Friday Fast Facts – Colorado at Oregon

Getting to Know … Oregon

Remember how Dave Plati would always produce stats which opened with “Since 1989 …”? It was a way to put CU’s numbers in the most beneficial light, ignoring most of the 1980’s, when Colorado was, well, not a national power. Well, in Eugene, the line of demarcation is 1997.

Here is a sampling of stats the Oregon athletic department hands out to the media, with the proviso, “1997-present”:

— Nation’s best home winning percentage: Oregon is ranked 4th nationally (.840);

— Nation’s best conference winning percentage: Oregon is ranked 5th nationally (.730);

— Highest scoring teams: Oregon is 2nd only to Boise State (36.5 ppg.); and

— Wins by West coast teams: Oregon again is second only to Boise State (181).


Oregon players to watch:

— Running back Royce Freeman (assuming he is cleared to play. Like Sefo Liufau, Freeman, who was injured during the Nebraska game last weekend, is “day-to-day”). Freeman is Oregon’s Heisman trophy candidate, and is currently 19th on Pac-12’s all-time rushing list, with an 1,836-yard effort last season;

— Linebacker Troy Dye. A true freshman, Dye earned Pac-12 Defensive Player-of-the-Week honors for his 11-tackle, 4.5 tackles for loss, and blocked field goal effort in the season opener against UC-Davis. Dye was the first true freshman to start at linebacker for the Ducks in 38 years;

— Kicker Aidan Schneider. Only the most accurate kicker in Oregon history, Schneider has made 92.1% (35-of-38) of his field goal attempts;

— The offensive line. The Ducks will trot out four red-shirt freshman in their starting lineup, with three starting all three games so far this season, with the other only having one start to his name. The Ducks have fared well so far with this lineup, but took a hit when senior left tackle Tyrell Crosby was lost for the season in the Nebraska game.


Colorado and Oregon – historical

There is a good reason why Oregon uses “1997-present” for its posting of records. It’s because for most of the century of football played before 1997, the Ducks were not that good. In eight of the 12 historical categories tracked by Winsipedia, Colorado leads Oregon, with one tie (Heisman trophy winners: 1). Some numbers:

— Colorado is 25th in all-time wins (687); Oregon is 39th (638);

— Colorado is 38th in all-time winning percentage (.581); Oregon is 48th (.568);

— Colorado is 10th in conference championships (26); Oregon is 57th (12);

— Colorado is 19th in consensus All-Americans (31); Oregon is 54th (8);

— Colorado is 22nd in all-time NFL draft picks; Oregon is 36th (212).

In fact, the only categories Oregon leads Colorado is in bowl games (30-to-28); weeks as the No. 1 team in the AP poll (Oregon has eight weeks; CU seven); and bowl winning percentage (Oregon is 65th all-time; CU is right behind at 66th).


Colorado and Oregon …  head-to-head

— Oregon leads the all-time series with Colorado, 12-8, winning the last six games. The last two games the Buffs have won in the series were in the 1996 Cotton Bowl (a 38-6 Buff victory) and in the 1998 Aloha Bowl (a 51-43 shoot out in what proved to be Rick Neuheisel’s last game as the Buffs’ head coach);

— This will be the second consecutive year in which the Buffs face an unranked Duck squad. In each of the four previous meetings as members of the Pac-12, Oregon came into the contest with a ranking in the top ten nationally;

— The two teams share a bit of ESPN historical trivia. The 1979 game between the two teams, played in Boulder, was the first college football game televised by the nascent network. The Ducks won, 33-19, in a game played before 44,274;

— Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich was CU’s offensive coordinator under Dan Hawkins (2006-08);

— The 1984 game in Eugene is most remembered as the game when CU tight end Ed Reinhardt went down at the end of the contest, suffering a life-threatening brain injury. Reinhardt was honored before the 2012 game in Eugene, when the Buffs returned for the first time since the ’84 game;

— The September 12, 1987, game between the two teams in Boulder marked the first career contest for several future Colorado notables, including: Alfred Williams; Eric Bieniemy; Kanavis McGhee; and Joe Garten.


Colorado and Oregon … By the Numbers

For the first time sine joining the Pac-12, Colorado’s statistics match up favorably against those of Oregon. It is only the fourth game of the season, and the Ducks are still the Ducks, but the Buffs are catching up:

— Oregon is 19th in the nation in scoring offense (43.0 ppg.); Colorado is right behind in 20th (42.7 ppg);

— Strength against strength … Oregon is 10th in the nation in total offense (545.3 ypg.), while Colorado is 4th in the nation in total defense (239.3 ypg.);

— Strength against strength (part II) … Oregon is 20th in the nation in third down conversion offense (51.2%), while Colorado is 19th in the nation in third down conversion defense (26.1%);

— Both teams are woeful in the punting game, with Oregon (at 11th in the nation in net punting) not that better off than is Colorado (126th);

— There are 128 teams in Division 1-A, and Oregon is 126th in penalty yards per game (104.7 per). Colorado, meanwhile, is 12th in the nation in fewest penalty yards (39.3 per);

— Neither starting quarterback – Sefo Liufau for the Buffs; Dakota Prokup for the Ducks – has thrown an interception so far this season.


