It has been about a year since I have written about a loss for the Oregon Ducks, but this one seems a little harder to swallow. With injuries in the game to Quarterback Marcus Mariota(who did return) and in the fourth quarter to Wide Receiver Josh Huff the Ducks could not overcome the Stanford Offense. Stanford led the game in time of possession and between the 2nd and 3rd quarter nearly 11 minutes of gametime burned off the clock without Mariota getting the ball in his hands.
Oregon did come alive in the 4th quarter to make it interesting, but in the end it was not enough. Stanford Running Back Tyler Gaffney rushed for 157 yards on 45 carries and a touchdown. The big player of the night for the Cardinal was Quarterback Kevin Hogan who scrambled for yards when he had to and picked up key first downs with his feet. He threw 7 completions on the night for 103 yards.
For three quarters Stanford held Oregon and kept them off balance. Quarterback Marcus Mariota completed 20 of 34 passes for 250 yards and two touchdowns on the night.
There are games that go your way and there are games where there is adversity you have to face. The Ducks did not do enough on Thursday night to step up to the challenge. They had opportunities for points in the first half and went for touchdowns instead of field goals. There was a costly fumble by De’Anthony Thomas five yards from the endzone. The Ducks again, like last year, were unable to finish on the big stage.
The Cardinal had the right formula to stop the Ducks. They played the perfect game of three yards here and three yards there and made the Ducks play catchup. They almost got there, but it wasn’t meant to be on Thursday Night.
Marcus Mariota left for a short time with an injury but did return. Wide Receiver Josh Huff left in the 3rd quarter with an injury and needed help off the field. He was later taken to the locker room. There is no update on his injury at the time of this report.
Oregon heads home and will face Utah next Saturday at Autzen.