October 5th – Boulder           No. 2 Oregon 57, Colorado 16

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota accounted for seven touchdowns – five passing and two rushing – leading No. 2 Oregon to a 57-16 victory over Colorado.

The Ducks amassed 755 yards of total offense, with 406 yards passing and 349 yards rushing. The Buffs, who held tough with the nation’s No. 2 team for a quarter-and-a-half, had over 300 yards of total offense in the first half, but next to nothing in the second half. Colorado went the entire fourth quarter without a first down, settling for 373 yards of total offense. Buff quarterback Connor Wood struggled, going 11-for-33 on the day, for 205 yards and two interceptions. Paul Richardson had only five catches, going for 134 yards.

Considering that the two times the Buffs had played Oregon as members of the Pac-12, the first quarter scores had been 29-0 and 28-0, there was a certain amount of trepidation when the third game between the two as Pac-12 rivals started.

But instead of an instant rout, the Folsom Field crowd on hand to honor Bill McCartney’s College Football Hall of Fame enshrinement were treated to something unusual for the Ducks … a competitive first half.

The Buffs failed in an opening onsides kick gambit, giving Oregon the ball at midfield. Instead of scoring in three plays – as is their wont – the Ducks actually punted after three plays, with a run for three yards and two incomplete passes giving the ball to the Colorado offense.

And, surprise, surprise, the Buffs’ offense came to play.

On the first play from scrimmage, quarterback Connor Wood hit wide receiver Paul Richardson for a 55-yard gain. The next three plays netted only seven yards, but instead of going for a 40-yard field goal, the Buffs went for the first, with Wood hitting Nelson Spruce for a seven yard gain and a first down. Unfortunately, the Buffs could advance the ball no further, settling for a Will Oliver 33- yard field goal.

No touchdown, but it was the Buffs’ first offensive points in the first half against the Ducks as a member of the Pac-12, and the Buffs’ first lead against Oregon.

The No. 2 team in the country restored some order on their next drive, taking nine plays to cover 75 yards, with Heisman trophy candidate Marcus Mariota taking the ball in from the two yard line. The two-point conversion gave the Ducks an 8-3 lead.

Instead of folding, the Buffs offense came up with a big play of their own. On second-and-ten from the 25, Wood pitched the ball to Richardson on an apparent reverse. Rather than continue on with the run, Richardson pulled up and threw the ball about twenty yards to a wide open D.D. Goodson. Aided by a great downfield block by Nelson Spruce, Goodson took the ball the rest of the way for a 75-yard touchdown and a 10-8 Colorado lead.

The improbable lead for the Buffs held up after the Ducks’ next drive, with Oregon failing on a fourth-and-six at the Colorado 38-yard line. Instead of taking advantage, however, the Buffs turned the ball over, with Connor Wood being intercepted by Terrance Mitchell, giving the Ducks the ball at the CU 43-yard line.

Seven plays later, the Ducks had the lead for good, with a Thomas Tyner two-yard run giving Oregon a 15-10 lead with five minutes still to be played in the first quarter.

The Buffs’ next drive was the Christian Powell show, with the sophomore back carrying the ball five times for 28 yards before the Colorado drive stalled just over midfield.

Oregon’s next drive took 11 seconds, with Marcus Mariota hitting Bralon Addison for a 75-yard touchdown.

Suddenly, what had been a close game was now quickly getting out of hand. Oregon 22, Colorado 10.

Five plays later, it was 29-10.

On the Buffs’ second play from scrimmage after the kickoff, Connor Wood threw his second interception of the quarter, again hitting Terrance Mitchell instead of a fellow Buff. On the Ducks’ third play, Mariota hit Keanon Lowe for a 17-yard touchdown.

The quarter ended with Colorado hitting two long completions, one to Paul Richardson for 28 yards, the other to Nelson Spruce for 24 yards … but the Ducks again had a four-touchdown first quarter against Colorado, taking a 29-10 lead into the second quarter.

The Buffs’ drive continued with a 20-yard completion from Wood to Michael Adkins, but the drive then stalled inside the Oregon ten yard line. Will Oliver was called upon again, with the junior hitting a 22-yard field goal to stop the Ducks’ 21-0 run. Oregon 29, Colorado 13.

The Colorado defense then forced a rare three-and-out for Oregon, with freshman linebacker Addison Gillam sacking Mariota for a six-yard loss on third-and-15.

