Oregon Football: Late-Season Loss to Stanford Marks Trend for Ducks

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer INovember 20, 2012

EUGENE, OR - NOVEMBER 17: Head coach Chip Kelly of the Oregon Ducks looks on as his team warms up before the game against the Stanford Cardinal at Autzen Stadium on November 17, 2012 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Steve Dykes/Getty Images

Oregon fans remember all too well the loss to USC last season that derailed the Ducks.

After the 17-14 overtime loss to Stanford on Saturday, Oregon fans must be thinking this is some kind of cruel joke.

But the reality is, this extends far beyond two years for the Oregon program.

Even if you discount the loss to Auburn in the 2011 BCS championship game (let's face it, Auburn just had a really good team), that still leaves 2009, when the Ducks lost to an unranked Stanford team on Nov. 7.

The Ducks also lost three straight games to end the regular season in back-to-back years in 2006 and 2007.

It's becoming an odd trend for Oregon, a program that appears to have letdown games down the line. 

One way of looking at it is that they started off strong, perhaps stronger than they should have, and they were due for a loss down the road. 

But three straight losses to end the season in back-to-back years, coupled with devastating losses to USC and Stanford the past two years, makes you wonder.

Of course, none of this is going to see Chip Kelly get canned or anything crazy like that. This has still been one of the most powerful programs in the country ever since he became offensive coordinator in 2007 and moved on to head coaching duties in 2009.

But the strange thing is that it hasn't been one defining thing that has tripped up the Ducks the past few years. Stanford limited the running game, but Oregon lost shootouts to Stanford and USC in 2009 and 2011 respectively.

Perhaps, given the amount of plays the offense runs, coupled with more looks at the defense, gives coordinators of opposing teams more game film.

Either way, it's a bit concerning that a program that had a chance to make it to the BCS championship game the past two years stumbled down the stretch.


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