Oregon head football coach Chip Kelly spoke with the media Tuesday morning about Oregon's preparation for the ESPN GameDay game of the week against Stanford. Kickoff is set for 5 PM PST. The last two weeks Stanford head coach David Shaw decided to pull his regular starter in Josh Nunes for the younger and more athletic Kevin Hogan and the move has paid off big time.
Chip Kelly is very impressed by Stanford's defense.
"They are a little different. Kevin Hogan is a little bit better of a runner than Josh was on the perimeter but their system is their system," Kelly says of Stanford's quarterback switch.
The Stanford defense is one of the best in the nation as they lead the nation in sacks and rushing defense. The previous two opponents for Oregon in USC and Cal are similar in style to Stanford's defense but Kelly says both those games are different games.
"Two different teams two different schemes," said Kelly. "They do have a good front. They've got some kids who we've played a lot of good football against. Guys that have been around for a long time. Guys with a really good knowledge of their scheme and they play hard."
Oregon has been able to go warp speed on offense against everyone they've faced and lead the nation in scoring with 54.8 points per game. The Ducks have done it on the ground for most of the season but the last two weeks the Ducks have to the air throwing for 11 touchdowns.
"Well they are good against the run and they are good against the pass so I look at that," Kelly says of Stanford's effectiveness. "I think it's a huge challenge for us offensively. Getting matched up against what will be the best defense we've faced so far. A lot of veteran players on that side of the ball that play really hard. I like watching them on film they are a lot of fun to watch. I hope they aren't as productive on Saturday."
"In Terms of our performance we are about the end result. I don't care if we run it I don't care if we throw it. If you are going to let us throw it for 377 and six touchdowns we will take that every week," says Kelly.
Stopping Stanford's offensive ground and pound attack starts with star senior running back Stephan Taylor who has ran for over 1,000 yards each of the last three seasons. As a senior this season he's ran for 1061 yards and nine touchdowns. Kelly says Taylor is going to be one of Stanford's best running backs of all time and doesn't get the lack of attention.
"For some reason and I don't know why but an underrated running back, I don't think he gets enough publicity or notoriety for what he's done," says Kelly of Taylor. "He's going to go down as one of the all-time great running backs at Stanford. Physical runner, has great vision just seems like every game at some point in time he's going to pop a run. Got a really good vision. He's strong and breaks a lot of tackles. A real challenge for us in terms of tackling him and making sure he gets down because of how hard he runs."
Kelly says Stanford's defense is so good because of David Shaw's ability to recruit talented athletes, develop skill, and put together a good scheme against teams. "They free up a lot of guys and get guys into a lot of one-on-one situations against people," said Kelly. "They beat the guys they are against in one-on-one situations and they usually get the upper hand."
The last three seasons Oregon's offense has been able to accumulate 1,583 yards of offense and 147 points but that hasn't stopped Kelly from warning anyone who can listen of the athletes Stanford has on defense this year.
"They are running sideline to sideline. You don't give up 50 yards a game rushing if you aren't running sideline to sideline," Kelly said of Stanford's team speed.