Colorado Daily – Oregon

November 21st

… CU in a few minutes …

Sefo Liufau may not play against Oregon, but he remains confident that CU can pull off an upset

From … It’s a textbook case of everything to play for vs. very little to lose, but CU’s quarterback isn’t buying into those astonishingly long odds against his team. “I don’t see why we couldn’t beat Oregon or any team in the country,” said Sefo Liufau, whose weekend status has been clouded by a concussion suffered two Saturdays ago at Arizona. Liufau is expected to start but likely will share time with backup Jordan Gehrke, who played in the final quarter in Tucson.

Continued Liufau: “Besides one game where we just gave away a lot of points in the first half against USC, we’ve been in every game, even against Arizona State when no one thought we could stay with them. I think we outplayed them for the most part. We just didn’t score points . . . I definitely think we can beat Oregon and the whole team has that mentality. Other people may not see it that way but we just know we have to go out there and execute for four quarters.”

That’s been the Buffs’ chief problem. A lack of execution – specifically, many turnovers offered and very few collected – has sentenced them to a 2-8 season. Their turnover margin – 11 gained, 20 lost, for minus-9 – ranks them tenth in the Pac-12. The Ducks, meanwhile, are at plus-15 and lead the league in that category and most others on offense (scoring, rushing, total offense).

If CU coach Mike MacIntyre was a member of the CFP selection committee, he would have boosted Oregon past Alabama in this week’s poll. “I would put them at number one,” he said at his weekly news conference. “Offensively and defensively they’re really, really talented . . . they’re an excellent football team.”



November 20th

… CU in a few minutes …

CU Spring game moved up to March … will coincide with Selection Sunday

From the Daily Camera … Second year Colorado football coach Mike MacIntyre has spent two springs in Boulder and has learned that February can be a more friendly month for football than March when it comes to the weather.

That is just one reason why MacIntyre has decided to start spring football in February instead of March in 2015, but there are other important factors as well.

MacIntyre said another motivation is giving any players who might suffer injuries during the spring a longer recovery window before fall camp in August.

“I felt like having the best team we could have available when August hits, I felt like that was the best thing we could do,” MacIntyre said.

The Buffs will have a six-week window to complete 15 spring practices from the first practice, expected to be Feb. 13. MacIntyre said the plan is to hold the spring game on Selection Sunday for the NCAA basketball tournament. He said doing so will allow the athletic department to bring fans to campus for the game and then host them for a selection show party after the game.



Larry Zimmer update

 From CU SID Dave Plati … Here’s an update on Larry Zimmer for all of you:

He was moved about 10 days ago from St. Anthony’s to Select Hospital in Porter (for longer term care and rehab) … it’s on South Downing in Denver.  The move was a bit rough, but Brigitte said he was soon doing better.  He is breathing much better, has been off the ventilator and has started making his comeback.

A statement from the Brigitte:




Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota gets a speeding ticket

… Predicted The Oregonian opener Sunday morning: “Last weekend, Marcus Mariota got a speeding ticket for driving too fast. Yesterday, Mariota could have been cited again, racing through a porous Colorado defense … “.

From ESPN … Oregon quarterback and Heisman Trophy favorite Marcus Mariota received a speeding ticket last weekend while the Ducks were on a bye.

A report from The Oregonian states that Mariota was going 80 mph in a 55 mph zone outside of Eugene. He faces a fine of up to $260 and was given a Lane County Circuit Court date of Dec. 11, which is the same day as the Home Depot College Football Awards in Orlando, Fla. The Heisman Trophy Award will be presented two days later in New York.

Mariota could ask for an extension if he chooses to fight the ticket, or he could pay the fine up front and avoid a court date.

“Mr. Mariota was polite and respectful, he was professional and took the citation appropriately and acted appropriately,” state police Lt. Josh Brooks told The Oregonian. “Everybody gets tickets and 80 in a 55 is a tad fast. We send you on your way, it’s just that.”



