No treatment for Duck syndrome: Stanford loses 42-6 to Oregon

Not like final 12 months’s upset, there was no magic for Stanford (1-4, 0-3 Pac-12) in Saturday’s recreation in opposition to Oregon (5-0, 2-0 Pac-12). A lead within the first quarter gave Stanford followers false hope till the Geese scored a landing on six of their final seven possessions, gliding time and again into the tip zone.

The 42-6 victory for Oregon stored Geese firmly within the Pac-12 title image however marked the fourth consecutive loss for the Cardinal after the season-opening victory in opposition to Hawaii. Stanford struggled on each side of the ball Saturday, with a number of flaws within the workforce’s efficiency. 

Protection falters as recreation wears on

Regardless of a few three-and-outs early on, Stanford’s cowl three match protection couldn’t sustain with Oregon’s potent offense. Defensive coordinator Bobby April’s scheme didn’t seem subpar on movie: cowl three match stored sufficient males within the field to hinder offenses from operating the ball successfully whereas additionally providing sufficient assist within the secondary to forestall deep balls.

Particularly within the first half, Cardinal defenders had been in place to restrict extra yards after catch and preliminary contact. The variations in athletic expertise between each groups had been on full show; Stanford defenders merely lacked the closing velocity to sort out Oregon’s talent gamers in house. At different factors within the recreation, Cardinal linebackers and safeties couldn’t learn whether or not the play was a run or cross rapidly sufficient. 

Soccer has advanced to turn out to be a recreation predicated on spreading protection out and inserting back-end gamers in quandaries via run-pass choices. The Cardinal will subsequently have to drastically improve its athleticism at each the protection and linebacker positions. 

The quilt three match protection additionally supplied loads of one-on-one alternatives for Geese star receiver Troy Franklin, who completely didn’t disappoint. The 6’3” junior, who attended Menlo-Atherton highschool, tallied seven receptions for 117 yards. Whereas there’s not a lot any cornerback in school soccer can accomplish in opposition to Franklin, who’s within the operating for the Biletnikoff Award, maybe extra may’ve been finished to direct Franklin in direction of security assist. This consists of having cornerbacks play an out of doors leverage approach in opposition to him. 

Whereas many could level towards teaching as the principle supply of Stanford’s defensive struggles this season, there’s not way more April can do from a scheme standpoint to help his gamers. 

Offense unable to generate massive performs

The Stanford offense confirmed promise on the primary two drives, changing key third and fourth downs to maintain the Oregon offense off the sector. In each drives, the Cardinal talent gamers had been capable of win some one-on-one battles with defenders with the intention to preserve the chains transferring, one thing that may turn out to be more and more necessary as Stanford strikes down its schedule. 

“There’s some extent the place now we have to finish up making massive performs,” stated sophomore quarterback Justin Lamson throughout the post-game press convention. “Contested catches, I bought to interrupt some tackles one-on-one. In opposition to a very good workforce like [Oregon] it’s important to make these massive performs to win the sport.”

Nonetheless, the talent and athleticism possessed by the Geese at linebacker and cornerback made {that a} tough job for Stanford to perform all through the sport, significantly within the second half. 

The Cardinal had zero performs within the recreation that went above 20 yards and solely seven performs that went above ten yards. 4 of these seven performs got here on Stanford’s second drive of the sport. 

There are manifold the explanation why Stanford hasn’t been capable of hit massive performs so far this season. Stanford at present doesn’t have a real “primary” receiver that may persistently win one-on-one matchups, and the offensive line struggles go away operating backs to cope with a number of defenders coming at them from completely different angles. 

Stanford will be unable to remain in lots of video games this season by occurring methodical drives, particularly in opposition to explosive offenses like Colorado (3-2, 0-2 Pac-12) and Washington (5-0, 2-0 Pac-12). The underside line is that if Stanford needs to choose off an upset win on the rest of its Pac-12 schedule, it is going to be from 60-yard runs or 50-yard cross completions reasonably than 15-play drives.

Benjamin Yurosek struggles once more

Senior star tight finish Benjamin Yurosek had a terrific opening day recreation in opposition to Hawaii, tallying 9 receptions for 138 yards. Sadly, he has been unable to duplicate that efficiency within the 4 video games since. Within the final 4 video games, Yurosek has solely put up six receptions for 89 yards.

Early within the recreation, the Cardinal discovered a artistic method to get Yurosek the ball on outdoors runs within the flexbone. However Yurosek was non-existent within the passing recreation, accumulating zero receptions in opposition to a stout Oregon protection. This was not the primary time that Yurosek had no catches in a recreation: he had an analogous efficiency in opposition to the Sacramento State Hornets (4-1, 1-1 Huge Sky). 

As essentially the most gifted pass-catcher on the workforce, the Cardinal should discover a method to get Yurosek concerned within the passing recreation, whether or not it’s via screens, wheel routes or crossers. However with an offensive line that’s allowed 18 sacks in 5 video games, it might be tough to even get the ball out of the pocket. That is very true when defenses are keying in on the six-foot-four tight finish, however the mismatches he affords on linebackers and safeties are too good for Stanford to cross up. 

Stanford has its bye week this weekend, earlier than the Cardinal heads to Boulder, Colo. to tackle Deion Sanders (often known as Coach Prime) and the Colorado Buffaloes. Whereas Sanders’s workforce has acquired much less hype as a consequence of back-to-back convention losses, the Buffaloes possess a bevy of expertise at talent positions, significantly on offense. Quarterback Shedeur Sanders will doubtless be a top-ten decide each time he declares for the draft, and he’s surrounded by star receivers together with Xavier Weaver, Jimmy Horn Jr. and Travis Hunter.

Different talent gamers emerged within the final a number of weeks for Colorado, together with freshman Omarion Miller and tight finish Michael Harrison. To maintain up with this Buffaloes offense, the Cardinal might want to strike rapidly and convert its pink zone alternatives. Kick-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. thirteenth.