- Kyle Bonagura, ESPN Staff Writer
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Here are a few lessons from Oregon’s upset loss to Stanford.
Oregon will not play for a crystal football: The Ducks' hopes for a national title were dashed, again, by Stanford. And if Thursday's physically dominating performance by Stanford was any indication of how the Ducks would have done against Alabama, Oregon fans likely wouldn't have liked the result. Stanford controlled the line of scrimmage and if not for two fluky plays -- the blocked field goal and onside kick --the score would have more closely reflected how dominantly the Cardinal played.
Mariota's Heisman hopes take a hit: If things break in his favor, Marcus Mariota could still win college football's most-prestigious award, but he's no longer the frontrunner. Dinged up with a knee injury, Mariota didn't showcase the traits that fans have been accustomed to seeing. Partially due to Oregon's play-calling, partially due to Stanford's defense, Maritota was bottled up for most the game.
Helfrich isn't invincible: The loss was Mark Helfrich's first as a head coach and he'll take a lot of the blame for the result. After it was over, he admitted as much. There were a few questionable decisions, including one to go for it on fourth-and-goal from the 4 in a scoreless game on Oregon's second drive. The play Oregon dialed up was a fade to the corner that didn't have a chance from the moment it left Mariota's hands.