October 30th – at Eugene          No. 7 Oregon 52, Colorado 29

The much-maligned Colorado offense was able to post 29 points and 341 yards, but the Colorado defense was no match for the Oregon offense, as the Ducks rolled to a 52-29 victory. Oregon scored on every possession but one – including a score with less than a minute to play to run up the score – as the Buffs, playing without All-Pac-12 linebacker Nate Landman, were unable to keep up with the Ducks.

Buff quarterback Brendon Lewis completed 25-of-33 passes for 224 yards and a career-high three touchdowns. Brenden Rice posted his second 100-yard receiving game of the season, with 102 yards and a touchdown on five catches. Rice also had a 17-yard run on a reverse, and six kickoff returns for 162 yards. Rice’s 281 all-purpose yards were the 13th-highest single game total in school history.

The Buffs had only 117 yards rushing, however, led by Alex Fontenot, who had 42 yards and a touchdown on eight carries. Fontenot also had a receiving touchdown, as did Ty Robinson.

“The offense made some progress over the week,” Dorrell said. “The whole team fought pretty hard. We didn’t play smart at times, we had a lot of penalties early in the game, but I thought this team fought and offensively we made some progress. We had to convert on some difficult circumstances on fourth down and we did. Our players kept playing the whole game.”

Game Story … Taking on the No. 7 team in the nation on the road, the Colorado defense opened the game against Oregon by … gift wrapping an opening touchdown. It’s not as if the Ducks needed help, but the seven-play, 67-yard touchdown drive was aided by three defensive penalties. None was more costly than a defensive holding call on a play when linebacker Joshua Gustav sacked Oregon quarterback Anthony Brown for a 15-yard loss. Instead of a second-and-25 at the CU 35-yard line, the Ducks had a first-and-goal at the CU ten-yard line. On the next play, Brown hit running back Travis Dye for a ten-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead.

The Buff offense, fresh off of the firing of offensive line coach Mitch Rodrigue, used its first opportunity of the game to show … nothing new. A three-and-out, with a false start thrown in for good measure, netting the Buffs zero yards in their first possession.

It took the Oregon offense only five plays to make it a two-score game. A 29-yard run by Byron Cardwell put the ball into Colorado territory, with Cardwell finishing off the drive with a 34-yard touchdown run. Less than halfway through the first quarter, it was already a 14-0 game.

On CU’s second possession, the Buffs did convert a third-down, with quarterback Brendon Lewis hitting tight end Brady Russell for a nine-yard gain on third-and-six. That was it for the Buffs, though, as the next three plays – with another false start penalty – netted a loss of one yard.

A Josh Watts punt put the Ducks back on their ten-yard line, which only meant it took longer for the Oregon offense to score. It took the Ducks ten plays to cover the 90 yards, and took the game into the second quarter, but the end result was the same. The Buff defense forced only one third down on the drive, a third-and-ten at the CU 28-yard line. A stop by the Buffs? No. A 28-yard touchdown pass from Anthony Brown to Troy Franklin. Oregon 21, Colorado 0, early in the second quarter.

With only one first down to its credit, and already down three scores, the Colorado offense, last in the nation in total yards … put together a drive. A 28-yard completion from Brendon Lewis to Brady Lewis opened the drive, with an Alex Fontenot nine-yard run and a a Jarek Broussard carry for a yard giving the Buffs consecutive first downs for the first time in two games. A 12-yard run by Broussard, followed by an 11-yard run by Deion Smith, gave CU a red zone opportunity. Two plays later, Lewis hit Ty Robinson for a nine-yard touchdown, making it a 21-7 game at the 9:10 mark of the second quarter.

On Oregon’s fourth possession of the first half, the Buff defense again made the Duck offense work, but again surrendered a touchdown. It took the Ducks ten plays to cover 73 yards, but cover them they did, capped by a Travis Dye five-yard touchdown run. Oregon 28, Colorado 7.

The Buffs, though, perhaps surprisingly, responded. Overcoming a holding penalty on the first play of the drive, Brendon Lewis hit Brenden Rice for a pair of long passes, for 26 and 36 yards, giving CU a first-and-goal at the Oregon three yard line. Over the next three plays, the Buffs gained one yard, leaving CU with a fourth-and-goal at the OU two-yard line. With nothing to lose, the Buffs went for it, with the gamble paying off with a Lewis to running back Alex Fontenot two-yard touchdown pass with 2:13 to play before halftime.

The Buff defense was finally able to hold the Duck offense in the waning moments of the first half … but just barely. The Ducks were able to cover 66 yards in 14 plays in the final two minutes, settling for a 27-yard field goal by Camden Lewis as time expired.

Halftime score: No. 7 Oregon 31, Colorado 14

Colorado opened the second half with an 11-yard pass completion from Lewis to Jarek Broussard on a third-and-four for a first down, but the Buffs couldn’t sustain the success, giving the ball away on a punt a mere two minutes into the third quarter.

Could the Buff defense stop the Ducks for the first time in the game?

Nope.

It took the Oregon offense only six plays to up the score. A pass completion of 33 yards, and a run of 31 yards, did most of the damage, with Travis Dye scoring on a two-yard run to complete the drive, and give Oregon 38 points.

