Deficit, Zebras Can't Subdue Stanford

In a wild game at Autzen Stadium, Stanford came from behind to hand the Ducks their first loss of the season and end their proud home winning streak.

Stanford stunned #5 Oregon 49-42, snapping a 23 game winning streak at Autzen Stadium for the Ducks. Stanford came back from a two touchdown hole in the fourth quarter, scoring 21 unanswered points to beat the previously undefeated Ducks and silence the usually raucous crowd.  

Stanford had to overcome some controversial no calls on their first drive (Brett Pierce appeared to be interfered with twice, but both times it was not called).   However, it couldn't stop Stanford as Randy Fasani later aired the ball out to Teyo Johnson for 34 yards to the 3 yard line. Two plays later, Casey Moore capped the drive with a one yard "punchdown."  However, Oregon found no trouble returning the favor.  After catching a 48 yard pass, Keenan Howry (who would end up having a great game) finished the drive with a 4 yard reception from Joey Harrington.

Before you could say "Whoa Nellie," Stanford was back in Oregon territory, courtesy of a 76 yard kickoff return by Brian Allen. Kerry Carter then scored from 6 yards out and Stanford was back ahead 14-7.  But once again, the Ducks answered right back.  Justin Peelle (who had dropped the last pass thrown to him) caught a 15 yard touchdown to tie the game.

Oregon made the first defensive stop of the game.  After taking possession at their own 31, they went right down the field.  Howry struck again, this time from 39 yards out with :56 to go in the quarter.

On Stanford's next possession, Stanford ran the ball seven of their eight plays.  Carter finished the drive with his second touchdown of the day on a 6 yard plunge.  Unfortunately, Fasani went down with a knee injury on the drive.

Stanford nearly took the lead back when Maurice Morris mishandled a lateral from Harrington.  Brian Taylor picked the ball up and took it to the endzone.  Touchdown, Stanford, right?  Wrong.  After initially being signaled a touchdown, the head referee concluded that it was an incomplete pass, robbing Stanford of their apparent touchdown.  

Oregon finished the scoring in the first half after Howry returned a punt 81 yards.  Maurice Morris ran the ball two times in a row, the second for a 6 yard touchdown.  Both teams tried field goals later in the half, but Jared Siegal to the right and Mike Biselli missed WAY left.  Oregon lead 28-21 at halftime with Chris Lewis struggling to effectively move the ball coming off the bench.

In the third quarter, the offenses finally began to cool down.  Lewis continued to have a difficult time to find his men but fortunately the defense was there to contain Harrington and the rest of the Oregon offense.  But they still couldn't stop Howry who would instead do his damage on special teams.  With 6:37 left in the quarter, he returned a punt 69 yards for a touchdown.  However, he did receive some help as Oregon got away with a block in the back on the return.  Nevertheless, Oregon had a 35-21 lead.

With 3:30 in the third, Stanford closed the gap when Lewis lobbed a pass to Johnson, who wrestled the ball away from the defender for the 28 yard score.  But once again, the Ducks found a way to respond on special teams as Steve Smith returned to kickoff 96 yards to make the score 42-28.

After stopping Oregon on their next possession, Stanford blocked the punt, which was recovered by Jason White at the Duck 19 yard line with 14:09 left.  Stanford faced with 4th and goal from the three.  Lewis rolled out and tried to get the ball into Pierce, but was unsuccessful as Pierce was crushed while trying to make the catch.

Stanford could have given up after being stopped deep in Oregon territory.  Instead, the defense dug in, forcing another punt.  And again, they were able to block it.  Stanford seemed to have gotten a reprieve from the governor of Oregon as they had another chance to get back in the game.

This time, Stanford was able to punch the ball in.  Lewis found an open "Cool Hand" Luke Powell from 24 yards to cut the lead to 42-35.  Then, Stanford perfectly executed an onside kick, which surprised everyone inside of Autzen (most importantly, it surprised the Oregon return unit).  After three consecutive runs by Allen, Johnson took the ball to the Oregon five yard line.  Carter scored on 4th and goal with a one yard run.  However, the extra point attempt was wide and Oregon maintained a 42-41 lead.

The failed PAT ended up being a blessing in disguise.  Stanford was forced to play for the win.  On 3rd and 1, Harrington (who had considerable pressure by Tank Williams) was intercepted by Marcus Hoover.  Stanford was just 33 yards away from taking the lead back.

Lewis and the Cardinal methodically moved the ball down the field, with only one play that went for more than six yards.  Carter scored the go ahead touchdown with a three yard run with 1:10 on the clock.  Lewis found Johsnon for the two point conversion and Stanford led 49-42.

Harrington, known as "Captain Comeback," was shut down by the defense after moving the ball to the Stanford 37.  With seconds left, he tried to "Hail Mary," but could not complete the pass as Stanford won 49-42.

End of streak - end of classless Duck posters on the BootBoard!

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