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Stanford players wore nerd glasses to press conference after beating Oregon

Stanford-nerd-glasses

Anything can happen when two top-five college football teams square off against one another, but most people thought No. 3 Oregon beating No. 5 Stanford on Thursday night was a foregone conclusion. The Cardinal proved us all wrong by notching their biggest victory of the season and holding the high-powered Ducks’ offense to just 20 points.

After the game, several Stanford players showed up at their press conference wearing nerd glasses. Why?

“It’s Stanford,” quarterback Kevin Hogan told reporters, via Scout.com’s David Lombardi.

This was obviously a rehearsed bit, but you have to assume Stanford would not have worn the glasses had they lost. Whether Oregon’s quarterback played through a knee injury or not, the Cardinal earned the victory. And in doing so, they have suddenly put themselves in the national championship hunt.

Photo: Twitter/David Lombardi
H/T Eye on College Football

Stanford-Notre Dame ends on controversial replay ruling (Video)

Notre Dame beat Stanford 20-13 on Saturday after the referees reviewed a 4th and goal play in overtime and ruled that Cardinal running back Stepfan Taylor was short of the goal line.

The Cardinal handed the ball to Taylor, who had 28 carries for 102 yards, on their final play of the game. After initially appearing to be stuffed in the backfield, Taylor kept moving and wiggled his way toward the goal line. He waded his way over the pile of bodies and appeared to reach the ball over the goal line before being down. The referees said he did not score.

Mike Pereira, the former Vice President of Officiating for the National Football League and current rules analyst for FOX Sports, believes Taylor scored on the play.

“We have looked at ND/STA last play from every angle & feel that it is a TD,” he tweeted. “Progress was not ruled & runner was not down. Ball broke plain.

“The fact that the whistle may or may not have been blown is irrelevant. The play is reviewed and when the whistle blew has no bearing,” Pereira added.

Stanford fell to 4-2 after the loss while Notre Dame improved to 6-0.

Was it a bad call or not? I certainly think so. The Cardinal should have been attempting an extra point to tie the game.

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Laces Were in for Stanford’s Missed Field Goal in Overtime (Picture)

Stanford sophomore kicker Jordan Williamson will be remembered as the goat of the Fiesta Bowl after missing three field goals in a 41-38 loss to Oklahoma State Monday. Though he went 1-for-4 on field goal attempts, including misses at the end of regulation and in the first overtime, he can always roll with the Ray Finkle excuse for the field goal missed in overtime. The laces were in, they were in!!!!

Video: USC Fumble Gives Stanford the Win, Cover

USC running back Curtis McNeal fumbled in the third overtime Saturday to keep the Trojans from beating Stanford. USC played an excellent game and led for most of the fourth quarter before losing 56-48. It can be argued that they should have won in regulation.

After the teams traded touchdowns in the first two overtimes, USC needed a touchdown and two-point conversion to match Stanford. Junior Curtis McNeal, who ran for a career-high 146 yards and two touchdowns, lost a fumble to end the game. Here is a video of the heartbreaking play:

Thanks to the fumble recovery, Stanford’s 16-game winning streak continues. The Trojans had this one. They were up 20-10 in the third quarter and 34-27 after Nickell Robery’s interception returned for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Over the last two weeks, USC has proved they’re a much stronger team than what they showed at the beginning of the season.

In another significant turn, the fumble helped Stanford cover the spread in most places. The game opened with Stanford favored by by 8.5 points most sports books. After money came in on USC, the line closed with the Cardinal favored by 7.5 points. By recovering the fumble, not only did Stanford win, they helped most bettors cover the spread.

video via CJ Fogler

Stanford Running Back Anthony Wilkerson Wisely Sits to Avoid TD, Ruins Bets

Remember when Maurice Jones-Drew took a knee instead of scoring a touchdown against the Jets last year? Or how about when Brian Westbrook pulled the trick against the Cowboys? It was a pretty wise decision by Westbrook because he helped his team run out the clock to end the game. Well Stanford running back Anthony Wilkerson did the exact same thing on Saturday night against Arizona State, helping his team hold on for victory.

