This is actually Random Football Friday on a Thursday. This makes sense since the top five matchup of the weekend in tonight between Stanford and Oregon. The past three seasons each team was in National Title contention and in 2010 and 2011 Oregon ruined Andrew Luck’s chances and last year the Ducks were upset in Autzen but the stout Stanford defense.
This game is now a the premier rivalry in the Pac 12 and it all started in 2009 in the very first matchup between Jim Harbaugh and Chip Kelly. Harbaugh was in his third year on the Farm and had transformed Stanford in to a power run team with a big offensive line, a battering ram RB in Toby Gerhart and a young redshirt freshman QB Andrew Luck. While they had lost three games earlier in the year (one to Wake Forest?) they needed only one win to make their first bowl game in close to a decade.
Chip Kelly was in his first year as the head coach at Oregon after spending 2007 and 2008 as the OC. His first game was a disaster with the Ducks losing at Boise St and Legarrette Blount punching some other guy in the face. They had rebounded with seven straight wins including dominating USC the week before in the Colosseum. (Kelly’s first win as a HC was a nail biter over Purdue 38-35. That was Danny Hope’s first team. Each head coach has gone in opposite directions since.)
This turned out to be a very exciting game and set the tone for the following seasons…
Who and when: #7 Oregon at Stanford November 7, 2009 330pm
Announcers: No idea, this was on Fox Sports Net
The Situation: Oregon had rebounded from their Boise St debacle and were 7-1 and unbeaten in the Pac 12 and in hot pursuit of the Rose Bowl. (This song was also popular) Stanford was 5-3 and Toby Gerhart was getting some Heisman love as he put up some big numbers. One more win and Stanford would be heading to a bowl game for the first time since 2001.
Oregon: QB Jeremiah Masoli, RBs LaMichael James and Kejon Barner, WR Jeff Maehl, TE Ed Dickson, LB Kenny Rowe and Casey Mathews
Stanford: QB Andrew Luck, RB Toby Gerhart and Stefan Taylor, TE Cody Fleener
:05: Stanford takes opening kickoff all the way inside the 20. Somehow they only get a FG out of this even though it would be a track meet the rest of the game. 3-0 Stanford
:35: Strike by Luck down inside the 10. Sets up Gerhart’s first TD 10-0 Stanford.
:50: LaMichael James doing LaMichael James things. 50 yd TD run 10-7.
1:35: Gerhart puts the team on his back and they ride him down the field for another TD 17-7
2:10: Play fake by Luck inside the redzone gives Stanford another TD. 24-7 Cardinal
2:40: Gerhart fumbles (gasp). Leads to Oregon TD. 24-14
3:10 Stanford goes with even more power and fullback Mersic scores 31-14 Stanford
3:38 Masoli hits a wide open guy for a TD. 31-21. Try and keep up guy who is making note of this four years after the fact
4:08 TD catch for Owusu 38-21 Stanford
4:23 LaMichael screen pass sets up a Masoli TD run. 38-28. Good God man
5:14: Gerhart TD run (shocking) 45-28 Stanford.
5:55: Luck gets popped, the NFL scouts in the stands are worried. FG 48-28.
6:40: Jeff Mahel gets the Ducks inside the 2. Barner finishes it off. 48-35.
7:50: WR Davis gets the Ducks within a score 48-42. Stanford gets the onsides kick tho.
8:28: Stanford field goal seals it. 51-42 Stanford.
9:05: Rush the field!
The fallout: Oregon would still go on to win the Pac 10 and go play Ohio St in the Rose Bowl. Stanford would go on to smack around USC the following week in the “What’s your deal?” game. Stanford would go to the Sun Bowl where Luck was unable to play due to injury and the Cardinal would have wait another year before they could win a bowl game of much more significance.