Autzen Stadium buried their heads as they saw Jordan Williamson kick the game-winning field goal in overtime for Stanford to end Oregon’s hopes for a national championship.
The Cardinal win 17-14 after Oregon couldn’t move the ball offensively in their first possession in overtime. Alejandro Maldonado, who is the backup field goal kicker and took Rob Beard’s spot last week, missed his second field goal attempt of the night.
Defensively, the Ducks could have continued overtime if they would have picked up a fumble that Stanford coughed up on their second play of overtime. The other key moment was the controversial touchdown that was caught by Zach Ertz to help Stanford tie the game up at 14 with a 1:35 left in the game.
It was a tremendous effort by Oregon’s defense that held up despite lots of injuries and forced three turnovers and a key fourth-down stop that jolted the offense to finally get on the board. However, the difficult matchup against Stanford’s NFL-caliber line and the best rush defense in the nation would win the day overall.
Both offenses had eerily similar production. Stanford had 411 total yards, 200 yards rushing, and 211 yards passing. Oregon had 410, 198, and 212 in the respective categories. What didn’t happen was Marcus Mariota taking advantage of a bad pass defense. He faced a lot of pressure all day long, and unless the running game was doing well on a couple of possessions, Mariota had one of his more inefficient nights completing 22-38 passes.
The key to Stanford’s offense was Stepfan Taylor. Formerly on some people’s Heisman watch lists before the season, Taylor had the bulk of the offensive attack with 161 yards on 33 carries. In comparison to Mariota, backup quarterback Kevin Hogan was more efficient completing 25-36 passes. This was his first start as a college football quarterback.
Oregon goes from national title hopes to possibly not even reaching the Pac-12 title game. Stanford’s win gives them the tiebreaker in the North division. The Cardinal would have to lose at UCLA and Oregon would need to win at Oregon State.
Brian Spaen is the lead editor for Autzen Zoo. See his banter with other FanSided writers and love for his favorite west coast professional teams by following him on Twitter.