Pac 12 Showdown: Stanford Cardinal vs. Oregon Ducks

Ryan K

For both the StanfordCardinals and the OregonDucks, the season has started off pretty well. Both teams are 3-0 and both teams are ranked in the top 20. At number seven in the country, Stanford has been solid in their first three games, beating San Diego State by 21, USC by 14 and UC Davis by 20.

Facing their first ranked opponent, the Cardinal will look to keep it rolling. Oregon has also come out undefeated, having beat Bowling Green by 34, Portland State by 48 and San Jose State by 13. On Saturday, both teams will look to cement further cement their rankings in the polls by knocking off the other. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:00 pm ET.

The spread comes in with the visiting StanfordCardinal as 2.5-point favorites in this one. The over/under on total points scored comes in at 56.5.

Stanford To Look To The Ground Game To Secure Win

The Cardinal appear to be getting a huge boost back to the offense as running back Bryce Love has been upgraded to probable for Saturday’s contest. The HeismanTrophy hopeful missed last week’s game with an undisclosed knee injury. Two weeks ago, though, he dashed USC for 136 yards on 22 carries and a touchdown. Last season, Love rushed for 147 yards and 2 touchdowns against the Ducks. It will be interesting to see, despite the upgrade to probable, if his knee gives him any fits this week.

If Love is unable to go, it will likely be junior Trevor Speights getting the start. Over the course of three games, he has 13 carries for 97 yards. While he is certainly not level of player that Bryce Love is, the Cardinals will hope he can fill in adequately if Love cannot go.

The Cardinal defense has also played well through three games. They are averaging just 7.67 points against them. Most notably, they have only allowed 2 touchdowns against them this season. They have also only allowed an average of 196.33 yards per game in passing, something that will be certainly tested when they go up against Oregon’s JustinHerbert.

Oregon Out To Prove They Can Run With Top Teams

Oregon’s Justin Herbert might just be the best player on the field Saturday. This season he is 46 for 81 (56.79% completion percentage) for 840 yards and 12 touchdowns in three games. One thing that he does have to watch, though, is the interceptions. He has 4 on the season, including 2 last week to San Jose State. In the rushing category, CJ Verdell leads the way with 211 yards on 39 attempts. Tony Brooks-James (177) and Travis Dye (122) have also eclipsed the 100-yard mark on the season. All three of them have also added touchdowns, with Brooks-James adding two.

Defensively, through three games they are giving up 20 points on average per game. They have allowed an average of 303 yards of offense per game and have allowed 7 touchdowns in total. Against a much better team this week in the Cardinals, and a dynamic runner in Love, it will be interesting to see whether their defense can hold on enough and outscore them on the offensive side in what could be a shootout.

May Come Down To One Position

The outcome of this one really rests on one person to me, Bryce Love. If he is fully ready to go, I like Stanford to edge out the Ducks in this one. If he is a no-go, I actually would swing the pendulum the other way to the Ducks. Check to verify his status closer to game time, but assuming he can go, take the Cardinal giving up the 2.5 points.

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