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Oregon Football

Five Players to Know: Stanford Offense

September 19, 2019

Oregon opens conference play at 4 p.m. Saturday against a Stanford team that opened the year in the Top 25. Then, the Cardinal lost by multiple touchdowns the last two weeks to USC and UCF.

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Still, this is an a opponent Oregon fans won’t overlook, as it’s typically a close battle when these teams match up. Let’s dive into the five Stanford offensive players you need to know.

KJ Costello (3), Quarterback

The 6-5, 222-pound senior is a familiar foe. Last year, he led Stanford on its big comeback against the Ducks in Autzen, and I’m sure the players and coaches are ready for some sweet revenge.

Costello missed the loss against USC, so he’s only appeared in two games; he’s 37 for 64 for 351 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. It definitely isn’t a stat line that pops out at you, but that’s partially due to the apparent head injury he suffered in the Northwestern game.

Costello remains a talented player who throws it deep with accuracy. He hasn’t looked as good this season as he did last year, but in the past he has shown the ability to catch fire for a game.

Oregon has to make sure to pressure him early and not allow him to get into a groove.

Cameron Scarlett (22), Running Back

The 6-1, 216-pound redshirt senior from Portland is another veteran presence for the Cardinal. Through three games he has 51 carries for 224 yards and 1 touchdown, and he’s added 10 catches for 88 yards.

Scarlett is big enough to be able tough yards up the middle, but he has enough speed to break into the second level. He runs hard, although with the Cardinal's offensive line injuries, some of the holes he is used to seeing just haven’t been there.

Still, Scarlett is crafty enough to pick up extra yards. He is going to have to be on his game if he wants to find any success running the ball against the stout Oregon defensive front.

Colby Parkinson (84), Tight End

The 6-7, 251-pound junior is a massive part of the Cardinal's passing offense. Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but the Cardinal presents another mismatch at the tight end position.

Parkinson has 17 catches so far this season for 178 yards. While he hasn’t scored a touchdown, he still is a tall threat with a big-time catch radius. When the Cardinal needs a first down, Costello tends to throw passes up to him and trust that Parkinson can come down with it.

The Cardinal will try to find mismatches with Parkinson, so it’s important that the Duck defenders know their assignments and not let him get open across the middle.

Michael Wilson (4), Wide Receiver

The 6-2, 210-pound sophomore is really starting to come into his own. He didn’t record a catch during the USC game, but in the other two games he had 11 catches for 118 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Wilson also returns kicks and punts, which just goes to show the level of confidence head coach David Shaw has in this young player. He’s quick and has a really great first step off the line of scrimmage.

Wilson isn’t going to Randy Moss a cornerback for catches, but rather uses his combination of speed and solid route running to get open. The Ducks' secondary has to make sure to keep him in front of them, as he can beat guys to the end zone if it’s a footrace.

Connor Wedington (5), Wide Receiver

The 6-0, 200-pound junior may not be the biggest guy out wide, but he is another solid route runner with good hands. He has 15 catches for 162 yards and 1 touchdown this season, in addition to returning kicks. Wedington's speed makes him a go-to target for Costello.

Overall, this Cardinal offense has a slew of weapons, but they will go unused if the offensive line can't give Costello enough time to go through his reads and hit the open player.

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