You can go back over 20 years to see just how troublesome Stanford has been for Oregon Football. The Ducks were in the Top 10 when they lost to Stanford in 2001. The same was true in 2009…and 2012…and 2013. And, of course, last season.
But Saturday the Ducks refused to let Stanford be a problem. Instead, Oregon was more of a problem to itself. There was so much laundry on the field from 14 Oregon penalties that Oregon Athletic Director Rob Mullens may have been thinking of reaching out to Tide as a potential sponsor.
Despite all that, Oregon controlled the game from the opening kickoff, jumping out to a 10-0 lead after the first quarter as Bo Nix hit Chase Cota on a screen pass that went for 49 yards and an Oregon touchdown right as the period concluded.
After a goal-line stand that forced the Cardinal to settle for a field goal and a 10-3 deficit, the floodgates opened in the second quarter. Nix hit Troy Franklin for a tightrope 10 yard touchdown pass in the corner of the end zone, then ran one in himself from four yards out. After a forced fumble recovery that gave Oregon the ball at the 1 yard line, James Jordan plowed in for a 31-3 halftime lead which, considering Stanford’s inability to move the ball, had already pretty much sealed the game.
Aided by more Oregon penalties, the Cardinal were finally able to put a couple touchdowns on the board in the third quarter, but an 80-yard run for a score by Nix that made it look like Dennis Dixon had suited up again kept the game firmly in Oregon’s control.
A final touchdown run by Sean Dollars to open the fourth put the game on ice, and Dan Lanning sent in the backups. The Cardinal added 10 points in garbage time for a final score of 45-27.
This was the fourth consecutive win for the Ducks since the opening game beatdown by Georgia, the fourth consecutive game in which the Ducks have amassed 40+ points, and the 22nd consecutive win at Autzen Stadium.
Oregon has one more game before its bye week and it will be against Arizona in Tucson, which is another place that has given the Ducks trouble over the years.
However, if the manhandling of Stanford was any indication, this current group of Ducks is ready to put past demons behind it.