Well, surprisingly that is not the case. The Stanford defense shut down Mariota and made him look much less than impressive. In fact, it was one of Stanford’s own who was the most impressive in their win over the Ducks.
Running back Tyler Gaffney missed last season as he pursued his baseball career. This season he decided to return to Stanford to play football, and it is evident that he made the right decision. He has run for over 100 yards in all but three games this season and has 13 rushing touchdowns. Oregon’s defense had trouble stopping him on Thursday night as he carried the ball a school-record 45 times for 157 yards and a touchdown.
Gaffney has already run for over 1,000 yards, and Stanford still has three games to go in the regular season.
He was very impressive against the Ducks. You could barely go five minutes without hearing his name, which shows how much of an impact he had on the Stanford offense on Thursday. He shouldered most of the offensive load against Oregon and was successful doing so. Gaffney was a big part of the physicality that Stanford used to shut down the Ducks in every aspect of the game.
Gaffney was no doubt the MVP in this game. Can he continue this impressive play and be a force to be reckoned with in the Stanford offense? He definitely has the potential to do so having already gone over 100 yards in all but three games this season.
Stanford has to hope that he will continue to play like this during this tough month of November. He really made a statement on Thursday night.