Thursday, Nov. 7th. That’s the date that has been circling our minds since last year’s OT thriller/bummer against the Cardinal. Thursday, Nov. 7th. That’s the date that we have all been waiting for to get our revenge for what was taken from us. Thursday, Nov. 7th. That’s the date that we establish ourselves as THE number two team in the nation (according to the BCS).
There’s no doubt about it, the Ducks have been waiting for this opportunity since the second the game ended one year ago. Last year’s team experienced various injuries to our linemen and safeties that could have potentially been difference makers had the experienced players been healthy to play. This year, everyone is expected to show off the skill and Ducks expertise that will surely make this a game for the ages.
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves though. The Stanford Cardinal has been one of the most difficult opponents that Oregon has faced over the last few years. With every game the Cardinal plays against us, they become more and more knowledgeable about our offensive and defensive schemes. Last year, Stanford was able to stop the lateral movement from sideline to sideline that we’re so famously known for in the spread option offense, and that led to incredible success in slowing our offense down, allowing us only to score 14 points on the game!
That’s almost unheard of… in Ducks games. However, when we’re playing great opponents, we can’t expect to blow teams out of the water as usual. There’s a reason teams are ranked where they are (for the most part). So how is Oregon going to win this game you might be wondering?
As crazy as it sounds, Oregon’s defense will have to be what gets us over the hump. Our offense can only be depended on throughout so much of the game, and if Stanford is successful in keeping our mighty Ducks off the field offensively, we should damn well be ready to put up a fight defensively.
Oregon’s defense has improved tremendously since Chip Kelly’s arrival and departure. It’s time we let the nation know that the Ducks aren’t only known for their fast paced offense, but that our defense can hang with the best of them. No, sorry, our defense IS the best of them!