Quarterbacks galore as Stanford visits Oregon
EUGENE, Ore. -- It's anybody's guess how many quarterbacks might make an appearance when Stanford visits Oregon on Saturday.
Stanford (2-3, 0-3) could use three. Oregon (4-3, 1-2) will employ two as both teams try to find a way to break three-game losing streaks.
Fifth-year senior Chris Lewis has been named the Cardinal starter by coach Buddy Teevens. Freshman Trent Edwards, who unseated Lewis after the opener against San Jose State, went down with a slight concussion and a shoulder sprain in the third quarter of Stanford's 24-14 loss to Washington State last week.
Lewis took over and led the Cardinal on a 60-yard touchdown drive. As a result of the injuries and both his performance and preparation, Lewis got the nod against Oregon.
"He had the opportunity to step in and he did a nice job with it," Stanford coach Buddy Teevens said. "He moved the team and threw the football well. He took some hits and bounced right back up. We need that productivity in the quarterback spot."
But that doesn't totally rule out Edwards, whose injuries were not serious, or sophomore Kyle Matter, either.
"Could you see two quarterbacks? Yes, you could. Could you see three quarterbacks? Yes, you could." Teevens said.
Lewis has another plus in that he has experience at Autzen Stadium, which is not known as the most hospitable field. Two years ago he replaced the injured Randy Fasani and led Stanford to a 49-42 come-from-behind victory over the then-No. 5 Ducks.
Clemens was shaken in the Ducks' last game, a 59-14 rout by Arizona State two weeks ago, when he opened with a pair of interceptions -- including one that was run back for a touchdown. Fife replaced him.
Clemens has had a bye week to rebound and at practice this week he was relaxed and ready for Stanford.
"Any win right now would be good for us," Clemens said. "We're not looking to go out and make a statements and kill them. We need to go out and play each down one at a time and go from there."
The Ducks opened the season with four straight victories and were ranked as high as No. 10 before they went on a three-game slide, punctuated by the loss at Arizona State. Oregon has used both quarterbacks in each game.
Clemens has completed 80 of 150 passes for 1,233 yards and eight touchdowns, and he has run for another score. He has thrown six interceptions. Fife, meanwhile, has completed 45 of 87 passes for 627 yards and five touchdowns with four interceptions. He also has four rushing scores.
With so many quarterbacks, both defenses are going to have to stay sharp, and that's something Oregon hasn't gotten done in its three-game slump. The Ducks have been outscored 131-14 over the span.
Cornerback Steven Moore said the bye helped Oregon to address some vexing issues. The Ducks have given up an average of 289.7 passing yards a game, ranking them 109th among 117 Div. 1-A teams in pass defense.
"We needed to focus on the little things that we need to get control of," he said.
Stanford hasn't fared much better, allowing an average of 281.2 passing yards a game. But the Cardinal ranks 17th nationally in run defense, allowing just 91.8 yards a game.
Teevens said they'll need it all on defense when it comes to Oregon. Stanford, he said, is preparing for the Ducks that upset then-No. 3 Michigan back on Sept. 20, rather than the more recent edition.
"We need to come out and play to the fullest of our abilities, which I expect us to. People ask `What have you done?' And so forth. Our attitude as a team carried through the players is that it is that close and this one could be the one. That's the expectation we have each week," Teevens said.
"We are prepared for someone like Oregon," he said. "We have seen how talented they are in all facets of their game. We need to bring our best."
Oregon is also convinced that this week they can turn the tide.
"I think we're obviously a play or two away from being a very, very good football team," Bellotti said. ^
This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index