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Sarah J. Phillips: What's a Ducks fan to do?

As an Oregon resident, Ducks vs. Cardinal represents a huge conflict of interest.

Quite frankly, Stanford has been an ATM for the last calendar year in going 14-0-1 against the spread in its past 15 games. Screw stocks and investment banking - letting your winnings ride on a $100 bet with the Cardinal would have netted you $854,125 during Stanford’s unbelievable ATS run.

But, standing in the way of a Cardinal’s 16-game unbeaten ATS streak and potential BCS Championship Game berth are my hometown, Oregon Ducks. Oregon represents Stanford’s only loss in its past two seasons - a 52-31 drubbing at Autzen Stadium last year.

For most Oregonians, the result of this game is a foregone conclusion: Oregon in a rout. It’s just the way things work here in Eugene. Most Ducks fans are so blinded by their passion for Oregon football that any other result is simply not a possibility.

As one diehard fan told me, “F#ck Stanford! They’ll be gasping for air again in the second half versus Oregon’s offense. I really just want a rematch with LSU. Those bitches fluked, I tell ya. They fluked us!”
Ducks fans are blind to the facts about Oregon vs. Stanford.
Out of curiosity, I questioned him, “What if Oregon loses to Stanford?”

He starred at me like I had just told him I was carrying Justin Bieber’s baby. It was a blank look and it lasted a minute or so. Then he said, “Not a chance in Hell. Stanford? Gimme a break.”

The ironic thing about his statement is that Stanford represents the last team to beat Oregon in Pac-12 conference play (November 2009).

The difficult aspect of being around lunatic Duck fans is not getting swept into the Ducks pride storm with them. Heck, I’m bombarded with Oregon football propaganda from the moment I wake up to the moment I go to bed. Although, I suppose that’s my fault for purchasing Ducks bed sheets. But, I digress.

With all of the swirling Oregon Ducks news engulfing most of Eugene, is it possible for a diehard fan to look at this game objectively rather than subjectively?

Sure, especially since I’ve basically been watching the Ducks since I was a fetus. As long as objectivity is maintained, having a strong background in Oregon football should be a huge advantage.

So, what gives?

The Ducks have folded against power attacks in recent memory. Even in the Ducks’ 52-31 victory over Stanford last season, the Cardinal muscled their way to a 21-3 lead behind its power-rushing attack. In 2009, Stanford utilized their power running game behind Toby Gerhart in their win versus Oregon. Honestly, Stanford is going to be able to score on Oregon.

On the flip side, Stanford’s defense has gaps, both in depth and skill. The Cardinal were exposed by a fairly pedestrian USC offense in Southern California a couple weeks ago. Oregon’s offense presents much more speed and creativity than the Trojans, so it’s hard to imagine Stanford being able to contain the Ducks. Let’s face it, Oregon is going to score on Stanford.

Then, who has the edge?

Anti-Oregon pundits, and Stanford -3.5 backers, are quick to point out that the Ducks have failed in the big games away from Autzen Stadium (Boise State 2009, Ohio State 2009, Auburn 2010, and LSU 2011). Each of those teams that gave the Ducks trouble had 30-plus days to prepare for Oregon’s spread option offense and used size to bully Oregon into submission.

However, Stanford won’t be gifted with a month to prepare for the blur.

Since implementing an extremely up-tempo offense last season, Chip Kelly is undefeated when opponents have had a week or less to prepare for his schemes. While Oregon’s playcalling is simple, the speed and tempo of their offense is difficult to replicate on a practice field in a limited time.

Does Stanford have the depth and conditioning on defense to run with Oregon for 60 minutes? If history is any indication, the answer is no. The 48-10 run Oregon put on Stanford last season is evidence of that.

Here’s the tough part: Will Stanford's limited preparation time end up being a true advantage for Oregon or am I simply a Ducks fan grasping for a glimmer of hope? You be the judge.

But one thing’s for sure, as an Oregonian, I share the same sentiments as the diehard Ducks fan.

Eff Stanford.

Til next time, cover the spread.

You can follow Sarah Phillips on Twitter @SarahPhilli.

