|Oregon's running game is ranked first in the Pac-12, but that's not the only threat the team has: QB Marcus Mariota threw for 377 yards and tied a school-record with six touchdown passes in the Ducks' win over Cal. (US Presswire)|
Kickoff: Saturday, 8 p.m. ET (ABC)
Spread: Oregon by 20.5
Watchability: If you're going to watch one college football game on Saturday, it should be this one. If you're going to watch two, DVR this game and watch it twice.
Shining Stars: Oregon -- QB Marcus Mariota. Oregon might lead the Pac-12 in rushing, but don't think for a second that the Ducks are a one-trick pony. In Oregon's past two games, Mariota has thrown for 681 yards and 10 touchdowns, including a school-record tying six touchdown passes against Cal. Stanford -- RB Stepfan Taylor. Oregon could be without as many as three starting defensive linemen Saturday, which is good news for Taylor, but bad news for Oregon. The injury-depleted Ducks were gashed for 236 yards rushing by Cal, which means Taylor -- the Pac-12's fourth-leading rusher -- could have a big day.
Who could steal the show: Oregon -- PR/WR/RB/CB De'Anthony Thomas. With Oregon banged up in the secondary, there have been reports indicating that Thomas could play some cornerback this week. The move makes sense, as Thomas was one of the nation's top recruits at corner coming out of high school. When asked this week if he'd rather see Thomas playing offense or defense, Stanford coach David Shaw said, "I'd rather see him on the bench." Stanford -- QB Kevin Hogan. Hogan threw for 254 yards and three touchdowns in his first career start last week against Oregon State. The sophomore quarterback completed 22 of 29 passes against the Beavers and looked sharp most of the day. One big advantage of Hogan starting is that Oregon will only have six quarters of film on Stanford's new starting QB.
You going? Ranking the road trip: ESPN's College GameDay is making the trip to Eugene, Ore. If it's good enough for them, it should be good enough for you.
Magic number for Oregon: 36-0. That's the Ducks' record under Chip Kelly when leading at the half. If the Ducks are winning at halftime, the game's as good as over.
Magic number for Stanford: 2001. The last time the Cardinal won at Oregon was 11 years ago when they marched into Autzen Stadium and knocked off an undefeated, top-5 ranked Oregon team. Sound familiar?
The game comes down to: Stanford's offense. The Ducks are going to score points and probably score a lot -- just ask USC, Cal, Colorado, Washington and every other team Oregon has played this season. The only question is: Can the Stanford offense keep up?
Prediction: Oregon 45, Stanford 35