No. 4 Oregon rallies to beat No. 9 Stanford 52-31
By ANNE M. PETERSON, AP Sports Writer Oct 3, 1:25 am EDT

EUGENE, Ore. (AP)—Swarmed by fans after he led No. 4 Oregon to victory over No. 9 Stanford, Darron Thomas surveyed the chaotic scene and quietly smiled.

“We did a good job,” he said simply when a reveler congratulated him.

Thomas contributed in a big way by throwing for 238 yards and three touchdowns, and running for 117 yards and another score in Oregon’s come-from-behind 52-31 win.

His calm in the storm of the postgame celebration was typical of the sophomore quarterback, who never seems to get rattled.

“Coach just preached finishing,” he said. “So we came out and finished.”

The Ducks (5-0, 2-0 Pac-10) fell behind 21-3 in the first quarter of the frenzied game, but forced two crucial turnovers and held the Cardinal scoreless in the second half. LaMichael James ran for a career-high 257 yards and three touchdowns.

It was Oregon’s 13th straight win at Autzen Stadium and 10th consecutive Pac-10 victory.

The Cardinal (4-1, 1-1) have not won a game while ranked in the top 10 since 1970.

Saturday’s game was the first time Oregon and Stanford have faced each other as ranked teams. The Cardinal have not started a season 5-0 since 1951, when they won the Pacific Coast Conference and a Rose Bowl berth.

The game lived up to the hype as a battle of offenses. Oregon, averaging 560 yards of total offense going into the game, had 626 yards. The Cardinal had 518.

Thomas completed 20-of-29 passes, and while he was intercepted twice, Oregon coach Chip Kelly said the key was that Thomas wasn’t unnerved by it all.

“He’s everything you want in a quarterback,” Kelly said.

Stanford’s Andrew Luck was 29 of 46 for 241 yards and two scores. He was also intercepted twice.

Oregon tied it at 31 with 8:20 to go in the third quarter on Thomas’ 6-yard keeper and the momentum shifted to the Ducks.

Midway through the quarter, Luck found receiver Chris Owusu for a 6-yard completion at midfield, but he fumbled after a hard hit by Oregon’s Javes Lewis. Eddie Pleasant scooped up the ball and returned it to the 3-yard line, and James ran it in from there for Oregon’s first lead of the game.

Owusu jogged off the field after the hit, but did not return to the game. On Stanford’s first drive of the next series, Luck was intercepted by Cliff Harris and Oregon cruised from there.

“I’m proud of my guys, very proud of them, and we’ll keep our heads up, and we’ll come back next week,” Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh said. “Wasn’t our day today.”

Stanford went up 14-3 in the first quarter after Oregon kickoff returner Cliff Harris fumbled. That led to Luck’s 10-yard scoring run. After another Oregon turnover, this time an interception, Stephan Taylor ran 44 yards for a score with 1:08 left in the quarter.

Oregon got back in the game with Thomas’ 29-yard scoring pass to Jeff Maehl. The Ducks followed with an onside kick that was recovered by kicker Rob Beard, and James went on to score on a 5-yard run to make it 21-17.

Luck hit a wide-open Coby Fleener with a 36-yard touchdown pass to go back up 28-17 midway through the second quarter.

Thomas passed to John Huff for a 41-yard score to narrow it again for Oregon before Nate Whitaker’s 46-yard field goal as time ran out in the first half gave Stanford a 31-24 lead.

“We were kind of jittery at the beginning of the game,” Thomas said, “but once we got comfortable we started running our plays and it was back to regular football.”

Kelly was visibly angry with the officiating in the first half, telling the television crew at halftime that he felt the officials were not communicating with him. Ducks fans booed the refs as they left the field at the break.

Kelly insisted afterward that the victory—which could vault the Ducks ahead of Boise State in the polls—was no more important than any other win.

“I told our guys at halftime, what an exciting game to be involved in,” Kelly said. “Now let’s go out and finish.”

James, a sophomore who is getting some Heisman mention, ran for a career-best, 76-yard touchdown in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. A fan in the student section lofted a sign that said “LaHeisman.”

