Stanford has a wonderful football program. It holds its student-athletes to the same rigorous academic standards as its less athletic students. The Cardinal plays fundamentally sound, physical football. It consistently beats teams not named Oregon. Even in a season when other Pac-12 teams engage in a boorish competition to see which team can embarrass itself the most, Stanford is rock solid—mind-boggling loss to the doogs notwithstanding.
Stanford has the best defense in the Pac-12, and is the best team at stopping the run in the entire country. Statistically, this is the strongest defensive unit Oregon has faced in conference play this year. Much like it was in 2011 and 2010 (SPOILER: 53-30 Ducks and 52-31 Ducks, respectively). No one makes paper tigers like those geniuses down in Palo Alto.
The Ducks dealt Stanford its only regular-season losses in those two seasons. "We don't have an Oregon problem. The entire conference has an Oregon problem," says Stanford coach David Shaw, probably while staring into a mirror in some vain attempt to convince himself. Oregon has won nine of the past 10 meetings between these two programs, dating back to the Cardinal's fluky 49-42 victory in 2001 that ultimately kept the Ducks out of the national championship game. To their credit, Stanford did hand Oregon its most recent road loss in conference play way back in 2009. So there's always that.
In the past, Oregon's athletes have had their way with the highly rated Stanford defenders, which has sourced a wellspring of adulation from the national press. The Cardinal defense is even better this year [Statistically-Ed.] and their offense has shown some signs of life following the cancellation of the Josh Nunes Experiment. Paul Finebaum, author of I Hate Stanford, has pegged this mighty defense to slow down the vaunted Oregon offense in his
SEC echo chamber radio program. Maybe this year will be different—or, to paraphrase noted scholar Wayne Campbell, monkeys might fly out of my butt. There's a reason why Oregon is favored by three touchdowns today.
RT @georgeschroeder: Oregon, Stanford trade -- I know, this is hard to fathom -- punts to start the game.â Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) November 18, 2012
Watch LB's Alonso and Clay 47 & 46 for Oregon swarm all over the field. Football players.â David Pollack(@davidpollack47) November 18, 2012
Ok, so who had the first points being scored with 12:39 left...in the second quarter?â Keith Becker (@UOsportsdude) November 18, 2012
Negaduck, please RT @mcshanem Gonna be weird seeing the Pac-12 title game in Palo Altoâ John Locanthi (@HuekahJohn) November 18, 2012
A promising drive goes nowhere as Mariota Cal's it himself by throwing a jump ball where only Lyerlaâif he were 10 feet tallerâcould have caught it on 4th & 4. Cardinal ball.
Ducks just nailed Hogan on that 2nd & long pass attempt, which if I'm not mistaken, was Stanford's first pass attempt over a yard down the field.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have our first pass interference penalty of the game! Ducks DB apparently held the receiver while also inexplicably leaving him wide open.
Stanford has the perfect play call on 4th & 1 with the play-action pass, completely fooling the Oregon defense. Too bad they couldn't execute it. [CardinaLOL-Ed.]
3:26 Oregon 7, Stanford 7
There's that Oregon offense we've all come to know and love. Three plays, 51-yards and a magnificent touchdown catch from Keanon Lowe. Extra point was a little iffy.
That was Oregon's 22nd touchdown drive of under a minute this year. Entering this week, six FBS teams didn't have 22 touchdowns, total.â Rob Moseley (@DuckFootball) November 18, 2012
Michael Clay with a career-high 14 tackles. At halftime. #STANvsUO #GoDucksâ Andy McNamara (@McNamaraUO) November 18, 2012
Big groan at Autzen when they announce that the runner was down and Stanford keeps the ball.â Andy Staples (@Andy_Staples) November 18, 2012
It's amazing how everyone in my feed knows exactly when Oregon has found where they left their gun.â Peter (@runthedive) November 18, 2012
Pac12 refs gonna Pac 12 refâ Tony Di Francisco (@TonyDiFrancisco) November 18, 2012
Haha good one â@pacifictakes: Larry Scott threw that flag from the press box.ââ Geoff Schwartz (@GeoffSchwartz76) November 18, 2012
Well, that sucked.â John Locanthi (@HuekahJohn) November 18, 2012
As pointed out earlier, the Kelly-coached Ducks had not lost a game when leading at the end of the third quarter until today. We keep track of these statistics only so we can tell you when they're broken. This also happens to be the exact same week in the season that USC defeated Oregon in Autzen. Maldonado missed a field goal at the end of that one, too. However, unlike that game, I left the stadium feeling that the better team won. Stanford's defense played one hell of a game. Hands down the finest defensive performance I've seen against this Oregon offense in the Chip Kelly-era.
Unbeaten in regulation! RT @lamichaeljames: You know you're at the top when you lose 1 game and everyone think the world is over #GoDucksâ Andy McNamara (@McNamaraUO) November 18, 2012