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The Oregon Ducks have rebounded in a big way since their season-opening 40-27 defeat to the LSU Tigers. The Ducks have since reeled off nine straight wins and have firmly reasserted themselves back into the BCS discussion. Coming off of a huge 53-30 victory over the previously undefeated Stanford Cardinal, the Ducks find themselves projected to play in the Rose Bowl in the latest edition of the 2011 bowl projections by SB Nation's very own Bill Connelly.
Connelly has Oregon running the table and ending the year with a 12-1 record and a Pac-12 title in hand. He places the Ducks in the Rose Bowl against the Wisconsin Badgers (projected to finish 11-2 as the Big Ten champion).
Of course, Oregon may not be satisfied with such a result. After handling Stanford in Palo Alto last weekend, the Ducks feel ready to take on any team in the country-, ncluding LSU. Oregon can certainly make a case for a rematch with the Tigers in the national title game if both teams close the year with all wins.
However, Connelly projects the Oklahoma St. Cowboys to remain undefeated through the end of the year (12-0) and claim the second spot in the national championship game opposite the undefeated Tigers. Should the Cowboys stumble, the Ducks and Alabama Crimson Tide could make cases as the nation's top one-loss team.
For now, Oregon will focus on closing out the regular season with victories over the USC Trojans and Oregon St. Beavers. College football fans and Ducks fans alike will have a better sense of Oregon's postseason berth by the conclusion of the Nov. 26th match-up against the Beavers.
Oregon Ducks defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti is rarely left at a loss for words, but the Ducks 53-30 drubbing of the then No. 4 Stanford Cardinal in Palo Alto did just that to the talkative D.C, though he would eventually find it once again:
"I thought we played a really good defensive game tonight," Aliotti said. "Considering that they're averaging 500-something yards per game, and Luck hasn't thrown any picks - or not many - and we got two, and there hadn't been many turnovers and we got five, there hadn't been many sacks and we got three."
All of the talk heading into the game was that of a shootout, but the Oregon defense kept that from becoming a reality with their five turnover, three sack game down on the Farm. Andrew Luck's pick in the first quarter really set the tone for the Oregon defense to keep attacking, and they seemingly never took their foot off the throttle. Here's head coach Chip Kelly's take on the defense exerting their will against Stanford:
"They had been up so much during their games that they could really hold on to the ball and really be methodical in their drives and I think kind of taking them out of their rhythm and how they do things is big."
It was Stanford's first true test of the season, and one they would ultimately fail, putting Oregon in the driver's seat the rest of the way in the Pac-12. It will take some time for the BCS implications to fully shake out, but the Ducks have put themselves in prime postion to make a big time bowl game this holiday season. And they look ready for whatever comes next.
For more on the Ducks, head over to Addicted to Quack.
The Ducks set out to make a statement with their speed and their aggressive defensive line. they accomplished both of those tasks with apparent ease. The end result was the Ducks handing the Cardinal their first loss of the season, snapping the longest active winning streak in college football, and moving into first place in the Pac-12 North.
The Oregon offense was led by superstar running back LaMichael James, who finished the game with 146 yards on 20 carries and three touchdowns. Quarterback Darron Thomas was no slouch himself, going 11-for-17 with 177 passing yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions.
Turnovers were a big story in this game. Stanford has a stunning five turnovers, including three fumbles and two interceptions thrown by Stanford's Heisman Trophy candidate Andrew Luck. Both interceptions resulted in Oregon touchdowns. Luck's second interception came in the fourth quarter, and was a 40 yard pick-six by Bo Lokombo. The Oregon defense kept Luck on the ropes throughout the game, and the Cardinal quarterback seemed more bothered by the grass on his home field than were the Ducks.
The Ducks ended up making just as big a statement as they were hoping, and suddenly the Pac-12 championship picture is a lot more interesting.
You can always locate Oregon Ducks coverage and news at Addicted To Quack.
The Oregon Ducks are very close to handing the Stanford Cardinal their first loss of the season and moving into a tie for first place in the Pac-12 North. In the fourth quarter, they lead by a score of 43-23.
The Ducks are apparently having little to no trouble dealing with the Palo Alto grass. Running back LaMichael James has 146 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries. Freshman De'Anthony Thomas has 17 rushing yards on five carries, in addition to two catches for 41 yards and a touchdown. Josh Huff is leading the Oregon receivers with 57 yards on two catches with a touchdown of his own.
The game has been a bit one-sided. In addition to the strong Oregon offense, the Ducks have done a great job keeping the pressure on Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck. Although Luck has three passing touchdowns, the Ducks have grabbed a key interception and have shut down the Cardinal when it counted.
For all your Oregon Ducks news and coverage, please visit Addicted to Quack.
