Earlier this week, Chris McCain expressed confidence that the Bears would be able to hold Oregon's high scoring Blur offense to below 42 points.
When asked on Wednesday if he felt the same way, defensive end Deandre Coleman agreed.
“Everybody on the defense gotta do their job, come out and play with 100% effort, execute the game plan, and we should be able to match that – or come out with a win.”
“I feel like we could shut them out if we come out and play how we're supposed to play and execute everything. I'm pretty sure we could do that.”
With the Bears missing Mustafa Jalil, Kendrick Payne battling back from hand surgery, and a myriad of other players questionable for Saturday's game, Coleman admitted that depth could become an issue, especially with the pace the Ducks play at.
“[The tempo] will probably be a little factor. We'll get tired, but we have enough to rotate, so we should be good. We should be good.”
Cal has also faced many running quarterbacks this season, but one thing that seems to appear in every evaluation of Oregon QB Marcus Mariota is his speed.
“From the film, he's pretty fast,” Coleman said. “Very fast. He's very shifty, has a little wiggle to him when he moves, so we have to contain him. He's pretty good. Pretty good at throwing efficient passes, never tries to overthrow himself or anything.”
They have “a lot of weapons,” he admitted.
However, the focus for Saturday will not be on Mariota or Barner or Thomas specifically, but rather, “Executing the game plan. The game plan is made to shut them down. All of them.”
“If we go out there and execute that, we should be able to beat them. And tackle efficiently, too.”
“These last two games, they're our bowl games,” Coleman said. “They're our bowl games. We're playing two pretty good teams. Oregon's undefeated, Oregon State's lost one game this season, so I'm looking at it like we're trying knock them off their course. Whatever they're trying to do – go to the National Championship – to try to end that for them, all hopes for them.”
“I don't see any drop off in effort. I feel like we're working harder these last two games, trying to beat Oregon. It's always a great game, great game coming off a great week.”
While they remain four touchdown underdogs coming into Saturday's game, Coleman's – and McCain's - comments suggest that what the team lacks in victories, they still have in perseverance and effort, and continuing to roll on despite the odds.