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After big win, No. 9 Oregon takes unbeaten mark to Stanford

Field Level Media

September 27, 2023 at 8:27 am.

No. 9 Oregon will look to continue its unbeaten start to the season when it visits Stanford on Saturday afternoon in a Pac-12 Conference contest.

Oregon (4-0, 1-0 Pac-12) is coming off an emphatic 42-6 win over then-No. 19 Colorado last weekend. The Ducks held a 35-0 lead at the half and never looked back.

“It was our most complete game that we’ve played to date,” Oregon coach Dan Lanning said. “I think it showed what we’re capable of. I think we were really solid in all three phases, but we still walked away with a lot of things that we can certainly fix.

“I know we say that every single week, but it’s always true.”

The Ducks’ next challenge will come against Stanford (1-3, 0-2), which will try to bounce back after a hard-fought 21-20 home loss against Arizona a week ago. The Cardinal led 17-14 before giving up the lead midway through the fourth quarter.

It marked the third straight setback for Stanford since its season-opening win at Hawaii.

Stanford coach Troy Taylor has alternated between two quarterbacks this season, and he hinted that the trend would continue against Oregon.

Ashton Daniels has completed 59.2 percent of his passes for 534 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions for the Cardinal. Fellow signal-caller Justin Lamson has completed 46.3 percent of his passes for 307 yards and one interception to go along with a rushing touchdown.

“We’re trying to find somebody to emerge and give us a spark,” Taylor said. “We’re kind of feeling it out. Typically, I want to play one quarterback. (I’ve done it) probably 95 percent of my coaching career.

“It’s definitely not a tactic. It’s just one of those things, trying to find the best chance to get us to move the football, and still learning about them and how they react to certain things and what they do well.

“If somebody emerges, I’ll probably play one of them the majority of the time. But until then — until somebody emerges — I’ll probably play both of them.”

Oregon has no such quandary at quarterback. Senior standout Bo Nix has completed a career-best 79.4 percent of his passes for 1,169 yards and 11 touchdowns with one pick.

Nix’s top target has been wideout Troy Franklin, who has 25 catches for 418 yards and five touchdowns. Bucky Irving leads the Oregon running backs with 305 rushing yards, and Jordan James tops the squad with six rushing touchdowns.

Stanford will try to slow down Nix and Co. with a pass rush that is led by linebacker David Bailey, who has four of the Cardinal’s eight sacks this season. Safety Scotty Edwards and cornerback Collin Wright have one interception apiece.

The Ducks’ defense features defensive end Jordan Burch, who leads the team with three sacks, and defensive back Khyree Jackson, who has two interceptions.

Last season, Oregon rolled to a 45-27 home win over Stanford.

“(They’re an) incredible team,” Taylor said. “Great speed. A lot of skill. They’re very dynamic offensively and defensively.

“It’s another great Pac-12 opponent and a great opportunity for us.”