Notes worthy of note … 

— Last year’s game between the Buffs and the Ducks was the closest in the series since Colorado joined the Pac-12. The Buffs held leads of 14-7 and 17-14 before settling for a 17-17 tie at halftime. After a pair of Oregon touchdowns in the third quarter, Colorado pulled to within one score, at 31-24, with 10:29 to play. The Ducks, however, scored the final ten points for a 41-24 win;

— Colorado is 79-41-2 all-time in conference openers. The Buffs are only 1-4 in Pac-12 play, with the only victory coming on the road, a 35-34 win over Washington State in 2012;

— With the forced fumble by Chidobe Awuzie in the first quarter against Michigan, the Buffs have now forced at least one turnover in 16 consecutive games, the longest current streak in the nation;

— The above noted forced fumble by Awuzie came on a sack of the Michigan quarterback. Awuzie now has six sacks in his career, just a half-sack behind CU’s all-time leader in the category (Michael Lewis, 6.5 sacks, 1998-2001);

— Colorado has scored 56 points in the first quarter of its first three games. That is more total points than the Buffs have scored in the first quarter of eight of the past 20 seasons (in 2015, the Buffs posted 73 first quarter points; in 2014, 69; in 2013, 58; in 2012, 41; in 2011, 34).


Pac-12 Notes … 

— Ten FBS teams in the nation head into week four with scoring averages over 47 points per game, and three of those teams play in the Pac-12 (No. 3 Washington, 49.3; No. 8 Arizona State, 48.0; and No. 10 California, 47.0);

— Conversely, five teams in the conference are allowing fewer than 20 points per game on defense (including Colorado). In 2015, only Washington (18.8 ppg.) finished the season giving up fewer than 20 points per game;

— USC opened the season 1-2 for the first time since 2000, when the Trojans started 1-4 in the first year under Pete Carroll. The game against Utah on Friday marks the third game against a ranked team already this season (all on the road);

— Oregon State’s 37-7 win over Idaho State snapped a ten-game losing streak for the Beavers;

— Arizona’s win over Hawai’i was the 600th in school history (the Wildcats become the 46th program nationally to reach 600 wins. As noted, above, Colorado is 25th in all-time wins, with 687);

— Washington, which faces Arizona this weekend, has scored 40 or more points in six straight games.


… And here is your bar bet winner for this weekend … Eugene is located at 123 degrees, 11 minutes West longitude. The relevance? It’s the furthest west any school can play a Division 1-A/FBS game on the mainland (Yup. Eugene is actually further west than the California schools, Corvallis, and Seattle) …












7 Replies to “Friday Fast Facts”

  1. Yo Stuart,

    ForeverBuff is right. Corvallis is further west than Eugene (123.26 vs 123.11). If you want to win a bar bet, the Nevada Wolpack play their games in Reno, which is further west than Los Angeles (119.8138 vs 118.2437). I’ve been getting free drinks out of that tidbit for years. Good old Plati isn’t wrong often (maybe it was a dig at the Oregon State program. Ha!)

    Go Buffs!


  2. I can’t let questions go unanswered:

    Latitude 44.052071
    Longitude -123.086754
    DMS Lat 44° 3′ 7.4556” N
    DMS Long 123° 5′ 12.3144” W

    Latitude 44.564568
    Longitude -123.262047
    DMS Lat 44° 33′ 52.4448” N
    DMS Long 123° 15′ 43.3692” W

    Corvallis is just slightly farther west. Although I can’t find the lat/long of the actual stadia.

  3. Per the map, I’m casting my lot with Corvallis. Also I fully agree with the rest of forever’ comment. Thank you for my daily haven of buff news.

  4. A quick look at the map and yes it is pretty clear that Corvallis is a bit west of Eugene. About 123 deg 47 minutes West longitude. Just sayin’.

  5. Thanks Stuart for all the time you put into this wonderful site. I am beginning to gulp the Mighty Buffalo kool-aid. With this defense and a healthy Sefo what are the chances we keep the streak alive and become the 5th Pac 12 South team to win the division in 5 years? (I love getting ahead of myself)

    P.S. Before anyone has to buy a round, Corvallis is ever so slightly farther west than Eugene.

    1. I’ll leave to you and Dave Plati to duke it out. From page four of this week’s Game Notes:

      “123 11’ W The longitude of Eugene, Oregon, the furthest west any school can play a Division I-A/FBS game on the mainland”

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