Sports

No. 6 Stanford searching for formula to stop Oregon's Marcus Mariota again

FILe - In this Sept. 28, 2013 file photo, Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota rushes during the first half of an NCAA college football game against California in Eugene, Ore. Stanford handed Mariota his only loss as a starting quarterback last year at Oregon with a dominant defensive performance.  (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File)

FILe - In this Sept. 28, 2013 file photo, Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota rushes during the first half of an NCAA college football game against California in Eugene, Ore. Stanford handed Mariota his only loss as a starting quarterback last year at Oregon with a dominant defensive performance. (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File)  (The Associated Press)

Almost every week, Stanford coach David Shaw relegates one backup quarterback to the scout team in practice who can best simulate the upcoming opponent.

Not this week.

Shaw figured searching for somebody on the roster to mimic Marcus Mariota was a lost cause. He says there's nobody who could even come close.

Finding a way to slow down Mariota will be the top priority when sixth-ranked Stanford (7-1, 5-1) hosts No. 2 Oregon (8-0, 5-0) on Thursday night in a matchup of the winners of the past four Pac-12 championships.

The Cardinal handed Mariota his only loss last season, 17-14 in overtime in Eugene. Stanford's victory ended Oregon's three-year run as conference champions and dashed the Ducks' national championship dreams — not to mention Mariota's chances for college football's most prestigious award.