Another Loss to Stanford Gives Oregon a Reality Check

By Jenna Aquino

All over the country, fans of the No. 2 Florida State Seminoles and No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes were hoping for a loss by the No. 3 Oregon Ducks to the Stanford Cardinal, who is currently No. 5.

Stanford took down the Ducks last season in overtime by a score of 17-14 and dashed their hopes of a national championship. They were looking for a repeat this year. A loss by Oregon could boost the BCS hopes of both the Seminoles and the Buckeyes. Stanford did exactly what they were looking to do Thursday night. They shut down Heisman contender Marcus Mariota and the Oregon offense, beating the Ducks by a score of 26-20 and once again took away their hopes of a national championship.

Talk about a reality check. Like last season, Oregon was flying high, cruising to big wins over other ranked Pac-12 teams. They thought they had a clear path to the national championship — that is, until No. 13 Stanford came to town and handed them their first and only loss of the season. Oregon’s only two losses over the past two seasons have come at the hands of Stanford.

A loss like this makes the Ducks realize that they are not invincible, despite the fact that they have a Heisman contender in Mariota at the helm who has led them to some big blowout wins this season. It’s not always going to be like that, especially when you are playing a team that is more evenly matched, or one that is better.

Going undefeated in college football is hard. Upsets can happen at any time to spoil a team’s BCS hopes.

In this case, Oregon’s loss will drop them out of the top-five of the BCS as Stanford completely shut them down. The Ducks were held scoreless through the first half, and the Stanford defense held Mariota to just 250 passing yards. That said, he did throw for two touchdowns in the second half.

The Stanford defense held the Ducks to just 312 total yards, and considering the yardage they usually put up in games, only allowing them that amount is the same as shutting them out. Stanford dominated the Ducks in every aspect of the game, and that’s exactly what they needed to do to come out with the win.

Sometimes a team needs a reality check, and that’s what Stanford has provided to Oregon the past two seasons. On behalf of all Ohio State and Florida State fans, I would like to say thank you Stanford. You have done both teams a huge favor.

Now, if only the LSU Tigers can do the same to the Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday …

Jenna Aquino is a Big Ten Football writer for Follow her on Twitter, “Like” her on Facebook, add her to your network on Google, or reach her by e-mail at

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