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Rule of Tree staff predictions: Stanford Cardinal at Oregon Ducks

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We asked the writers their thoughts on the upcoming Stanford football game against Oregon

Oregon State v Stanford Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Matt Vassar: Stanford ended the last game against Oregon State on 29 consecutive rushing plays. When asked why, Shaw commented that it was an easy decision when McCaffrey and Co. were putting up over 6 yards/attempt. Expect more of the same this week against Oregon; Oregon’s 5.4 yards allowed/rush attempt ranks their rush defense 123rd (out of 128) in FBS. McCaffrey, Love, and even Chryst should easily run all over this Oregon defense. But there is still one problem; as bad as Oregon is with its rush defense, they are still a stellar team offensively and should match Stanford on each scoring drive. Expect a back-and-forth thriller, where Stanford narrowly ekes out the win, 31-28.

Courtland Nickelberry: Stanford has improved overall as a team in the PAC-12. We have seen the growing pains this team has been through this season as whole. I believe Stanford may have found something with Keller Chryst as he has provided a spark. Defensively for Stanford they are starting to make plays. I think when you take into consideration that Oregon's offense is not as explosive as what we are accustomed to seeing then Stanford has clear shot. I have good feel about this one but will be tight Stanford 30-28.

nerdnation23: Well the Stanford-Oregon game has been the game to watch every year since expansion but this year you have an average Stanford team against a mediocre at best Oregon team. While Stanford still has issues passing the ball, they might be able to run the ball every single play and still put up 400 yards rushing meanwhile the Stanford defense is still one of the best defenses in the conference if not in all of college football and Stanford will win 28-17.

Charlie Foy: Oregon has been competitive in a lot of games this year. They have played a very difficult schedule and are better than their record shows. Oregon’s offense is a possible threat as they scored 54 points against ASU; however, the Cardinal defense is much better than the Sun Devils’. Still, be wary of the Ducks on offense. On defense, the Ducks struggle, but Stanford’s offense has struggled as well. Stanford, however, has improved offensively in the last two games, but I can’t imagine the Cardinal score 40+ points, allowing the game to be in reach for the Ducks. Ultimately, Stanford will control the game but have little breathing room in a tough road environment. Stanford prevails 31-24.

TonyFernandesSports: The Oregon/Stanford game will have a different tinge as neither team is in line for a top tier postseason game. The Ducks are struggling in all facets of the game right now due to injury, and lack of depth; and are an eye lash away from missing the postseason for the first time since 2004. Stanford will look to get pressure in the face of the young Oregon QB, stop the run, and control the clock with the McCaffrey/Love combination. Look for Stanford to leave Eugene with a 28-17 victory.

John Loop: In my humble opinion, this game is always one of the most explosive and/or exciting on Stanford's schedule. Think of all the thrilling finishes and the amazing plays this rivalry between the owners of the last seven Pac-12 titles has gifted us. And (spoiler alert!) I don't think this one will turn out any different. The Ducks have been practically a mirror of Stanford's struggles of transitioning between quarterbacks mid-season. This change seems to have hampered true freshman Justin Herbert only a bit, but has had a far worse effect on the offense as a whole (e.g. the ever-so familiar red zone stalls). However, Christian McCaffrey and Bryce Love probably watched Ronald Jones II and USC gash the Oregon defense this week in the film room, and there's no reason not to guarantee another combined 350+ yard effort from the two. Per the usual, it's a close, competitive contest, but the Cardinal pull away late to win their seventh game, 38-28.

CMolesky: This game is strength against strength. Oregon's offense vs. Stanford's defense. Therefore you have to look at what lifts the Cardinal's weakness above the Ducks. While Stanford's offense has struggled, McCaffrey is fully healthy and has looked fantastic over the last couple of weeks. He will be the difference in a 30-21 Stanford win.

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