Ducks look to put Stanford behind them, bounce back against Cal

Oregon football is hoping to shake the bad stench of its 38-31 overtime loss to No. 7 Stanford. The Ducks had multiple opportunities to pull away and win the game, but crucial mistakes gave the Cardinal life.

No. 19 Oregon’s opportunity against No. 24 Cal is one where the Ducks can move on. That’s part of the theme of this weeks’ practice.

“Just to keep at it, to not let it define us and to keep playing our brand of football,” quarterback Justin Herbert said. “It’s a tough game for sure, but we learn from it and we’ll pick it up this week.”

Saturday’s postgame was a time of emotion, and Sunday was tough as well. Offensive coordinator Marcus Arroyo is not worried about any hangover affect.

“The older you get, the more you forget how resilient youth is,” he said. “I think our guys have been really good about responding. At times we older heads take it worse than they do and have trouble getting over it. They’ve been really good, and we’ve moved on.”

They’ll need to, because Cal is much improved from a season ago. The Golden Bears are one the Pac-12’s best defenses, ranking third in the conference in yards allowed. Cal is also the conferences’ best at intercepting quarterbacks. Its defenses has seven pics in three games.

Herbert, who threw an game-ending interception in triple overtime against Cal in 2016, will have to take care of the ball again. Herbert’s experience in Berkeley, California, was good overall despite the loss.

“It was a tough game but I thought we played pretty well and the offense kind of picked it up late in the game, and unfortunately came up short but it was a great learning experience and something I still remember and still learn from,” he said.

The Ducks are favored, but Arroyo believes it won’t be easy. Cal is in year two under head coach Justin Wilcox, and they are currently 3-0.

“They’ll be improved much like we were in our first year last year and in the second year,” Arroyo said. “They’ll be improved and they’ll be ready for us.”

Follow Jack Butler on Twitter @Butler917

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