Oregon is heavily favored but the beauty of the game lies within the fact that it must be played. I’m sure there’s a pun regarding the Cardinal’s need for a little “Luck” but just going to jump right into this one.
Prediction 1: Oregon will cover the spread
Stanford doesn’t have the personnel to keep up with the speed demons in Oregon. Oregon is averaging 54.8 points per and I’m expecting the Ducks to waddle in for at least seven touchdowns.
It’s not just the offense that will be putting on a show. Oregon’s defense leads the nation with 19 interceptions and they’ll be facing a freshman quarterback, Kevin Hogan, in his second career start. With an offense that doesn’t break the top 50 in any offensive category it’s going to be hard for Stanford to move into scoring position.
Vegas says Oregon by 20.5. While it’s hard to predict the score with trash time factored in, I’m saying the Ducks will lead by 28 at some point.
Prediction 2: Oregon gains at least 350 yards on the ground
Oregon has combined for 620 yards rushing in their last two games against Stanford and they’re running game looks even better this year.
Stanford will have their hands full trying to stop Kenjon Barner who’s averaging 156.9 yards and two touchdowns per game. After a 321 yard rushing performance against USC I’m expecting the Heisman candidate to have another breakout performance.
Prediction 3: Stanford won’t break 20 points
You can’t put a lot of faith in an offense that makes a mid-season quarterback change, especially when that quarterback is a true freshman. Kevin Hogan has proven he can be an efficient passer, and he much more mobile than Josh Nunes, but he’ll be playing in the most hostile environment west of the Rockies.
Playing in Eugene presents many more challenges than dealing with a booing crowd. He’s going to have a difficult time calling audibles, communicating with his players, and trying to lead his offense in general.
In the end, Stanford will need big plays from their running backs and field position help from their defense if they want any chance of producing enough points to keep up with Oregon.