November 19th

… CU in a few minutes …

Colorado playing quarterback question close to the vest

… Not that Oregon has to worry too much whether Sefo Liufau or Jordan Gehrke takes the first snap …

From … Coach MacIntyre will start the ablest and most physically sound QB who gives the Buffs the best chance to shock the college football world.

Getting Gehrke experience in CU’s final two games, MacIntyre added, would be nice but is not imperative: “We’re going to play the guy that’s ready to play. All the experience helps, but we’re always looking to play the guy that can help us win the game that Saturday. That’s how we look at it.”

Liufau said every player, regardless of his position on the depth chart, benefits from experience, but added, “I think people always want to turn it (at QB) into a competition. But it’s a team sport. Obviously each person wants to play, but – I guess it’s a corny saying – but you’re only as good as your weakest link. Everybody needs to be on the same level. Jordan needs to be just as prepared as me.”

Liufau’s health became an issue in the fourth quarter of the Buffs’ 38-20 loss at Arizona on Nov. 8. He suffered his first concussion after throwing his second interception of the game (fourth turnover total) and went to the locker room. Gehrke finished out the evening, but didn’t have a completion in five attempts.

Held out of practice last week while waiting to clear the concussion protocol, Liufau was asked by a reporter Tuesday how he felt. “I’m feeling pretty well, how about yourself?” he answered, showing his wit remains intact.

“I’m feeling good,” Liufau continued. “I passed all the concussion testing and am ready to play this week.” He said he believed he was cleared on Sunday: “It took a week or so, a week and a half. I’m just happy to be concussion-free, just for life in general.”

Asked how much Gehrke might play against the once-beaten (9-1) Ducks, MacIntyre answered, “We’re going to find out as the week goes on, with Sefo’s situation. He was able to do a little bit more (Tuesday) but he’s still not completely one hundred percent cleared but we think he will be. So we’ll see how the week goes along and how that progresses and what we do for Saturday.”

Any uncertainty in CU’s QB situation, MacIntyre continued, is overshadowed by concern for his players’ health: “It’s all about looking at (Liufau’s) health and every situation . . . looking at everything we’re doing and finding the best way to win this Saturday. He wasn’t able to practice at all last week; we’ll see how rusty he is and look at it from there as we go forward . . . all the guys that play for us are guys I stand behind. Period. If they’re starters, backups, I believe in all of them. They all understand that and know that. I do what’s best for our team on that Saturday to help them win the football game.”



November 18th

… CU in a few minutes …

Injury Report … lengthy

TB – Michael Adkins – knee – suffered a sprained MCL a few plays into the Arizona game (11/08) and missed the remainder – DOUBTFUL

S – Chidobe Awuzie – kidney – suffered a laceration in practice (Nov. 4); missed the Arizona game, remote chance to return for Utah – OUT

WR – D.D. Goodson – ankle – suffered a lateral sprain in the second half at Arizona (11/08) – PROBABLE

OT – Jeromy Irwin – ankle – suffered a sprain on the 13th play of the game against Washington (11/01) – PROBABLE

QB – Sefo Liufau – concussion – suffered late in the third quarter at Arizona (11/08), returned to practice on Nov. 17 – PROBABLE

OLB – Deaysean Rippy – concussion – suffered while competing on special teams against Washington (11/01) – QUESTIONABLE

SS – Tedric Thompson – concussion – suffered on the fourth play of overtime against UCLA; tests negative for any other injury (neck, etc.) but missed 2 games – QUESTIONABLE

FS – Evan White – concussion – suffered late in the first half at Arizona (11/08), missed remainder of game – QUESTIONABLE

Those who are out for the season:

S – Jered Bell – knee – suffered a torn ACL in practice (Aug. 15); underwent surgery and will petition for a sixth year from the NCAA – SEASON-ENDING

WR – Elijah Dunston – knee – suffered a torn ACL and MCL in practice (Sept. 22); underwent surgery in late October and is rehabbing – SEASON-ENDING

DE – Tyler Henington – knee – suffered a torn ACL and MCL in practice (Aug. 22); underwent surgery in early Sept. and is rehabbing – SEASON-ENDING

