STANFORD, Calif. — No. 23 Stanford rumbled to their fifth victory of the year after defeating Oregon 49-7 at Stanford Stadium on Saturday. Inexperience at the quarterback position, penalties and turnovers continue to cripple the Ducks.
The Cardinal offense registered 504 total yards to 309 for the Ducks. Stanford controlled the clock (37:17) and Oregon starting quarterback Braxton Burmeister.
“I don’t think we played well enough. I don’t think we coached well enough,” head coach Willie Taggart said. “That’s on every single one of us. We didn’t do enough."
UO’s third-down trend continued with the offense going 4-for-11 and 0-for-1 on fourth down opposed to Stanford’s 58 percent third-down efficiency.
Oregon entered the game as the most-penalized team in the land. They exited the same way after being penalized on nine separate occasions for a total of 101 yards. It was just the second time this season UO did not record 10 penalties or more. However, a handful of UO big plays were negated by the yellow flags in this contest.
“We got to play better. We got to play more disciplined,” Taggart stated calmly. “We’re not good enough to turn the ball over like we did against a good football team and expect to win."
The nation’s leading rusher entered the contest with 1,240 rushing yards. Bryce Love improved upon that early, tallying the opening score with a 5-yard run. Stanford drove 77 yards on six plays in 2:26 en route the first points of the game.
On the Cardinal next possession, Love wasted no time as he scored on the first play from 67 yards out. Before the Ducks knew what hit them, they were down 14-0 with 10:37 left in the first.
Love finished with a game-high 147 rushing yards on 17 carries (8.6 YPC) and two scores. For the season, the Heisman hopeful has 1,387 total rushing yards as he remains No. 1 in the nation.
Love’s pace has him on track for the NCAA single-season rushing record held by the legendary Barry Sanders with Oklahoma State. Sanders had 1,156 at this point in the season, as he concluded with 2,628 rushing yards in 1988. Love needs to do some serious heavy lifting the rest of the way, however.
“We couldn’t give them extra possessions and we totally did opposite of what we tried to do."
Oregon fought back as Royce Freeman placed the team on his broad shoulders. The senior workhorse amassed 84 rushing yards on the next drive, including a 59-yard outburst that set the table for UO’s first touchdown.
Burmeister cut the deficit in half, 14-7, with his 1-yard plunge moments later. It was the first rushing TD of his college career. The play was reviewed by the Pac-12 officiating crew but the original call was upheld.
Freeman amassed 143 rushing yards on 18 carries. It was the 26th time in Freeman’s Duck career that he rushed for 100 yards or more. With the achievement, the senior RB tied LaMichael James for the most all-time in program history.
With just six pass attempts for the starter before exiting early, Oregon was focused on their running game. The Ducks rushed for 276 yards on 43 total carries (6.4 YPC) and one score.
Quarterback Keller Chryst found his wide receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside for Stanford’s third tally of the first half. The 3-yard pass placed them ahead 21-7 with 3:26 left in the first quarter.
Following the Cardinal score, Burmeister was intercepted on back-to-back Oregon possessions. The latter was an incredible snag by the outside linebacker Casey Toohill. Nevertheless, the true freshman was telegraphing his passes.
“He had two turnovers and he came over to the sideline shook a little bit,” said Taggart. “We knew we could run the ball against them. We tried to play to our strength but when you turn the football over it’s tough against a good football team.”
Overall, the La Jolla product completed 2-of-6 passes for 15 yards and two picks before being pulled. He carried seven times for 26 rushing yards and his first college rushing score. Burmeister had four interceptions and five turnovers in his first six quarters as the starter.
Freeman caught a pass for eight yards, while Brenden Schooler had a 7-yard reception. That was the extent of the passing game before Burmeister departed.
Stanford took a 28-7 lead midway through the second quarter with a special teams’ highlight. Oregon punter Adam Stack had his boot blocked and taken to the house by Brandon Simmons.
A standout play came from true freshman Deommodore Lenoir to end the first half. Oregon’s cornerback intercepted his first collegiate pass on a Stanford deflection in the end zone.
A touchdown would’ve placed Stanford ahead 35-7 before halftime. Instead, the Ducks headed to the locker room down 21 points.
Stanford quickly made up for it in the second half. Chryst connected with Arcega-Whiteside for a second time, boosting their lead to 35-7 midway through the third. It was a 12-yard scoring play, concluding a 9-play, 75-yard drive.
The 6-foot-3 junior receiver led the way with a game-high six catches for 112 yards (18.7 YPC) and two tallies. Trenton Irwin inhaled five passes for 52 yards.
Taylor Alie checked into the ballgame late in the third. The former Sheldon High School quarterback completed 2-of-5 passes for 10 yards. He rushed once for -6 yards.
Up 28 points in the final 15 minutes, Stanford did not hit the brakes. Another passing score placed the Cardinal ahead comfortably 42-7. Colby Parkinson was on the receiving end of Chryst’s third TD toss of the evening.
The senior gunslinger completed 15-of-21 attempts for 181 passing yards, three tallies, and an interception in the win for the Cardinal.
Parkinson secured his second TD of the night with just under three minutes left in the game, 49-7. Stanford backup quarterback K.J. Costello was credited with the touchdown completion.
Burmeister checked back in on the final drive only to fumble away the possession. It was his sixth turnover of the season and the third turnover of the game for Oregon.
He finished 3-of-8 for 23 yards. Overall, Duck QB’s threw for 33 total passing yards.
“If I saw that in practice, he wouldn’t be playing in the game,” Taggart replied. “The kid had a good week of practice and didn’t have the game we wanted. We had a good week of practice, came out here today and didn’t execute at the quarterback position.”
Defensively Troy Dye once again stood out from the pack. The sophomore linebacker secured a game-high 10 tackles, giving him a team-leading 62 this season.
Jimmy Swain finished second on the team with nine tackles. Meanwhile, safety Tyree Robinson added seven tackles of his own.
Thomas Graham Jr., Jalen Jelks, and Nick Pickett had six tackles each. The Ducks’ defense had five TFL and four pass deflections.
Over their last two contests vs Oregon, Stanford is averaging 50.5 points per game.
Charles Nelson and Dillon Mitchell both returned to the field this week. Nelson was primarily used as a decoy in the first half but did catch one pass for five yards in the final 30 minutes. Mitchell was not involved in the offense but was returning punts.
On the flip side of the injury bug, Oregon’s star offensive lineman Tyrell Crosby left the game and did not return. Additionally, lineman Jake Pisarcik exited and did not return to the field, as well. We will have details concerning both later this week.
Oregon (4-3, 1-3) will continue their California trip with a meeting against UCLA (3-3, 1-2) next Saturday. The last time they met came in 2014 when both were ranked inside the AP Top 20. Marcus Mariota and No. 12 Oregon dominated No. 18 UCLA 42-30 from Pasadena. Kickoff is slated for 1:00 p.m. PT from the Rose Bowl via the Pac-12 Network.