College Football – Stanford Smells Upset at (5) Oregon
John BensonNo comments
Even though Stanford (5-3, 3-2 Pac-12) has enjoyed success against Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota – the Heisman hopeful has never beaten the Cardinal – Stanford head coach David Shaw knows No. 5 Oregon (7-1, 4-1 Pac-12) will be bringing it tonight.
“At times, we’ve been able to contain him, we’ve been able to harass him,” Shaw said. “But in every game, there’s a streak where you can’t do anything about it. He gets out of the pocket and takes off. He makes a couple of great throws. He moves the team down the field in three plays and scores a touchdown.”
What remains to be seen is whether Stanford maintains the spread-style offense it used last weekend in a 38-14 win over Oregon State.
Shaw said, “We just have to do whatever our guys can do. If we can get like we did last year and get to our big personnel to be able to run the ball efficiently, hey, that’s great, we can do that. If we have to spread it out and run and throw [to] move the football, hey, we have to do that.”
While this isn’t the same Stanford powerhouse of recent years, Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich isn’t taking the squad lightly.
“They’ve looked pretty good all year to me. They’ve had some tough games against some very, very quality opponents,” said Helfrich.
For Stanford to pull off the upset in Eugene, they will need the usual stalwart performance from the defense (which ranks second in the nation, giving up 12.5 points per game), plus a solid showing from quarterback Kevin Hogan (who has struggled at times, but performed well against the Ducks).
Helfrich said, “Kevin’s played probably two of the best games of his career against us the last two years. He’s a really competitive guy, he’s been extremely accurate, kind of along the lines of (UCLA quarterback Brett) Hundley in terms of how he runs, he’s hard to bring down. He’s played really well.”
Even though Oregon’s offense can put up points in a hurry, look for the Cardinal to control the clock and shorten the game. Couple that with a stingy Stanford defense, and the under (54.5) should be in play.