The Oregon Ducks were hoping to make a big statement against their division rival, the undefeated Stanford Cardinal. Through two quarters, the Ducks are making good on their hopes, entering halftime ahead by a score of 22-16.
After being almost entirely shut down for the first quarter, running back LaMichael James was able to showcase Oregon's vaunted rushing game. He found an opening and was able to manage a 58 yard touchdown run that put the Ducks on top by a score of 15-6 early in the second quarter.
Ducks running back De'Anthony Thomas fumbled the ball midway through the second quarter with the Ducks hoping for another big drive. The ball was recovered by Stanford but quarterback Andrew Luck was unable to lead a touchdown drive. Eric Whitaker, who had earlier missed an extra point attempt, was able to kick a 37 yard field goal that brought the score to 15-9 in favor of the Ducks.
With three minutes left in the first half, the Ducks went for it on a 4th and 7 situation, a short pass from Darron Thomas to De'Anthony Thomas, who again flashed the famous Oregon speed. He hustled 41 yards to the end zone with ease and put the Ducks on top 22-9.
Luck managed to lead the Cardinal to a crucial touchdown in the closing minutes of the first half to bring the Cardinal back to within five. The Ducks still lead 22-16, but there is a lot of football left to play.
To talk about how the game is going with your fellow Ducks fans, feel free to head over to Addicted To Quack.
The defense has been strong for both teams in the early going. Both teams started the game by going three and out. Oregon's offense has been strangely silent, which speaks to how well the Stanford defense is performing. After a terrible punt by Stanford, the Ducks were starting a drive practically at midfield. That drive ended with Oregon quarterback Darron Thomas inexplicably throwing the ball away as he was tackled. The play, which could just as easily have been called intentional grounding or an interception, instead resulted in a sack for a 20-yard loss.
On the following possession, however, Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck threw an interception to Dewitt Stuckey, who ran the ball back 30 yards to Stanford's red zone. A few plays later, Thomas connected with Lavasier Tuinei for an Oregon touchdown. threw a pass to Mike Garrity for the two-point conversion to put the Ducks up by a score of 8-0.
If you need to discuss the game with your fellow Ducks fans, you can always find them at Addicted to Quack.
This is the biggest game of the year for the Oregon Ducks. With a win, the team has a legitimate chance at a BCS bowl game and ruins Stanford's chance at a national championship. With their lone loss coming against LSU, the team even has a chance as a dark horse candidate for a national championship birth.
For the Cardinal and Andrew Luck, it is all about the steady play they have used all season to get to this point. Stanford is yet to play a complete game for 60 minutes and will need to do so on Saturday if they hope to win. A very large crowd is expected for the showdown.
Kickoff: 8:00 p.m. EDT / 5:00 p.m. PDT
TV Coverage: ABC will broadcast the game. Brent Musburger will call the game and Kirk Herbstreit will serve as the analyst. Erin Andrews will report from the sideline. College Game Day will be in attendance as well, with the show beginning at 8am on ESPN.
Radio: KUGN 590 AM will air the game locally in Eugene. A complete list of the radio affiliates can be found here.
As the Oregon Ducks prepare for the biggest game of the season, they will have all their weapons at their disposal on Saturday evening. Darron Thomas is completely healthy and while LaMichael James' elbow will be heavily wrapped and protected, the star running back has shown no ill effects in practice this week.
Here is the final injury report for the game.
Get ready for some Palo Alto fireworks tonight, folks. This game has the potential to be an instant classic with the talent assembled on both sides of the field. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. PDT.
The biggest game of the weekend is slated for 5pm tonight when the Oregon Ducks travel to Palo Alto to take on the undefeated Stanford Cardinal. The game will have BCS and potentially National Championship implications for Stanford and they might be getting a little bit of help from the weather.
With rains hitting the Bay Area for the first time in a little while, it wouldn't be a big surprise to see the field muddied up a bit, and this type of thing could really hinder Oregon's speed advantage.
We saw the Cardinal struggle against USC's speed element a couple weeks ago, and Oregon is significantly faster than that Trojan team. Stanford's game is to slow the tempo down, run the ball, grind the clock and matriculate down the field. Oregon's style is quite the opposite, relying on big plays and a fast tempo. Stanford Stadium's natural surface is already a disadvantage for the Ducks but they'll have to overcome a potentially sloppy field to play spoiler to Stanford's season.
If you haven't paid close attention to the last few games between these two teams, you've been missing out. The Stanford - Oregon yearly matchup is turning into an annual shootout with crazy lead changes and momentum swings. Something tells me that this season will be much of the same.
