Friday Fast Facts – Oregon Week

… Your weekly “T.I.P.S”, previews for this weekend’s games, discussing Talent, Intangibles, Preparation and Statistics, have been posted. The written preview and predictions for the CU/Arizona State game can be found here, while the CU at the Game Podcast preview for the game (which includes a debate on whether McCown should redshirt, and the debut of the Buffs4Life Collective ) can be found here …


Big Picture … 

It’s Been Awhile … Oregon comes to Boulder ranked No. 8 in the nation. The Buffs haven’t defeated a Top 10 team since upsetting No. 3 Oklahoma in 2007. The final was 27-24, with a last second field goal – Game Story (with video) can be found here;

Heading Down to 30 … It wasn’t all that long ago (17 years, in fact) when CU was in the Top 15 in the nation in historical wins. Now, with program in a decades-long death spiral, the Buffs are on the verge of falling out of the Top 30. The Buffs were 26th as recent as last season, when CU was passed by Michigan State. Earlier this year, the Buffs were passed by Minnesota. Now tied with North Carolina for 28th, the Buffs will soon be passed by the Tar Heels. Up next: Army, which is one game behind CU and North Carolina. In all likelihood, CU will finish the season at No. 30 on the all-time wins list;

Quirky Factoid … 123 11’ West is the longitude of Eugene, Oregon, the furthest west any school can play a Division I-A/FBS game on the mainland;

Tough Schedule … At the midway point of the season, cumulative stats take on more meaning. The eight opponents to date are a combined 40-24 with the four remaining foes currently 26-6;

Attendance Drop? … CU’s average home attendance for the first home games of the season has been 45,380. A crowd somewhere south of that average is expected this weekend against Oregon. As of Thursday afternoon, Colorado had sold 39,694 tickets for Saturday’s game, so the Buffs should top 40,000 for the 17th straight home game (not counting 2020). Likely much lower than Oregon’s previous trips to Boulder, however. 2015: 46,222 2013: 45,944 2011: 52,123;

The ESPN Power Index gives Oregon a 95.6% chance of winning, leaving CU with 4.4% chance at an upset. In CU’s last game, Arizona State was given an 80.2% chance of winning;

— The game will be telecast nationally on the ESPN (Saturday, 1:30 p.m., MT), with Mike Monaco on the play-by-play, Rod Gilmore with Tiffany Blackmon as the sideline reporter.  KOA radio will have Mark Johnson, in his 19th year, with the play-by-play, and former CU head coach Gary Barnett in his seventh year as the full-time analyst.


Statistically speaking … 

Getting Better on Third Downs … At the five-game mark, CU had converted on just 18 of 67 third down plays (26.9 percent, which was 125th in the nation). In the three games since, the Buffs are 19-of-46, or 41.3 percent;

Any Good News for Buff fans? … Stats in which Oregon is ranked 100th or worse (not to give the Buff Nation too much hope, but … it’s something):

  • Pass defense (119th – actually worse than CU’s pass defense, which is ranked 88th);
  • Third down conversion defense (126th, at 47.3%; the same rank Arizona State held last week. Against the Sun Devils, the Buffs went 9-for-18 on third downs);
  • Tackles for loss (104th);
  • Punt return yardage defense (123rd) … plus … Kickoff return yardage defense (117th) … If Jordyn Tyson was to ever have the game of his life … ;
  • Kickoff returns (122nd);
  • Penalties per game (105th);
  • Notable … Oregon is 76th in total defense and 81st in scoring defense … So … The Buffs should be able to move the ball and score.

