Stanford to be treated like just another game

With what has been the biggest game on the conference slate in the last two seasons, Oregon hopes to put that in the rear view and focus on this game and only this game.

For the last two seasons, the Stanford Cardinal have had the Ducks’ number and been the bane of their existence in conference play. Twice they have knocked the Ducks out of consideration for national championships and taken them out of the conference race.

For many players, it is a game that has been circled on the calendar since the season schedules were released and for Offensive Coordinator Scott Frost, that seems to be part of the problem.

“I think one of the mistakes we might have made last year was putting a little too much emphasis on this game. In my mind it was circled at the beginning of the year and we didn’t play our best. The key to this week is just playing well,” said Frost.

Certainly, Oregon did not play well last season against Stanford. While they showed ability to move the ball down the field at times, Oregon gave the ball away in the red zone too many times to be competitive and ended up losing despite a dramatic comeback.

“We’re going to take a good, hard look at the red zone. We fumbled a couple times in the red zone and went four and out once deep in their territory, we can’t waste opportunities like that. I think we played a little tight,” said Frost.

Many pundits have compared Stanford to Michigan State and it’s a comparison which has been en vogue since the two met in the Rose Bowl a season ago. However, outside of their ability to tackle and keep plays in front of them, not much is similar between the teams schematically. Oregon has faced down some tough defenses this season and that has to bode well against a team like Stanford.

“I think we have already played some of the best defenses in the country and Stanford continues to be one of the best defenses. If you look at all the scores of their games, nobody is scoring much on them. We have to take advantage of every drive we get and execute,” said Frost.

An early key to this game is getting on the scoreboard first. If Oregon can force the Cardinal to play from behind it will take them out of the sets they want to run and be able to dominate time of possession. If Oregon can put them off of their game, it may start the wheels in motion of a big win for the Ducks.

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