8:00 PM ET, November 17, 2012
Autzen Stadium, Eugene, OR
EUGENE, Ore. -- Jordan Williamson hit a 37-yard field goal in overtime and Stanford (No. 13 BCS, No. 14 AP) upset Oregon (No. 2 BCS, No. 1 AP) 17-14, denying the Ducks a chance to clinch the Pac-12 North and derailing their straight shot at the BCS title game.
If both Stanford and Oregon win in their final games next weekend, both will finish with one conference loss, which means Stanford will win the head-to-head matchup and go to the Pac-12 championship for a chance to play in the Rose Bowl.
After winning its fifth straight, Stanford (9-2, 7-1) will play its finale at No. 17 UCLA, which defeated USC (No. 18 BCS, No. 21 AP) 38-28 earlier in the day to claim the Pac-12 South. Oregon (10-1, 7-1) will play Oregon State (No. 16 BCS, No. 15 AP) in the annual Civil War rivalry game in Corvallis.
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The loss snapped a 13-game winning streak for the Ducks, the longest in the nation coming into Saturday.
"It hurts and as I told them, you'd like to have some words that would take the pain out of it, but there aren't," Oregon coach Chip Kelly said. "We'll feel bad for a little bit of time and we'll bounce back from it."
Oregon's loss, coupled with Kansas State's (No. 1 BCS, No. 2 AP) -- they were also the top two teams in the BCS standings -- means third-ranked Notre Dame is now the lone unbeaten team in the race for the BCS title game.
The Fighting Irish control their national championship run, with No. 4 Alabama and a couple of other Southeastern Conference teams also in the thick of it.
Oddsmaker Danny Sheridan told ESPN.com's Darren Rovell that, at this point, Notre Dame would be a 10-point underdog to the Crimson Tide.
Oregon was the only Pac-12 team that Stanford hadn't defeated over the past two seasons. But the Cardinal's tough defense smothered the highest scoring team in the nation.
Alejandro Maldonado missed a 41-yard field goal for the Ducks to open overtime before Williamson's game winner.
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Down 14-7, Stanford went for it on fourth-and-1 on the Oregon 12 with 2:17 left in regulation and Ryan Hewitt ran two yards for the first down. Hogan hit Zach Ertz with a 10-yard scoring pass to tie it at 14 with 1:35 to go. Ertz fought to gain control of the ball with a defender as he fell to the turf on top of a Ducks player. The play was initially ruled incomplete, but a video review overturned it for the game-tying touchdown.
Despite a pass interference call that gave them a crucial first down, the Ducks were forced to punt on the ensuing series and Stanford took over with 36 seconds to go and the game went to overtime.
The Cardinal had the nation's best run defense going into the game, allowing an average of just 54.8 yards a game. Oregon, meanwhile, had the country's third-best rushing offense, averaging 325 yards a game.
Stanford held Ducks running back Kenjon Barner, who was averaging 136 yards rushing a game, to just 66 yards. Overall, the Ducks managed only 198 yards on the ground.
Oregon's top rusher was quarterback Marcus Mariota, who ran for 89 yards. Mariota, a redshirt freshman who had been getting Heisman buzz, threw for 207 yards and a touchdown.
Stanford stuffed what appeared to be a sure first-quarter Oregon touchdown drive when Mariota took off on a 77-yard keeper to the Stanford 15. But the Ducks couldn't get much closer, and Stanford got the stop when Oregon went for it on fourth-and-2 on the Cardinal 7.
Not So Mighty Ducks
Stanford was able to unseat Oregon thanks to a stifling run defense that held the Ducks' high-powered ground game under 200 yards for just the second time this year.
|1st 10 Games||Saturday|
|Yds per rush||6.1||4.9|
|Negative rush PG||7.7||10.0|
|10+ yd rush PG||10.5||4.0|
Stanford scored first on Hogan's 1-yard plow into the end zone early in the second quarter.
Oregon tried again on fourth-and-4 midway through the quarter, but was unsuccessful, this time when Mariota's pass to tight end Colt Lyerla fell incomplete.
When Oregon took over on downs from Stanford on the next series, the Ducks marched 59 yards in three plays -- capped by Mariota's 28-yard touchdown pass to Keanon Lowe -- to tie it at 7-all.
