There is a reason the USC Trojans have dominated the Pac Ten Conference. The Ducks quickly found out that experience does matter. Oregon was not able to handle all the pats on the back and extra media attention that they received after beating the Trojans last week. A week after Oregon beat USC the Stanford Cardinal quickly knocked the Ducks off their pedestal. After putting up 51 points on an Oregon team that was only giving up 17.1 PPG the Cardinal became bowl eligible for the first time since 2001. With USC, California and Notre Dame remaining on their schedule this was an impressive victory by Stanford.
Coming into this game it should have been very difficult for the Cardinal defense to slow down Oregon's offense. At the half Stanford only surrendered 14 points to the Ducks. Teams around the country should understand that Stanford is a team on the rise and when they face Stanford they have to be prepared to stop the run. Stanford ran for a total of 254 yards. The Cardinal have one of the best RB's in the country in Toby Gerhart. Gerhart finished with 38 rushes for 223 yards and 3 TD's. QB Andrew Luck was 11/20 for 251 passing yards and 2 TD's. Luck is ranked #1 in the Pac Ten Conference in passing efficiency and next season Luck will be considered one of the best QB's in the country. When the polls come out on Sunday Stanford will be ranked for the first time this season. The way the college football season has gone so far Stanford could be the favorite in their remaining games against California and Notre Dame. At the start of this season Stanford would have been the underdogs in both of those games.
Now there is a tremendous amount of pressure on the Ducks. They face a tough Arizona State team at home next week before going on the road to play Arizona. Oregon is currently tied with Arizona for first place in the conference. If both teams win next week their November 21st match-up could decide which team will qualify for the Rose Bowl. If Stanford can win two of their last three games they will have a shot at the Sun Bowl or the Las Vegas Bowl. Making a Bowl game this season will enhance Jim Harbaugh's chances of putting a good recruiting class together that could result in Stanford reaching a point where they are in Bowl contention on a yearly basis.