STANFORD, Calif. — You're welcome, Florida State. Signed, Stanford.
Tyler Gaffney ran for 157 yards and No. 6 Stanford hammered No. 2 Oregon for three quarters, then held off a final kick by the Ducks to crush their national title hopes for a second straight season 26-20 Thursday, opening the door for the No. 3 Seminoles.
With Oregon's loss, the number of unbeatens was trimmed to six: No. 1 Alabama, No. 3 FSU, No. 4 Ohio State, No. 5 Baylor, No. 17 Fresno State and No. 22 Northern Illinois. FSU was in danger of slipping to third in the BCS standings if Oregon could have registered a big road victory. Now, FSU faces a manageable remaining schedule with a good chance to win its way to the BCS title game in January.
Kevin Hogan ran for a TD and played a mistake-free game for Stanford (8-1, 6-1 Pac-12). The Cardinal showed how to play keep away from a team averaging 55.6 points. Stanford ran for 274 yards and held the ball for 42½ minutes.
Heisman Trophy contender Marcus Mariota was inaccurate and under pressure much of the night, but he passed for two fourth-quarter touchdowns, sandwiched around a blocked field goal return for a score by Rodney Hardrick, to pull the Ducks (8-1, 5-1) to 26-20 with 2:12 left. But Oregon couldn't recover a second onside kick.