Oregon vs. Stanford reaction and highlights: Ducks shocked by stingy Stanford D

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

For the second year in a row, Oregon's title hopes end at the hands of the Cardinal.

No. 3 Oregon and No. 5 Stanford squared off in a Thursday night in a Pac-12 contest between two teams with national title hopes. Only the Ducks entered the game undefeated, but neither team exited it that way, as the Cardinal shutout Oregon for three quarters and took the all-important 26-20 victory. This is the second straight season Stanford has ended Oregon's national title hopes.

Stanford's defense lived up to its pre-game billing, shutting down the Oregon offense better than anyone has in recent memory. The concern was about the Cardinal offense, and whether they would be able to score against a very good Duck defense. Late in the first quarter, Tyler Gaffney ran in a score from two yards out, giving Stanford the lead and sending the Cardinal fans into raptures.

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The Cardinal extended their lead in the second quarter on Kevin Hogan's 14-yard touchdown run, and four straight field goals by Jordan Williamson made it 26-0 with less than 12 minutes remaining in the game.

Oregon attempted a late comeback, as Marcus Mariota got the offense working on a 23-yard strike to Daryle Hawkins. The game looked in reach after Rodney Hardrick returned a blocked field goal 65 yards for a score and Pharaoh Brown caught a Mariota pass for a 12-yard touchdown, but Oregon's last-ditch onside kick attempt was unsuccessful, giving Stanford the win.

David Piper at Addicted to Quack said Oregon was manhandled on the line in what seemed like a repeat of last year's affair.

Oregon got manhandled by Stanford. On both lines. Stanford rushed for 274 yards. Oregon rushed for 61. Stanford held the ball for more than three quarters. Stanford did whatever the hell they wanted to do. A late comeback showed some life, but it was far too late to make any difference. An inability to stop Stanford's rushing attack, big red zone turnovers, an inability to tackle, and a general lack of toughness did away any chance of winning this one.

Prior to the game, Ducks' running back De'Anthony Thomas said Oregon should score "at least 40" against Stanford, and Cardinal players responded after the game.

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