NCAA College Football Preview - Oregon Ducks at Stanford Cardinal
No.3 Oregon Ducks (8-0 5-0) at No.5 Stanford Cardinal (7-1 5-1)
Arguably the biggest game in week 10 of college football. The Pac-12 Conference game sees the Ducks looking for revenge after defeat to the Cardinal last season.
Heisman Trophy candidate Marcus Mariota has simply been brilliant this season. Mariota has thrown for 2,281 yards and 20 touchdowns, rushing for 587 yards (the second best numbers at Oregon) and nine touchdowns this season. Exceptional stats are amplified by the fact that he has not thrown for an interception, adding to the fact that he also ran for a 71-yard touchdown against the Virginia Cavaliers. I could sit here all day and revel in his amazing ability, looking for the next superlative but there is more to this team than their star quarterback.
Wide receiver Josh Huff has 38 receptions for 703 yards and 6 touchdown receptions. Running back Byron Marshall has been in fine form, 879 rushing yards for 12 rushing touchdowns has contributed to Oregon having the 2nd best rushing yards per game in collegiate football.
Stanford defeated two top ranked teams coming into this game. At times they have struggled on the offense, this is evident by an output of 193 passing yards per game (96th overall) and 196 rushing yards per game (36th overall). Quarterback Kevin Hogan will not want to add to his five picks. Hogan has thrown for 1,498 yards and 13 passing touchdown and one rushing touchdown. Running back Tyler Gaffney has 894 yards rushing for 12 touchdowns. Another reliable outlet is junior wide receiver Ty Montgomery. Montgomery has 39 receptions for 619 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Head coach David Shaw will be urging his defensive line not to give away any cheap penalties in an attempt to slow down the Oregon offense. A high-pressure game is going to be needed as the front seven look for ways to penetrate the Ducks pocket and get to Mariota.
This is an unbelievably exciting matchup, those that are not lucky enough to be in Stanford to see the game live will be sat watching in their armchairs wondering if Stanford can pull off another victory over the second best ranked team in college football.