The Cardinal was up 17-13 with just under two minutes left when Wilkerson broke free around the left end. Instead of walking in for the touchdown, Wilkerson abruptly sat down at the four-yard line. Wilkerson sat down like he was playing duck duck goose, allowing Stanford to kneel out the clock for the 17-13 win. Check it out:

Though Wilkerson is only a freshman, that type of heady decision is exactly what you would expect to see out of a player from Stanford who also happens to be coached by Jim Harbaugh.

Now the other side-story has to deal with the spread (of course). Stanford was favored by 4-5 points, depending on where you were doing your sports betting. People who had the Cardinal -4.5 or -5 lost their bet because of that smart decision by Wilkerson. People who had them -4 pushed on their bet. Jimmy Traina actually captured the play on video if you’re interested. Smart play, but I’m sure there are plenty of people unhappy about it.

Stanford vs. Oregon Is For Pac-10 Title

We’re only through four weeks of the college football season but I can say with confidence that Saturday evening’s game between Stanford and Oregon in Eugene will determine the Pac-10 champion. Both teams are 4-0 and have been looking dominant against opponents. The Ducks have been a steady contender in the conference for the past 10 years while Stanford is more of a newcomer. Regardless, I think the Cardinal will take the game.

Stanford has been one of the most impressive teams over the first month of the year. They wiped out Sacramento State as expected, 52-17. They humiliated UCLA at the Rose Bowl 35-0. They waxed Wake Forest 68-24, and they smoked Notre Dame on the road 37-14. Averaging 48 points per game places the Cardinal fourth in the country with Oregon at the top of the list. Both teams run the ball exceptionally well, but I think Stanford has the edge in a few areas.

The Cardinal has already proved it can play successfully on the road, which is what they’ll have to do Saturday. They’ve faced tougher competition than Oregon who also has road wins at Tennessee and Arizona State. Most of all, I think Stanford’s defense is dominant. Yes, both teams are scoreboarding huge numbers, but Stanford’s defense may be the best part of the team. They’ve posted 14 sacks and intercepted four passes, and I saw first hand how impossible it was to move the ball against them when they crushed UCLA. I think this will be similar to the Rose Bowl game between Ohio State and Oregon — Stanford will be too powerful for the speedy Ducks.

Oddsmakers may have installed Oregon as a seven point favorite at home, but I like the Cardinal in this one. Seven points seems like a holiday gift.

Stanford Runs it Up Against USC, Mocks Trojans Saying ‘Fight On’

Have a thing for crazy statistics? I have one that will blow your mind. USC is 47-2 at home since 2001. Both losses are now to Stanford, making Jim Harbaugh 2-1 against the Trojans since taking over the Cardinal program. While Stanford was something like a 40-point underdog at the Coliseum in their first upset win over the Trojans, there’s no doubt the effect of each win was equally shocking. USC got smashed 55-21 this time and they were pushed all over the field by the Cardinal, leaving the home crowd stunned. As a UCLA fan there’s no doubt I’m pleased to see USC knocked from its perch as the perennial uncontested champ in the Pac-10, but I would have liked to see more class from Stanford in the process. Up 48-21 after Toby Gerhart’s 3rd touchdown run of the game, Stanford went for a two-point conversion that got stuff by SC. Then, towards the end of the game, the cameras caught Stanford players Richard Sherman and Ekom Udofia mocking USC’s Fight On:

It’s easy to celebrate and dance on your opponent’s grave when your program is at its peak and winning games, but it’s no fun to be on the other end of things. Given its recent history, Stanford should know that. Yes they should be proud of their huge win and big season thus far, but they shouldn’t lose their class during the win. If not for the reason of respecting your opponent, Stanford should realize they’ve set themselves up to take USC’s best shot next year because of the revenge factor. The Trojans won’t forget this loss any time soon, I can promise you that.