1. Stanford 38, Oregon 31 OT
How do you get past this if you’re Oregon?
You try to realize that a whole lot is still there to play for, and that you can hang with everyone in the Pac-12.
Justin Herbert was brilliant, upping his draft stock even higher with a 26-of-33, 346-yard, one touchdown, one overtime pick performance.
CJ Verdell helped the running game balance things out, and the defense stuffed Bryce Love and the Stanford running game with the exception of one big run. And …
It was an epic collapse that will be remembered as long as Stanford and Oregon play each other. But it took a whole lot of bad luck for it to happen.
The Ducks went from up ten and making a push deep into the top ten of the rankings, to potential also-ran status if it doesn’t run the table and get a little bit of help.
To give up 24 points in the final 18 minutes, ad ten in the final 3:10 showed what’s missing – the ability to close.
Stanford might have stayed on an even keel, and it might not have panicked, but the three turnovers meant everything – including the game-changing 80-yard scoop-and-score late in the third as Oregon was about to put the game away.
It was also helped by the Duck O not being able to move the chains when it absolutely had to late, and worst of all, not scoring enough.
There’s no blaming the Oregon tempo offense – it held on to the ball for almost 37 minutes.
There’s no blaming Herbert – this was his best game, even with the issues in overtime.
Blame a relentless Stanford team that has been there before. The experience made the difference, and a whole lot of quirky breaks had a lot to do with it.
But Oregon showed it’s close to being amazing again. Let this be a jumping off point to what the program can potentially be again.