A 31-yard completion from Wood to Richardson set the Buffs up again deep in Oregon territory. Again, however, the Buffs could not come away with a touchdown once inside the redzone, settling for a 31-yard field goal from Will Oliver.

Oregon 29, Colorado 16.

Most Buff fans would have taken that score to the half with pleasure, but there were still ten minutes left to play in the quarter. The remainder of the quarter were taken up largely by two long – and for Oregon, time consuming – touchdown drives.

The first took 12 plays and covered 65 yards, with Mariota taking it in from the one yard line. The second took 11 plays to cover 92 yards, with Mariota hitting Josh Huff for a four-yard touchdown with a minute to play before halftime.

Both of Oregon’s scoring drives took over three minutes of game clock – an eternity for the Oregon offense. Still, Colorado’s two scoring drives in the second quarter resulted in field goals, while Oregon’s two scoring drives in the second quarter resulting in touchdowns.

Over 600 yards of total offense were posted in the first half between the two teams. Colorado’s offense had gone toe-to-toe with the Oregon offense, but three field goals (instead of touchdowns) and two interceptions by Connor Wood gave Oregon a comfortable halftime edge.

Halftime score: Oregon 43, Colorado 16.

Colorado moved the ball to open the third quarter, but turned the ball over when Connor Wood was sacked on fourth-and-eight at the Oregon 41 yard line.

The Oregon offense had no trouble returning to form in its first drive, needing only five plays to score. A 44-yard touchdown pass from Mariota to Bralon Addison upped the lead to 50-16, with Oregon reaching the 50-point mark for the fifth time to open the season – a new school record.

A three-and-out by the Colorado offense led to another Oregon score, with Marcus Mariota hitting Josh Huff for his fifth touchdown pass of the game, this time from 26 yards out. Oregon 57, Colorado 16, with seven minutes still to play in the third quarter.

The Buffs did have some success moving the ball on its next drive, but still had to punt from midfield. A fumble, though, by Oregon running back Thomas Tyner, forced by senior safety Parker Orms and senior defensive lineman Chidera Uzo-Diribe and recovered by senior linebacker Derrick Webb, gave the Buffs new life.

Instead of their first score of the second half, the Buffs failed to post any points. Faced with a fourth-and-goal at the Oregon six yard line, a pass from Wood to Richardson fell incomplete, giving the ball back to the Ducks.

Oregon again turned the ball over on its next possession, with Greg Henderson picking off Mariota’s replacement, Jeff Lockie, near midfield. The Colorado offense went three-and-out, however, and the fourth quarter opened with another Colorado punt.

The Ducks drove to the Buffs’ four-yard line, but there, Jake Rodriguez, in for Lockie, also threw an interception, with Greg Henderson again the beneficiary.

A three-and-out by Colorado was followed by Oregon turning the ball over on downs near midfield. The Buffs could not take advantage, however, failing to gain a first down for their fourth straight possession.

The game ended with backups on the field. Despite Colorado failing to gain a first down in the entire fourth quarter, the final stanza was scoreless. The final snaps were taken by Oregon inside the five yard line. Oregon could have piled on a run-up-the-score final minute touchdown, but Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich, a former CU assistant coach, instructing his team to take a knee.

Final score: Oregon 57, Colorado 16.

“I thought our young men fought from the very beginning,” said Mike MacIntyre. “I thought they came out ready to play. We talked about don’t stick your toe in the water – you know how a pool sometime is cold and you think, ‘Ah, I don’t know if I want to get in’ – and you can do that against Oregon, or do you want to go play. We dove right into the pool, and we started swimming. We could have made a few more plays, I could have coached better on some things that we need to do in the secondary, but those guys (Oregon’s players) are fast and they do a good job. I was pleased with how hard we played, I was pleased with our fight, I was pleased our aggressiveness and I thought we did some good things. I thought we could have scored a few more points, we just missed out on a few things here and there”.

The final stats were indicative of a 41-point loss. Oregon had 755 yards of total offense, the second-highest total ever posted against Colorado (second only to the 875 posted by Oklahoma in the infamous 82-42 game in 1980). The Buffs opened well, with 231 yards of total offense in the first quarter, but had 143 yards of total offense in the ensuing three quarters.

Connor Wood struggled against the Ducks, going 11-for-33 for 205 yards, no touchdowns, and two first quarter interceptions when the game was, at least arguably, still a game. Christian Powell led the Buff rushers, with 20 carries for 78 yards, with Michael Adkins, who had a good game against Oregon State the week before, limited to six carries for 18 yards.

