STANFORD, Calif. – LaMichael James made one defender slip, then another. He cut back, sprinted through a seam and burst into the open field, taking large chunks of yards – and grass – all the way to the end zone.
No turf? No problem for the Quack Attack.
James ran for 146 yards and three touchdowns and No. 6 Oregon blew past third-ranked Stanford 53-30 on Saturday night, giving Andrew Luck’s Heisman Trophy campaign a blemish and taking a giant step toward hosting the inaugural Pac-12 championship.
“We were slipping. They were slipping. I just ran fast,” James said.
Too fast for Stanford – again.
James ran for scores from 1, 4 and 58 yards and had Stanford (9-1, 7-1) defenders slipping all over a slick field. The Ducks (9-1, 7-0) ended the nation’s best winning streak at 17 games – which the Cardinal began after a loss in Eugene, Ore., more than a year ago – and can clinch the league’s North Division crown over Stanford with a win in one of their final two games.
“It’s pretty cool. They always look down on us and then we come out and just play our game,” Oregon defensive end Terrell Turner said. “That’s what we want to do. Play our game and just shock people.”
The Ducks have no problems with Luck.
Luck threw for 271 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions and a fumble. Stanford had five turnovers and lost its grip – and footing – for the first time all season.
Oregon’s no-huddle, spread-option ended any hopes of Stanford’s first national championship. Instead, the Ducks are suddenly back in the BCS title mix after rolling off their ninth straight victory – and first against a top-five team on the road team – since a season-opening loss against top-ranked LSU.
“It means nothing until the first week of December,” Oregon coach Chip Kelly said. “We’ve lost one. We lose two, we’re not even in the discussion.”
Darron Thomas threw for 155 yards and three touchdowns to anchor one big-play burst after another. He tossed scores of 59 yards to Josh Huff and 41 yards to De’Anthony Thomas to leave sold-out Stanford Stadium silent.