Stanford’s College Football Playoff chances are all but gone thanks to a 38-36 loss to Oregon.
Trailing by eight in the final seconds, Kevin Hogan found Greg Taboada for a 5-yard touchdown pass to cut the deficit to two. With 10 seconds remaining, the Cardinal had a chance to tie the game. Hogan looked for tight end Austin Hooper in single coverage in the middle of the end zone on the conversion play.
But thanks to a free rusher off the right side of the offensive line, Hogan was forced to get rid of the ball a fraction sooner than he would have liked. The pass was behind Hooper. It was batted down and fell incomplete.
And while the two-point conversion would have likely sent the game into overtime, the Cardinal won’t be blaming that for the loss. Instead, much of the reflection will be focused on two fourth-quarter fumbles.
Both fumbles came on botched snaps, too. The first, with less than eight minutes remaining, came near midfield. A second, with just over two minutes to go, came with Stanford deep in Oregon territory. The Stanford defense bailed Hogan and the offense out both times, holding Oregon to just three points off the turnovers and giving the Cardinal a chance to stay in the game.
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