Oregon extended its lead to 14-7 on De'Anthony Thomas' 6-yard scoring run in the third quarter, but missed a chance when Maldonado's 42-yard field goal attempt went wide right.
Williamson missed a 43-yard field goal attempt for Stanford early in the fourth quarter.
The victory for Stanford is retribution for Oregon's dominance over the Cardinal for the past two seasons.
Last year, Stanford was ranked No. 3 and looking toward its own national championship bid with quarterback Andrew Luck when then-No. 6 Oregon visited Palo Alto and emerged with a 53-30 victory. Running back LaMichael James, who would join Luck's NFL draft class in the spring, ran for 146 yards and three touchdowns.
The year before, Oregon defeated the Cardinal and Luck 52-31 in an early October hurdle en route to an undefeated regular season and an appearance in the BCS title game against Auburn.
In both seasons, Oregon went on to win the conference titles. The Ducks have won three straight Pac-12 championships.
The Ducks went into the game hurting on defense after a 59-17 victory over California last weekend.
Oregon was without free safety Avery Patterson seriously injured his left knee in the second quarter and is believed to be out for the rest of the season. Patterson had taken over as starter for senior John Boyett, whose career at Oregon ended earlier this season when he needed surgery on both knees. Starting nose guard Wade Keliikipi did not play.
Because the Ducks do not disclose injuries, there was also uncertainty about the secondary, leading to speculation that the team might use Lowe or even multi-purpose sophomore back Thomas on defense. But they did not.
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Stanford kicker Jordan Williamson, the goat of the Fiesta Bowl last year, booted a 37-yard field goal in overtime.
Gameball goes to... The Stanford defense. Just brilliant in slowing the Ducks. Kudos to coordinator Derek Mason and his crew.
Stat of the game... 14. The Ducks had scored at least 42 points in 13 consecutive games but not Saturday against Stanford.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||6-17||4-17|
|4th Down Conversions||1-2||0-2|
|TD||12:39||Kevin Hogan 1 Yd Run. (Jordan Williamson Kick)||7||0|
|TD||03:26||Keanon Lowe 28 Yd Pass From Marcus Mariota. (Alejandro Maldonado Kick)||7||7|
|TD||06:35||De'Anthony Thomas 6 Yd Run. (Alejandro Maldonado Kick)||7||14|
|TD||01:35||Zach Ertz 10 Yd Pass From Kevin Hogan. (Jordan Williamson Kick)||14||14|
|FG||Jordan Williamson 37 Yd||17||14|
Stepfan Taylor showed a combination of speed and power on Saturday as he outrushed Heisman candidate Kenjon Barner by 95 yards. Taylor gained 79 of his 161 yards (49.1 percent) after contact and broke a 10-yard run once every 5.5 rushes against Oregon.[+]
Oregon gained 29 yards on 15 rushes outside the tackles on Saturday. Entering the game, the trio of Kenjon Barner, De'Anthony Thomas and Marcus Mariota had averaged more than 100 yards per game outside the tackles and gained at least 10 yards on more than a quarter of their rushes in that direction.[+]
Oregon Big Three Rushing Outside the TacklesOregon Big Three Rushing Outside the Tackles
Outside of Marcus Mariota's 77-yard scramble in the first half, Stanford was able to limit Oregon on the ground. The Ducks had four rushes that gained 10 or more yards and did not make it past the line of scrimmage on 10 of its 40 rushes, which is tied for its second-most negative rushes in a game this season. It was the second straight game that Oregon did not gain 200 yards on the ground after averaging 341.2 rushing yards per game in its first nine games.[+]
Oregon scored 14 points vs Stanford, its fewest points in a game since Sept. 3, 2009 vs Boise State (lost 19-8).
After tonight's events, Notre Dame is in position to be AP No. 1 for the first time since November 1993. Lou Holtz was the coach. Notre Dame lost to Boston College and hasn't been AP No. 1 since. Notre Dame has never been No. 1 in the BCS.
This is the third time in BCS history that the top two teams both lost on the same weekend. Both previous instances happened in 2007. Missouri and West Virginia lost on Dec. 1 after LSU and Kansas lost the previous weekend (LSU lost on Friday, Kansas on Saturday on Thanksgiving weekend).
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