The Oregon Ducks (8-1, 5-1) made a strong argument to be included in the College Football Playoff with a 45-16 home victory over the Stanford Cardinal (5-4, 3-3). Oregon ended a two game losing streak to the Cardinal with the victory.
Oregon got the scoring early on, as quarterback Marcus Mariota found wide receiver Charles Nelson for a six-yard touchdown pass five minutes into the first quarter. The Cardinal would respond with a field goal several minutes later. But the Ducks continued to score touchdowns, while Stanford continued to kick field goals.
Stanford ended up kicking three field goals, and scored one touchdown against Oregon. The Ducks scored six touchdowns, and didn’t even attempt a field goal.
For the Ducks, the big win should get them back into the selection committee’s top four spots and into the playoff discussion. The win should also help the team overcome the concerns about its ability to close out games; as Oregon put the game out of reach with two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
For Stanford, this loss drops the team to 5-4 on the season and a .500 record in conference play. It’s a disappointing season for a fan base that has gotten use to winning, and winning a lot, over the last few years.
1) Arizona State Sun Devils: Arizona State beat Utah with a field goal in overtime on Saturday night, 19-16. Sun Devil quarterback Taylor Kelly was rusty in his second game back from his foot injury, and he was consistently pressured by the Ute’s front seven. Fortunately for ASU, the game didn’t come down to Kelly’s arm…the game came down to Zane Gonzalez’s leg in the first overtime, Gonzalez nailed the kick.
2) Oregon Ducks: Oregon’s blowout win over Stanford is impressive, but the Cardinal are in the middle of a down season. It’ll be interesting to see if the Ducks win out, and stay in the playoff discussion.
3) UCLA Bruins: UCLA controlled its game against the Arizona Wildcats on Saturday, and left the Rose Bowl with a 17-7 win. The Bruins’ defense put together an outstanding performance to contain UA quarterback Anu Solomon, and the explosive Wildcat offensive attack.
4) Utah Utes: Utah’s defense shut down the Arizona State offense throughout the night, but it wasn’t enough. ASU’s defense also did a great job of shutting down the Utes’ offensive attack, and it came down to the kickers, in overtime. Kick Andy Phillips missed two field goals in the first overtime, and the Sun Devils ended up with the win.
5) Arizona Wildcats: Arizona’s offense wasn’t unable to put points on the bored in Los Angeles, Calif., while the defense struggled to contain UCLA’s Brett Hundley. The Wildcats left the Rose Bowl with a 10-point loss, and no chance at a playoff berth.
6) Stanford Cardinal: Stanford continues to struggle in 2014, this time in a 29-point loss to the Oregon Ducks. While the Cardinal still have a good shot at being bowl eligible, there is no way they will be able to defend their Pac-12 title.
7) USC Trojans: USC went into a foggy Martin Stadium, in Pullman, Wash., and demolished Washington State Cougars, 44-17. The Trojans used an aggressive passing attack to build an early lead, and then continuing to score at will in the second half.
8) Washington Huskies: Washington used a 14-point third quarter to pull away from the Colorado Buffaloes in Boulder, Colo. The Husky defense made some key adjustments at halftime, and shut down Colorado’s offensive attack in the second half. It was the reason that UW left Colorado with a 38-23 victory.
9) California Golden Bears: The California Golden Bears beat Oregon State 45-31 in Corvallis, Ore. on Saturday. Cal used an 18-point fourth quarter to earn its fifth victory of the season.
10) Oregon State Beavers: Oregon State’s 14-point loss to the Golden Bears was the Beavers’ third straight loss. The Beavers need a win against Washington State (this upcoming Saturday), to keep their bowl hopes alive.
11) Washington State Cougars: Washington State’s starting quarterback Connor Halliday’s college career came to an end against USC. Halliday was on pace to break several Pac-12 records by end of the season, and was the primary reason to watch the Cougars during this lost season.
12) Colorado Buffaloes: Colorado held a 20-17 lead at half time, but was unable to score more than a field goal in the second half. The Buffaloes were officially eliminated from bowl contention with the loss to Washington.