In three games, the Oregon defense has just 3 interceptions.
In 2012, after three games, the Ducks defense also had just three thefts.
A crazy thing happened though, after last seasons game three.
When Pac-12 play began, the Oregon defense went on to grab 23 additional interceptions in the following 10 games to lead the country with 26.
Duck safety Brian Jackson had 2 of those – one of which came against Cal in the Ducks 59-14 win at Memorial Coliseum.
Fast forward to this year and Jackson hopes history repeats itself against one of the nations best passing attacks which is averaging 438 yards per game led by freshman quarterback Jared Goff.
“Let’s hope so” said Jackson when asked about grabbing a pick in Saturday’s game.
“I don’t want to call it or anything like that,..but I’m looking for it every time so if it’s up there I’m going to try and get one.”
Goff so far has accumulated 1,316 yards and is completing 61% of his passes. Through the air, Goff has completed 104 of 169 passes with 8 touchdowns and 4 interceptions.
The young freshman enters Autzen Stadium on Saturday as the nations second best passer in average yards per game ( 438 pg ) slightly behind Sean Mannion of Oregon State.
Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti sees it as a huge challenge but warns it could be a very late night,…for coaches, players and fans.
“We’re going to be here late Saturday night. Real late,” said Aliotti after Tuesday’s practice.
“I don’t know why they moved ( the kickoff ) to 7:30 pm.”
Aliotti was referencing the nearly 50 passes Goff and his Cal Bears throw per game.
As for the tempo, the new Cal offense designed by first year head coach Sonny Dykes is designed to play ‘Oregon’ fast.
According to team statistics, the Bears offense is averaging just under 95 plays per game.
“We can’t match that,” says Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich.
“Hopefully our guys are used to playing up-tempo. Our communication, how we do those things different, hopefully pays off in a situation like this.”
Brian Jackson thinks it will.
“In practice, you probably don’t even have 10 seconds in order to get ready for the next play,” say’s Jackson.
“I’m pretty sure that a ref would spot it a little bit slower than that. I think we’ll be prepared.”
When asked about the pace of Oregon’s practice sessions, Aliotti described the tempo as ‘ridiculous’ – balls are immediately spotted after each play he told reporters.
“We’ve seen guys snap the ball fast before, and it’s not going to make our guys instantly uncomfortable,” Helfrich said Tuesday.
“You can see in some of these other games there’s teams that aren’t lined up or trying to substitute at the wrong time. Hopefully, that’s not something that throws us off too much.”
For Jackson, it’s all about making adjustments once the game begins.
“You see how they roll, and then we adjust to it,” Jackson said.
“If it’s faster than we’re used to, then that’s going to be pretty fast.”
VIDEO; Watch the video interview by clicking on the arrow in the video box above.