In the opening drives, I couldn't get the McDonald's theme song out of my head. The chime goes "dah, dah, dah, da, dah, I'm lovin' it." Then, Bryce Love got hurt, and it felt like the McDonald's food finally kicked in.
Bryce Love averaged 23 yards per carry in the first two offensive series, and one of those carries was a 67 yard touchdown run. He was just completely unstoppable, and his dominance helped establish the passing game early on.
Then, disaster happened. Love went down on his first carry out of half and never returned. He limped off the field on his own and finished with 147 yards on just 17 carries, and if it weren't for his injury, Love undoubtedly would've topped the 200 yard mark.
With the Oregon defense honing into Stanford's rushing game, Keller Chryst found open targets quickly, avoided the rush, and looked the part of a Stanford starting quarterback. Specifically, he found his tight ends in the red zone and looked to Connor Weddington and Trenton Irwin in order to move the chains. Meanwhile, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside did everything for his quarterback today and finished with 112 yards receiving.
Still, it's unclear who deserves playing time behind center moving forward. K.J. Costello saw action and was his normal self. Chryst threw for 181 yards, but Costello made the most of his chances. Costello only finished with 59 yards but also completed five of his six passes.
As for the defense, they struggled once again to stop the run. Royce Freeman and company bullied the defenders in the first half, and he tallied up 143 yards by the end of the game. However once Harrison Phillips and Peter Kalambayi returned, the Cardinal improved as the Ducks only gained 74 yards from scrimmage and never found the end zone. Furthermore, the defense did a very impressive job forcing turnovers as they intercepted two passes and recovered a fumble.
Stanford won the game 49-7, and winning the North seems like a realistic goal moving forward. Both Washington schools surprisingly lost this week, and Stanford looked the best they had all season.
Luckily, Stanford has a bye next week, so Bryce Love has time to rest his ankle.