October 27th – at Oregon          No. 2 Oregon 70, Colorado 14

Oregon, the No. 2 team in the country, was a 47-point favorite at home over hapless Colorado. The line was an embarrassment for the CU program, but not half as embarrassing as the fact that the Ducks covered … by halftime.

Oregon ran through, around, and over the Colorado defense, scoring touchdowns on all seven first half possessions en route to a 56-0 halftime lead and 70-14 rout. The Ducks amassed a ridiculous 425 yards rushing, and 617 yards of total offense, holding the inept Buff offense to 245 yards of total offense. The game was so out of hand that Oregon’s backup quarterback, Bryan Bennett, out-scored the Colorado offense, three touchdowns to two.

The students at Oregon, much like their counterparts at Colorado, arrived fashionably late for the game. Unlike their Buff counterparts, however, the Duck fans missed the only competitive moments of the game with their tardiness.

Oregon won the coin toss to start the game. Most teams defer, opting to take the ball to start the second half. The Ducks, though, averaging 51 points per game, and well aware that Colorado had been scored upon in the opening 50 seconds of the game the week before by USC, decided to put the Buffs out of their misery early.

The Ducks took more plays than did the Trojans – five plays instead of two – and took more time – 1:47 of game clock instead of 50 seconds – but the outcome was the same. Kenjon Barner, moments after a 42-yard run to the Colorado six, scored from a yard out to put the Buffs behind for good.

Then, on the ensuing kickoff, Tony Jones fumbled the return, giving the ball back to Oregon. It took the Duck offense only three plays to cover the 17 yards required to up the score to 14-0, with De’Anthony Thomas scoring from nine yards out.

14-0. Still 12:28 to play in the first quarter. The game was, for all practical purposes, already over … and the Colorado offense had yet to take a snap.

On its first drive, the Buffs did manage to gain a first down, and did take four minutes off the game clock, before punting the ball back to the Ducks. Five plays and 92 yards later, Oregon was up 21-0.

The Buffs’ second drive was much like the first. One first down, then a penalty, then a punt. The Ducks’ fourth drive was much like the first three. Six plays, 77 yards, and a touchdown. With 1:44 still to play in the first quarter, the score was already up to 28-0. Oregon had run 19 plays for 243 yards – 12.7 yards per play – while Colorado had eked out 65 total yards.

Second verse … same as the first.

The second quarter matched the first, with Oregon finding a way to score four more touchdowns. The first came after an eight-play, 97-yard drive culminated on a 24-yard run by Kenjon Barner. The second came on a highlight reel 73-yard punt return by De’Anthony Thomas. The third on a seven yard pass from Marcus Mariota to Daryle Hawkins. The final score of the half, with 20 seconds to play, was a six yard run by Byron Bennett.

With the final score, the 2012 Buffs matched a low only seen once before, in the 1980 season opener against UCLA … a 56-0 halftime defict.

Halftime score: Oregon 56, Colorado 0.

The domination on the scoreboard was reflected in the halftime stats. Oregon had 447 yards of total offense in the first half, compared to 104 for Colorado. The Ducks had 21 first downs to five for the Buffs. Colorado had held the ball for 17 minutes of the first half game clock, but had penetrated no further than the Oregon 31 yard line.

As was the habit of Oregon coach Chip Kelly, the Ducks took the foot off the gas pedal in the second half against the Buffs, preferring to save starters for future battles while allowing the opposition some consolation points.

Colorado “dominated” the first seven minutes of the third quarter, posting its only points of the game. Nick Hirschman, who had come into replace starter Jordan Webb with the last CU drive of the first half, led the Buffs on a 13-play, 72-yard touchdown drive to open the second half. Hirschman hit wide receiver Tyler McCulloch for a 24-yard gain early in the drive, then hit tight Vincent Hobbs for another 24 yards on a fourth-and-seven at the Oregon 30-yard line. Set up at the Oregon six yard line, the Buff offense needed four plays to score, but Christian Powell finally got the Buffs on the board with a one-yard touchdown run.

The Ducks then failed to score on a drive for the first time all afternoon, with running back Ayele Forde fumbling the ball back to the Buffs. Defensive lineman Will Pericak forced the fumble, with Jered Bell plucking the ball out of the air and advancing it ten yards to the Oregon 31 yard line.

From there Christian Powell, who 122 yards on 19 carries on the day, did all of the work. Two runs, an 11-yarder and a 20-yarder for a touchdown, gave the Buff fans something to cheer about. With 8:02 to play in the third quarter, the 2012 Buffs had accomplished what the 1980 Buffs had done against the UCLA Bruins, turn a 56-0 halftime score into a 56-14 score.

Unfortunately for the 2012 version of the Buffs, the game was not yet over. The Ducks scored on their next two drives, the second drive only having to cover 47 yards after a fumble by Vincent Hobbs. Both scores came on the ground, courtesy of backup quarterback Byron Bennett.

