Stanford vs. Oregon Prediction, Game Preview

    Stanford vs. Oregon prediction and game preview. The Cardinal look to stay in the hunt for a College Football Playoff spot as they host the Ducks.

    November 10, 2015


    The annual showdown between the Stanford Cardinal (8-1) and the Oregon Ducks (6-3) will once again have Pac-12 North implications … and more. Check out the Oregon vs. Stanford prediction and game preview.

    Oregon vs. Stanford Prediction & Preview

    Broadcast

    Date: Saturday, November 14
    Game Time: 7:30 ET
    Network: Fox

    Follow and/or Contact @Rich Cirminiello 

    Why You Need To Care

    The Ducks and the Cardinal, with the North Division potentially riding on the outcome. What else is new?

    Since 2010, the winner of the Oregon-Stanford tilt has gone on to win the Pac-12 championship. And while it hasn’t been a typical campaign for the Ducks, this year’s matchup will still have plenty riding on the outcome, especially for the Cardinal. Stanford has won eight straight since losing the opener to Northwestern, climbing to No. 7 in the latest College Football Playoff rankings. If David Shaw’s team can continue winning, including in two weeks against Notre Dame, it has a great shot of representing the league in the playoffs.

    The Ducks, after bottoming out with an unthinkable 3-3 start, have rebounded with three consecutive wins over Washington, Arizona State and Cal. They’re bowl eligible and still mathematically alive for the division if they can win Saturday and have the Cardinal fall to Cal a week from now. Oregon would love nothing more than to play spoiler against a rival that ruined its own title marches in 2012 and 2013.

    Why Oregon Will Win

    Vernon Adams is back … and so are the sick offensive numbers.

    With Adams back behind center, the Ducks have cranked out 105 points over the last two games, as well as a school-record 777 yards versus Cal last week. Now, Stanford is obviously stingier than Cal, but Oregon has begun to click, especially on the ground with Royce Freeman. And, as usual, there are no shortages of dynamite playmakers to spread the field, like receivers Darren Carrington and Bralon Addison and reserve backs Taj Benoit, Kani Benoit and Tony Brooks-James. Stanford yields less than four yards a carry, but the Duck O-line is really gelling around OT Tyrell Crosby.

    Why Stanford Will Win

    Oregon’s track record of struggling with physical opponents will rear its ugly head again this week.

    The Ducks have long had a problem with certain kinds of teams; teams like Stanford, for instance. Pull out the film of last year’s national title game with Ohio State for evidence. Furthermore, Oregon is an even worse defensive team in 2015, ranking last in the Pac-12 in both scoring and total D. 

    It’ll have major issues slowing the combination of RB Christian McCaffrey on the ground and QB Kevin Hogan through the air, particularly since the front wall has been dominant during the winning streak. Yeah, the Ducks boast talented D-linemen, namely DeForest Buckner and Alex Balducci, but the secondary has really struggled, which could mean a somewhat bigger role for Hogan in Week 11.

    Player Who Matters

    If the Ducks plan to run the ball with any consistency on Saturday night, they better get a hat on No. 4, Blake Martinez, at all times. Martinez is this year’s Shane Skov on the inside, diagnosing plays in a heartbeat before lowering the boom. The senior leads the Cardinal with 94 tackles, more than twice his nearest teammate. And he rarely misses in the open field. Since the Northwestern opener, only USC and UCLA have rushed for more than 150 yards on Stanford, with Martinez’s run-stuffing skills being a huge factor in the team’s stinginess.

    What’s Going To Happen?

    Oregon is improved, but not so much that it can halt Stanford’s win streak.

    Mark Helfrich and the Ducks deserve credit for salvaging this season. However, their mini-run ends here. Oregon’s inability to make defensive stops or combat Stanford’s physicality will be its undoing on Saturday night. The Ducks will have some success on offense with Adams and Freeman out of the backfield. McCaffrey and Hogan, though, will be distinctly more prolific on the ground and through the air. Seeking revenge for last year’s 45-16 loss in Eugene, Stanford won’t stop pressing until the final minutes tick off the clock.

    Oregon vs. Stanford Prediction

    Prediction: Stanford 45, Oregon 27, Line: Stanford -10, o/u: 69
    Must See Rating: 5: Spectre … 1: The 33 … 4.5

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