FS – Marques Mosley – knee – suffered a torn ACL and MCL against UCLA (Oct. 25); surgery set for Nov. 24 – SEASON-ENDING

DT – John Paul Tuso – knee – suffered ACL and meniscus tears in practice (March 17), had surgery April 10 – SEASON-ENDING

WR – Lee Walker – shoulder – suffered a subluxation in practice (Sept. 17); underwent surgery on Oct. 14 (was set to redshirt regardless) – SEASON-ENDING




Mike MacIntyre – Tuesday Press Conference Quotes


“We’re excited about the game this Saturday. I feel like tonight, they’ll (Oregon) probably be ranked number one in the country, I would put them at number one. Offensively and defensively they’re really, really talented, special teams ……. They have excellent returners. They’re an excellent football team. (Quarterback) Marcus Mariota is playing at a high, high caliber. He’s healthy and he’s running around and making plays. So, it is going to be a tough test and our kids are looking forward to going up in there and playing.”

On Oregon Quarterback Marcus Mariota And How Close He Is To Being The Prototypical College Quarterback
“I think in today’s college football, I think he kind of fits it to a ‘T’. He’s able to keep plays created and he’s able to make a lot of throws. They do a good job with him in their offense, the way they utilize him. But, I think one of the things that also makes him go is that he has a lot of good weapons around him. He really does. But, they also run the ball really well, not just with him but, they have some excellent running backs. The other things is, their receivers run after the catch ….. They’re excellent at it. So, there’s a lot of explosive plays all over the field for them. They did lose their tight end, number 85, who was a sophomore. He was an unbelievable tight end. I mean, he was making play after play after play. His injury was really rough down there on the goal line when it happened. They’re going to miss him, but they have a ton of weapons on their football team which makes Marcus even better.”

On How He Might Divvy Up Playing Time Amongst The Roster During The Final Two Games
“We’re going to play the guys that are the ones playing that we feel like need to play. We’re so beat up in the secondary. I’ve been coaching 25 years and I’ve never seen anything like this attack one position. So, that’s really limited us. We’ve got guys playing double roles and we’ve got guys that two weeks ago were on scout team and are now starting. So, it’s a situation where we’re getting every man available to play. So, the kids are excited about going to play.”

On Embracing The Spoiler Role In Facing A Team That Is In The Thick Of The National Championship Picture
“Oh, we’d love to, there’s no doubt about that. We would love to. They’re an excellent football team and they’re playing at a high caliber right now. They’ve got a lot at stake but, of course, we would definitely love to win that game, there’s no doubt about it.”

On Defending Against The Size And Power Of Oregon Running Back Royce Freeman
“We need to do what we did in the second half against Washington. We hit (Shaq Thompson) low and got him down. That’s what you have to do. You try to hit a big back high, especially if you’re a secondary guy. They’re going to stiff arm you, they’re going to run over you. I caught about a minute of a highlight late last night of the Pittsburgh (Steelers) running back (Le’Veon Bell). A couple of solid shots I saw, they were trying to hit him high, they need to hit him low. So, you have to do that. It’s  a little easier said than done when you’re coming up at different angles on him. But, he’s (Freeman) an excellent back. He’s made some great runs. But, the thing is, they have a couple backs. They can keep bringing them at you in waves. But, we’re going to have to fit the run up and tackle well. That’s something we have done good at times and bad at times. We have to be consistent with it.”

On Whether Saturday’s Game Will Serve As Kind Of A Measuring Stick For The Offense Against A Very Talented Defense
“I think each week it is. Statistically, the Washington defense was the best we had played and I thought (we) played well against that. I think that this defense at Oregon is extremely talented. When you look at their height and weight and length, they consume the field. They kind of, this might be a stupid statement but….. When I watch them, it’s kind of like watching Syracuse’s basketball team and the zone. They’re all so long and they just consume the field. When ya’ll stand out there on the field with them in pre-game, you’ll see what I’m talking about. They’re 6’ 7”, they’re 6’ 8”, they’re 6’ 5.” They’re long, athletic guys, so they get in passing lanes and they run people down, their secondary is tall and athletic. So, they kind of consume the field. I think they’re very, very talented. We’ve got to find a way to move the ball, which we have all year, and I think we will again. We just have to realize that length and athleticism is going to cause us some issues.”