—  How bad is the CU offense? … Colorado is ranked 108th or worse in every major category on offense (out of 131 teams nationally). The Buffs are 108th in rushing offense; 114th in passing offense; 123rd in total offense; and 126th in scoring offense. For the Buff offense to climb even as high as 100th nationally in scoring next week, the Buffs would have to score 80 points against Oregon;

How bad is the CU defense? … The Buff defense has a long road back to respectability. The Buffs are back to being second-to-last in the nation in rushing defense (130th this week), and still remain in the bottom five in total defense (128th) and scoring defense (129th) … and the Buffs are going against an Oregon team which is third nationally in total offense (525,8 yards/game) and fifth in the nation in scoring offense (42.4 points/game);

— Bar bet winner Preamble … The Pac-12 abolished divisions this year, but still has the old scheduling in place, wherein teams from the Pac-12 South like Colorado play the other South Division teams (USC, Utah, UCLA, Arizona State and Arizona) every year, while playing the North Division teams on an eight-year rotation, playing each of the six teams six times each over an eight-year stretch.

With that in mind, ask your tailgate friends this tricky question … When was the last time Oregon played in Boulder? The answer, surprisingly, is 2015.

How is that possible? Well, the eight-year Pac-12 rotation had CU playing Oregon from 2011-16, with the memorable 2016 upset occurring in Eugene. The two year break in the eight-rotation then kicked in, with the teams missing each other in 2017 and 2018. The 2019 game was played in Eugene, with the 2020 game supposed to be played in Boulder, but that game was cancelled. The 2021 game was played in Eugene, with the Ducks finally getting back to Boulder in 2022.


CU Player Notes … 

To Red-Shirt, or Not To Red-Shirt? … The following Buffs have played in more than four games this year, so they are not eligible for a redshirt: Aubrey Smith, Eoghan Kerry, Jordyn Tyson, Jason Oliver, Simeon Harris, Aaron Austin, Van Wells

The following Buffs can still redshirt, and the number of games they’ve played in so far are listed in parentheses: Owen McCown (4), Anthony Hankerson (4), Isaac Hurtado (4), Chase Penry (3), Zach Courtney (2), Joshua Wiggins (1), Kaden Ludwick (0), Shakaun Bowser (0), Grant Page (0), Victor Venn (0), Carter Edwards (0), Keyshon Mills (0), Travis Gray (0), Xavier Smith (0), Oakie Salave’a (0)

These two players have already gone in for season-ending surgery and will definitely redshirt: Chase Sowell (4) & Dylan Dixson (3);

Jordyn Tyson Superlatives … Tyson is the first Buff in school history last weekend against Arizona State to have at least 100 receiving (five catches for 115 yards and a touchdown) and punt return yards (four returns for 131 and a touchdown) in the same game, and the second to have 100 receiving and kick (punt or kickoff) return yards (Brenden Rice did so at Oregon last year);

44.25 Yards per Touchdown … 44.25. That’s the average distance of the four touchdowns that wide receiver Jordyn Tyson has scored thus far in his CU career. The four have covered 177 yards, three touchdown receptions of 23, 8 and 58, and one punt return of 88. The CU season record is held by wide receiver Mike Pritchard (48.8, 11 TDs/537 yards in 1990), with the career mark by the late Charles E. Johnson (43.3, 17 TDs/736 yards, 1990-93). Tyson has a way to go, but he’s so far in pretty rarified air;

Gaining Experience … During the first half of the season, CU has had 42 different players start at least one game (23 on offense; 19 on defense). That number ranks third in the nation, behind only New Mexico (47) and Texas A&M (43). The most recent were senior defensive end Justin Jackson and freshman nickel back Simeon Harris, who earned their first starts in the Arizona State game;

Spreading it Around … A total of 19 CU players have caught a pass this fall, tying a school record. Fifteen of the players have caught at least two passes, with six having more than ten led by Daniel Arias, with 19, Montana Lemonious-Craig, with 17, Jordyn Tyson, with 17, R.J. Sneed, with 14, Maurice Bell, with 11, and Deion Smith, with 10.


