The win is just the second for Stanford against Oregon in the last 11 meetings. It was freshman Kevin Hogan‘s first road start in a very hostile environment, and he responded with incredible poise down the stretch leading the Cardinal to victory.
But the real hero for Stanford in this game was the Cardinal defense. David Shaw had his defensive front ready to play as the Stanford front seven dominated the Oregon offensive line and kept the Ducks’ rushing attack to a sputter.
Kenjon Barner finished the day with just 66 yards on 21 carries with no touchdowns. De’Anthony Thomas found the end zone on the ground but finished with just 43 yards on the night.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota led the way for the Oregon offense, throwing for 207 yards with a touchdown and adding 89 yards rushing. But it wasn’t enough as the young signal caller looked flustered by the pressure from the Stanford defensive line and throwing his first interception since the beginning of October.
Stepfan Taylor was the star of the night for Stanford, rushing for 161 yards on 33 carries and helping the Cardinal dominate time of possession, holding the ball for 15 minutes more than Oregon.
Hogan made all the plays he needed to, throwing for 211 yards and throwing a late touchdown in the fourth quarter to tie the game with 1:35 to play. He added 37 yards and a touchdown on the ground, accounting for both of the Stanford scores.
The win gives Stanford their second win over an AP top five team this season, following up on their 21-14 win over then No. 2 USC Trojans. The Cardinal now hold the inside track to the Pac 12 North division title, needing only a win next week against the UCLA Bruins (or an Oregon loss to the Oregon State Beavers) to head to the Pac 12 Championship game and play for a Rose Bowl berth.
For Oregon, the loss dashes any hopes of playing for a BCS national championship as they stand to fall too back in the polls to make a reasonable run. It is a disappointing blow to Chip Kelly and the Ducks who have been playing at a very high level all season long with arguably one of the best teams Kelly has ever had.
The BCS picture is now as shaky as ever and the Pac 12 race has been turned upside down by Stanford’s incredible upset. The BCS race will look completely different tomorrow than it did yesterday, and the scenarios for the national title are now up in the air. Just another Saturday in college football.