Stanford offense dominates as Ducks lose 49-7 to No. 23 Stanford

STANFORD, Calif. — Whatever could go wrong went wrong for the Ducks.

Saturday night at Stanford Stadium No. 23 Stanford (5-2, 4-1) trounced Oregon 49-7  in one of Oregon’s worst passing and lowest scoring games in over a decade. Freshman quarterback Braxton Burmeister threw two interceptions and completed only 3-of-8 passing attempts for 23 yards, while the Cardinal racked up 504 yards of total offense (248 rushing and 256 passing) to hand the Ducks (4-3, 1-3) their third loss in the last four games. 

“I don’t think we played well enough. I don’t think we coached well enough,” head coach Willie Taggart said. “That’s on all of us. We didn’t do enough.”

The seven points are the fewest Oregon has scored since UCLA shut the Ducks out 16-0 in 2007.

If there was any bright spot, it was that Oregon rushed for 276 yards, led by Royce Freeman’s 143 yards on 18 carries. Freeman did most of his damage in the first half but was matched step-for-step by Stanford’s Bryce Love. While Freeman’s line of 121 first-half yards on 12 carries certainly was impressive, it was Love who broke away for two early touchdowns to get the Cardinal off to a roaring start. Before five minutes passed, Stanford led 14-0 thanks to Love’s 115 yards on his first five carries.  

Love finished the first quarter with 136 yards on 11 carries and Stanford rushed out to a 21-7 lead.

“We knew we were going up against a really good back, and we had to gang tackle in order to stop him, and we didn’t do a good job of that in the first quarter,” Taggart said.

Burmeister accounted for the Ducks’ sole touchdown of the game — a 1-yard rushing touchdown with 8:43 left in the first quarter — but played abysmally otherwise. Taggart pulled him for Taylor Alie on Oregon’s last drive of the third quarter in hopes of generating “a spark.” None came as Alie went 2-of-5 for 10 yards in his stint.

Oregon passed the ball 13 times the entire game with only five completions for 33 yards — all season-lows. The Cardinal, on the other hand, proved incredibly efficient with their passing game. The two-quarterback system of Keller Chryst and K.J. Costello picked apart Oregon’s secondary for 256 yards on 21-of-28 attempts for four touchdowns. The four scores were divided evenly amongst J.J Arcega-Whiteside and Colby Parkinson, who stand at 6-foot-3 and 6-foot-7 respectively, taller than any member of Oregon’s backline.

“They game-planned us really well,” Tyree Robinson said. “We were worried about stopping the run and stopping little stick routes, but we didn’t do a good job on 50-50 balls — balls in the air. We gotta win those battles.”

Arcega-Whiteside finished with six receptions for 112 yards and two touchdowns — both game highs — while Parkinson finished with three receptions for ten yards and two scores.

The Cardinal recorded touchdowns — one on a blocked punt — in the second and third quarters and took a 35-7 lead into the fourth. Penalties once again dogged the Ducks, who committed 9 for 101 yards.

“We gotta limit the penalties,” Freeman said. “That is a big factor.”

To make matters worse for Oregon, running back Tony Brooks-James and offensive linemen Jake Pisarcik and Tyrell Crosby all exited the game with injuries and didn’t return. Taggart said they all suffered concussions.

A combination of injuries, poor quarterback-play, penalties and lackluster defense make it difficult to win against any team. The Cardinal had Oregon’s number on Saturday night, and the Duck’s could do little to stop them.

Follow Gus Morris on Twitter @JustGusMorris

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Gus Morris

Gus Morris

Gus Morris covers Oregon football, basketball and women's golf for the Emerald. Caffeine addict. Bay Area sports. I know words, I have the best words.