Colorado & Oregon 

— Oregon leads the all-time series with Colorado, 14-9, with only one of CU’s victories coming since the Buffs joined the Pac-12. The last time CU beat Oregon in Boulder? 1985;

— 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;

— And … there was the 2016 game in Eugene, when the underdog Buffs took down the Ducks, 41-38, with Ahkello Witherspoon’s interception in the end zone in the final minute preserving the victory.


The Last Time … 

October 30, 2021 … No. 7 Oregon 52, Colorado 29

Game Story … 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.”

Continue reading story here

Essay for the Game … “Brother, Can You Spare $100 Million?”can be found here


The Last Time in Boulder …

October 3, 2015 … Oregon 41, Colorado 24

— Game Story … In a game delayed over an hour due to lightning concerns, Oregon ran for 361 yards in pulling away from Colorado late, winning 38-24 in a game which ended after midnight. Two Ducks ran for over 100 yards, with Royce Freeman going for 163 yards and two touchdowns and Taj Griffin adding 109 yards and a score.

The Colorado offense, which struggled to run the ball all night (77 yards) relied on its passing game to stay with the Ducks. Quarterback Sefo Liufau went 25-for-42 for 230 yards and a score, but he also threw an interception and had a crucial third quarter fumble which led to Oregon’s first two-score of the night in the third quarter.

The Buffs (3-2,0-1), who had been out-scored by an average score of 54-10 in their four previous Pac-12 encounters with the Ducks, held leads of 14-7 and 17-14, and were tied at 17-all at the break, but were not able to keep up with the Oregon offense in the second half. For the game, Oregon posted 537 yards of total offense, to just 307 for the Buffs.

… Continue reading game story here …

Essay for the Game … “Back to the Future – Almost” … can be found here


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 six of the 12 historical categories tracked by Winsipedia, Colorado leads Oregon, with one tie (Heisman trophy winners: 1 each). Some numbers:

— Colorado is 28th in all-time wins (719); Oregon is 35th (689);

— Colorado is 11th in conference championships (26); Oregon is 49th (13);

— Colorado is 24th in consensus All-Americans (31); Oregon is 54th (10);

— Colorado is 25th in all-time NFL draft picks (276); Oregon is 36th (230).


Pac-12 Notes … 

— The 1st College Football Playoff rankings of the season saw five Pac-12 teams in the Top 25, tied for the most among all conferences.  For just the 2nd time ever, the Pac-12 had two teams in the Top 10 of the season’s first poll.  Oregon checked in at No. 8, the 4th straight year they’ve been the highest ranked Pac-12 team in the season’s initial poll.  Right behind them at No. 9 is USC, who had never been ranked in the Top 10 in the CFP’s first poll of the season.

No. 12 UCLA made their first appearance in the CFP rankings since 2014 while No.14 Utah gave the Pac-12 four teams in the Top 14 for the first time ever in the initial poll.  Oregon State is ranked No. 23, their first ever appearance in the CFP rankings;

— The Pac-12 has six bowl-eligible teams: Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA, USC, Utah and Washington, the most of any conference;

From …

Friday, November 4th

  • Oregon State at Washington … 8:30 p.m., MT, ESPN2 … Washington is a 4.5-point favorite at home (up from 3.0-points on Sunday)

Saturday, November 5th

  • No. 8 Oregon at Colorado … 1:30 p.m., MT, ESPN … Colorado is a 31.5-point underdog at home (up from 29.0-points on Sunday)
  • Washington State at Stanford … 1:30 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks … Stanford is a 4.5-point underdog at home (up from 3.0-points on Sunday)
  • Arizona at No. 14 Utah … 5:30 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks … Utah is a 17.5-point favorite at home (up from 16.5-points on Sunday)
  • Cal at No. 10 USC … 8:30 p.m., MT, ESPN … USC is a 21.5-point favorite at home (up from 19.0-points on Sunday)
  • No. 12 UCLA at Arizona State … 8:30 p.m., MT, FS1 … Arizona State is a 10.5-point underdog at home (up from 6.5-points on Sunday)


7 Replies to “Friday Fast Facts”

  1. love to see the Buffs televised nationally…bu bu bu but why the Oregon game? a 96% chance of the ducks winning most likely will make a negative Nielsen rating by half time….and of course the looming national embarrassment.
    Then again they have all been embarrassing but this might be mega

  2. Sheesh. Worst hurting fact is the “15 to 30” one.
    17 years 2005
    17 years of suffering.
    Some religious persecutions didn’t last that long.

