Though the saying goes, “It never rains at Autzen Stadium,” Heisman hopeful Marcus Mariota and Oregon’s offense rained points upon Stanford’s vaunted defense on Saturday.
This year’s rivalry game was touted as being no different from previous years, as two of the best units in the country were pitted against each other: the Ducks’ fifth-ranked scoring offense (45.5 points per game) against the Cardinal’s second-ranked scoring defense (12.5 points per game). Though in a matchup that was more reminiscent of Oregon’s 2011 rout at Stanford Stadium that those of the past two seasons, the Ducks offense put on a clinic, defeating the Cardinal 45-16, putting Stanford’s Pac-12 title hopes to rest for good.
Here is a look at some of the key numbers from the game and Oregon’s thorough domination:
31: Consecutive games in which Stanford had held its opponents under 30 points entering Saturday’s matchup. The streak dated back to the Cardinal’s 54-48 overtime win against Arizona on Oct. 6, 2012, and was the longest active streak in the nation before they allowed 45 to the Ducks. It was more than twice as long as the second-longest streak in the nation, Ole Miss’ 15-gamer, and Louisville’s third-best 14-game streak — both of which coincidentally came to an end this weekend as well.
|Most Points Allowed in a Regulation Game; Harbaugh-Shaw Era (since 2007)|
|Date||Opponent||Points Scored||Points Allowed|
|Sept. 22, 2007||Oregon||31||55|
|Nov. 12, 2011||Oregon||30||53|
|Oct. 2, 2010||at Oregon||31||52|
|Nov. 1, 2014||at Oregon||16||45|
|Sept. 1, 2007||UCLA||17||45|
|Nov. 15, 2008||USC||23||45|
267: Oregon’s total rushing yards in Saturday’s game. Stanford entered the game allowing opponents just 90.6 yards on the ground per game this season, having held each of them under their season averages in total yards, as well as passing and rushing yards. Yet Marcus Mariota, who rushed for a season-high 92 yards on nine carries, and Royce Freeman, who ran for 101 yards on 19 carries, were able to vary the Ducks’ offensive attack enough to dominate the Cardinal. Mariota and Oregon’s no-huddle offense scored touchdowns in six of nine possessions before backup quarterback Jeff Lockie took over in the middle of the fourth quarter, as they carved up both the Cardinal secondary and run defense.
11-to-3: Stanford’s ratio of fumbles lost to fumbles recovered this season. The team is on pace to finish with a negative turnover margin (negative nine) for the first time since ending the 2008 season at negative four.While Stanford was often able to take away the run up the middle, they were consistently beaten outside the tackles, as Mariota’s scrambles seemed simply unstoppable. At the end of the day, Oregon finished with 525 yards of total offense, the most the Cardinal has allowed since giving up 617 yards in the aforementioned Arizona matchup in 2012.
The Cardinal’s offensive consistency has been called into question as the year has worn on, but perhaps the most damaging part of the team’s performances has been losing the turnover battle. Despite having one of his better games of the season, Kevin Hogan’s third-quarter fumble was arguably the last meaningful play on Saturday, ending Stanford’s hopes for a comeback in the middle of what seemed like a surge.
Contact Jordan Wallach at jwallach ‘at’ stanford.edu.