Now that LSU vs. Alabama is behind us, there remains only one true superpower showdown in the regular NCAA football season. The Oregon Ducks will travel to Palo Alto to face the undefeated Stanford Cardinal and their star quarterback, Andrew Luck.
The two top-ten teams are undefeated in Pac-12 play and have been eying this date on the calendar all season. No. 3 Stanford is 9-0 (7-0 in Pac-12) and No. 6 Oregon is 8-1 (6-0 within the conference). If the Ducks can manage a win on Saturday, they will move into a tie with Stanford for first in the Pac-12 North. Further, they could irrevocably sink Stanford's hopes at playing in the National Championship Game. At the very least, this game has enormous ramifications concerning the Pac-12 standings and a potential Rose Bowl appearance.
Head coach Chip Kelly says he's excited about the big challenge, according to Ken Goe of The Oregonian. The Oregon defensive line is looking to make a big statement and shut down Heisman Trophy candidate Luck, who has been instrumental in the success of the Cardinal. They're hoping that a heaping helping of QB pressure will be the key to snapping Stanford's 17-game winning streak. The Ducks are currently sixth in the NCAA in sacks, averaging 3.22 per game. Their last win over Washington is fresh in Oregon's mind. They racked up six sacks in that game from five different Ducks players. Kelly says he thinks his defense is playing at a "pretty good level," which might be a bit of an understatement.
Both teams have explosive offenses and are used to high-scoring affairs, but it's clear that the Oregon defense will be gunning for Luck. This game has all the pieces in place to potentially be an instant classic. You never know; this game could possibly make everyone forget all about last week's "Game of the Century."
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