“Can’t take anything away from Stanford. That’s a great football team. They’re physical. We were faced with adversity,” James said. “It’s really about how you overcome adversity. Tonight we overcame it.”

Stanford had twice upset Oregon when the Ducks were in the top 10.

Last season Toby Gerhart ran for a school-record 223 yards and Luck threw for 251 yards and two scores in Stanford’s 51-42 victory over the then-No. 7 Ducks.

In 2001, Stanford won 49-42 in Eugene for the then-No. 5 Ducks’ lone loss of the season.

Updated Oct 3, 1:25 am EDT
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Head to Head - Week 5

Team Total Yds Pass Yds Rush Yds First Downs 3rdD% Pen./Yds Turnovers Time of Poss.
Stanford 518 341 177 25 53.3% 9/76 3 33:28
Oregon 626 238 388 31 50.0% 5/45 3 26:32

284 Comments

  • 0 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 0 users disliked this comment
    RUSTY 1 hour ago Report Abuse
    If Oregon wins out there won't be a Pac 10 team in the Rose Bowl due to the rule change for 2010.When the new BCS contract begins during the 2010 season, there's a chance you could see a team like Boise State, Utah or TCU in The Granddaddy of Them All.

    As first reported by the Atlanta Journal Constitution and confirmed to ESPN.com by BCS administrator Bill Hancock, the Rose Bowl will be required to take an eligible non-BCS team if it loses the Big Ten champion or Pac-10 champion to the national title game. This policy would only take effect once during the four-year BCS bowl cycle.

    Here's how the policy change works. Let's say USC is selected for the national championship game following the 2010 season. Rather than selecting another Pac-10 team, the Rose Bowl would have to take a non-BCS team if that team is eligible for BCS bowl selection and not headed to the national championship game. So you could have the Big Ten champion against a team from the Mountain West, WAC, Conference USA, MAC or Sun Belt.

    No teams from those leagues have ever appeared in the Rose Bowl.

    "It's only going to happen once if it happens at all," Hancock said.

    The change will open up more opportunities for non-BCS teams to play in these big-time bowls. It also will prevent, at least temporarily, teams that don't necessarily deserve BCS berths from appearing in these games simply because of their conference affiliation.

    I can't imagine the Big Ten is too pleased about the change. The league has sent more teams to BCS bowls than any other conference, and the Rose Bowl tie-in is a big reason why. When the Big Ten lost Ohio State to the national title game in 2006 and 2007, it still sent a representative to the Rose Bowl.

    It's a pretty good bet a 9-3 Illinois team wouldn't go to Pasadena under the new policy, as it did in 2007.

    I'm a big fan of the non-BCS teams and enjoy seeing Utah, Boise State and others routinely go against the big boys. On the other hand, there's not a more tradition-rich game in the country than the Rose Bowl.

    Though the game has featured three Big 12 teams this decade -- Nebraska in 2002, Oklahoma in 2003, Texas in 2004 and 2005 -- as well as Miami in 2002, it would be odd to see a Mountain West or a WAC team in Pasadena. I could get used to it every once in a while, though I doubt Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany could.

    It would be interesting to see how a non-BCS team would affect attendance and ratings for the Rose Bowl, which continues to thrive in both areas.

    See below.
  • 1 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 0 users disliked this comment
    Daniel 19 hours ago Report Abuse
    oregon played a great game. as a stanford fan it was extremely sad to watch the cardinal blow a 21-3 lead but oregon is a great team. i hope they get to play in the NC so stanford, if they win out, has a shot at the rose bowl. come back next week and smash on u$c. LETS GO CARDINAL!
  • 5 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 0 users disliked this comment
    Lauren j 21 hours ago Report Abuse
    Oregon would beat Alabammma by 50
  • 4 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 0 users disliked this comment
    dvda 21 hours ago Report Abuse
    we got a good win against a good stanford team. Next week should be a cake walk, then its going to get tougher with UCLA and UW an Arizona still on the schedule
  • 2 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 2 users disliked this comment
    DUCK-TIME 21 hours ago Report Abuse
    I like the boise st team. But they currently have no wins over anyone who is currently in the top 25. Oregon beat up the # 9 team in the country yesterday pretty bad. Oregon scored 52 points against the no# 9 team and boise score 59 against a cup-cake team.
    Boise and TCU's cupcake conference does not help matters. The college coaches know the game, teams and players better than any of us on this blog. Until we get a playoff system it is what it is.

