Oregon vs. Oregon State: Ducks' Domination Proves Stanford Loss a Fluke
One week after Oregon's national championship hopes went up in smoke against Stanford, the Ducks dominated Oregon State in the Civil War by a final score of 48-24.
And if you listen carefully, you can hear Oregon fans yelling all in unison at their TV sets a single question: "Where was this last week?"
Yes, Stanford is No. 10 in scoring defense, No. 18 in total defense and No. 2 against the run. The Cardinal are undoubtedly a good team. Stanford deserves a lot of credit for beating the Ducks.
But Oregon is No. 2 in the country in scoring offense. They average over 50 points per game.
How did they get held to just 14 points against Stanford?
It just wasn't Oregon's day.
When you look at the stats, you notice that the Ducks moved the ball well against the Cardinal defense racking up 405 yards of total offense. Oregon drove deep into Stanford territory twice and turned over the ball on downs.
Then there was kicking troubles.
Alejandro Maldonado missed both of his field goal attempts, including the 41-yard overtime kick that hit the upright. The game was lost in part because a kicker couldn't get it done.
There's quite a few teams over the past few seasons that can relate.
But it's amazing that this game came down to a kicker to begin with. Marcus Mariota actually had a decent game going 21 for 37 for 207, but just had one touchdown and an interception.
But the running game just couldn't get going against that Stanford defense, and that was the difference in this game.
Oregon had 198 yards rushing, but they average 313.5. The three-headed rushing monster of Mariota, Kenjon Barner and De'Anthony Thomas combined for just one rushing touchdown.
Fast forward to their game against Oregon State.
Far from not being able to find the end zone, the Beavers are powerless to keep the Ducks out of it. Barner, Thomas and Mariota scored six rushing touchdowns and Mariota added one more through the air.
Oregon State isn't Stanford, but they're no slouches on defense either. In fact, the Beavers are No. 14 in rushing defense and No. 26 in scoring defense.
Sure didn't look like it today.
Oh, and don't forget the Oregon defense. They played the game of their lives and forced six turnovers today against the Beavers.
Just one week late.
Was the Stanford loss a fluke?
Yes, the Ducks got three turnovers against Stanford but the offense wasn't able to turn them into points.
If Oregon was able to go back in time and take on the Cardinal again I don't think we'd see the same result. However, there is no such thing as time travel and Oregon had just one shot to get it right.
And they blew it.
Fluke or not, the Ducks can only blame themselves for not beating Stanford and staying in the national championship hunt.
All Oregon can do is hope that Stanford loses to UCLA so that they can get a shot at the Pac-12 Championship Game and a Rose Bowl bid.
What's more, they'll hope for better luck next season as they try again for a national championship.
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