Instant analysis: Stanford 26, Oregon 20
November, 8, 2013
By Kevin Gemmell | ESPN.com
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.
Best Pac-12 Position Group in 2014 Class
Final Washington State 45 Colorado State 48 Final 20 Fresno State 20 25 USC 45 Final Buffalo 24 San Diego State 49 Final Tulane 21 Louisiana-Lafayette 24
Final Pittsburgh 30 Bowling Green 27 Final Utah State 21 23 Northern Illinois 14
Final Marshall 31 Maryland 20 Final Syracuse 21 Minnesota 17 Final Brigham Young 16 Washington 31
Final Rutgers 16 Notre Dame 29 Final Cincinnati 17 North Carolina 39 Final Miami (FL) 9 18 Louisville 36 Final Michigan 14 Kansas State 31
Final Middle Tennessee 6 Navy 24 Final Ole Miss 25 Georgia Tech 17 Final 10 Oregon 30 Texas 7 Final 14 Arizona State 23 Texas Tech 37
Final Arizona 42 Boston College 19 Final Virginia Tech 12 17 UCLA 42 Final Rice 7 Mississippi State 44 Final 24 Duke 48 21 Texas A&M 52
Final Nebraska 24 22 Georgia 19 Final UNLV 14 North Texas 36 Final Iowa 14 16 LSU 21 Final 19 Wisconsin 24 9 South Carolina 34 Final 5 Stanford 20 4 Michigan State 24 Final 15 UCF 52 6 Baylor 42
Final 13 Oklahoma State 31 8 Missouri 41 Final 12 Clemson 40 7 Ohio State 35