STANFORD CARDINAL (8-2)
at OREGON DUCKS (10-0)
Kickoff: Saturday, 8:00 p.m. EDT
Line: Oregon -20, Total: 64.5
No. 2 Oregon tries to improve to 11-0 on the season when it hosts No. 13 Stanford on Saturday night.
Oregon is 9-1 SU (8-2 ATS) in the past 10 meetings with Stanford, scoring 105 points over the past two victories. Last year, the Ducks went on the road and beat the 9-0 Cardinal by a whopping 53-30 score, forcing five turnovers. Oregon's offense currently leads the nation with 54.8 PPG and ranks third with 563 total YPG. The Ducks are just 6-4 ATS this year, but have won five straight ATS. Stanford has four straight SU victories since its controversial loss at Notre Dame, holding these four Pac-12 opponents to a combined 43 points and 52 rushing yards.
Can Oregon post another blowout win on Saturday night? For the answer, connect to The Platinum Sheet for all the StatFox Experts picks for every key college football game throughout the 2012 season.
Stanford will once again start redshirt freshman Kevin Hogan at quarterback, after he went 22-of-29 for 254 yards, 3 TD and 2 INT in last week's 27-23 win over Oregon State. He'll have to be careful when he drops back to pass though, as the Ducks have intercepted 19 passes this season, returning four of those for touchdowns. The Cardinal will likely attempt to rush the football much more than they will try to throw it on Saturday. RB Stepfan Taylor has rumbled for 1,061 yards and 9 TD in his 10 games this season, and he's also had success against the Ducks with 212 rushing yards on 40 carries (5.3 YPC) in the past two meetings against them. Oregon's run defense allowed a season-high 236 rushing yards (5.9 YPC) to California last Saturday. Stanford entered last week ranked seventh in the nation in turnover margin (+1.2 TO per game), but was a minus-3 in last week's win over the Beavers. The Cardinal have committed eight turnovers (four fumbles, four interceptions) in the past two losses to Oregon.
The Ducks are 32-2 SU in conference play since Chip Kelly took over as head coach, and they have won five straight home games against the Cardinal. Oregon freshman QB Marcus Mariota has never played in this series, but he had a career game last week, throwing for 377 yards and six touchdowns, giving him 15 total TD and 0 INT over the past four games. He did hurt his wrist during that effort, but the injury is nothing that will keep him off the field on Saturday. Mariota will be facing the best defense he has ever seen though, as the Cardinal lead the country in both sacks (4.2 per game) and Tackles For Loss (9.1 per game). Star RB Kenjon Barner hurt his thumb last week, but he will be able to play. Barner, who ranks fourth in the nation with 136 rushing yards per game, was stymied at Cal last week, gaining just 65 yards on 20 carries. And considering Stanford has the top-ranked rushing defense in the country (59 rushing YPG), it's no guarantee that Barner will get his typical heavy workload.