If the NCAA football rules committee has its way, the wings of the quick-strike Oregon Ducks offense will be clipped somewhat in 2014, with a new regulation prohibiting teams from snapping the ball during the first 10 seconds of the play clock (except in the final two minutes of the half). Oregon has averaged about 15 seconds between plays in previous years, but it has also snapped the ball in as few as five seconds. Next season, it seems that would result in an absurdly named “delay of game” penalty.
The Pac-12 released Stanford football’s full 2014 schedule on Wednesday afternoon, featuring nine conference matchups and six home games. As was the case in 2012, Stanford will have three consecutive home games to open the season before most of the student body arrives on campus for the new school year.
In one of the most electric atmospheres at Stanford Stadium in recent memory, No. 5 Stanford (8-1, 6-1 Pac-12) shocked the college football world for the second year in a row by upending mighty No. 3 Oregon (8-1, 5-1) 26-20. The deceivingly close score didn’t do justice to the fact that the Cardinal utterly dominated in all three phases of the game for over three-and-half quarters, before the Ducks stormed back in the last five minutes of the game — thanks to a blocked field goal returned for a touchdown and a quick score following an onside kick recovery — to cap the night off in dramatic fashion.
The game of the year has finally arrived. Unfortunately, only one of the two teams held up its end of the bargain in going undefeated up to this point, and that has pretty seriously detracted from the hype around this matchup.
In advance of Thursday’s football game between Stanford and Oregon, The Daily’s David Cohn chatted with Preston Hiefield, sports director of DuckTV, the University of Oregon’s student television station, to get perspectives from both camps on how Oregon could beat Stanford. Check back for part two in tomorrow’s Game Day issue of The Daily for a conversation focusing on how Stanford could beat Oregon.
Most of Oregon’s opponents are concerned primarily with stopping the Ducks’ quick-strike offensive attack, which ranks second in the nation in points (55.6) and yards (632.1) per game. But Oregon also fields one of the nation’s best defenses, including an elite secondary that could give junior quarterback Kevin Hogan, who has looked shaky at times this season, a lot of trouble. We asked football writers Winston Shi, Do-Hyoung Park and David Cohn: Which element of the Ducks’ game is most likely to doom the Cardinal on Thursday?