This game will determine who is the best in the Pac-10, and is a must-win for the Ducks or Cardinals if either of them wishes to play for the national championship game in January.
This will be the toughest test yet for both teams. That being said, the Ducks should rebound from a close win at Arizona State and return to form at Autzen Stadium to burn down the Cardinals' National Championship hopes with a big win.
Stanford is no pushover, but this game is revenge for last year, when Stanford stunned the Ducks with the upset that essentially destroyed all hopes of a national championship. LaMichael James is much improved this season, and Toby Gearhart is not here to run the ball. Andrew Luck is a good quarterback, but has not impressed me thus far this season without Gearhart to take the ball.
This game is very important for both James and Luck as it will be watched by the whole nation, giving both players a excellent chance to make an impression on voters for the Heisman trophy. It will either boost their chances—or completely derail them. Look for both of them to make an impression, good or bad.
Last year it wasn't all on Luck's shoulders, but this is a new year and a different game—a game which relies primarily on Andrew Luck. The Ducks defense will be looking to get to him early and force him to make mistakes early on. The Ducks have a very fast defense that forced four interceptions against Arizona State at Arizona State.
This game will be at Autzen Stadium, and Oregon's fans are notoriously rowdy, and will make the game difficult for Luck. An impression on Heisman voters will be made, and unluckily for Luck, it probably won't be a good one.
This will be the biggest game for Oregon this year, and will determine if they jump up to number three or two, or even one, if Alabama loses to Florida. The Ducks must win big if they hope to play in the championship game.
James will be given plenty of opportunities, given the fact that Deron Thomas is not a very experienced QB and he will be going up against a very good Stanford defense. Look for LaMichael James to have well over 200 yards rushing as he must outperform Mark Ingram this weekend. That being said, look for Deron Thomas to throw for at least three touchdowns, because Stanford will stack the box.