Strength vs. Strength: Oregon rush offense vs. Stanford rush defense
EUGENE, OR - The unstoppable force meets the immovable object this Saturday at Autzen Stadium when top-ranked Oregon hosts 14th ranked Stanford. The Ducks have the nation's third best rushing offense while the Cardinal own the nation's best rush defense.
"That'll be a battle up front," said senior tailback Kenjon Barner. "How we handle that, that will kind of determine the game. That's what it'll come down to; who's the most physical team."
Oregon averages 325 yards on the ground per game. Stanford meanwhile allows just 58 yards rushing per contest.
"They've got a really good front seven," said red-shirt freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota. "(We'll do) whatever we have to do. We might have to throw a little more. There's some run game things we can do. We've just got to execute."
"Their personnel is really good," said offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich. "They've got a lot of big, strong, fast, athletic guys up front and then their scheme is really good. Those two things are good for a lot of people and then they have the third part that they play really hard."
If teams want to avoid running against that Stanford defense and just throw the football, think again. The Cardinal are number one in the nation in sacks. Stanford has recorded 42 sacks on the season.
On the injury front, the Ducks are beat up on the defensive side of the football where they've reportedly lost Avery Patterson for the rest of the season and several defensive linemen did not play against Cal last Saturday.
However, on the offensive side of the football, Kenjon Barner says his right hand is just fine and Marcus Mariota says his left non-throwing shoulder is just fine as well.