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Ducks Lay an Egg Against Stanford—Again

The No. 3 ranked Oregon Ducks were upended by the No. 5 ranked Stanford Cardinal on Thursday, as is (what seems to be) the annual tradition in the Pac-12. Stanford went up early and, as it turned out, Oregon never really had a chance.

Last year, Oregon’s national title hopes were derailed in a 14-17 overtime loss to Stanford—snapping a two game winning streak against the school.

Senior Cardinal running back Tyler Gaffney got the ball rolling with just over two minutes to go in the first quarter, rushing two yards for a touchdown which put his team ahead 7-0. Quarterback Kevin Hogan punched it in, running 11 yards for a touchdown at 11:26 of the second.

Then, as time expired, Stanford kicker Jordan Williamson was good from 19 yards, which put the Cardinal up 17-0 going into the locker room at halftime.

Any hopes of an Oregon rally in the second half were quickly dashed in the third, as Stanford extended their lead by a field goal just three minutes in. They added another field goal as the third quarter ended, putting them ahead 23-0 going into the fourth.

With their BCS Championship hopes on the line, all Oregon could muster was (what turned out to be) a garbage touchdown with just over 10 minutes remaining in the game. The Ducks just didn’t play like a national championship was on the line, particularly quarterback Marcus Mariota.

The odds-on favorite to win the Heisman was unimpressive, to say the least, through three quarters of the game. Mariota pulled it together in the final five minutes of the game, scoring two touchdowns as time ticked down.

It just wasn’t enough to overcome the epic lead Stanford established to that point. In the end they prevailed over Oregond 26-20, with the finale score not being nearly as lopsided as the game felt.

This puts Oregon out of the hunt for a national championship, leaving Florida State, and their freshman standout quarterback Jameis Winston, in the driver’s seat to face Alabama in January.

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