Instant analysis: Stanford 26, Oregon 20

November, 8, 2013
11/08/13
12:25
AM ET


The final 10 minutes brought plenty of drama as No. 5 Stanford topped No. 3 Oregon 26-20 in Palo Alto, Calif., on Thursday night. Here’s how it all went down on The Farm:

It was over when: After being held scoreless for three quarters, the Ducks made things very, very interesting in the fourth by scoring three touchdowns in the span of eight minutes -- including one off a blocked field goal and another after they recovered an onside kick -- to cut Stanford’s lead from 26-0 to 26-20. But the Cardinal recovered another onside kick with 2 minutes, 12 seconds left to play and were able to run out the clock.

Game ball goes to: Stanford running back Tyler Gaffney, who carried a school-record 45 times for 157 yards and a touchdown.

Stat of the game: Plenty of significant ones. But the two that stand out are Stanford’s time of possession (42:34) and its advantage in rushing yards (274 to Oregon’s 62). For the first 50 minutes, it was a slow, pounding, dominant performance.

Not in the box score: Reports started circulating just before kickoff that Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota had a sprained medial collateral ligament. He was handing off on pretty much every zone read and ran only when pressured or on undesigned scrambles. He took a hit early in the third quarter that left him hobbling -- and his lack of mobility was noticeable.

What it means for Stanford: The Cardinal are at their best when it’s them versus the world -- which was the case Thursday, when they entered the game as double-digit underdogs at home. The Cardinal (8-1, 6-1 Pac-12) now control the Pac-12 North and will take the division if they win out. Stanford has two conference games remaining: at USC next week and Cal at home Nov. 23. Its season finale is a nonconference game against Notre Dame and won’t have any bearing on the conference standings, but could have huge BCS implications.

What it means for Oregon: Remember when Stanford had an Oregon problem? Seems like the Ducks (8-1, 5-1) now have a Stanford problem. Oregon should still be in the mix for a BCS bowl game if it wins out. But considering the aspirations this team had, anything less than a berth in the title game has to be viewed as a disappointment.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.


Mel Kiper's Big Board
Mel Kiper Jr. discusses his inaugural Big Board for the 2015 NFL draft.
VIDEO PLAYLIST video

PAC-12 SCOREBOARD

Thursday, 8/28
Friday, 8/29
Saturday, 8/30