The game plan for Stanford coming into this game was simple: the Cardinal needed to control the clock and dominate Oregon up front to have any shot of keeping it close, to say nothing of actually beating the 3rd-ranked Ducks. That's exactly what the Stanford did when they beat Oregon 17-14 last year, but few thought the Cardinal were well-suited to repeat the performance. And yet, through two quarters of play, David Shaw's squad is somehow outdoing last year's stunning performance.
With a 7-0 lead entering the second quarter, the Cardinal benefitted from a questionable pass interference call that put them deep in Duck territory. From there, Kevin Hogan showed unexpected speed getting into the end zone on an 11-yard zone-read keeper.
Oregon looked like it was going to answer with a touchdown of its own, but Stanford's star linebacker Shayne Skov stripped De'Anthony Thomas on the Stanford 11-yard line. From there, the Cardinal marched down the field and ran out the final 8:26 of game clock on an incredibly long 19-play drive to end the half.
Stanford nearly ran out too much clock, letting the clock hit zero on a failed pass into the end zone. But another pass interference penalty on Oregon bailed Stanford out. The Cardinal got an extra opportunity to score, electing to knock through a chip shot field goal and take a 17-0 lead into the half.