EUGENE, Ore. -- The numbers promise to be bloated Saturday night when Cal faces No. 2 Oregon in the Pac-12 Conference opener for both teams.

And it's hard to find a combination of those figures that adds up to a victory for the Bears, rated as 37-point underdogs. Cal has failed to cover the spread in its past nine games, according to OddsShark.com -- the longest such streak in the nation.

The over/under betting total for the game is 83 points -- the third-largest in college football since 2000.

Even that number might not contain these two fast-paced teams. Cal (1-2) has gone "over" in its past five games, and Oregon (3-0) has gone over in its past three, thanks to an offense producing more than 61 points per game.

"They remind you of a basketball team," Cal coach Sonny Dykes said. "Huge momentum swings take place in their games sometimes. You watch the film and it's 7-0, and all of a sudden it's 52-0. It's like their touchdowns are worth 25 points each."

It seemed that way when the teams met in Berkeley last season. Cal trailed just 24-17 midway through the third quarter before the Ducks scored 35 straight points in a 17-minute blitz for a 59-17 victory.

The teams appear capable of producing even more points this time. Cal, led by prolific freshman quarterback Jared Goff, is better offensively. And the Ducks can strike quickly, with 21 touchdown drives of less than 2 minutes in duration.

Two factors weigh heavily in Oregon's favor:


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  • The Ducks are far more efficient in the red zone, scoring 13 touchdowns on 19 drives that crossed the opponent's 20-yard line. Cal has manufactured just seven touchdowns on 14 similar opportunities, settling for field goals on six occasions.

    "Everybody moves the ball between the 20s these days," said David Purdum of OddsShark.com, a website dedicated to the sports betting industry. "It's who scores touchdowns and who holds teams to field goals. That plays big into it."

  • Oregon's defense is clearly superior. The Ducks are allowing just 9.0 points per game, while Cal ranks 119th out of 123 FBS teams at 42.0 points per game.

    The Ducks are deeper, healthier, more experienced and faster.

    "You look at them on defense and you see there's a little bit of grass here," Dykes said. "All of a sudden there's four or five guys who are in it."

    That speed, coupled with Oregon's prolific offense, allows the defense to play aggressively.

    "It puts pressure on you," Dykes said, "because they're not afraid to take chances."

    So, what is the recipe for slowing down the Oregon offense?

    "Believe it or not," Dykes said, "the same way people slowed down the Four Horsemen at Notre Dame -- line up correctly, open-field tackle, create turnovers, play without penalties, limit big plays. Really good fundamental defensive stuff."

    More big numbers:

    209: The NCAA record for most plays by both teams in a game seems out of reach, despite Cal's Bear Raid offense averaging 94.7 plays.

    70: Percentage chance of rain Saturday night in Eugene, according to weather.com.

    67: Total minutes Oregon has had possession of the football in three games, during which time the Ducks have scored 184 points.

    JONATHAN FERREY/GETTY IMAGES
    De'Anthony Thomas (6) and Oregon are averaging over 61 points per game.