A 28-yard kickoff return by Brenden Rice, coupled with a targeting penalty against Oregon, gave the Buffs good field position, with the ball at their 47-yard line to open the drive. Over the next three plays, the Buff offense gained ten yards, but punted the ball away anyway, as a false start on third down required the Buffs to gain 15 yards to keep the ball. The net result was a three-and-out, giving the ball back to the Ducks once again.

Could the Buff defense stop the Ducks on Oregon’s seventh possession of the game?

Um, no.

For the second drive of the second half, it took the Ducks only six plays to score. A 25-yard touchdown pass from Anthony Brown to Devon Williams finished off the drive, upping the score to 45-14 … with five minutes still left in the third quarter.

The Buffs next set off on a marathon drive, covering 67 yards in a whopping 17 plays … and thankfully taking over six minutes of game clock to do it. The drive started quickly, with 12-yard completions to Ty Robinson and Montana Lemonious-Craig, followed by a 19-yard run by Alex Fontenot. From the Oregon 26-yard line, though, it took another 12 plays for the Buffs to score. The drive was kept alive by a five-yard completion from Brendon Lewis to Brady Russell on fourth-and-four at the Oregon 20. The drive was finally rendered a success when Alex Fontenot dove over the goal line on fourth-and-goal at the Oregon one yard line. Early in the fourth quarter, it was now a 45-21 game.

The Oregon offense looked to be well on its way to making it eight scores in eight possessions. Backup quarterback Ty Thompson, though, threw an interception, picked off by CU safety Isaiah Lewis, giving the ball back to the Buffs at their 35-yard line.

The ensuing drive was all about Brenden Rice. On the first play of the drive, Rice ran 17 yards on a reverse. Two plays later, Brendon Lewis hit Rice for a 22-yard gain on a wide receiver screen. On third-and-11 at the Oregon 24, Lewis hit Deion Smith for what was ruled to be a first down, but, after a review, left CU with a fourth-and-one at the Oregon 14. Smith redeemed himself on fourth-and-one with a two-yard run for a first down. After a loss of four yards on the next play, Lewis his Brenden Rice for a 16-yard touchdown. To theoretically make it a two possession game, the Buffs went for the two-point conversion, with Lewis hitting Chase Penry for the conversion. With six minutes still left to play, it was now – as hard as it might have been to believe – a two-possession game at 45-29.

After a failed onside kick, the Ducks restored order, driving for a meaningless touchdown. With less than a minute to play … and the Ducks certainly in position to take a knee and end the game … Steven McGee scored on a one-yard run. The style points made it a 52-29 game at the 50-second mark.

Final score: No. 7 Oregon 52, Colorado 29

“We shot ourselves in the foot early on. We weren’t playing physical, especially on defense,” said Dorrell. “We got a lot of offside penalties and were a little bit out of rhythm on defense, figuring out what adjustments we needed to make. They played hard, just didn’t play smart at times. They (Oregon) had opportunities to make plays in the passing game and in the running game. That’s a little uncharacteristic for us as a defense, particularly when they get moving. We’ve got to go back to work and figure out how to get better every day. I’ve got a very disappointed defense in there that felt like they didn’t play as good as they should.”

The Buffs came into the Oregon game averaging 238.1 yards of total offense, dead last in the nation. The offense had 341 yards against Oregon, and on the road. Not great, but progress. “That’s something we’ve been lacking the last couple of weeks”, said center Colby Pursell. “It’s a step in the right direction. [Oregon] is a very good team. They’re the No. 7 team in the country. They’re a good defense for us to come out and produce points. It’s a step in the right direction. That’s us growing up as an offense.”

Game Notes … 

— The win gave Oregon a 14-9 advantage in the series, including a 6-3 record in games played in Eugene;

— The loss left Colorado with a 25-99-3 record all-time in games played against Top Ten teams, the last win coming over No. 3 Oklahoma in Boulder by a 27-24 score in 2007;

— For the fourth time in 2021, CU did not suffer a turnover. The Buffs finished their eighth game with just a total of six on the season;

— Brenden Rice had the 25th 250-yard all-purpose yards game in CU history; the 281 yards ranking 13th on the all-time list. The last 250-yard game came on December 5, 2020, when running back Jarek Broussard had 301 yards at Arizona (all rushing); the last one with yards gained in all three areas was on Nov. 23, 2007 (Hugh Charles: 169 rushing, 33 receiving, 125 kickoff return vs. Nebraska in Boulder);

— Brendon Lewis He had a career-high three TD passes, along with a career-best completion percentage (75.8); second-best numbers for rating and yards. Lewis became the 35th player in school history with over 1,000 career passing yards, finishing the game with 1,016;

— A season-high 11 different Buffaloes caught passes, with several making career-highs in receptions: Brenden Rice (5), Jarek Broussard (4), Chris Carpenter (2), Matt Lynch (2) and Ty Robinson (2); Deion Smith tied his high (2);

— Linebacker Joshka Gustav and cornerback Tyrin Taylor made their first career starts.

