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Know Thy Enemy: Stanford Cardinal

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NCAA Football: San Jose State at Oregon
Will Touchdown Johnny make an appearance Saturday night?
Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

The Ducks open conference play with Pac-12 North rival Stanford with College GameDay in tow.

Head Coach: David Shaw

2017 Record: 9-5 (7-2) 5-0 home and 3-5 away, 1-0 neutral site (Australia)

2018 Record: 3-0 (1-0)

Key Numbers + Info (2018 season)

OOC Opponents: San Diego State, UC Davis, Notre Dame

Points per game: 26.0

Points allowed per game: 7.0

Avg. yards per rush: 3.8

Avg. yards per rush allowed: 3.3

Avg. rush yards per game: 115.3

Avg. rush yards per game allowed: 104.7

Rushing TDs: 2 for, 1 against

Avg. pass yards per game: 243.0

Avg. pass yards per game allowed: 196.33

Passing TDs: 7 for, 1 against

Collective Pass Completion Rate: 58%

Collective Pass Completion Rate Against: 51%

Analysis

  • Stanford has struggled to run the ball as teams have dared the Cardinal to beat team with the pass.
  • The passing game has shown flashes but it isn’t there yet.
  • The three wins have been offensive slogs for the most part thus the low points per game total.
  • They weren’t completely engaged against UC Davis last week but won by enough, 30-10 with a garbage time touchdown by UCD at the very end.
  • In the win against USC, they made freshman QB J.T. Daniels look like a true freshman with a less than 50% completion percentage and two interceptions.

Keys to an Oregon Win

  • Defense. More specifically, can anyone other than Ugo Amadi and the defensive line step up to make a play? Last year, Bryce Love just ran at will against the Ducks, that needs to change. Jim Leavitt and co needs to watch the SDSU tape and see what they did to contain Love. Outside of the aforementioned Amadi, the secondary has been less than ideal. The corners have to hold up against J.J Arcega-Whiteside. Stanford has been a little sloppy holding onto the ball, losing three turnovers in three games.
  • Pass Offense. Let’s just say that the pass calls have been a little inconsistent by OC Marcus Arroyo. The receiving corps have been abysmal as a whole outside of a few big plays. Justin Herbert has contributed to the malaise with some borderline terrible passes on his part. Also, I understand going vertical to open up the defense but is Mike Leach secretly the OC? The pistol is clearly a work in progress.
  • Run Offense. C.J. Verdell is the clear number one back on the chart based on usage and what we’ve seen. It would be nice for TBJ to show up and claim the second string job this week. The depth chart behind those two has been fluid so the opportunities are still there. It would be great if there was more clarity in everyone’s roles going forward.

Keys to an Oregon Loss

  • Defensive depth. The defense from last year’s game shows up and Bryce Love goes off again. The depth players in the front seven need to be prepared to play against a physical style of offense that the Cardinal employ. Namely, the linebackers need to play well. Let’s face it, Oregon has only one true pass rush threat in Jalen Jelks. If he doesn’t get help, the DL will be exposed.
  • Offensive Inefficiency. The receivers continue being the receivers that we know and don’t show any improvement at all. The offensive line gets exploited due to having to face real competition for the first time all season. The pistol continues to not impress. Basically what Stanford did to USC and their hotshot QB. There’s seemingly only three true outcomes in the pass game right now: screens, vertical routes, and lack of ball awareness. This needs to be improved.

What are the odds?

(all odds as seen on vegasinsider.com)

Vegas odds: WestGate SuperBook and William Hill

Offshore odds: Bovada and Mybookie

WestGate: O/U is 56. Money line is Stanford -135, Oregon +115. Stanford is favored by 2 points.

William Hill: O/U is 56.5. Money line is Stanford -130, Oregon +110. Stanford is favored by 2 points

Bovada: O/U is 56. Money line is Stanford -130, Oregon +110. Stanford is favored by 2.5 points

Mybookie: O/U is 56. Money line is Stanford -130, Oregon +110. Stanford is favored by 2 points