Oregon Offense Celebrates "Cardinal" Win

With a defense that hadn't allowed 30 points all season, Oregon took them behind the woodshed in a 45-16 drubbing.

Marcus Mariota was intercepted for the second consecutive game, but outside of that pick and a few missed throws, there is not much to be unhappy about with Oregon’s offensive performance against Stanford. On a night when the fans had a black out, the offense played lights out. After being shut out in three quarters last season, Oregon jumped out of the blocks early and kept the pressure on Stanford, getting into the end zone 6 times en route to a 45-16 shellacking of the reigning conference champion.

Marcus Mariota threw for 258 yards, ran for 85 and accounted for 4 total touchdowns while the rushing attack of Royce Freeman and Thomas Tyner accounted for another 161 yards. Tyner also found the end zone twice, his second following a beautiful spin move that left the defender grasping for air while Tyner celebrated what amounted to the knockout blow to the Cardinal.

“Thomas [Tyner] had one of his best nights running. If he keeps running like that, we have a bunch of guys that we will lean on the rest of the way. Thomas had the best week of practice and it carried over,” said Offensive Coordinator Scott Frost.

Unlike last season, the Ducks cashed in on their drives and made the most of their opportunities. When Stanford scored, Oregon was equal to the task and responded with touchdowns while the Cardinal often settled for field goals. Despite only possessing the ball for 24:22, Oregon executed when they needed to putting points on the board in all but 3 possessions.

“When we run the ball well, we are tough to stop. I thought we had a good game plan but good players make coaches look better. I thought our running backs really ran downhill. I’m really proud of how our offense executed,” said Frost.

Oregon set the tone early when Royce Freeman got stopped on third down, bringing up a fourth and five from the Stanford 40. Mariota stepped up and escaped pressure before uncorking a 21 yard run, putting Oregon in business in the red zone. Mariota found Charles Nelson for a 6 yard score and Oregon never looked back.

This win puts Oregon in the driver seat to go to the conference championship game but their next opponent, Utah is sure to be a formidable test. Like Stanford, the Utes boast a strong defense who doesn’t give up much. Factor in what is certain to be a raucous Rice-Eccles Stadium and Oregon had better be prepared for a hard fought game in Salt Lake City.

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