At 12:06 a.m. on Sunday, the 45-27 setback Stanford suffered at the hands of 13th-ranked Oregon marked the exact one-year anniversary of the Cardinal’s last victory over an FBS foe.
The longest losing skid in the nation against FBS competition since defeating Oregon on October 2, 2021, is held by Stanford (1-3, 0-2 Pac-12), which defeated Colgate in the season opener. Even worse, each of the past seven defeats has been by a margin of at least 13 points.
“We’re fed up with losing. Levani Damuni, a senior linebacker, said: “It’s not enjoyable. “If you exclude Colgate, which is a non-counting game, we’ve lost seven straight games to blowouts. The leadership is merely attempting to prevent everyone from becoming accustomed to this lost sensation and comfort. Simply said, it’s annoying.
The schedule might offer some encouragement. Stanford has three straight games against unranked opponents starting Saturday night at home against Oregon State after playing Top 20 teams the previous three games (3-2, 0-2).
However, the Cardinal must do significantly better, especially early on. In games against USC, Washington, and Oregon, Stanford trailed 83-24 at the break, including 31-3 against the Ducks.
Prior to completing touchdown passes of 42 yards to Casey Filkins and 28 yards to Elijah Higgins in the third quarter against Oregon, Cardinal quarterback Tanner McKee had only thrown for 45 yards in the first half.
Stanford coach David Shaw stated, “We’ve got to find a way to start better, start faster.” “Defensively, we’ve played pretty well in the second half of these games. We’ve had stops, made some big plays, and had pass deflections. We gave up too much in the first half, particularly the first quarter. We need to find a way to start faster in every part of the game to give ourselves a chance to be competitive because offensively it’s difficult to get going.
According to Shaw, the squad continued to use plays from the first half with considerably better results in the second half of the game. That indicated to him that execution rather than scheme was the main reason for the failures.
Stanford recorded just one turnover against Oregon, compared to its previous three games combined total of 11 turnovers. But the expense was high.
With 4:22 remaining in the second quarter, Oregon scored a touchdown to increase its lead to 17-3. Cardinal tight end Benjamin Yurosek fumbled on the ensuing play from scrimmage, and the Ducks recovered it at the 4. Bo Nix, Oregon’s quarterback, scored on the following play to give Oregon 14 points in 23 seconds and all but guarantee Stanford wouldn’t be able to rally.
Stanford was mostly injured on the ground by Nix, who finished with 141 yards and two TDs on six carries, after being destroyed via the air by USC’s Caleb Williams (341 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs) and Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. (309 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INTs).
Stanford sustained yet another significant harm. Barrett Miller, the right tackle, was hurt on the first series of the game on Saturday. Myles Hinton, who missed the previous two games, was replaced by Miller in the starting lineup. The Cardinal attempted to relieve the pressure on the offensive line by using fast drops, but the first half saw only 102 yards of offense. Stanford didn’t reach the end zone until the third quarter, despite receiving 90 penalty yards against Oregon.
The first few games of our season have not gone as expected or as desired, according to Shaw. “By the end of the year, we’ll be better than we are now. That is the position we are adopting. We have the men to handle it. Once we’re healthy, we’ll return home and play our greatest football of the season.
After playing at home against Oregon State on Saturday night (8 p.m., FS1), Stanford plays at Notre Dame and at home against Arizona State before a challenging final stretch that includes contests against top-20 opponents Utah and BYU in addition to UCLA, an undefeated club.
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