On Why He Thinks The Oregon Defense Has Struggled Some This Season
“I think there’s a lot of good offenses in our league, I really do. And I think they get pumped up to play Oregon. I think the offenses in our league, knowing that Oregon scores at the clip they do…. Those offenses take more chances. They go for it more on fourth down. So, if that makes sense, I think if their offense wasn’t scoring as many points, other offenses might be a little more conservative because they’re not going to have to. I think that’s caused a little bit more point total on them than usual. But, they’ve cranked it up a lot of times when they’ve had to too.”

On Defending On Third And Long Situations
“Again, it’s getting lined up correctly, tackling the guys in open space, being on our correct landmarks. I wish it was as easy to say as it is to do. So, we’ve got to find a way to be able to do that. Our kids have been working at it hard, so hopefully we can mitigate some of those long plays. We’ve got to mitigate a number of them and we’ve got to find a way to…… One thing we haven’t done for some reason is cause turnovers. That’s something we have to do to be a good defense. Good defenses cause turnovers. They have plays made on them, but they cause turnovers and make different things happen. We haven’t been able to do that like we would have liked during any stretch.”

On His Impressions Of Arizona’s Win Over Oregon Earlier This Year Which Is The Only Loss Of The Season For The Ducks
“Yes I (watched it). Mariota was hurt in that game. He had an ankle situation and didn’t run the ball as much. Every time they’ve lost, basically, he’s been banged up somehow during the game. I mean, you can go back and look at that over the last couple years. When he’s healthy, I don’t think…..When he’s truly healthy, I don’t know if they’ve ever lost. Everybody knows about the story last year when they were trying to….He was hurt and they didn’t really run him much and everybody was wondering what was going on. His knee was bothering him. So, maybe he’ll stub his toe in warmups or something.”

On How Much Second-String Quarterback Jordan Gehrke Might Play This Week
“We’re going to find out  as the week goes along with Sefo’s situation. Sefo was able to do a little bit more today, but he’s still not at completely 100 cleared. We think he will be. We’ll see how that goes as the week goes along to exactly how much we do on Saturday.”

On The Scenario If Liufau Can’t Play As Far As Who Might Serve As The Backup Quarterback Behind Gehrke
“Right now, Ty Gangi would be our backup quarterback. We’ll have him ready to go. I hope that situation doesn’t arise, but we’ve been working at it and preparing for that quite often, especially the last three or four weeks when we got past the sixth or seventh game of the season.”

On How Valuable It Might Be To Get Gehrke Some Experience Over The Remainder Of The Season As We Look Further Ahead
“We’re going to play the guy that’s ready to play. All of this experience helps, but we’re always looking to play the guy that can help us win the game that Saturday. So, that’s how we look at it.”

On How The Quarterback Position Differs From Other Positions As Far As The Importance Of Getting A Player Reps
“I think at every position, it’s all relative. I really do. Sometimes at other positions, guys can play special teams and kind of get their feet wet so to speak. They can run down on kickoff and run on punt coverage and they’ve kind of been out there some. Also, at other positions, you usually play guys a few plays here and there. Nobody says ‘Oh, you’re breaking up the rhythm’ or ‘you’re screwing the system,’ that type of thing. Because there’s naturally a process of doing it. So, I think experience always helps, I really believe that.”

