Posted by Tom Fornelli
STANFORD WON. Andrew Luck and company didn't get off to the fastest start in Durham on Saturday afternoon, but by the time the second half rolled around the Cardinal finally began living up to their top-10 billing. Luck finished the day with 290 yards passing and had 4 touchdowns to go with an interception. Chris Owusu was his favorite target, finishing with 7 receptions for 106 yards and a score as the Stanford offense scored touchdowns on five straight possessions ranging from the second to the fourth quarter.
WHY STANFORD WON. While both these teams would be able to compete in a classroom against one another, the fact of the matter is that on the football field Stanford just has a lot more talent than Duke. Plus, because of that edge in talent, Duke was forced to take a lot of chances early in the game, and while some of them worked out for the Blue Devils, the ones that didn't really hurt.
WHEN STANFORD WON. Duke made life pretty interesting when Lee Butler picked off a deflected pass from Luck and took it 76 yards to the house to cut Stanford's lead to 10-7. Making things a bit crazier, following that score, Duke ran an onside kick which it recovered. Unfortunately for Duke, it wasn't able to capitalize on that momentum and before you knew it Luck was hitting Chris Owusu for a score to extend Stanford's lead back to ten at halftime. Then when Luck connected on a 60-yard touchdown to Coby Fleener just over halfway through the third to make it 24-7, this one was done.
WHAT STANFORD WON. A road game against a BCS opponent that I suppose looks good on a resume, but when that team is Duke I'm not sure it actually means much.
WHAT DUKE LOST. A game it was supposed to, but if you want to dig deeper than that, you can say the team also lost faith in its kicker Will Snyderwine. Snyderwine, who was an ALL-ACC selection in the preseason, missed a game-winning attempt against Richmond last week, and then missed two field goal chances in the first quarter. Obviously, those 6 points wouldn't have meant much in the grand scheme of things, but at the time Duke could have had a 13-10 lead and this game may have gone a completely different direction.
THAT WAS CRAZY. The one moment in this game that caused me to release a guttural "OOOOOH" took place in the fourth quarter. That was when, en route to a 40-yard pickup, Stanford fullback Geoff Meinken literally de-cleated a Duke linebacker with a stiff arm. It was glorious, and though I know the name of the Duke linebacker who was emasculated on television, I'll try to help him retain some of his dignity by not naming him here.