EUGENE, Ore. -- Oregon puts a 19-game road winning streak up against Stanford's 13-game home winning streak on Thursday in a Pac-12 showdown that has serious BCS ramifications.
The third-ranked Ducks (8-0) will travel to Palo Alto, Calif., to face the fifth-ranked Cardinal (7-1) in a game that will likely decide the Pac-12 North Division champion for the fourth year in a row. The winner stays alive in the national championship hunt, while a loss all but eliminates 2013 title dreams.
Oregon has won 19 straight road games dating back to its last loss at Stanford on Nov. 7, 2009, exactly four years before this week's showdown with the Cardinal. Oregon has outscored its opponents 894-442 during that streak and has won 17 of the 19 games by at least 10 points.
"I feel like it is better when you are on the road because the other team's crowd gets you going," Oregon senior guard Mana Greig said. "It is great to play at Autzen Stadium, but other people's crowds get you more motivated. It is fun trying to beat somebody in their own house. It is more rewarding."
Oregon beat Arizona in double-overtime in 2009 to begin its current streak and then went 6-0 on the road in 2010, 4-0 in 2011, and 5-0 in 2012 before winning its first three road games this season. Oregon's 19-game road winning streak is the longest active streak in college football and the fourth-longest since 1900.
"Home-field advantage only happens if you let the crowd get into your head," Oregon senior safety Brian Jackson said. "You have to treat it like it doesn't matter."
First-year Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said the Ducks have the exact same gameday schedule for road games as they do at home.
"You just try to keep it is consistent as possible," Helfrich said. "Your approach, the timing, the rhythm of the day and preparation, we try to do everything the same."
Oregon and Stanford have become rivals in recent seasons as they have ruled the top of the Pac-12.
Oregon gave Stanford its lone loss in the regular season in 2010 and 2011 and the Cardinal delivered Oregon its only defeat last season. The Ducks last loss at home and on the road was against Stanford.
Stanford's last home loss was against Oregon in 2011. Since then, the Cardinal have won 13 straight road games, including eight by a touchdown or less.
Oregon running back De'Anthony Thomas hopes to be at full strength after missing four games with an ankle injury suffered on the opening kickoff against Cal. He returned against UCLA to run for 31 yards in the first half before sitting out the second half due to injury. He averaged more than 112 yards in Oregon's first three games, but has not played a full game since then. He hopes the bye week will give him enough time to be ready for the Cardinal.
"I'm feeling pretty good, ready to go," he said.
Thomas rocked the boat earlier in the week when he said Stanford shouldn't be able to hold the Ducks to 14 points again.
"I don't think so. I feel like this team, we should put up 40 (points)," Thomas said.
Even with their all-purpose star not fully healthy the past five weeks, Oregon ranks second in the nation with 331.5 rushing yards per game. Byron Marshall is averaging 109.9 yards per game and has 12 touchdowns. True freshman Thomas Tyner is averaging 6.4 yards on 68 carries, including eight touchdown runs.