Reliving the Season:  Stanford

Oregon 55, Stanford 31

Leaders:

Passing:

Dixon 367 | Ostrander 262

Rushing:

Stewart 160 | Kimble 119

Receiving:

Colvin 136 | Bradford 72

Game Thread

As we headed into our league opener against the Trees, we had every reason to feel confident, nay, cocky, about this one.  We had been rolling up the points, blowing everyone out on our schedule.  And Stanford, the worst team in the league, was easily the worst team on our schedule last year.

It took all of one play to completely confirm our thoughts.  As Stanford's secondary watched Cameron Colvin blast past them for 71 yards on the first play of the game, and we had a 7-0 lead ten seconds in, we knew that this game was over.  Two more touchdowns on easy drives, and a 21-3 lead at the end of the first had us ready to pack it in.

Stanford had other plans.

On their first play of the second quarter, career backup Anthony Kimble took one sixty yards untouched to the house.  That opened up a flurry of Stanford scores:  Kimble for another, Ostrander to Ladner, Ostrander to Bradford.  Stanford was moving the ball at will, and it was as if our defense wasn't even on the field.   Meanwhile, you would've though that Cody Kempt was manning the offense.  Two three and outs and a fumble lost by Dixon, another by J-Will, and compounded by a muffed punt return by Andiel Brown, was making things really easy for the Cardinal defense.  The Duck field goal going into halftime was a band-aid on the bullet wound, but the damage had been done.  Stanford may have only been up a touchdown, but the blitzkreig had done its damage to our psyche.

I argued at the time, and I think evidence supports my claim, that the disastrous second quarter wasn't anything Stanford did.  The team simply lost their focus.  As did everyone else in the world, the Ducks thought this one was over.  And with #2 Cal coming to town the next week, it was only natural to start looking forward.  But Stanford, for all their faults, is still a Division 1 football team.  They have talent.  And as they wiped the floor with us in the second quarter, panic started to set in.  We'd been here before.  We'd had great starts, only to see them come crashing down at the first sign of adversity.  And this team's track record from the year before wasn't exactly inspiring.  None of us were in total freakout mode, but there was legitimate concern.  Our whole season was imperative on one question:

How would Oregon respond?

Fortunately, we didn't have to wait long to find out.  Oregon put down the sledgehammer quickly.  Three possessions, three touchdowns.  Game Over.  The Ducks would add ten more points in the fourth quarter, which just made it appear to be more of a blowout than it really was.

The defense was the really disappointing part of this game and, in many ways, it was their worst game of the season.  This wasn't like the Cal game, in which they were being made fools by a truly unique talent like DeSean Jackson.  This was truly mediocre players ripping off big gains.  And I remember a lot of it being little things like missed tackles--which would be more support for my lack of focus theory.  The second half shutout, however, was encouraging.

The offense, though, was the bright star again.  This may have been the best game of Dixon's Oregon career from a passing standpoint, with his 387 yards and four touchdowns.

It should be realized that, with the exception of the second quarter debaccle, this was another dominant performance.  If you take out that abberation, you get 52-3. 

Four games, four wins.

Crisis was averted and, (we hoped, a lesson was learned.  The next week,#2 Cal and College Gameday were coming to Autzen.

Our "Playstation" offense was on the map.

GO DUCKS!!!

--Dave (addictedtoquack@gmail.com)

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