Why Oregon Will Win: Oregon still is the team to beat in the Pac-12. Stanford may start this season ranked one spot below, but Oregon is 8-2 during the last decade, and their 15 returning starters are looking to avenge last year’s loss. There is turnover with the head coach off the field, but the coach on the field, Marcus Mariota, still is around. The young field general is the Pac-12’s best all-around quarterback. The Ducks' offense remains elite and fast as ever with De’Anthony Thomas, their latest stud running back. While Stanford was the only team to stop Oregon's offense in 2012, expect Oregon to do even more homework to stump the Stanford defense. This one will be a three-point nail biter to the end.
Why Stanford Will Win: Stanford disrupted Oregon like no one else could. They allowed 17 points, which is 18 points less than any other team in all of last season (Kansas State in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl), and 35 points less than any team in the regular season. Stanford is nipping at Oregon’s heels and getting in their head. Stanford’s defense was built to stop this offense, and last year the Ducks flew right into David Shaw's trap. Can he do it again? Kevin Hogan and the Cardinal offense should punch back and other offensive playmakers like wide receiver Ty Montgomerey and running back Tyler Gaffney will have to make plays and pick up first downs.