EUGENE- The first quarter of Saturday's game played out more like a game of hot potato in a swimming pool than a football game.
The first four Cal possession came up all fumbles. Two by frosh quarterback Jared Goff, both when the ball slipped as he prepared to cock it back and fire.
"They got off to about as bad as a start as you could possibly get off to," said defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti.
How much of that had to with the monsoon that ensued around them?
"They might have let the weather get to them more than we did," said defensive back Ifo Ekpre-Olomu.
"I think the first three times the poor kid was trying to throw the ball, it went backwards or something," said Aliotti.
Sloppy conditions or not, it was the Ducks who pounced on each of the four loose balls.
Oshay Dunmore, Rodney Hardrick, Alex Balducci and DeForrest Buckner each recovered fumbles.
Goff's play was so against Bears coach Sonny Dykes liking that he removed him after their fifth drive. Goff had led the nation in passing yards entering the game, tallying 435 per contest, but had just 11 Saturday.
"You could see that he was struggling," said Ekpre-Olomu.
"We had all kinds of disguises and stuff we were going to do to the young quarterback and all this elaborate looks and we didn't use any of them because we didn't need to," said Aliotti.
His replacement, fellow freshman Zach Kline, wasn't much better on his first series.
Kline drove the Bears to the Oregon 15 before lofting a pass right into the arms of Ekpre-Olomu in the end zone.
Five drives. Five turnovers.
A first half shutout was cut short on the half's final play, a Vincenzo D'Amato 46-yard field goal.
Cal ran 51 first half plays, in large part due to the Oregon offenses success, for just 175 yards.
Cal scored its first touchdown of the game midway through the third quarter on a two-yard Jeffrey Coprich run. The score came three plays following an Ekpre-Olomu pass interference call that placed the ball on the two and seven after Chad Delaney muffed a punt.
Plays like the pass interference were disheartening to Aliotti, he said, especially in the their quest to get better.
"Remember, we're trying to run away from good to be great and the only way you do that is to practice and play every down as it's supposed to be played.
"If we don't get a pass-interference and score on that interception, that would've been closer. If we don't have 12-men on the field when we recover the fumble, that would've been closer to great."
Reserve linebacker Joe Walker led the Ducks with nine tackles.