Three takeaways from Oregon's dominant win over Stanford
The 13th-ranked Oregon Ducks stayed hot Saturday night with a 45-27 win over Stanford to move to 4-1 on the year. Don’t be fooled by the final scoreline, this game was over at halftime. The Ducks opened up a 31-3 lead on the Cardinal and just had their way offensively.
Here are three takeaways from the game.
This Oregon offense is something else
Oregon’s identity on offense is simply that it is going to kill you by doing whatever it wants to do. Have fun with that, guys.
A week ago, it was quarterback Bo Nix having a career day as a passer to lead a furious comeback on the road. This week, it was Nix having a career day as a rusher to help spearhead a ground attack that completely dominated Stanford start to finish. This is an equal-opportunity offense.
Oregon ran for 351 yards. That’s the most for a Ducks team in a single game since 2018 against Oregon State (40 games).
Nix had 141 yards and two touchdowns on the ground to go with 161 yards and two touchdowns through the air. He took off for 80 yards on a score, weaving through Stanford defenders and showing off the wheels.
BO NIX 80 YARDS TO THE HOUSE 🏠
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) October 2, 2022
Bucky Irving finished with 97 yards on 10 carries. He continues to look impressive week in and week out. The contact balance is impressive, and Irving just has a way of turning a 15-yard run into a thrilling adventure. He just doesn’t go down. He can make guys miss when he puts his foot in the ground and shows off great vision.
Noah Whittington had 11 carries for 66 yards, providing a pretty nice complement to Irving as a one-two punch out of the backfield.
Sean Dollars and Jordan James each had a rushing touchdown to get in on the fun.
As a team, the Ducks averaged 10 yards a run. The offense was hit with nearly 100 yards in penalties in the first half and Oregon still had 31 points on the scoreboard when it left the sideline for the locker room after 30 minutes. They continue to impress on that side of the football.
Speaking of penalties…
When Dan Lanning gets his guys into the building for film study, they are probably not going to enjoy the first part. I’d bet Lanning harps pretty heavily on the penalties; Oregon was flagged 14 times for 135 yards.
I’m not terribly bothered by the fight that broke out in the first half — though Lanning probably was and you don’t want to see a player kicked out of the game for fighting. That being said, protect your quarterback. Stanford deciding to stand over a helmet-less Nix on the Oregon sideline was rather foolish.
The play of the offensive line was very bothersome, though. They were flagged five times in the first half. There were false starts and holding calls and an ineligible man downfield that negated a touchdown. The procedural penalties stalled drives in Stanford territory.
The defense wasn’t immune either. They were flagged five times.
It was just undisciplined play.
Oregon is playing exceptional football, but the details need to be cleaned up. Saturday’s game made three straight with at least eight penalties called on the Ducks.
Stanford’s problems are everywhere
This team is an absolute mess. Three of the first four offensive possessions were three-and-outs. Once again, the Cardinal put points on the board that will make the performance look better to those just checking the box score when they wake up Sunday morning, but once again Stanford was out of the game much earlier than it should have been. Stanford was down 38-10 late in the third and then produced some garbage-time scores to make things look a bit more respectable.
Defensively, Stanford gave up seven scoring drives on the Ducks’ first 11 possessions. That side of the football was bad a year ago, and it’s just as bad this season. Three straight opponents have now averaged at least 7 yards a play.
The Cardinal have also lost nine straight games to Power Five opponents. They’ve been outscored 83-24 in first halves over the last three games.
Nothing is working, and it’s past time to have a conversation about why.