On Whether They Are Doing Anything In Practice This Week In Order To Simulate Oregon’s Quick-Snap, No Huddle Offense
“We’re hurrying it up, but we don’t have enough people to do two scout teams right now because a lot of those guys are playing on offense and defense with some of our injuries. But, we’re able to go at a fast pace on offense, so when we go….Everyday, we try to go ones against ones to try to keep the speed of the game, so we’ll have them go at a faster pace. With the smoothness of our offense, that helps us keep up with that. Then, we’ll do two plays in a row or three plays in a row, for example, where they’ll go to one hash and run it and then hurry up and go to the other hash and run it. So, that keeps that going fast. That’s how we’re able to do that. Now, we do rotate our receivers in quite often and keep the line the same which, you’re not standing there having to wait. The line gets the call from the receivers off the sideline, so it keeps that going fast. So, it’s like the other team just substituted the line and went. So, that’s how we try to simulate it.”

On What Separates Mariota From Other Quarterbacks
“He runs faster than other quarterbacks. He’s able….There was two plays in the Utah game where, well three plays I think on the first drive….second drive…..He made a long run on the very first play of the game. But, the second drive, it’s 3rd-&-8 and everybody’s covered, so he (speeds up field), makes three guys miss. I mean, he’s flying. They couldn’t even touch him. Then, he did it on another third down. So, somehow you have to keep him corralled in the pocket because if he can find the are before the ball is snapped , he kind of already knows where his escape lanes are. So, you have to mix up where those lanes are according to your three-technique or your four-high or that type of thing because I think he catches it and he sees it as he’s seeing it, so he knows his escape lane. So, we have to mix up the pocket for him during the course of the play. Now, again, that’s easier said than done, but if you just run the exact same lanes you’re lined up in then, that’s really easy for him. He’s able to see that. He has great vision and he has the ability to burst through it. Then, it’s really hard for a guy to run him down if he’s got six or seven yards to get to a third down marker. It’s really hard for (that defender).”

On How The Oregon Offense Has Improved Since The Return Of Left Tackle Jake Fisher To The Starting Lineup
“He’s a very good player. The thing that the left tackle does for the quarterback is just the comfort zone. So, you drop back and you’re not as nervous. You might hold the ball a tad bit longer to get there. But, if you’re nervous about your left tackle and you don’t see (a defender) coming, if a receiver is not there, you pull it down and run or you bring it down early. I think that gave him a comfort level and of course, (Fisher) kept (defenses) off him better. So, he was able to hold it a step longer, or be able to hold it longer for throws downfield, that type of thing. But, they make a lot of quick throws too. But, I think their offensive line, as the year has gone on from earlier games that I’ve watched, they’ve definitely grown up and matured as they’ve gone from  there.”

On Facing An Uncertain Situation At Quarterback Over The Past Two Weeks
“You’re looking at (Liufau’s) health, looking at every situation and looking at everything that we’re doing and finding the best way to win this Saturday. So, we’ll see how it….He wasn’t able to practice at all last week. We’ll see how rusty he is and look at it from there as we go forward on it. All of the guys that play for us are guys that I’d stand behind, period. No matter if they’re starters or backups, I believe in all of them. They all understand that and need to know that, but I do whatever is best for our team that Saturday that we feel like could win that football game. I’ve said it a few times and I mean it sincerely, I look at every game as a season within itself because it changes so much with injuries, with different situations, with different offenses and different defenses, people getting sick on Saturday morning and can’t play. I mean everything in the world changes on you. So, you have to be adaptive as a coach and you have to have everybody ready to go the best they can. That’s why we try to give as many reps as we can to all the first and second teamers and other guys so they’ll be ready because you never know what’s going to happen.”

On The Development Of The Running Game Over The Course Of The Season
“I think as far as the running backs, I think the running backs are playing well. Michael Adkins hurt his knee and he was really, really hot. I think he would have had his third 100-yard game in a row. I mean he was running. I see him….He was here at 5:30 in the morning when I got here getting ready to go to the training room and working and trying to get well. I think our running backs and our running game have improved this year. Our offensive line, coach (Gary) Bernardi and those guys have done a good job. Then, our quarterbacks have done a good job with (Offensive Coordinator) Brian (Lindgren) showing them what we want on run fits and where linebackers and safeties are plusing and being able to get the run away from it or to it on blitzes and that type of thing. So, I think that’s really progressed our running game. I think the kids are running hard and getting after it. So, I think we’ve improved in that area. I’d like to be able to be better in that area, but the way teams play defense nowadays, it makes it a little bit tougher sometimes to do that and you don’t want to run into overload blitzes. There are a lot more run blitzes called than usual I think. The way the game has changed a little bit, I think they’ve done a good job with that.”