    DUCK-TIME !
  • 1 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 3 users disliked this comment
    David B 22 hours ago Report Abuse
    CLARENCE - I thought Chip Kelly made a complete fool of himself during the game throwing his misguided temper tantrums on the sidelines.

    Did you hear his comments on TV at the end of the first half: "It looks to me that Harbaugh has some friends in the referees..." Normally a league commissioner would fine a coach for a remark like that.
  • 3 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 2 users disliked this comment
    David B 22 hours ago Report Abuse
    Here is how I would rank them currently:

    1. Alabama
    2. Oregon
    3. Ohio State
    4. Nebraska
    5. Oklahoma
    6. Arkansas
    7. Auburn
    8. Boise State
    9. Miami
    10. Stanford
  • 2 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 10 users disliked this comment
    clarenceworley 22 hours ago Report Abuse
    I live in Oregon but I hate the Ducks, nobody from Oregon is on that team and the coach is a reprehensible idiot, did anybody else see his sideline antics? I never wear green. Oregon probably has the most foul-mouthed, drunken bunch of idiots for fans anywhere, and it's not because they are so informed, it's because they went to Oregon and got a useless degree from a second-tier university. I would never send my kid to Eugene, what a cesspool of human excrement.
    Comment hidden due to low rating. Show Comment
  • 6 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 0 users disliked this comment
    Ryan H 22 hours ago Report Abuse
    Let all the haters keep talking trash. Who cares what they say? As long as the ducks keep winning, thats all that matters. Let the haters say what they please.
  • 2 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 0 users disliked this comment
    No 1 cardinal fan 22 hours ago Report Abuse
    Let us now pause and congratulate #4 Boise State on their victory. Now back to your regularly scheduled go Ducks.
  • 2 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 1 users disliked this comment
    TheDukester 22 hours ago Report Abuse
    @Vinny Cordoba:

    Do you realize you didn't spell a single word correctly in your little rant there? That's just astonishing.

    I have a serious question: are you functionally retarded? I'm not trying to bust on you here; I'm being serious. In terms of the legal definition of the word, you're retarded, right? I'm extremely curious.
  • A Yahoo! User
    3 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 2 users disliked this comment
    A Yahoo! User 22 hours ago Report Abuse
    The Ducks cheat! Their green uniforms blend with the field giving them an obvious advantage over the visiting team.
  • 0 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 0 users disliked this comment
    Bill 22 hours ago Report Abuse
    Ingersoll,,,, The Ducks are #3 in the coaches poll also and that does matter.
  • 1 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 9 users disliked this comment
    Vinny Cordoba 23 hours ago Report Abuse
    Congrantulation Oregon "crimminal" Ducks mayb you shoud be rank Top 5 jailBIRDS lol!!
    Comment hidden due to low rating. Show Comment
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    David B 23 hours ago Report Abuse
    All the attention has been focused on Oregon's offense - but it is their overlooked and underrated defense that is going to take them to the BCS championship game.

    Any team that can shut out Stanford's offense for an entire half is legitimate. Any defense that this far into the season can boast it has allowed only seven points total is scary.