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Posted by Bluedragon
2 years ago

The article has assured me to lay heavy on Oregon. Action reverse ore + over, 1000 = 4000 and 1000 on the over! big finish! wait to collect money sorry to those didn't jump off the Luck's waggon!
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Posted by jmaydc
2 years ago

Sarah, Don't let these guys talk any shit. Stick to your guns. Don't be upset taking the correct side. Pressure is on, and Stanford will fold. I think the guys setting the line would agree. That is why they set the spread so low: to encourage Stanford bets. An undefeated team at home should warrant a higher spread. Hell, -3 is standard home field advantage, -.5 point for undefeated record, and that leaves us two equally matched teams. A coin flip? In the famous words of Babaloo, "I don't thin so quicksdraw." Ducks by 10 or more.
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Posted by eertgninrub_j
2 years ago

Stanford by two touchdowns.....38-24....jus goes under the total.
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Posted by Captainshow
2 years ago

Geaux Tigers!!!! Huge lsu fan, got ripped last weekend and went moneyline on my boys. Lost my voice and bought everyone drinks after the game. Best advice for you, go moneyline ducks, get ripped and then have everyone buy you drinks after ducks lose. Blow it up!!!
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Posted by SarahJPhilli
2 years ago

@Captainshow: Hey! Oregon's gonna win!
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Posted by SportsGuyMike
2 years ago

Sarah, best of luck to your Oregon Ducks! Stanford has allowed their opponents to rush for an average of just 79 yards a game this season, but they haven't faced any opponent with such a powerful rushing attack like Oregon, who averages 298 yards rushing a game. If the Ducks can continue to run the ball with success and stay away from turnovers, they have a chance to pull off the upset.
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Posted by SarahJPhilli
2 years ago

@SportsGuyMike: Agreed! USC was the most potent offense that Stanford has faced this season, and the Trojans chose to attack the Stanford secondary. Oregon will run and sprinkle the pass. It's a tough matchup for Stanford. Bad matchup. Styles make fights.
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Posted by SharpCheddar
2 years ago

Luck is a cocky nerd. He is also a splitting image of JP from the movie grandma's boy lol.
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Posted by SarahJPhilli
2 years ago

@SharpCheddar: He actually seems very humble!
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Posted by YukonTrav
2 years ago

i agree. Where do you get he is cocky? Guess you havent watched any of the interviews ...
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Posted by Laroja
2 years ago

Oregon probably wins this game unless the PAC-12 refs screw them and give Stanford an inside shot to the NC. Doubt the refs are corrupt but Stanford going to the NC brings millions to the conference. Stanford has some injuries in the offense and while Stanford's defense is solid, I doubt they will keep up with Oregon' speed. Lots at stake for both teams, leaning the Ducks + the points to be safe in what is likely to be a shootout Oregon 45 Stanford 41
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Posted by SarahJPhilli
2 years ago

@Lajora: The points are unnecessary. If Stanford wins, they will cover.
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Posted by SharpCheddar
2 years ago

Go Ducks! I hate Stanford and especially Andrew Luck.
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Posted by SarahJPhilli
2 years ago

@SharpCheddar: You hate Andrew Luck? . . . why?
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Posted by YukonTrav
2 years ago

jealousy, probably ...
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Posted by yankees1913
2 years ago

@SarahJPhilli - I see you got jokes. Yes that is funny, but you did not address the fact that Stanford is going to cover. :)
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Posted by SarahJPhilli
2 years ago

@yankees1913: Tough sell. I watched Oregon dominate Stanford last year, and IMO, Stanford was a better team last year.
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Posted by yankees1913
2 years ago

This is the reason Luck returned, Stanford will cover.
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Posted by SarahJPhilli
2 years ago

@yankees1913: Eh, the reason he returned is because he didn't want to be a Carolina Panther. LOL!
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Posted by DanTos8715
2 years ago

I'm a Luck fan. I respect the Ducks. Was thinking of teasing Oregon up to 10, with a 6.5 pt teaser. Might just bet the OVER and enjoy the game. On a side note, I was really hoping to see Wisconsin-Oregon in the bowl game. I'd take that over Oklahoma, but Oklahoma State would make me just as satisfied.
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Posted by SarahJPhilli
2 years ago

@DanTos8715: The nice thing for Ducks fans is that, regardless of beating Stanford or losing, we'll be in a BCS game.
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Posted by jiveturkey22
2 years ago

Hey Irish Girl......What are your thoughts on the over vs. the under? The total has gone up 2+ points already. Also....I'm thinking about hitting the Ducks total points over 32.5. Thoughts?
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Posted by SarahJPhilli
2 years ago

@jiveturkey22: I'm not much of a totals player. :-/
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Posted by joesefcoal
2 years ago

This game just screams Stanford to me. I thought Oregon could take Stanford out, but I rewatched that Washington game, a road game in a loud stadium, and if they put that effort on the field versus Stanford - it will be 41-17 Stanford.
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Posted by SarahJPhilli
2 years ago

@joesefcoal: But, there's nothing loud about the fans in Palo Alto. :)
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Top Response

Posted by SarahJPhilli
2 years ago

"@dawizard2011: Pssst . . . when you post comments in these fields, they're archived. Don't make me pull your Arizona over Oregon ridiculous comments. LOL! Best of luck this weekend, I don't need to get into a pissing match. Not my style. "