards through the air, 257 came from those short passes that traveled less than 10 yards. That type of offense allows the QB to get the ball out of their hands fast, which is why Webb was only pressured on eight of his 55 drop backs.
Top offensive grades:
HB Tre Watson 82.7
C Addison Ooms 81.1
T Patrick Mekari 76.5
HB Khalfani Muhammad 71.1
G Chris Borrayo 70.1
Tre Watson makes big contributions
HB Tre Watson was the team’s highest-graded offensive player with Cal relying on him a substantial amount. He had a team-high 27 carries and averaged 5.6 yards per carry while also forcing six missed tackles. Watson finished with 202 all purpose yards on offense as he contributed 50 yards receiving on five receptions while also hauling in two touchdowns. Both running backs carried a heavy workload as Muhammad and Watson combined for 300 yards rushing with 149 of those coming after contact.
Top defensive grades:
LB Jordan Kunaszyk 85.7
S Khari Vanderbilt 83
DT Marcus Manley 77.3
CB Cameron Walker 71.3
DT James Looney 67.8
LB Kunaszyk comes up big in OT thriller
Linebacker Jordan Kunaszyk sealed the game for the Golden Bears as he intercepted Freshman QB Justin Herbert. Kunaszyk was playing underneath on a post route, Herbert didn’t see him and the linebacker got a hand to it, tipping it to himself for the pick. On top of the interception, Kunaszyk finished with six tackles and five stops. Josh Drayden had a tougher time in coverage as he gave up seven catches on 10 targets for 73 yards and three touchdowns, but in a game where you’re on the field for 37 coverage snaps it can be tough to shut opposing WR’s down.
QB grade: Justin Herbert 75.0
Herbert shows poise after comeback falls just short
With his Ducks trailing 31-14 at the end of the first half, it was entirely possible this game could turn into a rout before too long. Credit the freshman QB in making some big throws in helping lead his team back and taking it two overtimes. Herbert was pressured on only six of his 38 dropbacks, on plays where Herbert wasn’t pressured he completed 55 percent for 230 yards and a whopping six touchdowns. Herbert spread the ball around as he connected with seven different receivers, his favorite being Charles Nelson whom he targeted 12 times.
Top offensive grades:
C Jake Hanson 81.5
WR Charles Nelson 77.7
TE Pharaoh Brown 74.1
T Calvin Throckmorton 73.3
HB Tony Brooks-James 71.4
Offensive line protects young quarterback
As mentioned above, QB Herbert was only pressured on six of his 38 drop backs. Part of that is due to Herbert getting the ball out of his hands fast, part is due to the offensive line doing their job to give him time. The unit allowed only four quarterback hurries and one sack on the evening. Royce Freeman had a quiet night as he ended with 15 yards on 10 carries. Tony Brooks-James on the other hand showed speed in space and took advantage of running lanes as he gained 108 yards on 15 carries with a long of 43 and caught three passes for 38 yards.
Top defensive grades:
LB Jimmie Swain 78.6
CB Brendan Schooler 76.9
LB De’Quan McDowell 76.3
CB Ugo Amadi 74.8
S Tyree Robinson 72.9
Swain top graded defender as defense struggles
It’s tough to find many highlights when your defense allows 314 rushing yards and 325 passing yards. LB Jimmie Swain was one LB who was able to evade blocks at the second level to support the run as he finished with 8 tackles, four of them being stops, to go along with a QB hit. The Ducks were unable to muster much pressure on opposing QB Webb as they only hurried him four times and hit him twice. Freshman LB Troy Dye ended with eight tackles as well but was taken advantage of in coverage as he was thrown at nine times, giving up six catches for 63 yards and a score.