November 17, 2012

No. 1 Oregon loses overtime slugfest to Stanford

Coming into the match-up against the No. 13 Stanford Cardinal, most of the talk surrounding the No. 1 Oregon Ducks centered on the rush defense of the Cardinal and the depleted defensive line of the Ducks.

After exchanging punts to open the game, Oregon made the first big play of the game on a 77 yard run by Marcus Mariota. The Ducks were unable to capitalize, though, as they stalled failing to convert on 4th-and-1 from the Stanford 7-yard line.

Following their game plan, the Cardinal used ball control in the first quarter to move the ball and keep the Duck offense off the field. After taking possession at the 7 yard line, the Cardinal moved 93 yards to take an early 7-0 lead when freshman Kevin Hogan scrambled for a 1 yard touchdown run.

After exchanging a series of punts and turnovers on downs, the Ducks quick strike offense went 59 yards in three plays to tie the game on a 28 yard pass to Keanon Lowe.

The second half began much like the first half with both teams exchanging punts to start the third quarter. The Ducks took over at the 5 yard line, though, and proceeded to march down the field. After a 16 play drive De'Anthony Thomas took an inside hand-off 6 yards for the score to put the Ducks up 14-7 midway through the third quarter.

Stanford had just one method to try and steal the victory; play ugly and make it a low scoring slug-fest which is what they did at Autzen Stadium Saturday night.

With just 6:47 left in the game, Stanford got the ball back at their own 13 trailing 14-7 and began to move methodically down the field looking to tie the game. On second and goal from the 10-yard line, the Cardinal did exactly that as Kevin Hogan hit Zach Ertz in the back of the end zone.

With 1:35 left in the game, the Ducks got the ball back but were unable to move past midfield and punted the ball back to Stanford with just thirty-six seconds left in the game. The Cardinal ran out the clock and the game was headed to overtime.

Stanford won the toss and elected to play defense. Oregon was unable to move the ball and missed a 41 yard field goal attempt giving Stanford the golden opportunity to steal the game at Autzen.

After nearly fumbling away the opportunity, the Cardinal faced a fourth and five from the 20-yard line. Jordan Williamson came and nailed a 37-yard field goal to give Stanford the upset victory 17-14 in front of a stunned Autzen crowd.

With the loss, Oregon now needs UCLA to upset Stanford next weekend to have a shot at the Pac-12 Championship game in two weeks. The loss also all but ended the Ducks national championship hopes.

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