From the end of aughts in 2010, the annual meeting between Oregon Duck And Stanford cardinal Defined Pac-10/12. One of the two won every conference championship from 2009 to 2015 and won two Rose Bowls, a Fiesta Bowl and an Orange Bowl.
Not a traditional rivalry, while both the stakes of their matchups and the contrast in their style made Oregon-Stanford feel like a rivalry. Meanwhile, identify Pac 12 The success of each program can be traced through.
Chip Kelly’s Mike Bellotti’s hire as offensive coordinator in 2007 was a game-changer, extending the small Oregon program to the national title-competition in short order. The Duck’s hyperspeed offenses prompted a wave of like-minded coaching hires around the Pac-12 in the early part of the last decade, with Arizona Rich Rodriguez, Arizona State bringing Todd Graham, Kaling to Sunny Dykes and Washington State having had. Mike Leach Tabbing.
But as Stanford rolled three conference championships over four seasons, other events notice the Cardinal’s tough-nosed approach. Washington brought in Chris Petersen in 2014, Cal hired Justin Wilcox in 2017 and when Willie Taggart unexpectedly left Oregon after a year, the UO brass promoted Mario Cristobal.
Oregon returned to the peak of the Pac-12 in 2019, with Cristobal employing the elements from his time with Alabama at Nick Saban, using a physical brand of defensive ball and punishing opponents on the line of humiliation . The opposite part of the Oregon-Stanford series is no longer a factor, with Duck Styles more closely imitating Cardinal coach David Shaw. But with the opening tone in the Pac-12 North race the stakes are high again.
Stanford in Oregon
to start: Saturday, November 7 at 7:30 pm ET
Spread: Stanford -10
When stanford has the ball
Stanford’s unimaginably poor 2019 story begins with its offensive line. The strength of any Cardinal team usually piled up early in a season of injuries – especially potential All-American Walker Little. The situation became so severe that in the midst of the campaign, Shaw and his staff demanded a walk-on to add a front.
The Front Five is heading towards uncertainty in 2020, as it was back in the spring, a result of Little Outing. Nevertheless, the unit should be improved long before one season. This is for the benefit of quarterback Davis Mills, with KJ Costello thrust into the lineup following another high-profile injury last year. Mills is more than capable and has an excellent duct of pass-catchers to lean on: Michael Wilson, Connor Weddington and Simi Fehoko. Fehoko came into a strong position at the end of 2019 and showed big-game ability reminiscent of Stanford standout JJ Arsaga-Whiteside.
The Cardinal, however, is establishing a consistent run, paramount to the offense. It is ironic that this program is characterized by some of the best attacks across the country after a decade. Although the Oregon Front Seven is undergoing some changes – especially replacing four-year starting linebacker Troy Dye – Jordan Scott and Kayvan Thibodeaux make for one of the scariest line anywhere in the country.
If Stanford cannot get any grassroots play to work on them, then reliance on passes could increase the chances of turnover for a talented secondary. This includes veteran Demodor Lenore, an early opt-out who decided to return in October.
When oregon has the ball
Oregon’s first conference championship loss since 2014 and Wisconsin’s emotional Rose Bowl game marked the culmination of an outstanding career for some notable Ducks. Quarterback Justin Herbert said goodbye in style four years after leading his local team, and an excellent offensive line put his hands together for the last time.
Were it not for the COVID-19 pandemic, the cornerstone of that line – the likely No. 1 overall draft pickenie Seawell – would provide the basis for a large-scale reconstruction unit. Instead, it looks very different to ducks. How the new group passes in real time, against a Stanford front that includes outstanding pass ranger Thomas Booker, will dictate the momentum of Saturday’s competition.
So, too, a fresh start would be an adjustment for the quarterback. Herbert is now thriving in the NFL with the Los Angeles Chargers, leaving Tyler Shaw to run the show. Schaaf is praised for his skill, but does not have high-stakes experience. The Ducks may need to rely on running back CJ Verdell long ago, but only if the line can make a hole for the running back.
Last year’s Oregon victory was a rock fight, a battle trend that would have been ideal for a Stanford win in the Shaw vs. Kelly days. Instead, the physical and low scoring affair benefitted the Ducks. Another similar competition may be held in stores on Saturday in which both teams will realize their crimes.
Stanford could have an edge with its more experienced quarterback and standout wide receiving duct, but Oregon claims a more experienced defenseman. If the Cardinal’s offensive line continues before a season, it is time for Thibodo’s feast.
Prediction: Oregon 24, Stanford 17
Podcast: Week 10 Preview and Predictions
– Written by Kyle Kissing, part of the Athlon Contributor Network and a sportsware in Southern California. Follow her on twitter @ kensing45.