Stanford Cardinal quarterback and Heisman hopeful Andrew Luck has played in some important games in his time down on the Farm, but faces his toughest challenge yet this Saturday as Stanford hosts the Oregon Ducks in Palo Alto for all the marbles in the Pac-12 North as well as a possible berth to the National Championship game.
Luck spoke about the importance of the game of Tuesday:
"When you're thinking about the upcoming football season, you're thinking about Oregon. If you want to do something on the West Coast, you've got to beat Oregon. They've been the best team the last couple of years."
They are the top two offenses in the division at 48.2 and 46 points a game respectfully, while their defenses have played very similar as well, with the Cardinal with a slight edge in points against at 16.6 a game compared to Oregon's 20.8. But the only place where the Cardinal have a decided advantage is at quarterback as Andrew Luck tries to maestro his way to an undefeated season, though head coach David Shaw is stressing the importance of the team:
"The quarterback isn't playing defense," Shaw said. "He isn't playing special teams. He's not blocking anybody. He's got to play his role. Even though his role is probably the most important, it's still a team game."
If Luck wants a shot at a National Title and/or the Heisman Trophy then he has to go through Oregon. He couldn't top them last year, throwing two picks en route to a 52-31 loss, the last loss the Cardinals have suffered since. This time though Luck's embracing the challenge with open arms, and faces the Ducks on his turf this time around.
For more on the Cardinal, head over to Rule of Tree to get your fix.