Sport

Cal beat: Bears shuffle linebackers for game against Oregon

EUGENE, Ore. – With Cal’s announcement this week that junior Cameron Saffle is expected to miss the rest of the season with a lower-body injury, the Bears shuffled their linebacking corps Saturday night against Oregon.

Sophomore Evan Weaver started at inside linebacker, alongside Devante Downs, moving senior Raymond Davison III to a reserve outside linebacker spot. Cal also returned backup inside linebacker Jordan Kunaszyk, who had been out since Week 1, and got snaps from Hamilton Anoa’i and Malik Psalms behind starting outside linebackers Cameron Goode and Alex Funches.

Saffle hadn’t played since Week 1, when he had six tackles, including a half sack, at North Carolina. Head coach Justin Wilcox said Wednesday that he didn’t expect the Bears’ best outside blitzer to play again this season.

“It’s always tough when it’s a guy like that, who puts in so much time and works so hard at it,” Wilcox said. “You really feel for him. These things aren’t easy. With his mentality and work ethic, he’ll bounce back from it.”

Downs getting attention: Downs, who went into Saturday’s game leading the Pac-12 with 11.5 tackles per game, was added to the watch list for the Ronnie Lott Impact Trophy, which is given each season to the nation’s most impactful defensive player.

Cal’s first two-time conference Defensive Player of the Week since Mike Mohamed in 2010, Downs had 46 tackles, five for losses, three sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery in the Bears’ first four games.

Academic Heisman semifinalist: Cal placekicker Matt Anderson, who is climbing Cal’s all-time scoring list, was named a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, which is considered college football’s Academic Heisman.

Anderson, who graduated from the Haas School of Business in May and is working toward a master’s degree in cultural studies of sport, went into Saturday’s game with 252 points. That ranked sixth all-time at Cal, trailing No. 1 Doug Brien by 36.

The finalists for the award will be announced Nov. 1, and each of them will receive an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship. The winner will be named Dec. 5 and have the scholarship increased to $25,000.

Cal center Alex Mack won the award in 2007, and Mohammed was a finalist in 2010.

Injured receivers: Demetris Roberson and Melquise Stovall, who combined for 92 catches for 1,182 yards and 10 touchdowns as freshmen last year, missed the game with undisclosed injuries.

Rusty Simmons is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: rsimmons@sfchronicle.com @Twitter: @Rusty_SFChron


Cal-Oregon

Saturday night’s game at Autzen Stadium ended too late for this edition. For complete coverage, visit sfchronicle.com.

Pac-12 standings

North

Team

Conf.

All

Washington St.

2-0

5-0

Washington

2-0

5-0

Stanford

2-1

3-2

Cal (n)

0-1

3-1

Oregon (n)

0-1

3-1

Oregon State

0-2

1-4

South

Team

Conf.

All

Utah

1-0

4-0

USC

2-1

4-1

Arizona State

1-1

2-3

Colorado (n)

0-1

3-1

Arizona

0-1

2-2

UCLA (n)

0-1

2-2


Cal schedule

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