Paul Richardson was again the focus of the Colorado passing game, at least early. Richardson had five catches for 134 yards, including the 55-yarder on the first play from scrimmage. Richardson also completed his first pass of the season, the 75-yarder to D.D. Goodson for the Buffs’ only touchdown.

Freshman linebacker Addison Gillam continued to impress, leading the Buffs with 15 tackles, including two tackles for loss and the Buffs’ only sack. Greg Henderson, meanwhile, became the first Buff to grab two interceptions in the same game since Terrance Wheatley grabbed three against Texas Tech in 2007.

The Buffs, now 2-2 on the season (0-2 in Pac-12 play), had little time to lick their wounds. Up next: Arizona State, ranked No. 22 in the nation before falling to Notre Dame in Dallas, 34-27.

Connor Wood summed up the Buffs’ difficulties, as well as what it would take for Colorado to be competitive against the Sun Devils. “We had them there at the beginning,” said Wood. “With an offense like that, we just have to play four quarters with them. We have to limit the turnovers and the three and outs. We have to convert on third downs and just have to keep working on that. To pinpoint some of the things we are going to work on this week: third down conversions, limit the turnovers, also scoring in the red zone.”

Here is the YouTube of the entire game, courtesy of CU at the Gamer Paul:



Game Notes –

– Not only were the 755 yards posted by Oregon the second-most ever against a Colorado team, Oregon’s production represented the first time a team had over 400 yards either rushing or passing (406 passing) and over 300 yards of the other (349 yards rushing).

– Colorado went 0-for-15 on third down attempts, the worst such mark in school history. The previous worst was an 0-for-13 third down conversion effort against Kansas State in 1999.

– The loss was the 10th straight for the program in conference play, the longest such losing streak in school history. The longest losing streak prior to this one was eight games.

– With the 75-yard pass from Paul Richardson to D.D. Goodson, Colorado now has three plays of over 75 yards this season (the other two being the 82- and 75-yard touchdown passes from Connor Wood to Richardson against Colorado State). The school record for 75-yard touchdown passes in a season is four, accomplished in 2004.

Paul Richardson … Richardson’s 134-yard effort was the sixth 100-yard game of his career, tying him for fourth on the all-time list. The effort gave Richardson 31 catches for 621 yards for the season, already over halfway to the school record of 1,149 receiving yards for a season, set by Charles E. Johnson in 1992. Richardson’s five catches moved him into a tie for 10th on the all-time receptions list, with 104 (tied with Patrick Williams). The 1,700 career receiving yards kept him in 8th in that category (with a ways to go to get to Javon Green in 7th – 2,031 yards).

– Greg Henderson now has four interceptions on the season, the most since Terrence Wheatley had five in both 2006 and 2007.

– Senior defensive end Chidera Uzo-Diribe forced his fourth fumble of the season, the most in a season since linebacker Jashon Sykes set the school mark of seven in 2007.

– Punter Darragh O’Neill had five punts inside the 20-yard line, one short of his own team record of six (ironically enough, the record was set in 2011, also against Oregon in Boulder).

– Running back Michael Adkins had his first career start against Oregon, with five carries for 19 yards. Adkins became the 20th true freshman to start a game at running back in school history.



3 Replies to “No. 2 Oregon 57, Colorado 16”

  1. I can see you saying we had a competive 1st QTR but just barely (more like a competitve 8 minutes) but a competitive half. Whew I don’t see it. But I think we all knew going in it was going to ugly. Still a 41 point loss is an improvement over a 56 point loss (I think).

  2. I was a little punch drunk at the end of the first quarter but by halftime I was just praying Oregon wasn’t gonna put up a hundred!

  3. Stuart thanks for all the work you do on your website. I really enjoy reading it.

    I felt proud of the Buffs for the first quarter. Sympathetic through the second quarter, this is Oregon after all and it was inevitable they would score some points. The third quarter just brought so many questions. The 4th quarter I didn’t care anymore.

    To me it is clear this team needs an innovative and up-tempo passing game to create running opportunities, instead of the opposite. The Buffs success in the first quarter proves it. Why then did the coaching staff seem to throw all that away in the red zone and the second half? Amnesia? Ralphie ate the playbook at halftime?

    In order for the Buffs to win a few games in the Pac-12, they will need to realize this is their identity, and use it aggressively throughout the entire game, not the first 10 minutes. I thought it WAS Macintire’s and Lindgren’s identity, although after the last 2 games I’m sort of confused on the matter.

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