We all know what happened last year as the Oregon Ducks fell 14-17 to a Stanford defense that brought shock to the nation and ended the Ducks 2012 National Championship hopes. Could that happen this year? I have to say no, with QB Marcus Mariota being much more experienced than a year ago, however these defensive players for the Cardinal seem to be keeping the faith. Below leading Stanford tackler linebacker Shayne Skov (63 combined tackles) along with fellow linebacker Trent Murphy (33 combined tackles) express their opinions. This season the Stanford defense is ranked #23 in the country and surrendering an average of 19.4 points per game while allowing an average of 103.3 yards on the ground and 250.1 via the air.
By studying Enders approach to attacking and defending the rapid alien attacks I may learn how to once again defeat the speed of oregons o
— Shayne Skov (@ShayneSkov11) November 3, 2013
Oregon is a good football team. But this week game plan is simple- Hard Work, Trust, Discipline, and one mean S.O.B attitude.
— Trent Murphy (@TMurphy_93) November 5, 2013
Some Interesting Bits of Info…
But Oregon was really good a year ago, too. The Ducks were ranked No. 2 in the BCS, averaging 54.8 points and 325 rushing yards. Stanford held them to 198. The defensive performance in 2012 was much more than one play. Or five, counting the subsequent stand. Stanford dominated the line of scrimmage with its 3-4 base defense, pushing Oregon into third-and-long situations, playing nearly flawless assignment football and wrinkling its defensive scheme to try to slow down Mariota’s decision-making. When one guy missed, Carrington’s touchdown-saving tackle mattered – as well as the defensive stand that followed, which ended with inside linebacker Shayne Skov’s tackle of Mariota for no gain on fourth down at the 7.
In the six years since Jim Harbaugh’s rebuild of the Stanford program began, the Cardinal gradually recruited faster, more athletic defenders, even as the defensive foundation remained a big, physical front seven. Against Oregon in 2012, Stanford controlled the line of scrimmage most of the time. There were fewer missed assignments – and as important, very few missed tackles – than in any other game. Mason also made schematic changes to try to combat the Ducks’ zone-read running game.
The Ducks had scored 42-plus points in their previous 13 contests before that game, and they’ve hit that mark in all eight games this season. Oregon posted 198 yards rushing — about two-thirds of its average — as Stanford adopted the aggressive scheme of the 1985 Chicago Bears and disrupted the Ducks.
Stanford’s offense will have to do its part because there’s seemingly no way Oregon will score only 14 points this time. With quarterback Marcus Mariota’s improvement and running back Byron Marshall’s emergence, the Ducks are “more efficient than they were a year ago,” Stanford coach David Shaw said.
The statistics support that statement. Oregon is averaging 55.6 points and 632.1 yards through eight games, divided almost evenly between running and passing. In a school-produced interview this week, running back De’Anthony Thomas said, “This team, we should score at least 40.”