We haven't done a Q&A with an opposing team's blogger in a few weeks, and that's a shame. As much as we can watch highlights and pour over stats, we're never going to know an opposing team better than the guys that are devoted to them. Fortunately, Hank Waddles of GoMightyCard.com contacted me about trading questions, and I was more than happy to oblige. You can find my answers to his questions at GoMightyCard (most likely).
First of all, it has to be a low-scoring game. Through much of the season I kept expecting for the Cardinal offense to break out of their slump, but now I've finally come to realize that they aren't in a slump; this is just who they are. I know that Oregon doesn't believe in the importance of time of possession, but I think Stanford has to win that battle by a large margin. Stanford held the ball for over 37 minutes in last year's win over the Ducks, but every other significant stat -- total yards, first downs, points -- was essentially even. Without that edge, Stanford's in trouble. In order to establish that edge, it's crucial for Stanford to be able to run the ball. Tyler Gaffney has to have a big game, and he has to get going early. I think he needs to have at least 35 carries in the game, and I'd love to see ten in the first quarter. If Stanford can keep the ball away from the Ducks a bit, if only to give their own defense time to rest on the sidelines, the Cardinal will have a shot at the upset. I'll say Stanford 21, Oregon 17.