    That offense plus that defense...........this team could very well be playing Alabama for the national championship.
  • 2 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 0 users disliked this comment
    Thomas 23 hours ago Report Abuse
    I keep reading that folks say that the Duck's defense is poor. I do recall that Oregon has only had 7 points total scored on them in the second half total. That is SEVEN... I am impressed. GO DUCKS...!!!!!
  • 3 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 1 users disliked this comment
    clever1 23 hours ago Report Abuse
    Stanford's playbook doesn't go past the first half.
  • 3 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 1 users disliked this comment
    METZ 23 hours ago Report Abuse
    Shorthornsteers,

    Oregon is currently ranked #3 in the polls and beat up a pretty tough Stanford team yesterday. Since I am a former Player I think that qualifies as knowing a little something about the game. If all you said is true then you just put Oregon on Top. They average 48 points a game and have the no #1 ranked O in the country.
    Stats don't win a game the final score does and you just keep thinking whatever you want to think. But I am not sure any team can keep up with them at this point. But clearly we have several weeks to go.

    QUACK !
  • 7 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 0 users disliked this comment
    Lux I 23 hours ago Report Abuse
    I wonder what Jim Harbaugh would have said if you told him, at the end of the first quarter, that he was about to be outscored 49-10?

    You look a hell of a lot better than we do right now Ducks. I'm not so sure Bucks are strong enough this year to stay up. Would love to see a rematch.
  • 0 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 6 users disliked this comment
    zorro 23 hours ago Report Abuse
    how can you lose to a duck?
  • 2 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 5 users disliked this comment
    Damien Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:56 am PDT Report Abuse
    You guys are crazy if you think they are going to let Oregon play in the title game. First of all, Oregon has to go undefeated first. Second, nobody has talked about Oregon going so it isn't going to happen. Remember, the rankings are based on opinions and votes. And there is a long list of teams the voters and coaches would rather see go to the title game. Alabama is going to the title game against an overmatched team. Most likely Ohio State but don't be surprised if its Oklahoma. Neither team is good enough to beat Alabama.

    So obviously we are just going to see who plays Alabama in the title game. With Utah reaching the top ten by week 6, they better hope to god its not Utah. There are a lot of people who would love to see a rematch. But that is too risky for Alabama. Which is also why Boise state won't be going either.
  • 2 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 0 users disliked this comment
    Fuelectric Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:52 am PDT Report Abuse
    Two points: First, a victory like this is a tremendous builder to go through the rest of the season. Stanford was a physical, solid, very well rounded team, and beating a team like this at all shows you can play with anyone in the country. To top that off, when you are down 21-3, and you can maintain composure to come back, that builds your team's confidence for whatever challenges you face the rest of the season.
    Also, for those who are still making excuses about why the Ducks aren't NC type material, I remember Tom D and Eddie George, typical Duck doubters saying that the Ducks don't do well against physical teams, and Eddie G predicted virtually a three touchdown victory for Stanford. What is the next excuse?! The Ducks are for real, and could take on anyone; this game shows that.
  • 2 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 7 users disliked this comment
    Shorthornsteers Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:36 am PDT Report Abuse
    A good team can NEVER give up 31 points or allow over 500 yards of offense. never has a team won a title while doing so.

    If you think that Oregon can, you do not understand football
  • 2 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 0 users disliked this comment
    BobD Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:31 am PDT Report Abuse
    San Jose State is a juggernaut.

    They almost beat UC Davis yesterday.

    Watch out Alabama.
  • 3 users liked this comment Please sign in to rate this comment up. Please sign in to rate this comment down. 2 users disliked this comment
    TheDukester Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:25 am PDT Report Abuse
    @Ingersoll:

    Any football conversation you want to have, go right ahead. I've forgotten more about the subject than you'll ever know. If you need to be taken to school, I can spare a few minutes.

    The problem is this: you're NOT here to talk football. Who do you think you're fooling?

    You're here to HATE. To disparage. To mock and ridicule. Clearly, it's how you compensate for some of the issues in your sad, pathetic life.

    But it has NOTHING to do with football.

    So just go back to filling out your application for unemployment insurance and stop pretending that you're here for anything other than hatred.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 Stanford
A. Luck A. Luck, QB
29-46, 341 yds
2 TDs, 2 INTs
8 Rush, 39 yds, 1 TD
 Oregon
L. James L. James, RB
31 Rush, 257 yds
3 TDs

Conference Scoreboard

NCAAF - Week 5
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