Last season, Oregon's offense was flying high heading into their November matchup with then-No. 14 ranked Stanford. The Ducks entered that game averaging 54.8 points per game, building a 10-0 record by outscoring opponents 348-90 in the first half.
At the end of the first half in Eugene, Stanford and Oregon were tied 7-7.
So naturally one of the main stories heading into Thursday night's rematch has been whether or not Stanford can once again slow the game down and limit Oregon's opportunities to score. According to running back De'Anthony Thomas, the 2013 Ducks should have no trouble finding the end zone.
"I feel we are a better team, just a new generation of players," Thomas told GoDucks.com. "We've got a lot of guys that can contribute to the offense and that's what makes this offense to dynamic."
Thomas was then asked if he thought Stanford could hold the Ducks offense to 14 points -- Oregon's total from the 2012 loss.
"I don't think so," Thomas replied. "I feel like this team, we should at least put up 40."
Thomas' comment was relayed to Stanford coach David Shaw on Monday. Shaw, who earlier in the day questioned if the 10-point spread was too low, did not have an issue with the comment.
David Shaw reacted to De'Anthony Thomas' comment (Oregon should score at least 40): "I've seen em play, no problem with him saying that."— David Lombardi (@DavidMLombardi) November 5, 2013
Stanford's defense does enter the game banged up, which is never ideal playing the Ducks. However, the Oregon game is expected to mark the return of defensive end Henry Anderson. The 6-6 senior has not played since suffering a knee injury in September, and his return could not come at a better time after the loss of Ben Gardner to a season-ending pectoral injury.
While the matchup of Oregon's offense and Stanford's defense will be a major focus leading up to the showdown, the Cardinal will not be able to pull the upset off without some sustained drives on offense. With the Ducks allowing just 3.41 yards per carry on the ground and allowing opponents to convert third downs at a 33.1 percent rate (both Top 20 national rankings), Stanford will need one of their best offensive performances of the season as well to pull the upset.