Stanford vs Oregon Preview: Game Of The Year

Stanford-vs-Oregon1by Jerry Feitelberg

Well fans, this is the game of the year in not only the Pac-12 north division but the entire Pac-12 and , perhaps, the nation.

Stanford will be playing the the high-flying Oregon Ducks on Thursday November 7th at Stanford Stadium at 6pm The Ducks are ranked #2 nationally with a 8-0 record. Stanford has a record is 7-1 i and is ranked at # 5. The game is sold out but there may be some single seats available

Oregon will be looking to avenge the 17-14 loss they suffered to the Cardinal last year at Autzen Stadium in Eugene. The Ducks never lose at home but they did last year and Stanford, not Oregon, went to the Rose Bowl. The Ducks are loaded again. They are led by first year head coach Mark Helrich. Chip Kelly,who built Oregon into a national powerhouse, fled to the NFL and is in the process of rebuilding the Philadelphia Eagle franchise. Helrich has the Ducks playing at an extremely high level again this year. Oregon has scored 34 points or more in 34 consecutive games. The lone exception was the loss to Stanford last year. Handling the chores at quarterback is Marcus Mariota, who is a sophomore. Mariota has been named a semi-finalist for the Maxwell Club’s Award for Collegiate Player of the year. Mariota runs an offense that is second nationally in scoring and in total offense averaging 632 yards per game. That, folks, is absolutely off the charts. Mariota also has completed sixty-four percent of his passes.

The Stanford defense will be sorely tested. Defensive end Ben Gardner has been sidelined for the rest of the season with an arm injury. Stanford’s strength on defense has been the pass rush. Stanford ranks third nationally with 27 sacks and Gardner was second on the team with 4.5 sacks behind Trent Murphy’s 9.5. Murphy, by the way, was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week. In the game against Oregon State, Murphy recorded 3.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks. Logged 8 tackles, 2 quarterback hurries and blocked an extra point. It was the second times this season that Murphy has won the award.

It should be interesting to see how Stanford’s great defense, albeit riddled with injury, can stand up to the offensive onslaught that will be coming there way on November 7th. The Cardinal shut down Oregon State’s Shawn Mannion last week and limited OSU to just 12 points. The Cardinal offense is going to have to get their game going in order to beat the Ducks.

While Gardner is lost for the year, the Cardinal has Senior Henry Anderson returning from injury and Anderson will be at defensive end for the Cardinal.

There is no doubt about it. This should be one of the great games of the year. The winner may be in the BCS championship game. The eyes of the nation will be watching for sure.