Stanford vs. Oregon prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins Saturday afternoon’s matchup between the Cardinal and Ducks.
When: Saturday, Nov. 12 – 4:00 p.m. ET
Where: Autzen Stadium, Eugene, Oregon
TV Broadcast: Pac-12 Network
Stanford (6-3) is sitting in third place in the North Division of the Pac-12 standings, and things have certainly turned around for the Cardinal over the past two weeks. David Shaw’s team had gone 1-3 between Sept. 30 and Oct. 22, but Stanford has since won back-to-back games on the road at Arizona, 34-10, and at home versus Oregon State, 26-15.
Oregon (3-6) is a couple of spots behind the Cardinal at fifth place in the Pac-12 North Division. The record for the Ducks is ugly, but the team has been playing much better ever since Mark Helfrich turned to true freshman Justin Herbert. He’s been a bright spot in a bad season. Oregon has dropped six of its last seven games. Last time out, it fell on the road to USC, 45-20.
The all-time series between the Cardinal and Ducks sits squarely in Stanford’s corner, 46-32-1. Oregon, however, has won the last two matchups, including a 38-36 victory in Stanford last year.
What To Know About Stanford
The Cardinal has finally gotten back the Christian McCaffrey it knew and loved. The star tailback had a big workload with 32 carries, and he took them for 199 rushing yards and a touchdown. Bryce Love also did work in the running game with 89 yards and a score on nine carries, but even quarterback Keller Chryst took 11 attempts for 83 yards.
Chryst ended up completing 10-of-17 passes for 60 yards, so the passing game was barely present for Stanford. Trenton Irwin led the team with two receptions for 31 yards, and McCaffrey also caught two balls. Michael Rector and Francis Owusu also caught two passes each and combined for 16 receiving yards.
What to Know About Oregon
Herbert didn’t have as great of a game as we’ve been used to seeing from him in the loss to USC, but he was still adequate. He completed 18-of-33 throws for 162 yards and a touchdown. Dakota Prukop came into the game late and hit on 2-of-4 attempts. Herbert’s only touchdown throw went to Pharaoh Brown, who caught five balls for 30 yards. Jalen Brown had two catches for 64 yards, and Tony Brooks-James tacked on four receptions for 26 yards.
Brooks-James was also given eight carries on which he ran for 25 yards. Royce Freeman rushed for 38 yards on 10 carries, but neither snuck their way across the goal line. No, that was all up to Prukop and Charles Nelson, who combined for two rushing touchdowns and 41 yards on three carries.
Offense: Oregon – This choice may shock you, but Herbert is a better quarterback than both Chryst and Ryan Burns. And while McCaffrey is a stud, but the Ducks have two solid tailbacks in Brooks-James and Freeman.
Defense: Stanford – Oregon can’t stop anyone on defense, and the Cardinal is No. 15 in scoring defense, allowing 18.6 points per game.
Special Teams: Oregon – Aidan Schneider has connected on 33-of-34 extra points and 7-of-8 field goals. His only missed field goal came from more than 40 yards out.
Coaching: Stanford – Both are solid coaches, but the Cardinal’s record has more to do with injuries, and Oregon’s has been more related to coaching.
Matchup To Watch
Christian McCaffrey vs. Oregon halfbacks
Herbert is going to, obviously, play a huge role in this one, but a bigger role will be played by Freeman and Brooks-James. They need to be patient, hit holes and really move the ball for Oregon on the ground in order for Herbert to be able to open it up and fling it down the field. If they can tote the rock successfully, Herbert’s job will be a helluva lot easier. As for McCaffrey, he just has to be himself. He’s a star. We know he’s a star. Stars need to make star plays and, sometimes, single-handedly win ball games for their teams.
Spread: Stanford -3.5
Stanford vs. Oregon Prediction
Again, this might surprise some people, but Oregon is the pick here. Herbert has been really impressive as true freshman, and he’s going to have another great game against the Cardinal. He’ll toss a few touchdowns and throw for at least 250 yards. He’ll find Brooks-James out of the backfield for one of those touchdowns, and Freeman will tack on one in the running game. Stanford will be all McCaffrey, all the time, but it won’t be enough to take this game in Eugene.
Stanford vs. Oregon Score Prediction: Oregon 35, Stanford 31