The Oregon Ducks will be trying to extend their winning streak to three games when they visit the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Oregon suffered a tough season-opening loss to Auburn before beating Nevada and Montana. Quarterback Justin Herbert was not quite good enough to get the best of the Tigers, but his statistics are outstanding through three outings. Herbert is 77-of-105 for 868 yards with 11 touchdowns and no interceptions. In last week’s 35-3 rout of the Grizzlies, the senior from Eugene, Ore. completed 30 of 42 passes for 316 yards with five touchdowns. Ten of his 11 scores through the air have come over the past two contests.
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“I think we’ve been doing some good things and definitely some stuff we can learn and fix, but I like the direction we’re going in and I like the guys who’ve stepped up and made plays,” Herbert noted.
“We’re a real brotherhood this year,” added receiver Johnny Johnson III, who hauled in one of his QB’s touchdown strikes last weekend. “It’s a real family on this team and I think [Herbert] knows that. He’s a big part of this family and we all look up to him.”
There is some concern on the offensive line, where starting center Jake Hansonsuffered an injury in the second quarter against the Grizzlies and did not return. Head coach Mario Cristobal has not given much of an update, but it sounds like Hanson is out and Calvin Throckmorton will be snapping footballs to Herbert. Throckmorton is a versatile lineman who has played four of the five positions on the OL throughout his four-year starting career with the Ducks. He lined up a center during Tuesday’s practice and also started there last year against Utah after Hanson was held out of the first half due toa targeting call in the previous game.
Stanford’s start has been similarly unspectacular, with a 17-7 win over Northwestern followed by consecutive setbacks against USC (45-20) and Central Florida (45-27). A return home may be just what the doctor ordered, as the Cardinal are 1-0 at Stanford Stadium and 0-2 elsewhere. As those numbers suggest, the defense has taken a major step back since its dominant performance at the Wildcats’ expense. The good news is that the unit can pit shutdown corner Paulson Adebo against Herbert and Oregon’s receivers. Adebo forced incompletions on 26.9 percent of his targets last season, best among returning Pac-12 cornerbacks according to Pro Football Focus. However, he did struggle against Central Florida.
First TD Paulson Adebo has allowed since Week 9 of last year.
— Cam Mellor (@PFF_Cam) September 14, 2019
“He’s a great player and anytime you face a great player you have to account for him, whether it be from a scheme standpoint, whether it be from how you want to attack a particular team standpoint,” Cristobal commented. “We’re very well aware of him. I’ll tell you, he’s not alone. They’ve got a lot of other great players that also compliment him in the corps on the back end. Overall, impressed with their defense and what they do.”
The Oregon Ducks are:
- 2-8 ATS in their last 10 road games
- 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games against teams with losing records
- 5-16-1 ATS in their last 22 games following a win
The Stanford Cardinal are:
- 3-1-1 ATS in their last five conference games
- 17-5 ATS in their last 22 games following a loss
- 34-16-1 ATS in their last 51 games following an ATS loss