Stanford-Oregon Preview Capsule
STANFORD (5-3, 3-2 Pac-12) at No. 5 Oregon (7-1, 4-1 Pac-12), 7:35 p.m. ET (Fox).
Line: Oregon by 8.
Series Record: Stanford leads 46-20-1.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
The Cardinal have upset the Ducks the past two seasons, thwarting Oregon's hopes for a national title. With one loss already to Arizona, Saturday's game is a must-win if the Ducks want a shot at being included in college football's first playoff. Stanford, with three losses, has dropped out of the rankings but another upset of the Ducks would make the Cardinal bowl-eligible.
Oregon's prolific offense against Stanford's stout defense. The Ducks are ranked fifth nationally in scoring offense, putting up an average of 45.5 points per game, while the Cardinal have the second-best scoring defense in the nation, allowing only 12.5 points on average. Oregon is ranked eighth in total offense with 535 yards per game and 50 total touchdowns, while Stanford is second overall for total defense, allowing an average of 251 yards and only 11 total touchdowns from opponents.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Stanford: Inside linebacker A.J. Tarpley, a fifth-year senior and team captain, has 53 tackles, including four tackles for loss, two sacks and an interception this season. He said earlier this week that Stanford will need to guard against what happened last year, when the Cardinal had a 26-0 lead going into the fourth quarter and hung on despite a furious 20-point Duck rally.
Oregon: Freshman running back Royce Freeman leads Oregon with 748 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns, but Stanford poses his biggest challenge of the season. Last season the Cardinal allowed Oregon just 62 total yards on the ground.
FACTS & FIGURES
Stanford is tied with Washington State for the Pac-12's worst turnover ratio (minus-8). Oregon is the best at plus-11. ... The Cardinal have held opponents to less than 30 points for 31 straight games, the longest streak in the nation. They've also kept opponents to less than 400 yards offense for 15 straight games. ... Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota continues to be a top Heisman candidate, throwing for 2,283 yards and 24 touchdowns this season. He's also rushed for five scores and he's caught a TD pass. He needs 375 yards passing to become the first Oregon player to top 9,000 for his career.