The Stanford Cardinal asserted their status as the team to beat in the West with a 26-20 win over the Oregon Ducks on Thursday night. The No. 3 Ducks were stunned, as they were completely shut out for three quarters. No. 5 Stanford arguably played 50 minutes of the best college football of the season.
Here are a few standout stats from Stanford's dominating win over the Ducks.
Stanford's Streaks Live On
With the win over the Ducks, Stanford extended its win streak at home to 14. The Cardinal's last loss in Stanford Stadium was to Oregon in 2011. Upsetting the No. 3 Ducks also made it four ranked opponents in a row that Stanford has defeated. The other ranked wins include No. 23 Arizona State, No. 15 Washington and No. 9 UCLA.
Oregon's 18-game road win streak was snapped with its loss to Stanford. Thursday night's upset in Stanford Stadium was four years to the day of the Ducks' last road loss. That loss dates back to 2009— when the Cardinal bested the Ducks 51-42.
Two forced fumbles by the Cardinal extended their takeaway streak as well. Stanford has now forced a turnover in 34 consecutive games, which is second only to Missouri's 39.
Entering the game, Oregon was averaging 632.13 yards of offense per game. Stanford managed to hold the Ducks to only 312 yards of total offense. The last time Oregon averaged less was in its 26-17 loss to Ohio State in the 2010 Rose Bowl. In that game, Chip Kelly's team recorded 260 yards.
Stanford's rush defense turned in a phenomenal performance, only allowing 62 yards on the ground. The Ducks offense averaged 331.5 rushing yards per game before facing the Cardinal. A 2009 game against Boise State was the last time Oregon failed to record more than 70 rushing yards.
|Opponent||Plays||Rush Yards||Total Yards||Yards Per Play|
|Season Averages (Before Playing Stanford)||78.13||294.67||632.13||8.09|
Stanford-esque Play Selection
Power running and Stanford football go hand in hand, so David Shaw's play selection wasn't hard to predict. However, the Ducks' attempt to stop Stanford's running game was futile. Stanford ran the ball 66 times, which is more than the total number of rushing yards that the Ducks offense recorded (62). Only 13 pass plays were called. Three of those came in the third quarter. None were called in the fourth. The Cardinal's play selection helped them dominate the time of possession battle 42:34 to 17:26.
Stanford's primary running back, Tyler Gaffney, handled 45 of the Cardinal's 66 rushing attempts for 157 yards and a touchdown. Those 45 carries were the most by a Division I FBS running back since the 2010 season and the most in Stanford history.
Now that the Cardinal have defeated the Ducks, all they need to do is win against USC and California to be crowned champions of the Pac-12 North. Their final regular season game is at home against No. 23 Notre Dame. The Pac-12 title game follows, and if the Cardinal win out, they'll likely find themselves in the top four of the BCS standings. A berth in the BCS National Championship is certainly possible if all of the pieces fall into place.