Gameday could not have come for a better game if you're a Duck fan. Behind stellar performances from quarterback Darron Thomas and running back LaMichael James, the Oregon Ducks established themselves as legitimate national title contenders with a 52-31 win at home over a tough Cardinal team. Darron Thomas went 20 for 29 passing with 238 yards and 3 TD's, and also ran for 117 yards and another touchdown as well. Running back LaMichael James shouldered the bulk of the carries for the Ducks, and ran for 257 yards and 3 TD's. James averaged over 8 yards a carry.
Early Stanford took a 21-3 lead, taking advantage of an early Oregon special teams miscue. However Chip Kelly's team remained determined, and after a touchdown pass to senior receiver Jeff Maehl to make the score 21-10, Oregon ran a surprise onside kick in which the kicker Rob Beard recovered the ball after it went 10 yards. Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck looked like the NFL prospect he's being touted as, but was mortal in the second half. Oregon's sensational outspoken sophomore Cliff Harris picked off Luck two times in the 2nd half, en route to the blowout. The play that changed the game was a pass to the right side from Luck to receiver Chris Owusu, in which Oregon safety Javes Lewis unloaded on Owusu, dislodging the ball and knocking Owusu out of the game. Oregon's Eddie Pleasant returned the ball to the Stanford 3, and LaMichael James punched it in shortly after.
Oregon was rewarded by the voters for this win over the #9 Cardinal by receiving the #3 spot in the most current rankings, skipping Boise State. Oregon's high-powered no-huddle offense is undoubtedly the most exciting in the nation, but most importantly the defense (despite early troubles in games) has only given up 7 2nd half points all season. Next week #3 Oregon plays at Washington State, which is sure to be another display of the Ducks dazzling team speed. Oregon's LaMichael James hopes to increase his chances at a Heisman trophy, and he will likely find holes in the Cougar defense.