The Ducks take on Stanford today because the schedule requires it.
Oregon took a big step backwards last week, regressing to the point where they were dominated again. This time it was at the hands of USC, and it had the unfortunate feeling of a team just playing out the string. The Ducks had come off of a couple of encouraging outings and seemed to be headed in a positive direction, but the Trojans are now starting to resemble the team that was expected to contend in the Pac-12 South.
This afternoon, the opponent is Stanford, in another matchup that's usually a "big game" type of deal. The Cardinal enter the contest at 6-3, with some crushing defeats on their ledger (blowouts to both of the Washington schools) as well as a weird 10-5 loss to a tough Colorado team. They've been perfectly acceptable in all of their wins (as most teams are), but are out of the running for the conference title with 3 conference losses as both of the Washington schools are somehow undefeated.
With nothing to lose but pride (and a possible bid in a bowl game in some remote corner of the country), it would great to see the Ducks turn it around this week. Stanford star Christian McCaffrey began the season with Heisman hopes similar to Royce Freeman, but both have been hobbled with injuries this year and have seen their numbers suffer. The better player today could be the key factor in a win, so it will be interesting to watch nonetheless.
Game time is 1:00 PST with national coverage on the Pac-12 Network. Go Ducks!