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.