In 2009, Stanford hosted then no. 7 Oregon and quickly raced out to a 17-point lead in the first half. Oregon fought back in the second half and cut the lead from twenty to six late in the game, but on the ensuing kickoff, the Cardinal was able to corrall the ball and hold on for a 52-41 win that cost the Ducks a chance at the BCS bowls. Toby Gerhart rushed for 223 yards and three touchdowns, and a young QB named Andrew Luck threw two more TDs.
Last year, no. 9 Stanford traveled up to Eugene to take on the no. 4 Ducks and quickly ran out to a 21-3 lead. They squandered their early lead again and this time Oregon took advantage. The Ducks win helped keep them rolling to the eventual National Championship game and in an interesting twist of fate, Stanford is poised to do just the same this year by staying undefeated.
The Oregon-Stanford rivalry is alive and well, and to remind you just how exciting tomorrow's game might be, here's some video highlights of the October 2nd, 2010 barnburner.
The Oregon Ducks don't really know how they're going to get back to the BCS National Championship game, but it's clear that they're going to need a lot of help to get there.
Oregon can do a lot for their cause by beating the Stanford Cardinal; a loss eliminates them from contention. If they win though, Oregon immediately jumps near the top of the list of one-loss contenders, likely passing Oklahoma (who had a much more embarrassing loss to Texas Tech than Oregon's loss to LSU) in the standings.
Brad Edwards, BCS expert at ESPN, breaks down the scenarios that could return Oregon to their second straight title game.
Argument for: After losing their opener, the Ducks can close the season on a 12-game winning streak, with their only loss having come against the nation's No. 1 team on a neutral field.
Argument against: If LSU is undefeated and sitting at No. 1 in the BCS standings, putting Oregon at No. 2 would create a rematch of a regular-season game. And if Alabama also finishes with one loss, there would be another rematch candidate that had a more competitive game with LSU.
Ideal scenario: Oklahoma State loses to Texas Tech then beats Oklahoma; Alabama loses to Auburn. It's hard to say whether Oregon would also need Boise State to lose, but it couldn't hurt.
So a lot has to fall in the cards for Oregon to get to New Orleans, but all of it is within reach even if a lot needs to slide their way. If the teams above Oregon get upset (and there are plenty of upset games ahead), then chaos reigns, and Oregon can likely sneak in if they win out. A 12-1 Ducks team with only one loss to the number one team in the coutnry will be pretty hard to beat in the rankings.
For more on Oregon football, head on over to Addicted to Quack.
The Oregon Ducks and Stanford Cardinal are ready to hit the field, and the biggest question for the Ducks is how do they plan to contain Heisman Trophy candidate Andrew Luck. The Stanford quarterback has clearly improved from the last time the two faced off with each other a year ago, and he's not going to be an easy contain for the Oregon defense.
When asked if he’d prefer to keep Stanford QB Andrew Luck "contained in the pocket or let him roam out in space," coach Chip Kelly joked: "I would like him to be in outerspace. Put him in a rocket and send him to the moon for the weekend."
That being said, if anyone knows the success to containing Luck and the Stanford offense, it's Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti, who held the Stanford offense to only three sustained scoring drives (two other touchdowns came off turnovers on short field) in last year's meeting in Autzen, including zero second half points. It remains to be seen whether Aliotti can do the same thing this year to Luck, who has been pretty dynamite coming out of the locker room at halftime (and pregame too). The Ducks might have to be prepared to put up the points if they plan on victory on Sunday.
As the game of the year in the Pac-12 is only a few short days away, the hype surrounding the No. 3 Stanford Cardinal hosting the No. 6 Oregon Ducks is palpable, and growing with every passing moment.
The Nation will undoubtedly be watching this game closely this Saturday as it will play a large factor into deciding who will play in the National Championship game this year, and one group of folks is incredibly excited to watch them play; the rest of the Pac-12.
Oregon State head coach Mike Riley certainly is hyped up about this meeting of Pac-12 alpha dogs:
"I'm just a fan here talking now, but I think you're talking about two great running teams with totally diverse styles. That's what's neat about it and that's what's neat about college football."
University of Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian had this to say about the upcoming Stanford/Oregon matchup, noting the different ways each team tries to use the run game to their advantage:
"You're talking about one team that goes as fast as they can go, (hoping) that speed and number of snaps can wear you out," Washington's Steve Sarkisian said. "And you're talking about another team that snaps the ball with under 5 seconds on the play clock and tries to wear you down physically, pounding you and running the football."
Riley and Sarkisian know all about the pitfalls of playing against these two powerhouses, but watching them beat up on each other for the Pac-12 North title is enough to even make other coaches stop and watch. It's going to be one for the history books down on the Farm this Saturday, and everyone will be tuning it.
For more on the Ducks, head over to Addicted to Quack.
