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De'Anthony Thomas: Oregon should score 40 on Stanford

Oregon scored 42 points or more in all but two games last season, the exceptions being a 35-point performance in a Fiesta Bowl win over Kansas State and a 14-point performance in a loss to Stanford, a game that denied the Ducks the Pac-12 North and a likely berth in the BCS championship game.

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Thursday night, running back De'Anthony Thomas believes Oregon will make amends for that shocking tally, the Ducks' lowest in Pac-12 play under former head coach Chip Kelly.

Asked if the Cardinal can hold Oregon to 14 again, Thomas responded with something that's likely to end up on bulletin boards around the Farm.

"I don't think so," he said. "I feel like this team should put up 40."

The crazy thing is that new Ducks head coach Mark Helfrich probably wouldn't disagree with Thomas' statement, just with the way it was phrased.

In last season's overtime loss to Stanford, Oregon got just seven points out of two trips into the red zone. They also had two failed fourth-down conversions and two missed field goals. Of the Ducks' 14 possessions in regulation, six ended in Stanford territory.

Quarterback Marcus Mariota was an erratic 21-of-37 passing for 207 yards, one touchdown and one interception, and a depleted defensive line allowed Stanford to hold the ball for 37:41.

"They just didn't get our best shot last year," Helfrich said at his press conference. "When you look back on the film, especially from an offensive standpoint, we didn't play very well. Certainly part of that is due to playing a quality opponent.

"A lot of the things we did, the opponent was irrelevant."

All season long, Oregon has stressed the idea of the faceless opponent, that it doesn’t matter who is lined up on the other side of the ball. Against a Stanford defense loaded with future NFL players, that notion will be put to the test.

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.

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