On Whether He Might Use A Platoon System At Quarterback Over The Last Two Games Even If Starter Sefo Liufau Is Healthy
“That’s a hypothetical. Right now, I don’t know. We’ll look at that as the week goes along and see and go from there.”

On What Intangibles Seperate Liufau And Gehrke At The Quarterback Position
“I think Jordan can run a little bit better than Sefo. He’s a little bit shorter in the pocket. So, you have to kind of move him in the pocket more. But, he has a little bit better feet than Sefo. Sefo is a little bit bigger, sits in the pocket better, can see downfield, at times, better. So, there’s a combination there. Neither one of those are weaknesses. They can be pluses depending on how we use them.”



Will the CU game be Marcus Mariota’s final game at Autzen?

As five-touchdown favorites, Duck fans are all that concerned about the outcome of Saturday’s game (2:30 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks). They are wondering, though, whether their star junior quarterback will be making his farewell performance in Oregon’s final home game of the season.

From the Oregonian …  Is Oregon’s home finale Saturday against Colorado the final game at Autzen Stadium for junior quarterback Marcus Mariota?

Everyone is thinking it. Except for Mariota, it appears.

“Obviously I haven’t put a lot of thought into it,” Mariota said after a practice last week, during Oregon’s bye. “But it’s definitely one of those things that you have to enjoy the moment and enjoy being with those seniors and going out there and having a good game.”

Mariota has deflected discussions of his NFL future like incoming blitzes this season, saying in October that he wouldn’t consider his decision to leave or stay for his senior season until after the regular season ends.

The junior is expected to be a top-five NFL draft choice this spring if he forgoes his senior season. In 36 games, Mariota has set Oregon school records for total offense, passing yards, completions, touchdowns, total touchdowns, total points scored and consecutive passes without an interception.

There remains the possibility Saturday could also be curtains at Autzen for junior defensive linemen Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner, who each have the interest of NFL scouts.

CU … from Oregon’s perspective

From the Oregonian … Andrew Greif ‘s take on the Buffs:

Star power: Junior receiver Nelson Spruce’s measurables aren’t striking (6-foot-1, 195 pounds) but his statistics have jumped off the page, even in a pass-happy conference. Spruce is Liufau’s favorite target, catching 9.9 passes per game, the most in the country, which has led to his 1,091 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns this season ranking seventh and fourth nationally, respectively.

Did you know: Colorado has lost 23 consecutive road games to ranked opponents, with their latest loss in the streak a 38-20 defeat against Arizona on Nov. 8.

Threat level (1-5 scale): 2. The Buffaloes’ winless record in the Pac-12 belies a team that took UCLA and California to double overtime — losing by a combined six points — and also lost to Oregon State by five. But even facing a potentially weakened Oregon squad due to injuries to center Hroniss Grasu, tight end Pharaoh Brown and possibly corner Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, the Ducks have more speed and skill and are at home.

Prediction: Oregon 52, Colorado 17



November 17th

… CU in a few minutes …

Season finale another early start

From CU SID Dave Plati … The Utah at Colorado football game on Saturday, Nov. 29, will be televised nationally by the Pac-12 Networks … however, kickoff will be either 11:00 a.m. or Noon MST; the conference’s television partners are utilizing a six day pick option as it relates to the games that day and we will be notified either late Saturday evening or a Sunday as to a confirmation of the game time.

A reminder that this Saturday’s Colorado at Oregon game will kickoff at 1:37 p.m. PST (2:37 p.m. mountain).

Nelson Spruce a finalist for Biletnikoff Award

From NBC Sports …The Biletnikoff Award will announce three finalists Nov. 24 and the winner of the honor on Dec. 11.

