Not Christian McCaffrey's greatest half, as he can't hang onto two Hogan checkdowns, the first intercepted off the deflection, and the second which could have had the Cardinal targetting seven just before the half instead of three. Plus, Derrick Henry had a huge day as the Heisman now looks to be going to an Alabama running back over a Stanford back yet again. None of that really matters, pending results in 30 minutes, of course. Oklahoma 13, Baylor 6; Iowa 17, Minnesota 14; Arkansas 21, LSU 14.
Not a good start for the defense, as our secondary again can't tackle, with a screen going for 30-plus to the Cardinal 35 with an Oregon receiver powering through a would-be tackle. Now Royce Freeman, another onetime Stanford recruit, with two carries moves the chains yet again. And, hey, Alijah Holder gets the shoutout for, while being blocked, getting his arms on the receiver's jersey and forcing him out of bounds. Jordan Perez out of position on the next play, however, as an option pitch to Royce Freeman goes 19 yards to paydirt.
Oregon 28, Stanford 23, 13:26 remaining, third quarter
Thank goodness that Oregon started out slow and this isn't for the Pac-12 North championship, because we're in for one heck of a dogfight, with both offenses firing on all cylinders. It isn't too soon to start thinking about going for two should we score a touchdown here, is it? McCaffrey for seven to start the second half, and then 2.5 on second. Bring in you-know-who, who runs for his 1-2 yards to move the chains. Rector for 13, he has 75 yards today as the Oregon secondary isn't having much more luck than ours. Play-action shot deep back to Rector, and with the ball just a second late and a yard short, Oregon's Antoine Smith is able to recover and break up. Five-yard hitch to Austin Hooper. Now with third and five on the Duck 45, I plan for four-down territory and run the rock. Hogan for ten off left tackle, doing his best McCaffrey impression to wait behind the line for the play to develop before bursting through at just the right time. Hooper for seven to bring up third and three, and Hogan gets just one to bring up the fourth and two at the Duck 26. Shaw kicks -- and do we have a fake in the book? This would be a great time for it, on a fourth and short down five. Instead, Ukropina pulls a 43-yard try left, and all the pressure's on the defense now.
Adams for two and six on keepers. On third and two, how about an Oregon penalty? We've seen hardly any from the Ducks all day? Instead, Kevin Anderson drops Royce Freeman for a six-yard loss, as it looks like Oregon's line and the backfield were operating off different calls, with Anderson coming in untouched. Big hold by the D, and maybe the third-down crowd noise helped a little.
Oklahoma 13, Baylor 13; Arkansas 24, LSU 14; but the Card need to come back here, otherwise it's all moot. McCaffrey split out wide, and then catching and running for 13, but it comes back and then some on a Casey Tucker hold. Now first and 20 with five minutes to go in the third quarter, time for some serious nailbiting...
Hogan scramble for two off the fake to McCaffrey. Back to Rollins Stallworth over the middle to bring up third and ten, and DeForest Buckner beats Josh Garnett to sack. Alex Robinson's first punt of the night goes 50 yards. Time for a Wazzu-like close for the Card!
Oregon gets a late hit on Alijah Holder that's a big, painful whistle for the Cardinal. Bad call, makes up for the bad late hit call on Oregon in the first half. Next play, meanwhile, no one covers the wheel route as Taj Griffin goes for a 49-yard score out of the backfield, and Stanford's in some serious trouble.
Oregon 35, Stanford 23, 1:45 remaining, third quarter
Stanford ruined Oregon's national title hopes in 2012 and 2013, and the Ducks are poised to return the favor today. Time for the offense to step up, and instead it's a Stanford timeout before the first play of the drive and after a kickoff for touchback. We had five minutes to call that play and couldn't get the right folks out in time. McCaffrey for nine out of a heavy set, but time to start moving a little bit quicker between plays down 12... McCaffrey for three. Okay, let's hop up and run it again. Instead, we snap with two on the playclock, but a screen to McCaffrey goes for 13 to reset the chains. McCaffrey for seven to end the quarter, and looks like Stanford has a little something going with the heavy-set offense.
Oregon 35, Stanford 23, End of third quarter
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