For the second season in a row, the Stanford Cardinal showed that they have the blueprint to stopping the potent Oregon Ducks‘ offense as they once again knocked off a top-two ranked Ducks team, 26-20, on Thursday night.
That blueprint, apparently, is to be as physical as you can with Oregon and also to keep that ball away from them. The latter may seem a bit obvious, but no one does that better than Stanford.
In the win tonight, the Cardinal had the ball within their possession for 45:30, while Oregon held it for the remaining 14:30.
Helping out with that in a tremendous way tonight was the running efforts of Stanford’s Tyler Gaffney. Gaffney carried the load tonight in a big way, rushing the ball 45 times for 157 yards and a score. He continuously converted the important plays when his team needed him to in short-yardage situations and wore down the Oregon defense.
Oregon tried to make a late surge in the fourth quarter to salvage their season, but fell short. After scoring late in the quarter to make it 26-13, the Ducks recovered the onside kick and drove the ball right back down the field to cut it to 26-20.
However, they weren’t able to recover their second attempt in a row at the onside, and that was the ball game with no timeouts left.
With the win, Stanford now moves to 8-1 and are a few more wins away from reaching the Pac-12 Championship Game yet again.
Oregon falls to 8-1 and will need another loss from Stanford to get back in to the race for the conference title game.