Nelson Agholor …  (USC): 82 catches, 1,079 yards, 10 TDs
Amari Cooper … (Alabama): 87 catches, 1,303 yards*, 11 TDs
Rashad Greene … (Florida State): 75 catches, 1,042 yards, 5 TDs
Rashard Higgins … (Colorado State): 67 catches, 1,280 yards, 13 TDs*
Tyler Lockett … (K-State): 60 catches, 878 yards, 6 TDs
Vince Mayle … (Washington State): 86 catches, 1,152 yards, 9 TDs
Sterling Shepard … (Oklahoma): 50 catches, 957 yards, 5 TDs
Nelson Spruce … (Colorado): 99 catches*, 1,091 yards, 11 TDs
Jaelen Strong … (Arizona State): 71 catches, 982 yards, 9 TDs
Kevin White … (West Virginia): 91 catches, 1,207 yards, 8 TDs

*Denotes FBS leader

… While it quite the honor for Spruce to be a player note even on the watch list to a player named as a semi-finalist, this is probably as far as it goes for Spruce. Best guess is that the award comes down to a battle between Agholor and Cooper, depending on how each performs the last few weeks of the season.

With four players from the Pac-12 making the final ten, there is a good chance that Spruce won’t even make the first-team All-Pac-12 squad …

More on Spruce, from

Junior WR Nelson Spruce was named one of 10 semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award on Monday, given to the nation’s outstanding receiver in college football each season by the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation.

Voters in a national selection committee cast their votes last week to come up with the semifinal list.  The list will be narrowed to three finalists on Monday, November 24 and the winner will be announced Thursday, December 11 at ESPN’s The Home Depot College Football Awards Show.

Spruce is one of five non-seniors on the list of semifinalists and also one of four receivers from the Pac-12 on the list.

Through 10 games, Spruce has 99 receptions for 1,091 yards and 11 touchdowns.  His 99 receptions is a new CU record, besting Paul Richardson’s mark of 83 set last season, and it also leads the nation.  He has eight more receptions than any other player nationally.

He has one of nine 1,000-yard receiving seasons in CU history and his 1,091 yards ranks fourth best in CU history and is second best in the Pac-12 and seventh best in the NCAA this season.

His 11 touchdown receptions is tied for the best mark in CU history alongside Javon Green’s total in 2002 and is tied for the most in the Pac-12 and third-most in the NCAA.

Spruce set the CU record with 19 catches at California on September 27, matching the Pac-12 record and the 11th-best performance in NCAA history.  He holds the top three spots in CU history for receptions in a game this season, also grabbing 13 balls both against Hawai’i and Washington.

His 19 catches is three more than any other receiver this season and his two games of 13 catches are tied for the 13th best performance nationally this year.  He also caught three touchdown passes at Cal, matching the CU record.

He also has five 100-yard receiving games, just one off the CU record.

In 34 career games, he now has 198 receptions for 2,187 yards and 18 touchdowns.  With more than a full season remaining, he ranks second in career receptions behind Scotty McKnight’s total of 215, sixth in career receiving yards and sixth in career receiving touchdowns.

He has more career receptions than any other active Pac-12 player and is 11th among all active players in the NCAA, including being the second junior on the list.

No. 3 Oregon favored by 33 points over Colorado

After waiting an extra day, the line for the Colorado at Oregon game has been set by

The line is 33 points. Of the lines which have been set, only the 40-points Clemson is giving 1-A newcomer Georgia Southern is higher (games against 1-AA foes, like Alabama against Western Carolina, and Auburn against Samford, are not given point spreads).

In the three years Colorado has been in the Pac-12, the games against Oregon have not been competitive:

– In 2011, in Boulder, the Ducks won, 45-2 … up 35-0 at halftime;

– In 2012, in Eugene, the final was 70-14, with the Ducks up 56-0 at halftime;

– Last year, in Boulder, the Buffs were competitive early, taking 3-0 and 10-8 leads, but the Ducks were comfortably on top, 43-16, at halftime, on their way to a 57-16 win.

