#7 Oregon (7-1, 4-1 Pac-12) defeat Colorado (2-6, 1-4 Pac-12) 52-29 at Autzen Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The last three Pac-12 affairs have all been nail-biters for Oregon and finally, as a heavy favorite, the Ducks played like it.
Considering the Colorado offense entered Saturday by far the worst in the Pac-12 and ranked 130th in total offense nationally giving up 29-points still marks reasons for concern for Oregon. Alternatively, the Ducks on offense were superb; scoring on every single drive through the first three quarters. The first Colorado stop came when primarily backups were in and five-star QB Ty Thompson threw an interception at midfield.
The first half was a breeze for Oregon quickly going up 21-0 and outgaining the Buffs 344-174 through 30 minutes. At halftime, the score stood 31-14, with Oregon achieving their most yards in a half this season while completely controlling the time of possession. Anthony Brown gave the Duck faithful only reason to cheer, leading his team confidently and linking up with seemingly new number-one Devon Williams five times for 95-yards and a score. In total, Brown finished with a season-best 307 yards, three TDs, on 81% completion.
Oregon was happy to exhaust the ground game with starting RB Travis Dye going for 122 total yards while backup Freshman RB Byron Cardwell had a career day with 127 yards and a TD on just seven carries.
The third quarter was much of the same with Travis Dye securing his third touchdown of the day five minutes into the new half, Dye now has seven touchdowns in his last two outings. Brown tacked on another score with his arm five minutes later to push the score to 44-14 and create a giddy atmosphere at Autzen Stadium in time for Shout between the third and final quarter.
Mario Cristobal elected to go with mostly second-string players for the fourth quarter and it made matters slightly nervy: Colorado scored to start the fourth quarter, Ty Thompson threw an interception, then Colorado went on to score again and convert the two-point conversion. Out of nowhere QB Brendon Lewis lead his team back to within two scores, down 16 with six minutes remaining. Nonetheless, Oregon took care of business late and was able to bleed the clock down within a minute a score on a short run from Seven McGee to make it 52-29.
The Colorado result certainly doesn’t hurt Oregon in the top-10 but doesn’t do a ton of favors considering that state of Colorado Football; the first College Football Playoff rankings come out this week and Oregon will likely be sitting just outside.
Next for the Ducks is a trip north to face rivals Washington. It doesn’t get much easier for Colorado, facing the best rushing attack in the Pac-12, Oregon State, next week at home.
Oregon Statistical Leaders:
QB Anthony Brown: 25/31 307yds, 38yds rushing, 3TD, 0INT
RB Travis Dye: 13car, 47yds, 75yds receiving, 3 total TD
RB Byron Cardwell: 7car, 127yds, 1TD
WR Devon Williams: 5rec, 95yds, 1TD
WR Troy Franklin: 2rec, 44yds, 1TD
Colorado Statistical Leaders:
QB Brendon Lewis: 25/33, 224yds, 10yds rushing, 3TD, 0INT
RB Alex Fontenot: 8car, 42yds, 7yds receiving, 1TD
WR Brenden Rice: 5rec, 102yds, 1TD
WR Brady Russell: 3rec, 42yds