Larry Scott attended Saturday’s showdown at Autzen Stadium looking for a team besides Washington to jump into the College Football Playoff discussion.
When the Pac-12 commissioner met with the media at halftime, it looked like No. 20 Oregon was headed back into the national conversation.
“Mario (Cristobal) has created a lot of excitement here, burning up the recruiting trail in ways that some people didn’t completely anticipate, and obviously he’s got the team playing very well,” Scott said. “So there’s a lot of excitement with the fan base here.”
The excitement turned to bitter disappointment after the Ducks squandered a 24-7 halftime lead and lost 38-31 in overtime to No. 7 Stanford.
The Cardinal (4-0, 2-0) will be carrying the banner for the conference next week at No. 8 Notre Dame.
“I’m looking forward to next week,” Stanford coach David Shaw said after his team escaped with the improbable win. “I’ll be honest with you, it didn’t surprise me because in the second half we played like we’re capable of playing."
Placekicker Adam Stack, who was held out of the nonconference games to rest a sore leg, made his first career field goal and Oregon’s first field goal of the season, a 38-yard try that gave the Ducks a 24-7 lead before halftime.
Stack’s counterpart, Jet Toner, forced overtime with a 32-yard field goal as time expired to complete Stanford’s comeback.
“We had an opportunity against the No. 7 team in the country and had some really good moments,” Cristobal said. “We’ve just got to be more consistent.”
Griffin hints at transfer
Oregon senior running back Taj Griffin, who did not have a carry against Stanford, indicated that he may be transferring after the game.
“I’m going to open up other options from here,” Griffin tweeted late Saturday.
With the new redshirt rule that allows players to play in four games and still redshirt, Griffin is eligible to finish his career at another program.
Wide receiver Brenden Schooler started for Oregon and made a clutch third-down catch after going through concussion protocol during the week.
Stating running back Tony Brooks-James left the game with an apparent injury after only six carries for 27 yards and a touchdown. Darrian Felix (foot) did not dress for the game.
Defensive end Austin Faoliu was shaken up in the third quarter but ran off the field on his own.
Justin Herbert has 5,105 passing yards in 21 career games at Oregon, which is 147 more than Marcus Mariota (4,958) had during his first 21 games. … The Ducks’ 24 first-half points were more total points than Stanford’s defense had give up in its first three games combined. … Oregon fell to 7-3 when ESPN’s College GameDay show has visited Eugene. … Families of Oregon legends Norm Van Brocklin (1947-48) and John Kitzmiller (1928-30) were introduced before the game as the Ducks’ honorary captains.
“It’s a special stage for sure,” Herbert said after passing for 346 yards and a touchdown and rushing for 35 net yards in front of a crowd of 58,453 and a national television audience on ABC. “Oregon’s got some of the best fans in the country and they really showed it tonight. Unfortunately things didn’t bounce our way, but we’ll get back after it and learn from it for sure.”