That’s an average final score of 57-10, with the average score at halftime of 45-5.

Competitive this weekend will be a relative term …



November 16th

Oregon remains at No. 3 in latest AP poll

While the rest of the top ten was anything but idle this past weekend, the Oregon Ducks had the week off to prepare for their game against Colorado. The idle Ducks remained at No. 2 in the latest Associated Press poll, with significant movement otherwise in the top four. Mississippi State, which lost to Alabama, dropped to No. 4, while last week’s No. 4, Alabama, jumped Oregon to No. 2. Florida State, which rallied to defeat Miami Saturday night, moved up to No. 1.

The next Pac-12 team in the rankings is UCLA. The Bruins were idle, but moved up three spots to No. 11. Arizona State, shocked by Oregon State, 35-27, Saturday night, fell from No. 6 to No. 13. The Arizona Wildcats, who should have lost to Washington at home, but kicked a field goal as time expired after the Huskies fumbled the ball away instead of taking a knee, moved up two spots to No. 15.

Utah, which took out Stanford in double overtime, 20-17, was rewarded with a five spot jump, going from No. 25 to No. 20. USC, which held off Cal last Thursday night, returned to the rankings at No. 24.

With USC’s return, all of the teams in the Pac-12 South – except for Colorado – are ranked this week.

Pac-12 South tie-breaking scenarios … UCLA only team to control its own destiny

Oregon has already clinched a spot in the Pac-12 title game in the San Francisco 49ers stadium on December 6th, as every other team in the Pac-12 North has a losing conference record. The team which will represent the Pac-12 South, however, remains far from clear. In conference play, USC now has the best record, at 6-2, but UCLA, Arizona, and Arizona State all have 5-2 records, with Utah, at 4-3, still mathematically alive for the title.

The scenarios, from ESPN

For Arizona to win: The only way Arizona wins the South is if it wins out, UCLA beats USC and Stanford beats UCLA.

For Arizona State to win: If ASU wins out and UCLA loses at least once, the Sun Devils will win the division.

For UCLA to win: Beat USC and Stanford.

For USC to win: If ASU loses to either WSU or Arizona and USC beats UCLA, the Trojans will win the division.

For Utah to win: The Utes have to defeat Arizona and Colorado, and hope for a mixture of results which culminate in a five-way tie for first at 6-3.


Colorado at No. 3 Oregon … off the board

Usually, by Sunday night, has posted its point spreads for the upcoming weekend. For the other games in the Pac-12, the spreads have been posted, but for Colorado at Oregon, no line has been released.

Occasionally, a line is withheld until information about an injury to a key player is released. Both Colorado and Oregon had byes last week, so injury information should not be a factor. Another reason is that the line is likely to be so high as to not make the betting list. This is usually the case early in the season, when Power Five conference teams are taking on FCS teams in “pay-for-play” matchups.

The line isn’t going to be that bad … will it?

Other Pac-12 games:

– Stanford is a 6.5-point favorite on the road against California – with both teams coming into the game with 5-5 records;

– No. 20 Utah is a 3.5-point favorite at home against No. 15 Arizona, it what amounts to a Pac-12 South elimination game;

– Washington (6-5) is a 6.0-point favorite at home against Oregon State (5-5) in what could amount to a bowl bid elimination game (Washington needs seven wins this season to qualify for a bowl, owing to playing Hawai’i in the season opener);

– No. 13 Arizona State is a 16.5-point pick over Washington State at home;

– No. 11 UCLA is a 3.0-point favorite at home in the Rose Bowl against No. 24 USC.


The full Associated Press poll for this week:

1Florida State (43)10-01476
2Alabama (16)9-11439
3Oregon (1)9-11385
4Mississippi State9-11289
7Ohio State9-11167
8Ole Miss8-21064
10Michigan State8-2941
12Kansas State7-2868
13Arizona State8-2720
17Georgia Tech9-2523
22Colorado State9-1281

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