It was billed as Oregon speed versus Stanford power in an early-season collision of Pac-10 powers at Autzen Stadium.
Early on, it was Stanford who bulled through the Ducks defense for three touchdowns, taking advantage of kick returner Cliff Harris' fumble and quarterback Darron Thomas' interception. The Cardinal led 21-3 by the end of the first quarter.
Oregon finally responded with a touchdown, but the key play followed. Kicker Rob Beard executed a predetermined onside kick that he recovered for the Ducks. It seemed to energize the players, crowd and tempo of the game.
Two minutes later, the Ducks were back in the game, trailing only 21-17.
It took the second half for the Ducks to deliver the knockout blow, and it came from both offense and defense. The Ducks exploded for four touchdowns capped by LaMichael James' 76-yard touchdown run, prompting Ducks radio broadcaster Jerry Allen to finish by yelling, "Statement! Statement! Statement!"
Oregon's defense blanked the Cardinal offense, forcing a fumble recovery by Eddie Pleasant and two Cliff Harris interceptions of quarterback Andrew Luck. Stanford even failed to slow the pace with a couple of feigned injuries—something that Arizona St. and California would also attempt in their 2010 games versus Oregon.
The Oregon victory was the centerpiece of its drive to the BCS National Championship.
It would be Stanford's only loss on its way to winning the Orange Bowl.