Oregon throws the knockout punch at Stanford, 52-31

Stanford loses its first game to No. 3 Ducks in Eugene

Andrew Luck threw for 341 yards and two touchdowns but Stanford was overwhelmed by host Oregon, 52-31, in a Pac-10 football contest Saturday between two of the nation's top 10 teams.

Actually, the loss dropped Stanford to 16th while the Ducks were voted No. 3 in the AP poll.

The Cardinal (1-1, 4-1) will look to rebound next Saturday when USC, upset by Washington, visits Stanford Stadium for a 5 p.m. start.

Stanford carried a 31-24 lead into halftime but the Ducks went on a spree in the second half.

"We had the first half lead and we didn't score enough in the second half," Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh said. "Some good things happened and some bad things happened. We'll look at the things we can control and focus on getting ready for next week."

Stanford lost its last seven games, dating to 1970, as a top-10 team and ended a three-game winning streak against ranked teams.

Stepfan Taylor was a major part of the Cardinal offense as he rushed for 113 yards and caught a game-high eight passes for 69 yards. He scored two touchdowns. Luck also rushed for a score.

Luck threw touchdown passes of 18 yards to Griff Whalen and 36 yards to Coby Fleener. He also threw a pair of interceptions, giving him four on the year and matching last year's total.

"Oregon did an effective job in keeping us off the scoreboard in the second half," Harbaugh said. "We didn't handle situations that could have put points on the board. Oregon just did a better job."

Stanford also made some critical mistakes: not handling a center-quarterback exchange deep in Oregon territory, getting called for an offensive pass interference call that also led to a missed opportunity deep in Ducks' territory, and a lost fumble that turned into a touchdown.

"We didn't get the breaks we would have liked to get in a game like this," Harbaugh said, "especially on the road. Give them credit, Oregon executed."

One scary moment occurred when Chris Owusu was knocked unconscious after making a catch and gaining a first down.

"I talked to him afterward and he says he's OK," Harbaugh said. "We'll monitor him this week."

Nate Whitaker, who kicked a season-best 46-yard field goal to end the first half, has made 14 field goals in a row dating to last year.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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Like this comment
Posted by ryanbard
a resident of Stanford
on Oct 2, 2010 at 11:37 pm

Well fought game Stanford! I expect Stanford to win out the season and represent in the Rose Bowl.... while Oregon plays Alabama for the Championship. Many games left to be played... but these were two fantastic teams tonight that could win on any given Saturday against any given opponent. Of course, they need to make it through the rest of the conference schedule unscathed. I'd love to see these two teams win out and represent the Pac 10 in the BCS!

Like this comment
Posted by Chuck H.
a resident of another community
on Oct 3, 2010 at 12:07 am

I agree with the comments above by ryanbard. I was at the game and have been a season tickey holder for the ducks for 11 years. The Stanford fans I meet were absolutely pleasant and I know we always try to make visiting fans feel at home. Both teams should do well moving forward. Stanford is a classy team!

Like this comment
Posted by ore54duck
a resident of another community
on Oct 3, 2010 at 10:21 am

looks like harbaugh's "cruelty and physicality" ran into a brick wall, way too much talk about how the cardinal was going to run the ball down the throat of the "O"........... the Duck was too much for the Cardinal, not only were they tougher, they were also faster, Owusu met his match, knocked out, laying on the field, while the 7 ducks in the photo were scrambling for the end zone.......... score...... well that says it all.see you Cardinal's next year.

Like this comment
Posted by duck fan PDX
a resident of another community
on Oct 4, 2010 at 12:22 pm

GREAT GAME! My voice is still gone (Oregon fan). AUTZEN Stadium is the best place to watch a football game and the loudest! Both teams fought hard, but DUCKS showed more speed and control of the ball in the end. Stanfords O-line looks very impressive as does Luck. Sandford D needs to play better to be a rose bowl contender.


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