California 28, Oregon 27
-- California's fate was in Keith Allen's hands, and the Oregon receiver dropped the ball.
Geoff McArthur caught eight passes for 121 yards and two touchdowns, and fourth-ranked Cal's defense stopped Oregon near midfield with 1 minute 39 seconds left when Allen couldn't hold the final pass in the Golden Bears' 28-27 victory on Saturday that solidified their Bowl Championship Series hopes.
"Winning the close games is everything," said McArthur, who became Cal's career leader in receptions. "That one could have gone either way, depending on the fourth quarter. We got a good break at the end, but if he'd caught that ball, who knows?"
Aaron Rodgers passed for 275 yards and three touchdowns, and J.J. Arrington ran for 188 yards and a score for the Bears (7-1, 5-1 Pacific-10), who barely kept alive their big postseason dreams with a strong second half after falling behind 27-14 in the second quarter.
Kellen Clemens threw four touchdown passes in the first half for the Ducks (5-4, 4-2), who seemed headed for an upset after a dominant first half. But two key mistakes made the difference: Jared Siegel missed an extra point in the first quarter, and Oregon's final drive ended when Allen dropped an easy fourth-down pass that could have put the Ducks well within field goal range.
Cal snapped a seven-game losing streak against Oregon with Coach Jeff Tedford's first victory over the school where he served as Mike Bellotti's offensive coordinator for four years.
"I only had time to go 'Whoo!' when it landed," Tedford said of Oregon's final play. "It was a gut-wrencher."