Oregon Football: Winners and Losers from the Week 12 Game Against Stanford
Saturday, the No. 2-ranked Oregon Ducks were upset by the No. 13 Stanford Cardinal, 17-14.
Oregon came into the game with a top-five rushing offense and Stanford with the nation's top rushing and sack defense.
With a win, the Ducks could have clinched the Pac-12 championship game, but with a loss, Stanford would lead the north and control its destiny with only one week left.
Here are the winners and losers from the game.
Winner: David Shaw
David Shaw matched his predecessor Jim Harbaugh, with a win over the Ducks this past Saturday night. Only Shaw almost completely shut down the seemingly unstoppable offensive attack that is Oregon.
Every play or formation Oregon coach Chip Kelly threw at Stanford, Shaw had an answer for. His game plan on both sides of the ball was enough to hold Oregon to 14 points. The last time, and only other time, Chip Kelly has scored less than that while head coach at Oregon was in his debut against Boise State in 2009.
Looking at Jim Harbaugh's success in the NFL and now Shaw matching and raising that bar, one might be led to believe that Shaw will also depart for the NFL. He will undoubtedly be in the talk for opening jobs.
David Shaw is a definite winner with this win.
Loser: Chip Kelly
Chip Kelly sets up quick plays that lead to quick drives, which result in touchdowns. But that strategy ceased to work against the Stanford defense. Almost every time the Ducks seemed to get their tempo moving, the Cardinal defense shut it down.
With Kelly's offense struggling, the "wearing down opponents" effect didn't work. The Cardinal defense looked ready, refreshed and determined every time they stepped on the field.
With this loss, it seems that Kelly still hasn't found the formula to get by a high-caliber defense.
Kelly comes out a loser for Week 12.
Winner: Kevin Hogan
This game was a huge test for sophomore quarterback Kevin Hogan. Seemingly unphased by the Autzen Zoo, Hogan distributed the ball well, created plays with his legs and most importantly made smart decisions.
Along with 211 yards through the air and one touchdown, Hogan also ran for a touchdown. His consistent checkdowns to tight end Zach Ertz were pivotal for reaching the first-down marker and keeping drives alive.
Substituting Hogan for Josh Nunes may be the smartest decision David Shaw has made this season. He may have the next Andrew Luck on his hands.
This week, Hogan's a winner.
Loser: Kenyon Barner
Kenyon Barner had his chance to come back after a disappointing Cal game and show the nation why he deserved an invitation to New York, for the Heisman.
Unfortunately, that didn't happen for Barner. When the game against Stanford ended, Barner had only compiled 66 rushing and no touchdowns. Quarterback Marcus Mariota had more rushing yards with 89.
If Barner was going to make a statement, this was the game to do it, against the No. 1 rushing defense in the nation. Instead of Barner making a statement, though, it was the Cardinal defense that made a statement and reiterated why they are the best in the nation against the rush.
Barner is a loser this week for falling well beneath his averages in both yards and scores.
Winner: Stanford Defense
The last two years the Ducks have posted huge offensive numbers against the Stanford Cardinal. With the Ducks looking as dominant as ever coming into last Saturday, everyone thought it would be another offensive explosion that the Cardinal would have to keep up with.
Stanford had a different thought, though. They knew there was a reason they were ranked No. 1 in rushing defense, and they came to prove why.
Stanford's front seven got penetration all night and kept Oregon from getting into the tempo they feel comfortable playing at. Oregon gathered 198 yards rushing, which is quite a bit, but not for Oregon. The Ducks fell more than 100 yards short of their average in the rushing game.
This was a huge statement for the Cardinal defense. They "Won the Day."
Loser: Alejandro Maldonado
In 2011, Alejandro Maldonado had his chance to be the savior for Oregon in the game against USC. He had the opportunity to send the Ducks into overtime after a huge comeback, with all of the momentum.
Last Saturday, Maldonado was asked to perform in a similar situation. A close game, already in overtime, and he needs to make the field goal. This field goal was needed to secure that Oregon had points on the board so that Stanford couldn't simply kick a field goal for the win.
But again...Maldonado missed.
After the miss and three plays by the Stanford offense, Cardinal kicker Jordan Williamson kicked a 37-yard, game-winning field goal.
This was Maldonado's chance to win back Oregon fans, but because he failed to do so, he is a loser of Week 12.
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