NOTES/QUOTES/PLAYERS TO WATCH
-- Justin Herbert, QB: He has yet to win a signature game in his 20 chances as a starting quarterback. He’ll have that opportunity on Saturday night when he faces a Stanford defense that’s not just one of the best in the country, features multiple NFL prospects. To win, Herbert must continue spreading the ball around to all of his receivers and limit the turnovers. If he places up to his potential, Oregon could present itself as a legitimate playoff contender.
-- Tony Brooks-James, RB: Brooks-James must show up and keep Oregon’s running game a threat. A lot of the offensive success will come on the arm of Herbert but it’s Brooks-James who must keep Stanford from dropping seven in coverage every time. He does so by staying patient and picking up four-to-five yards per carry, continuously pressuring the Cardinal until they break.
-- Jordon Scott, NT: He’s the key to Oregon’s run defense. Jalen Jelks, Justin Hollins and Troy Dye might get the headlines and the stats but it’s Scott who makes it all possible. The 329-pound sophomore does a great job of dominating the center by occupying multiple linemen and both “A” gaps, freeing up the others to make the play. If Scott proves immoveable against the Cardinal line, it will make life miserable for Stanford running back Bryce Love.
-- Ugochukwu Amadi, S: The safety is having one of the best starts to a season of his career. But to continue this hot start, he’s going to have to play the best he’s ever played. Oregon’s pass defense is its weak link and Stanford comes in with three big receiving threats in JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Trent Irwin and Kaden Smith. It will be up to Amadi to not only defend one of those players, it will be on his shoulders to make sure the Oregon defensive backs are on the same page and communicating. Breakdowns lead to big plays and that can’t happen if the Ducks are to leave Saturday with a win.
Series History: 48-32-1 Stanford. Oregon and Stanford have split the series 5-5 the past 10 years but it’s the Cardinal who’ve won the past two games in dominating fashion. Last year’s 49-7 loss was Oregon’s worst defeat in the series after Bryce Love ran for 147 yards and two scores and JJ Arcega-Whiteside had 112 receiving yards and two scores.
Quote to Note: "I think you acknowledge it as one of the reasons you come to Oregon," Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal said of College GameDay being at the game. "To be on the biggest stage, on the national spotlight. Recognize the ultimate honor, but at the same it is still about playing the game."
-- Offensive linemen Penei Sewell and Dallas Warmack are expected to start after suffering injuries last week against San Jose State
-- Wide receiver Brenden Schooler’s status for Saturday is TBD after leaving last week’s game with an apparent concussion
-- Sophomore kicker Adam Stack is expected to make his season debut after missing the first three games with an injury
-- Sophomore backup quarterback Braxton Burmeister is out for an extended period of time after having a minor procedure on his knee last week
-- Freshman quarterback Tyler Shough is the backup to Justin Herbert. Shough has yet to throw a pass in college.
-- The Ducks will attempt to start 4-0 for the first time since 2004
-- ESPN’s College GameDay returns to Eugene for the 10th time in program history
-- The Ducks are 7-2 when College GameDay comes to Eugene
-- This will be Oregon’s 23rd time on ESPN’s College GameDay
-- Saturday’s game is the first time since 2015 that two top-20 teams have met at Autzen stadium
-- The Ducks are 10-3 in their last 13 games against top-10 opponents in Autzen
-- Oregon is 14-15-1 overall against top-10 teams in Autzen
-- 12 different Ducks have scored a touchdown this year, the most in the nation
-- Oregon’s starting offensive line has a combined 103 starts among them