EUGENE, Ore. -- No. 4 Oregon announced itself as a national title contender with a 52-31 win over No. 9 Stanford
How the game was won: Oregon fell behind 21-3, then outscored Stanford 49-10. Two of the early Cardinal TDs came on short fields after turnovers. In other words, this was a dominant performance by a very good team over a pretty good team.
Turning point: After Oregon narrowed its early deficit to 21-10, coach Chip Kelly called for an onside kick. It worked, and the Ducks then drove for another TD. Stanford would score only 10 more points, while the Ducks offense never slowed down. And it stopped making big mistakes.
Stat of the game: Oregon had nearly 500 yards after three quarters and finished with 626. Stanford entered the game giving up just 256 yards per game.
Co-player of the game: Running back LaMichael James made himself a Heisman Trophy candidate, while QB Darron Thomas now will have Ducks fans going,"Jeremiah Who?" James rushed for 257 yards on 31 carries with three touchdowns, while Thomas completed 20-of-29 for 238 yards with three TDs. He also rushed for 117 yards and a score.
Unsung hero of the game: Ducks defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti. Sure, Stanford's offense had the upper hand early, but the Ducks defense seems to get stronger as a game goes along. How many points has Oregon yielded in the second half in five games? Seven. And none from Stanford.
What it means: This game shouldn't change anyone's mind that Stanford is good. This was more about showing the country how good Oregon is. The Ducks now enter the national title hunt, and it will be interesting to see how much of a bounce in they get in national polls.