Stanford imposes its will, punishes Oregon in top-5 showdown

Stanford imposes its will, punishes Oregon in top-5 showdown
November 7, 2013, 11:45 pm
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Tyler Gaffney ran for 157 yards and a touchdown on a school-record 45 carries. (AP)


STANFORD -- Stanford coach David Shaw loves to tell the story of the game Andrew Luck deemed the best of his career.

It was Luck's final season on the Farm and Stanford cruised to a 65-21 win against Washington. Its offense set a school record with 446 yards rushing and Luck completed a season-low 16 passes for a season-low 169 yards.

Yeah, Luck said it was his best game.

If that's the blueprint for quarterback success, then Kevin Hogan followed it about as well as possible in No. 5 Stanford's 26-20 win against No. 3 Oregon Thursday. He completed just 7-of-13 passes for 103 yards, but made key plays with his feet and enough with his arm to lead Stanford to one of its most impressive wins in school history.

"I thought he played absolutely great," Shaw said.

Hogan ran for 57 yards on eight carries, four of which either went for a first down or touchdown.

And Like Luck two years ago, Hogan made the correct reads at the line of scrimmage in order to either keep or get Stanford to an advantageous call. Most of the time, that called for a handoff to Tyler Gaffney, who ran for a 157 yards on a school-record 45 carries.

For Gaffney, who ran for 117 in that memorable win against Washington, Thursday's game further cemented he made the correct audible in switching from baseball back to football.

"When Tyler came back from baseball, he talked about missing Stanford University, he talked about missing his brothers, and he used the word brothers," Shaw said. "It hurt him so bad. Even though he was doing great playing baseball, I think it hurt him watching his team play without him last year."

Now, everyone is watching him. A lot.

Stanford shared the national Thursday night stage with Oklahoma-Baylor, but thanks to Baylor's swift knockout of the Sooners, Stanford had the nation's attention. By the time the East Coast drifted to sleep, Stanford had asserted itself as the West Coast's elite program and kept its slim BCS National Championship hopes alive.

"I think the whole nation knows and us especially that this is a play-in game for the Pac-12 North," Gaffney said. "To be able to win the Pac-12 Championship, you have to go through Oregon or you have to go through us. That is the mentality we've had these past couple years, and that's what it's going to keep being."

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