The Ducks' high-speed offense is rolling along at its standard blistering pace until ... a player from the other team goes down with an injury, stopping play, stopping momentum.
Trainers come out, everybody waits as the player is taken off the field and the Ducks don't get to play so fast after all.
Now the Ducks, they don't want to say that anybody is faking ... they'll leave that to their fans and television commentators and bloggers. But they won't say that they are not faking either.
Cal is the latest Pac-10 team to be the target of such soccer-esque accusations.
"If the league wants to look into stuff like that, that's their prerogative. It's not coming from me," Ducks coach Chip Kelly said Tuesday. "I hear the boos sometimes when I'm calling plays, but I'm not sure what they are booing."
Coy is not a look that works on Kelly very convincingly. It certainly doesn't work on game day.
"Obviously, you don't know when a player is really injured or not and it's kind of tough, but I'm not sure what can be done about it," Kelly said. "If teams are doing that, and I don't know that they are, you have basically thrown up the white flag and said you can't play at our pace. I don't know if you really want to say that you can't play the style of football that we're playing."
Kelly said the Oregon fans who are protesting this alleged tactic are "pretty intelligent."
"I know what our fans' reaction is when someone's carted off the field and he looks like he's going to surgery, and then he's back immediately the next play," he said. "We've played in games where there are three or four guys down on a play."
But the legitimacy of injuries is not an easy issue for officials. How can a referee tell who is faking or legitimately hurt? What if they are wrong? What is there to say?
"We're stuck,'' Dave Cutaia, the coordinator of officials for the Pacific-10 Conference told The Oregonian earlier this week. "The only thing an official can do - and this is at every level - is if they see what looks like an injury, they have to stop the clock. We can't get in the business of deciding whether it's valid or not.''
Cal coach Jeff Tedford responded to a question about whether his players were faking injuries last weekend this way: "People get hurt during games and with fast tempo stuff, there's cramps and that kind of thing.
"That's not the deal. Anytime anyone goes down against Oregon, they always think that's the case, but that's not the case. I guess that's what I'd say."
Below is a quirky youtube highlighting what many Oregon fans believe is a faux-injury.
Oregon State Struggles
Oregon State Mike Riley remarked that the struggles of his football team in the last two weeks was causing him to lose his hair.
He was joking, right?
But what's not to make light of is the fact that the Beavers are in danger of falling off the map in the Pac-10. The Beavers have lost two straight. They still need two wins to become bowl eligible with three games to go against USC, Stanford and Oregon.
It is not a great spot to be.
Was it a tough non-conference schedule, with losses to TCU and Boise State, that took the wind out of their sails?
Was it the loss of captain James Rodgers, the dynamic wide receiver and big brother to Jacquizz Rodgers?
Is the play of the offensive line, which doesn't seem to be able to get Jacquizz Rodgers the running room he had in his previous two seasons?
"It's like we are in a free-fall here, and we've got to fight our way out of it," Riley said.
Riley's team will get a big opportunity to do that this weekend with USC coming into town. The Trojans have lost two of their past three games at Reser Stadium.
But those were against Beaver teams playing better than this one is right now.
"The last couple of weeks have been steps back. We will find out a lot this week. It's a test of everybody's courage and character," Riley said. "It wasn't that long ago where we played good football and won a big game. Where has that team gone?"
Stanford. At 9-1, the Cardinal are in such good shape as the second-best team in the Pac-10 that what happens against Cal on Saturday likely won't impact their Rose Bowl chances. Gutting out a victory in Tempe on Saturday night only makes Stanford's season more impressive. That game would have been a loss just a couple of years ago.
USC. The Trojans aren't having any trouble staying motivated through the end of a season that will finish with the UCLA game on Dec. 4. After losses to Oregon and Stanford, USC came back to beat one of the league's other top-flight teams in Arizona on Saturday.
Arizona. The Wildcats reached the hard part of their schedule and, well, it got really hard. Arizona lost to Stanford and USC. And now ... a day-after-Thanksgiving date with Oregon.
Arizona State. Arizona State joined Washington State as the Pac-10 teams eliminated from bowl contention. The Sun Devils' 17-13 loss to Stanford sealed their fate. It's small consolation that they lost four games by a total of nine points.
"There is no consolation whatsoever," said ASU coach Dennis Erickson. "Two months from now, nobody will care how close you came. It's a matter of winning and losing."
Washington. The Huskies are coming off a bye and hoping to start fresh in an effort to end a three-game losing streak. Jake Locker has been cleared to play in his last home game Thursday against UCLA. Washington needs to win out in order to earn a bowl berth.
A Total Mystery
Cal. This is a team that lost three out of five games, which should put it in the "down" column. But this is also the team that played toe-to-toe with Oregon and held the Ducks to season-low totals in points and yardage.
Will the real Bears please stand up? More relevantly, will the real Bears stand up Saturday against Stanford at home where they have allowed a total of 49 points all season?