    Well getting back to 15 is not possible is it? Statistically. Like forever.?? Is forever real.?

    Anyway there it is. Thanks Stu. FFF is my favorite read..Sets off the weekend. Nice.

    Go Buffs Hold em to 40 and score 41.

    Note: A penny not picked up ( especially 2500 of them) is banker arrogance at it’s best.

    Note 2: Housing market sliding down the Bidensheethole. Earmortgages being laid off/closed

    Note 3: So you pick a package up at the PO. It has your address. Addressed to Mr. Earache. Do you chuckle and wonder?
    What? Is this some kind of joke? The package had a tracker so? Is there a Mr. Earache? Do you think Mr. Earache will be testicle strong and come get it, cause he can figure out where it is. If he does will you chuckle at his name? Or do you think anyone birthed Earache will take the loss of 2500 pennies and waffle worm his way around why he is not going to come get it to the crowd who all know the situation. Oh well probably never ear about it


    1. This keeps getting better, and better, doesn’t it?

      So now, you’re out there trying to shift the blame of your mistake to me, for not fixing it? Wow. Who could’ve predicted that?

      I’ve tried to get you to put your money where your mouth is, for at least a decade. “I don’t bet” was your common refrain. Finally, you take a bet saying “it’s not betting, when it’s a sure thing”. Granted, nobody quite predicted the curb stompings of this season, but you were all in on KD.
      Fine. Whatever. You bet.

      You had the simplest option to make good on your bet: Go buy Stu some beers and/or food at a home game. Why not just do that? Oh, because you don’t really go to home games, even though you’re local? I bet Rob did (or will). Wanna bet?

      Then, you got your funny idea to send pennies. Fine. Gave you my address. Twice. Somehow, you gooned that up. Or, you intentionally sent them to the wrong address, to again circumvent making good on your bet.

      Now, you’re trying to get me to take more time to go drive down the road to pick up a ten pound package that you made someone else drive to the post office to pick up? They could’ve simply said “this isn’t for me” when they were at the post office. Return to sender. They didn’t. I say, let them keep your pennies. It’s a little something, for their wasted time. Even the post office people and others in line – while I explained to them what I was looking for, and the clerk searched around, checked tracking, etc. – were like “wow, who is this clown sending you a box of pennies for a bet?”

      Go buy Stu some beers and/or food. Or don’t. Classic vk, either way.

      Go Buffs

      1. a response WEAK

        II say go pick em up.
        They are your.

        Your response is weak and lazy and dancing around in your usual no commit way.

        Again you don’t tell me what to do.
        The bet is paid my way.
        Funny mistake
        Get yur cash bubbles.

        I explained the earache moniker.


        Handle it or shut up

    2. Okay last comment about the “missing 2500 pennies” Its hard but promise!!

      She Laughed!
      They are on her front porch!
      Go pick em up!


      1. last comment? say it aint so VK/ This is better than any sitcom on TV. Love to hear your “explanation” to Linda…..and sad to see it end. Will earache go meet his neighbor? or be a porch pirate?…or even say?

  3. The 1985 game vs the Ducks was a game-changer for the Buffs. I was an 18 year-old freshman screaming my lungs out all afternoon in the student section. Between the Reinhardt family on the field at halftime (with Ed waving to the crowd while sitting on the back of a convertible to raucous applause) to Mickey Pruitt flying off the edge to sack Chris Miller on the game’s final play to keep the Ducks out of the end zone, it was one helluva day!

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