The fourth quarter was played in a light rain before about half of the 57,521 who had paid to attend. Both teams were anxious to get off the field, with only three first downs – two by Oregon; one by Colorado – being posted the entire stanza. Oregon punter Rice Jackson, who had not taken the field all afternoon, was called upon three times in the fourth quarter, all for mercy punts which hurt his average … Jackson was asked to punt from the Colorado 42 and the Colorado 36 yard lines.

Simply put, Oregon had 56 points at halftime, and settled for 14 second half points. If the Ducks had needed to score 100 … they could have.

Final score: Oregon 70, Colorado 14.

“We wanted to come out and compete and see where we stood,” said Jon Embree, whose team was out-gained 617-245, and out-classed in every phase of the game. “That’s what I told the guys a championship game would look like. Starting Monday, we’re going to see who wants to work, and how we want to continue toward that goal.”

The one bright spot for Colorado was the play of running back Christian Powell, who had 70 of his 122 yards in the first half against quality competition. “Nobody likes to get blown out, especially like this,” said Powell. “But we keep coming back and we keep fighting, trying to improve each and every day. That’s all we can do, and that’s what we’re going to continue to do.”

With the loss, Colorado fell to 1-7, guaranteeing the Buffs a losing record for a seventh consecutive season, a feat never before accomplished in the 123-year history of the program. The Buffs also surrendered over 50 points for the third consecutive game, also a negative record never before posted against a Colorado team.

The Buffs now turned to the month of November, with four Pac-12 games left to put an end to a forgettable season. Unfortunately, while the Buffs were getting pasted by the Ducks, all four of CU’s opponents were winning, with two of the victories coming over top ten Pac-12 opponents (Arizona over No. 10 USC; Washington over No. 7 Oregon State).

If Colorado was to avoid yet another dubious record – the first 11-loss team in school history – it was going to come as an upset.

Game Notes –

– As noted, Oregon tied the most points ever surrendered in a half by a CU football team, 56, matching the 56-0 halftime score posted by UCLA in 1980. The 28 points in the first quarter was a point short of the 29 points Oregon scored last year in Boulder, which established the new record (the old record being 28 by UCLA in 1980).

– Colorado did put an end to one dubious record … the fourth quarter was scoreless, ending a record string of quarters in which the opposition had scored. The previous record was 21 straight quarters of scoring by the opposition, the new record is 24 straight quarters.

– The last time Colorado gave up 70 points in a game was in the 2005 Big 12 championship game, a 70-3 loss to Vince Young and No. 1 Texas.

– Colorado’s record against teams ranked No. 2 at the time of the game fell to 4-16 all-time.

– Christian Powell, with his second 100-yard game of his freshman campaign, moved into 6th-place on the all-time CU freshman rushing list. Powell finished the Oregon game with 471 yards for the season. Up next: his position coach, Eric Bieniemy, who had 508 yards as a freshman in 1987.

– Defensive end Will Pericak’s start against the Ducks was the 45th straight in his career, breaking the old mark for consecutive starts set by center Bryan Stoltenberg (1992-95). Pericak’s 45 overall starts tied him with Jordon Dizon for all-time starts by a defensive player, and just two behind Ryan Miller’s all-time record of 47.

Injury report –

– Wide receiver Nelson Spruce (concusssion); safety Parker Orms (concussion); center Gus Handler (sprained knee); safety Ray Polk (facial lacerations).

– David Bakhtiari didn’t play against Oregon. The junior offensive tackle had started the first seven games of the season, but injured his knee in practice the Tuesday before the game, and could not go. Bakhtiari was replaced by senior Ryan Dannewitz, who made his first start of the season.

4 Replies to “No. 2 Oregon 70, Colorado 14”

  1. The aspect of this season that is the most potentially troubling to me is not the abyss that separates where CU is now from the top teams in the conference such as Oregon, SC and (as I fear we shall learn this week) Stanford but the apparent gap between CU and – well everybody else. SC hung 50 on us two games ago without really trying to score in the 2nd half. We were non-competitive. Yet SC went into ‘Zona this past Saturday and lost a close, tight game. It appears as if the gap between us and the other lower-tier teams in the Pac-12 is enormous. Scary stuff.

  2. In a post after the Fresno State game I wondered what the real problem is with the Colorado program. I still am at a loss. Several other programs have managed turnarounds in far less time (Kansas State, Nebraska, Texas A&M, etc).

    I recall that McCartney’s fortune changed when a couple of top offensive linemen recruits decided to go to Colorado and try to turn the program, and they were successful. My novice opinion is that a lot of the CU problems on the field start with the O-line. Very few QB’s can throw while running for their life, and there is no ground game if the line can’t get at least a 3 yard push on every play. I’m convinced there is something far more basic holding the program down. No one seems to be able to talk to it.

  3. It is really sad. We have become the laughing stock of college football. Not sure we would beat Northern Colorado. Bohn sees improvement? Where? We have such a long ways to go. Other programs like New Mexico hire new coaches and do show improvement. We have done nothing but regress.

  4. This is without a doubt the worst team in the history of the program and one of the worst division 1 teams ever… There is nothing else to say unfortunately.

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