Ore­gon spoils No 7 Stan­ford’s play­off hopes with 38-36 win

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

STAN­FORD: Ver­non Adams had Ore­gon’s big­play of­fense click­ing. Stan­ford was able to grind it out be­hind Kevin Ho­gan and Chris­tian McCaf­frey. When it came down to it, two botched snaps and a failed 2-point con­ver­sion spoiled the Car­di­nal’s play­off hopes and kept the Ducks alive in the Pac-12 race.

Adams threw for 205 yards and two touch­downs and Ore­gon used its quick-strike of­fense and the late 2-point stop to beat No. 7 Stan­ford 38-36 vic­tory Satur­day night. “We kept fight­ing out there,” Adams said. “It was a great team win. It shows how good we can be.” In a game dom­i­nated by of­fenses that com­bined for more than 900 yards, it was a de­fen­sive stop on the 2-point at­tempt with 10 sec­onds left that sealed the win for Ore­gon (7-3, 5-2 Pac-12) and kept the Ducks’ hopes for a con­fer­ence ti­tle alive.

Af­ter Ho­gan lost two fum­bles on snaps in the fourth quar­ter, Stan­ford (8-2, 7-1, No. 7 CFP) tied it on Ho­gan’s 4-yard touch­down pass to Greg Taboada. Need­ing a 2-point con­ver­sion to tie it, Ho­gan tried to find tight end Austin Hooper over the mid­dle against the blitz. But line­backer Joe Walker got a fin­ger on the ball and the Ducks held on for the win.

“I might have touched it a lit­tle bit,” Walker said. “Just a lit­tle fin­ger.” Royce Free­man ran for 105 yards and a score and Charles Nel­son scored on a 75-yard run on one of the Ducks’ three touch­downs of more than 45 yards.

Ore­gon needs to win the fi­nal two games and hope Stan­ford loses next week at home to Cal­i­for­nia to win the Pac-12 North ti­tle. While Stan­ford is still in con­trol of the di­vi­sion race, the Car­di­nal had higher goals of making the Col­lege Foot­ball Play­off if they could win out. But a sus­pect de­fense and two costly botched snaps by Ho­gan helped do them in. “Any time you lose, it stings, it’s tough,” line­backer Kevin An­der­son said. “If you told me at the be­gin­ning of the sea­son we’d have a chance to beat Cal to win the Pac-12 North, go to the Pac-12 cham­pi­onship with a chance to go to the Rose Bowl, I’d say that’s awesome. A lit­tle bit of per­spec­tive here, but it definitely stings right now.”

Bro­ken in­dex fin­ger

Ho­gan lost one fum­ble near mid­field mid­way through the fourth quar­ter with the Car­di­nal down five. Af­ter Ore­gon kicked a field goal to make it 38-30, Stan­ford drove in­side the 20 be­fore Ho­gan lost an­other snap with 2:06 to play. Stan­ford still had a chance to tie it but missed on the 2-point at­tempt. “There was a guy com­ing af­ter Kevin scot free,” coach David Shaw said. “Just didn’t make the play. Ei­ther the throw or the catch.” Ho­gan threw for 304 yards and two touch­downs and ran for an­other score. McCaf­frey set a Stan­ford record with his eighth straight 100-yard rush­ing game, run­ning for 147 yards and a touch­down. With Adams healthy af­ter be­ing slowed early this sea­son by a bro­ken right in­dex fin­ger, the Ducks showed off the high-pow­ered of­fense they’ve been ac­cus­tomed to in re­cent years. They gained 436 yards on 48 plays, av­er­ag­ing 9.1 yards per play for the most al­lowed by Stan­ford this cen­tury. “We’re definitely a dif­fer­ent team than at the be­gin­ning of the sea­son,” Adams said. “We’re play­ing a lot faster and I’m a lot more con­fi­dent in the of­fense.” Trail­ing 23-21 at the half, the Ducks took con­trol in the third quar­ter. They took the open­ing kick and eas­ily drove down to score on Free­man’s 19-yard run. The Ducks then stopped Ho­gan for 1 yard on a third-and-3 and Con­rad Ukropina missed a 43yard field goal at­tempt. The teams then traded three-and-outs be­fore Ore­gon struck with an­other big play when Adams found Taj Grif­fin open down the side­line for a 49-yard touch­down catch that made it 35-23. Ho­gan’s two touch­down passes to Taboada helped Stan­ford nearly over­come the deficit but the Car­di­nal fell short. The con­trast in styles be­tween grind-it-out Stan­ford and fast-break Ore­gon was stark as Stan­ford took a 23-21 half­time lead.

The Car­di­nal got touch­down runs from Ho­gan and McCaf­frey and pow­ered their way to 276 yards on 43 plays in 21:32 of pos­ses­sion. The Ducks re­lied on the big plays with Nel­son scor­ing on a 75-yard run and Adams hit­ting Dar­ren Car­ring­ton on a 47-yard pass in the fi­nal minute to gain 268 yards on 23 plays in 8:28. — AP

PALO ALTO: Ver­non Adams Jr. #3 con­grat­u­lates Kani Benoit #29 of the Ore­gon Ducks af­ter he scored a touch­down in the first quar­ter of their game against the Stan­ford Car­di­nal at Stan­ford Sta­dium on Satur­day in Palo Alto, Cal­i­for­nia. — AFP

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