Friday Fast Facts – Oregon Week

… “T.I.P.S” – Our weekly preview postings, are available for your review and comment. The written preview for the CU/Oregon game can be found here, while the CU at the Game podcast preview for the game (including our discussion of the firing of offensive line coach Mitch Rodrigue) can be found here


Big Picture … 

Bring your umbrella, Part II … Last week, it rained in northern California all week, but the moisture let up in time for CU’s game against Cal. This week, it’s raining in Oregon (no surprise there), but the 94% chance of rain in Eugene on Friday will give way to only a 24% chance of rain on Saturday … with a high of 60-degrees;

Strange as it may sound, Colorado hasn’t played Oregon in Boulder since 2015. The Buffs won the game played in Eugene in 2016, the teams missed each other in the Pac-12 rotation in 2017 and 2018, then played again in Eugene in 2019. The teams were scheduled to play in Boulder in 2020, but that game was cancelled. So, yes, for those scoring at home, this will be three straight games between the two teams in which Oregon gets to play at home;

Strange as it may sound, part II … Hard as it may be to believe, Eugene, Oregon, is the furthest west any school can play a Division 1-A/FBS game on the mainland;

— The game will be telecast nationally on Fox (Saturday, 1:35 p.m., MT). KOA radio will have Mark Johnson, in his 18th year with the play-by-play, and former CU head coach Gary Barnett in his sixth year as the full-time analyst.


Buffs v. Ducks

— Oregon leads the all-time series with Colorado, 13-9, with only one of CU’s victories coming since the Buffs joined the Pac-12;

— 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 in Folsom Field;

— 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;

— In 1985, Colorado played Oregon in a game of which Bill McCartney said, “I thing that could be a turning point for our program”. The Buffs, coming off of a 1-10 season in 1984, and six straight losing seasons overall, defeated the Ducks, 21-17. The game came down to the final play, with Oregon facing a fourth-and-goal at the CU three yard line with nine seconds remaining.

You can watch how the final play unfolded below … Look for CU’s all-time leading tackler, Barry Remington (#40), the star of the play, Solomon Wilcotts (#19), and, after the play, a leaping Lance Carl (#2).

— Then there was the game with the unintended consequences. In the 1996 Cotton Bowl, No. 7 Colorado dominated No. 12 Oregon, 38-6 (including a controversial fourth quarter fake punt called by Buff head coach Rick Neuheisel). The unintended consequence? Nike’s Phil Knight attended the game, and, after the big CU victory, he decided he wanted to raise the Ducks to that level of play. Over $1 billion later (yes, that’s billion with a “b”), the once after-thought of a program nationally (not a single 10-win season in the 20th century) became a national brand.


Colorado and Oregon – historical

When the Oregon sports information office cites statistics, they often preface it with “1997-present” for its posting of records … and with good reason. Why? Because for most of the century of football played before 1997, the Ducks were not that good. As a result, in seven of the 12 historical categories tracked by Winsipedia, Colorado leads Oregon, with one tie (Heisman trophy winners: 1 each). Some numbers:

— Colorado is 27th in all-time wins (716); Oregon is 37th (678);

— Colorado is 39th in all-time winning percentage (.576); Oregon is 44th (.571);

— Colorado is 10th in conference championships (26); Oregon is 48th (13);

— Colorado is 22nd in consensus All-Americans (31); Oregon is 57th (8);

— Colorado is 23rd in all-time NFL draft picks (276); Oregon is 36th (229).


The Last time …

October 11, 2019 … No. 13 Oregon 45, Colorado 3 … 

Game StoryOregon quarterback Justin Herbert completed 18-of-32 passes for 261 yards and two touchdowns, while his Colorado counterpart, Steven Montez went 19-for-34 for 131 yards … and a career-high four interceptions, as No. 13 Oregon routed Colorado, 45-3.

The Buff offense was held to just under 300 total yards, while the Buff defense surrendered over 500 of total offense as the Ducks were successful both on the ground and through the air.

Alex Fontenot had 70 yards rushing on 15 carries, while Laviska Shenault returned to action for the first time in two games to post 70 yards receiving on only four catches. But it was much too little, much too late, as the Buff offense was its own worst enemy, with two major penalties committed after the Buffs pushed the ball inside the Oregon ten yard line … two of CU’s 14 penalties for 114 yards on the night.

“We feel like we can beat every team on our schedule but any team on our schedule, we can lose to, as well,” Mel Tucker said, “My experience in these type of situations is that it’s a very tough road to go down but we have to go down this road. There is no shortcut to success and where we want to get to. It really tests your character and your mettle, individually and as a team.”

Continue reading game story here

The Second to Last time …

September 24, 2016 … Colorado 41, Oregon 38 … 

Game StoryRed-shirt freshman quarterback Steven Montez threw for 333 yards and three touchdowns in his starting debut, leading Colorado to a 41-38 victory over Oregon. Montez also ran for 135 yards and a score as the Buffs raced out to leads of 23-7 and 33-17 before needing an Ahkello Witherspoon interception in the end zone with 48 seconds remaining to preserve the victory.

Devin Ross had 153 yards and a touchdown receiving, with the Buffs rolling to 593 total yards overall. The victory was the first for the Buffs over the Ducks since joining the Pac-12, and the first overall since defeating Oregon in the 1998 Aloha Bowl.

“I would say this is a signature win,” said MacIntyre, whose team was 0-5 against the Ducks since joining the league. “These kids believe they can beat anybody.”

Continue reading game story here

The game-winning play, with a call for which I’ve made into part of the introduction to the CU at the Game podcast


Pac-12 Notes … 

Oregon player awards rolling in

Five Awards for No 5 … Oregon Defensive lineman Kayvon Thibodeaux, for his dominant performance against UCLA, was named the Pac-12 Defensive Lineman of the Week and the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week, plus the Bronko Nagurski, Bednarik Award and Lott IMPACT national player of the week … Oregon safety Verone McKinley III was selected this week as one of the 12 semifinalists for the 2021 Jim Thorpe Award.  McKinley is the 8th player in program history to be named a semifinalist for this award … After rushing for a touchdown on four straight carries, Oregon running back Travis Dye was honored as the Rose Bowl Game Pac-12 Player of the Week.  It’s the second time this season an Oregon running back has won the award with CJ Verdell taking it home after the Ducks’ win at Ohio State in Week Two.

Seems like old times: CU a four-touchdown underdog to Oregon


Pac-12 lines … 

  • Washington State at Arizona State … Arizona State is a 16.0-point favorite … Saturday, 1:00 p.m., MT, FS1
  • Colorado at No. 7 Oregon … Oregon is a 26.0-point favorite … Saturday, 1:35 p.m., MT, Fox
  • Oregon State at California … Oregon State is a 2.0-point road favorite … Saturday, 5:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks
  • Arizona at USC … USC is a 20.0-point favorite … Saturday, 5:00 p.m., MT, ESPNU
  • UCLA at Utah … Utah is 3.5-point favorite … Saturday, 8:00 p.m., MT, ESPN
  • Washington at Stanford … Stanford is a 2.0-point favorite … Saturday, 8:30 p.m., MT, FS1


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