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MailTribune.com
  • Aliotti gives credit to Stanford defense

  • EUGENE — No one has seen Oregon's prolific offense more often then the Ducks' defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti, whose unit goes head to head with the nation's No. 1 scoring attack every day in practice.
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  • EUGENE — No one has seen Oregon's prolific offense more often then the Ducks' defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti, whose unit goes head to head with the nation's No. 1 scoring attack every day in practice.
    So when the Ducks were held to almost 41 points below its scoring average in their 17-14 loss to Stanford on Saturday at Autzen Stadium, Aliotti said all credit goes to Stanford's defense.
    "Our offense is incredible and our offense has been the face of this program and still is the face of this program," Aliotti said. "Let's give credit to Stanford for doing a great job. "…Maybe we were off just a little bit tonight. I don't know, but Stanford did an outstanding job."
    One by-product of Oregon's dominance the last four years is the Ducks' lack of experience playing in close games, especially games that go into overtime.
    The last time Oregon played in overtime came against Arizona in 2009, Chip Kelly's first season as head coach.
    The Ducks learned the hard way on Saturday the importance of scoring first when opening the extra session on offense.
    "I don't think it takes a rocket scientist for me to explain that if you don't get a field goal, the other team already is in position for a 42-yard field goal without doing anything," Aliotti said.
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    DON'T THROW HIS WAY: Cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olumo moved into a tie for the national lead with two forced fumbles on Saturday. He now has six on the season.
    Ekpre-Olumo caused — and recovered — his fifth fumble of the season when he jarred the ball free from receiver Kelsey Young after a 12-yard catch at the 6:02 mark of the third quarter, giving the ball to Oregon at the Stanford 39.
    Later in the third, Ekpre-Olumo knocked the ball out of the hands of running back Stepfan Taylor following an 18-yard run. Saftey Erick Dargan recovered at the Oregon 20.
    It was Dargan's second turnover of the game. The sophomore also had an interception in the second quarter. Dargan was making his first start of the season in place of Avery Patterson, who injured his knee in last Saturday's win against California is expected to miss the rest of the season.
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    SENIOR DAY: It was Senior Day at Autzen Stadium and the Ducks honored their most successful class of players in school history with a pregame ceremony.
    This season's group of 16 seniors had 11 players who were apart of a four-year stretch that includes an overall record of 44-7, a Pac-12 record of 32-3, two Rose Bowls, one BCS championship game and at least one appearance in the Pac-12 championship game.
    Some of the more notable members of the senior class include running back Kenjon Barner, linebackers Michael Clay and Kiko Alonso, and special teams standouts, punter Jackson Rice and kicker Rob Beard.
    It also included two starters whose final seasons were lost to injury back in September — safety John Boyett and offensive guard Carson York.
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    ODDS AND ENDS: Oregon's first touchdown drive took just three plays and 47 seconds to cover 59 yards. It was their 22nd scoring drive of the season that took 60 seconds or less. "…Michael Clay had a career-high 20 tackles — 10 solo, 10 assisted — including 14 in the first half. "…Sophomore running back De'Anthony Thomas scored his 31st career touchdown on a 6-yard run in the third quarter, putting him in a tie for 10th on Oregon's career scoring list with 188 points.
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