Week 11 Predictions: Stanford vs Oregon

Stanford (6-3) vs Oregon (3-6)
Saturday, November 12th // Eugene, OR // 1:00pm PST // PAC-12 Network


Why we could BEAT Stanford…

The Cardinal are a bad offensive team. They average less than 20 points per game and less than 150 yards passing per game so they are by far the least dynamic offense Oregon has faced this season. Like Oregon, Stanford ranks in the middle of the conference in average yards before contact when rushing the ball, so this isn’t the monster o-line we’ve seen from the Cardinal most of this decade. If the Ducks can force them into obvious passing situations they might be able to take advantage of Stanford’s abysmal passing attack. Oregon’s offense has to do their part; if they score early and make the Cardinal play from behind, they’ll be forced to utilize the weakest part of their team. On defense, Stanford has been great when healthy. Other than the games vs. UW and WSU when they played without their two starting corners, the most points they’ve given up in the other seven games is 15 to Oregon State. Plus they lead the Pac-12 in sacks. Still, Oregon is the best offense they’ve faced outside of the Washington schools (they played USC before their QB change) and last year the Cardinal looked outmatched in the team speed department when they lost to the Ducks. If that continues tomorrow, the Ducks will have plenty of chances to score.

America has been taken over by Pac12 Refs and we need something good to happen.  Herbie is back at home.  Its senior day – Pharaoh Brown, Johnny Mundt, Cam Hunt, Jeff Lockie, Evan Baylis, Matt Wogan and those that are injured Prevot, Ragin III, and Daniels as well as those seniors on the roster that are deep in the depth chart but are still men of Oregon.  I think the Ducks pull out a win to give the seniors and duck nation one last home win for this season of sadness, one last win at Autzen for the seniors and to keep our bowl eligibility hopes on life support.

This might sound familiar and heartwarming to Duck fans: we gotta score points, and lots of them. 

Oregon’s offense averages 176 more yards per game than Furd (493 to 317) and is averaging 18 more points per game (38 to 20).  Stanford doesn’t have the fire power to keep up with Oregon’s averages.  Stanford’s QB, Ryan Burns, threw three interceptions last week and 7 total on the season to five TD passes (all of those in the first five weeks of the season).  He has been sacked 19 times and only has a completion percentage of 57% on the road.  But… (Continued in Why we will lose to Furd)

Stanford has regressed in a handful of predictable ways, as well as a few that were unexpected. Possibly more so even than the Ducks, especially if you consider how far the drop was.

The loss of Kevin Hogan (barf) naturally left a void at the quarterback position, but between an experienced career backup and a very highly sought after recruit, most assumed they would be fine. This was not the case, and QB play is one of the areas Oregon has a distinct advantage.

Stanford’s bread and butter has long been great offensive line play and stout defense. This year, they are getting less of both, particularly on the defensive side. In years past, they would make even the meanest defenses look wimpy (sob). This year, good teams do bad things to them, and that’s something that makes my heart happy.
Christian McCaffrey is not an every-down back, no matter how much they want it to be true. His losing the Heisman last year is one of the great crimes in sports, but he is a shell of what he once was now. Nothing is a better example of Stanford’s regression as a team than McCaffrey’s performance this year.

Also, it’s senior day. Don’t lose on senior day. (Please)

…Since we only had a couple contributors I decided to just ask the Magic 8 Ball we have at work.

Magic 8 Ball
Q: Will Oregon BEAT Stanford?
A: Yes.

…how about we flip a coin too.

Coin Flip
Heads we win, tails we lose.
Result: Heads

Why we could LOSE to Stanford…

The Ducks are a bad defensive team. A healthy Christian McCaffrey should find plenty of room to run. The Cardinal ended their game vs. Oregon State with 28 consecutive runs, and I expect to see something similar on Saturday. Even if Oregon puts all 11 defenders in the box, the Cardinal should still run the ball. Unless Oregon proves capable of consistently slowing the running game, Stanford will gladly pound on the Ducks, work the clock, and shorten the game.

We won’t.  Not this time.  Not this game.  Not at home.  #Believe

This might sound sickly familiar to Duck fans: our chances of winning hinge on stopping the run.

Yard and Point averages are great, but as we ALL know you can throw that out the window when playing Furd.    The Cardinal will not be leaning on their young QB this Saturday.  Stanford is a smart team coached by smart people, they are going to pound the ball down Oregon’s throat.  The Oregon defense is allowing 239 yards per game on the ground, and I expect to see two tight ends and a fullback most of the night, unless… Oregon can score enough points to get Stanford out of that time sucking, QB protecting, soul crushing game plan. 

While Stanford may have seen some regression, so too did Oregon, last week particularly. USC is a better team than most, but they schemed very well and may have given Stanford a good blueprint to beat us.

As always, cross your fingers that Royce Freeman is healthier, but don’t hold your breath. While I am confident in Tony Brooks-James’s abilities, even against the Stanford defense, I am conversely not confident in our own defense to get stops.

Magic 8 Ball

Q: Will Oregon LOSE to Stanford?
A: You may rely on it.

Coin Flip
Heads we lose, tails we win.
Result: Heads

The Picks…

McCaffrey runs wild. The Cardinal defense stuffs Oregon’s rushing attack and harasses Justin Herbert all afternoon. Stanford 33-17.

Ducks win by a touchdown.

Oregon loses, 21-17.  This is the game that sends even rational Duck fans into hysteria despite the Ducks losing the exact same way they would under other coaching staffs to Stanford.   The streak of 20 point scored broken, a defense that can’t limit Christian McCaffrey, and a loss in the final home game at Autzen.  There is NO WAY (ahem) I see the Ducks offense explode and take Furd out of their game plan and score over 35 points …I do love a good reverse jinx though.

Unlike literally every game of every year since I’ve been a Duck fan, I would love for this one to be a slugfest. I am less worried about offensive production, long term, than I am about defensive growth. I’d like us to keep up our streak of scoring 20+ points, so I’m calling 24-17 Oregon

Magic 8 Ball
Q: Will Oregon cover the spread (+3)?
A: Outlook not so good.

Coin Flip
Heads we cover the spread, tails we don’t cover.
Result: Heads

…Picks up Magic 8 Ball again. 

Is the name of Oregon’s current mascot really “Puddles”?

**Shakes Magic 8 Ball**


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