The college football game that will get the most attention this week goes without saying, but the college football game of the week based on national title impact is out on the west coast as the two best teams in the Pac-12 square off with a likely birth in the conference championship game on the line.
#7 Oregon heads to Palo Alto, California to take on #4 Stanford in a game that will spotlight two of the best offenses in college football. Unlike last week’s 9-6 game between LSU and Alabama, this game should see both teams break the plane of the end zone many times. These offenses are very explosive but are completely different from one another and should make for a very entertaining game.
Here is what you can expect from these two elite teams in the Pac-12.
STANFORD-OREGON: WHEN OREGON IS ON OFFENSE
Oregon is a team that runs a fast paced spread-option offense that relies heavily on the run. Their offense is headlined by star running back LaMichael James (1061 YDS, 8.0 AVG, 10 TD’s) whose speed can create big plays at anytime during a game. James had three straight games of over 200 yards rushing and last week he ran for 156 yards.
Oregon doesn’t try to beat teams with the pass but still has a very effective quarterback in Darron Thomas (1549 YDS, 19 TD, and 5 INT’s). Oregon won’t pass a whole lot in this game, and Thomas hasn’t thrown more than 25 passes in a game since week 1 against LSU.
Oregon is averaging 46 points per game, which ranks 5th in college football, and only once this season have they been held under 35 points.
STANFORD-OREGON: WHEN STANFORD IS ON OFFENSE
Andrew Luck (2424 YDS, 26 TD, 5 INT) is one of the best quarterbacks in college football and will be the number 1 pick in next year’s NFL draft. What makes Luck an outstanding quarterback is that he is very accurate, and this season he is completing 71.3% of his passes.
Stanford will not only beat teams through the air but can also win games on the ground if opposing defenses focus on just stopping the pass. Earlier this season, against Washington, the Cardinal rushed for 446 yards en route to scoring 65 points.
Stanford is averaging 48.2 points per game this season, which ranks third in college football, and they have scored more than 35 points in every game.
STANFORD-OREGON: WHEN OREGON IS ON DEFENSE
Oregon’s defense has been good at stopping teams from scoring, and they are holding teams to an average of 20.8 points per game. This is even more impressive when you consider that their defense is on the field a lot because their ability on offense to make a lot of big plays.
Oregon’s biggest weakness on defense is defending against the pass, and their secondary is going to have to play their best game if they want to slow down Andrew Luck. The Ducks rank in lower half (71st) in college football in stopping the pass, with teams averaging 234 YPG against them through the air.
STANFORD-OREGON: WHEN STANFORD IS ON DEFENSE
Stanford’s defense has held teams to 21 points or less in every game this season except for a triple overtime win against USC. Teams are only averaging 16.6 points per game against them which ranks 11th in college football.
Their defense has excelled at getting pressure on the quarterback, and this season they lead the Pac-12 in sacks with 28. They use many different looks to confuse teams, and they are going to have to get of a lot of pressure on Oregon’s offense to slow down their rhythm.
STANFORD-OREGON KEYS TO VICTORY
- OREGON: They need to make Andrew Luck uncomfortable in the pocket and force him into throwing bad passes.
- STANFORD: They need to stop LaMichael James from having a huge day and in Oregon’s only loss he was held to only 54 rushing yards.
This game is going to be a shoot-out with a lot of points being scored and I think Oregon wins on the road in a close one 49-45.
What do you think will happen?
Who do you think will win this week's College Football Game of the Week? Total Voters: 275
Who do you think will win this week's College Football Game of the Week?
Total Voters: 275
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Stanford v Oregon Game Info:
- Stanford-Oregon Date: Saturday, November 12
- Stanford-Oregon Date Kickoff Time: 8:00 PM ET
- Stanford-Oregon TV: ABC
- Stanford-Oregon Point Spread: Stanford -3
* – Andrew Luck and LaMichael James photo credit: via Oregon Live