After a wild comeback win over previously undefeated Washington State on the road last week, No. 13 Oregon is on a three-game winning streak with Stanford coming to Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Ore., on Saturday night.
The Ducks (3-1, 1-0 Pac-12) trailed 34-22 more than halfway through the fourth quarter, but ended up scoring 22 points in the final four minutes to stun the Cougars.
After a rough start to his Oregon career in the team’s 49-3 loss to Georgia, quarterback Bo Nix has been the signal caller the Ducks hoped they were getting when he transferred from Auburn. Nix completed 33 of 44 passes for 428 yards and three touchdowns, and also ran for 30 yards against Washington State.
The 33 completions and 428 passing yards were both career highs.
“To respond the way he responded, and for our team to respond to Bo the way they responded, I think that shows the ultimate confidence that this team has in Bo,” Oregon head coach Dan Lanning said after the game.
Oregon has a 21-game winning streak at Autzen Stadium that started in 2018. It’s the third-longest active home win streak in the FBS. The Ducks have also won their last 15 home conference games, which is just one win away from matching the program record.
Oregon’s offensive line has played well, and the Ducks have yet to allow a sack, while every other team in the country has. Oregon leads the nation with a 94.2 pass-blocking grade from Pro Football Focus.
However, Stanford (1-2, 0-2) leads the overall series between the two Pac-12 rivals with a 47-34-1 record. The Cardinal, though, are coming off a 40-22 loss to then-No. 18 Washington in Seattle last weekend.
“We play up to our ability, we’ll have an opportunity to win,” Stanford head coach David Shaw said Tuesday. “This is another team you can’t give chances. You can’t turn the ball over against these guys. Our defense is in for a battle, but offensively we’ve got to live up to our abilities as well.”
Shaw isn’t happy about when kickoff is, at 8 p.m. local time, and suggested that game start times should be no later than 7 p.m. on a Saturday, and 6 p.m. on a weeknight.
Shaw’s concern revolves around the difficulty for student-athletes to get rest and get schoolwork done on the day after a game if the athletes don’t get back to the Bay Area until early morning.
Oregon will be the third straight Top-25 program Stanford will face, after losses to then-No. 10 USC on Sept. 10 and Washington last week.
Running back E.J. Smith will miss the rest of the season, due to an unspecified injury, Shaw announced Tuesday. Smith had 206 rushing yards in two games for Stanford.
Casey Filkins, who started in place of Smith, had 20 carries for 100 yards and added two catches for 29 yards against the Huskies. Shaw said Filkins will be the lead running back going forward.