For the Ducks, it's all about flash and pizzazz on the field. The team has earned a reputation for their wild and unpredictable play calling and defenses are usually left standing in their tracks as Darron Thomas, LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner dash down the field for a score.
For the Cardinal, it's all about stability and methodically moving the football down the field. Andrew Luck is as efficient as any quarterback around and Stepfan Taylor is among the best and most reliable running backs in the nation. And let's not forget their defense, which ranks among the best in FBS.
On Saturday evening, the Ducks will be slight underdogs. According to Odds Shark, Stanford will be favored by just 3 points. Other gambling websites such as Bodog and Five Dimes have the Cardinal favored by 3 1/2 points.
Anyone who has seen either team in action knows scoring is not an issue and a mere three points should not influence too many decisions should one decide to bet on the matchup. Expect a fun, exhilarating, closely contested game this weekend between two of the best teams in the nation.
The Oregon Ducks have a high-octane offense headlined by speedsters LaMichael James, Kenjon Barner and De'Anthony Thomas. Behind this trio and an efficient passing attack led by Darron Thomas, Oregon is averaging 46.0 points per game this season, fifth-best in the country. Stanford, by comparison, is averaging 48.2 points per game, third-best in the nation.
Needless to say, Saturday's match-up featuring the two best teams in the Pac-12 could turn into a high-scoring affair. The most that Oregon has scored against a Top Five opponent away from home in the history of its football program is 38 points, which came in a 41-38 OT loss to the UCLA Bruins back in 1998, according to Andy McNamara. That total may not be enough if both teams get hot on offense this weekend.
The Cardinal, ironically, scored exactly 38 points in their last game against the Oregon State Beavers, but had posted four-straight games of over 38 points (with totals of 45, 48, 44 and 65 points) prior to that. If those games are any indication, 38 points may not be enough against Andrew Luck and the Cardinal.
The Ducks should have faith in their ability to break their 38-point record based on recent history. Since 2007, Oregon has recorded totals of 55 and 51 points at Stanford on their way to victories. If the Ducks can approach those totals this weekend against Stanford's 11th-ranked defense, Oregon should have a good chance to beat Stanford while setting a new school record in the process.
Poor ole Oregon.
Who's going to bother to remember that Oregon is the two-time defending conference champions, winners of 18 conference games in a row and that winning streak includes a 52-31 whipping of Stanford last fall?
No one will say or write that because there's the SEC, there's Oklahoma State and there's Andrew Luck and there's just no room for Oregon to fit in. Sorry, Ducks. College football is all full this week with other things. Maybe it will take note of the Ducks funky uniforms if they are funky enough.
Oregon is not only going to beat Stanford, it's going to make a statement: "Folks, enough jibber-jabber. We're the team that can take down LSU and the Mad Hatter."
Indeed, Oregon hasn't lost a Pac-12 game in over two years, and their conference win streak is perhaps even more impressive than Stanford's unbeaten streak. The last time these two teams played, Oregon proved they could beat Stanford in a big primetime setup and shut down the offense. Despite the fact that Stanford looked like the better team down the stretch, it was Oregon who ended up in the national title game because of their head-to-head matchup.
But Ted failed to mention the last time Oregon lost (the only time Chip Kelly has lost) in conference play, it was in Palo Alto on the Farm against a younger Andrew Luck. And they proved they could use their power run attack to control the football and keep things away from the Ducks up-tempo attack. So this is the one place left that Kelly has yet to conquer.
Will he be able to do it against the biggest test he's had to face in-conference in his three years as Ducks head coach?
The Oregon Ducks and Stanford Cardinal will square off this weekend in a match-up of two Pac-12 North heavyweights. The Ducks can take a page from last year's 52-31 win against Andrew Luck and the Cardinal as they prepare to face Stanford's third-ranked rush defense.
In last year's game, Oregon ran for 388 yards with four touchdowns. LaMichael James recorded 257 rushing yards and three touchdowns by himself on 31 carries, and Oregon's dedication to the run paid off as the game wore on: James had two rushing touchdowns in the second half, including a 76-yard score late.
The Ducks will look to produce a similar rushing total this year. James will face a much tougher defense this around, however, as Stanford has allowed only 78.89 rushing yards per game, third-best in the nation. If Stanford manages to limit James and hold him to their season average, Oregon may struggle to move the ball.
Oregon's counter to Stanford's defense should be to pound the ball with James early and often. If James can break off one or two long runs, the entire Oregon offense will open up and make things much easier for quarterback Darron Thomas.
The game will kick off at 5:00 Pacific Time on Saturday as James and the Ducks travel to Palo Alto.
The Oregon Ducks will travel to California to play the undefeated Stanford Cardinal on Saturday. The stakes in this game couldn't be much higher.
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