Instant Analysis: Ducks prove too talented to fall into Stanford trap




 

It was a third-and-one midway in the first quarter and Stanford lined up in its jumbo package in order to push its way to a first down. This is a situation the Cardinal has executed time and time again. But this time, Oregon's defense held Stanford a half-yard short.

That was all you need to know about the 2022 Stanford Cardinal. They convert that play with their eyes closed 99 percent of the time.

Not now.

Yes, Stanford has been bitten by the injury bug along that huge offensive line. But the Cardinal have depth and size and still couldn't push the Duck defense back enough to get one yard.

It went from bad to worse for Stanford as the Ducks scored 21 unanswered points to take a commanding 31-3 halftime lead to eventually defeat their conference foes 45-27 in a game that wasn't nearly that close. Stanford added two late touchdowns against the Ducks' scrubs.

Oregon played great defense and overcame a barrage of penalties in the first half. The Ducks were penalized 10 times in the first half alone for 90 yards. They wound up with  It's fine against Stanford, but against a good team, those numbers won't fly.

Bo Nix was slightly off his game throwing the ball, but he made enough plays, especially towards the end of the first half with the Ducks turning a 17-3 lead into a 31-3 lead in just a couple of minutes. He also let his legs do the talking with 141 yards on the ground, including a quarterback keeper for an Akili Smith-like 80-yard touchdown.

But back to Stanford. The Cardinal's skill players just are not up to snuff when it comes to the better teams in the Pac-12. The offensive line is big, but they don't block well. The receivers are too slow to get open and quarterback Tanner McKee doesn't do anything special, which is a big reason why the Cardinal have lost nine straight conference games. That's a full season of losses.

Stanford did have two nice scoring drives in the third quarter with touchdowns on a wheel route to tailback Casey Filkins from Lake Oswego and a beautiful post pattern to Elijah Higgins. But that's nearly enough on most nights, especially against the Ducks.

David Shaw is a great coach, but even great coaches eventually get tuned out by their players and Stanford might be in for a change of direction. After getting smacked around by USC, Washington, and now Oregon, it's clear the Cardinal are a shell of what they used to be and it doesn't look to get better any time soon.

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Social media reacts to Oregon's vengeful 45-27 blowout over Stanford Cardinal

 

Story originally appeared on Ducks Wire

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