The stage is set for the Stanford Cardinal and the Oregon Ducks on Saturday night when the two best teams in the Pac-12 square off. Last year, the Ducks emerged as victors over Stanford in a 52-31 win that set the stage for an undefeated regular season and a spot in the BCS National Championship Game. This season, Stanford hopes to avenge that loss and replicate Oregon's success from a year ago.
The Cardinal can learn from last year's loss as they prepare for Saturday's heavyweight match-up. Andrew Luck and the Cardinal rushed out to a 21-3 lead after one quarter of play, looking poised at the time to keep Oregon at bay with an 18-point advantage.
The fast start, however, was not enough. Stanford scored 10 points in the second quarter but didn't score any points in the second half as Oregon ran up the score in a 52-31 rout.
The Cardinal have defined themselves as a second-half team this season, opening up huge leads and putting away opponents in the third quarter of games. Interestingly enough, Oregon has developed the very same reputation as this year. Whichever team comes out with more momentum in the second half- as Oregon managed to do last year- could ultimately serve as the game's the deciding factor.
If Stanford can learn from the mistakes of last year and make big plays at the start of the second half, the Cardinal could find themselves one step closer to replicating Oregon's national title run last year.