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19 Replies to “No. 7 Oregon 52, Colorado 29”

  1. After seeing the Ducks turn any down into a 8-12-20- yd gain ( and more ). Pass or Run….it didn’t seem to make any difference. It was so disappointing I did what I should have done all season.

    I shot the T.V. …………………….. No. I turned the damn thing off………. I shudda’ shot it.

  2. So they pulled me back in when I saw they scored 14. I had a thought last night about how we have the second youngest teams(I think second youngest) in the FBS. This does account for some of the disparity I see on the field. Lets be honest, 18-19 year olds have trouble competing against 21-22 year olds. Hell, Landman of 3 years ago would surely be manhandled by today’s Landman. I did get some hope yesterday. They played competitively.

  3. Coach McCartney assembled a great staff, lost position coaches to coordinator promotions, and continued bringing in top assistants. He also won tough recruiting battles for top players. He also identified Nebraska as “the rival,” “to be the best, you have to BEAT the best.”

    It is my hope that Coach Darrell makes headway in all three of these areas fairly soon. The progression toward consistently winning is dependent on success in all three of these areas PLUS donations (Exhibit A – Phil Knight/Nike and the University of Oregon().

    On the matter of selecting a rival, although Oregon is in the Pac 12 catbird’s seat at the moment, and Utah is the next state to the west, I would like Coach Darrell to select USC as the rival,…

    Hope springs eternal.

  4. Good to see the Buffs on TV back here yesterday. I knew what I was signing up for but was cheering them on…
    The best thing I saw was BLew and Rice getting pumped up, having some fun, they looked like guys who could be cornerstones going forward (if they stay)
    Those guys looked like they wanted it as well as the O in general
    Great to punch it in for 7 a couple of times and see them convert on 4th downs
    Game is something to build on, stay awake coaches and finish this season strong and make it fun for the players.
    It is hard to get a read on KD, but I sense the players like him
    KD, the one who speaks with his eyes

  5. I’m so confused by this game. After an awful first quarter the offense looked… Good?

    Meanwhile the defense was giving me flashbacks to the Embree years, where they acted as though they’ve never seen a screen play to a WR in their life, despite literally having seen it the last five plays in a row.

    Meanwhile… CU had a ton of successful screen plays, which I take to mean that (a) Chev is finally getting his way on the offensive game plan and (b) wow the offensive line coaching must have been awful.

    And then Oregon State gets blasted by California? Asu gets blasted early by WSU? UCLA gets blasted by Utah? Arizona pays USC close? And I’m currently watching Washington and Stanford kick field goals like it’s 1965? Huh?

  6. Why even get on the plane ✈️. ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES FISH ON A DULL BOY. All woRk aND nO pLaY makES fiSH oN a dUlL boY.all work snd no play makes fish on a dull boy. aLL wORK aND nO pLAY mAKES fISH oN A dULLbOY… 3rddown3rd down 3rd down 3rd down.. Best player against our Defense.. Football is fun act like it Puffs..

  7. This was the first game the offense could legitimately say, “get us a stop so we can get another score!” The O really was able to do some good things against a top ten team on the road. But our D just couldn’t stop those chunk plays. That TD throw with the guy’s ankle wrapped up was next-level and epitomized the day. But IF the offense can play this well and the D steps up we can beat one or two more teams this season. Looking for optimism but we’ll have a new OC next year and hopefully a good grad transfer QB to help out. As the Beatles put it, “It’s getting better all the time! (it couldn’t get much worse…)”

  8. Now fire the defensive line coach and maybe we will play better offensively and defensively and win one. Unbelievable that firing the offensive line coach made such a difference. What took so long to figure that out? Maybe just need the balls to pull the trigger? Maybe KD is too nice is the problem? This season has been so disappointing, but today made me have a glimmer of hope for next season. 🤦‍♂️

  9. We got rid of the Oline coach and we know the OC is history. It’s time to focus on the defense.
    This looks like a total redo. I just hope we can find someone that coach and recruit more than low three stars and hope they can play against 4 and 5 stars

    1. 1. Not sure the OC will be gone at the end of the season. Depends on how the offense does the rest of the way.
      2. There are have and have nots in recruiting, which is compounded by NIL, go look at the ESPN Top 100 recruits, it is dominated by the SEC.(especially when you include Texas and OU). That will only get worse.
      3. Not all is lost though, coaching does matter as Cincinatti has proven.
      4. Unless CU gets a sugar daddy, all we can hope for is a bowl game (any bowl game) each year.

      1. Since KD and Chev go way back, I’m also not sure Chev will be gone. These types of connections can lead to taking the easier path and it appears that KD could be soft in that department. Firing the OL coach doesn’t count as a tough personnel decision IMO.

  10. Yep. Good news is Brendon had his best game of his career in Boulder. Heck, both of them did. Bad news is it seems without landsman, it doesn’t matter who the defensive coordinator is, the d gets manhandled.

    Ok. On to next week.

    How ‘bout dem cougs?

    Go Buffs

  11. hmmmm
    did the Buffs cover by 1 point? hahaha
    Give Vegas credit. They must have known when Lewis was finally going to be set free. Kind of….
    no one here expected it, including me

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