The high-flying Ducks are at it again, and are one of the top teams in the country when it comes to any offensive category. Standing in their way of a 5-0 record are the Colorado Buffaloes. While every distinction from the past few years would show that this is a matchup worth laughing at, this year is proof that time can change things.
In Oregon’s case, as time has worn on, the Ducks have gotten better. And, astonishingly, they’ve gotten faster. As for the Buffaloes, over the course of a year, they went from being a one-win team to being an opponent worthy of being taken seriously.
Saturday’s showdown in Boulder will be the first time the Buffaloes have played in front of their home fans in a month. It should be an emotional game with heavy hearts for Colorado as its Sept. 14 home game against Fresno State was cancelled due to the floods streaming throughout the state.
Here’s how the teams stack up:
Oregon: The Ducks lead the nation in rushing with 332.5 yards per game and an astonishing 7.64 yards per carry while coming in second in scoring offense at 59.8 points per game. Running backs Byron Marshall and Thomas Tyner will be called on to replace De’Anthony Thomas, who will not play because of a sprained ankle. The duo does a good job of carrying the load behind Thomas, combining for 500 yards rushing and eight touchdowns while Marcus Mariota is a highly dangerous dual threat quarterback, throwing for 1,003 yards and nine touchdowns and rushing for 295 yards and five touchdowns.
Colorado: The Buffaloes have finally found a go-to offensive playmaker that has the potential to take over games. His name is Paul Richardson and he’s back from injury. Richardson is the nation’s leader with an average of 162.3 yards per game receiving and fifth in the nation in catches per game at 8.7. Throwing to Richardson is Connor Wood. Wood has thrown for 887 yards and eight touchdowns, but over half those yards and touchdowns have gone to Richardson.
Oregon: The Ducks are tied for fourth in the country by giving up 10.8 points per game. Leading the way is linebacker Derrick Malone with 35 tackles on the year and defensive end Tony Washington with 4.5 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles. Oregon’s secondary is considered its greatest asset with All-American cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu leading the way. Last week, the Ducks secondary held Cal quarterback Jared Goff to 11 yards passing. Goff went into that game leading the nation with 433.67 passing yards per game.
Colorado: The Buffaloes are led by linebacker Addison Gillam who has 33 tackles on the year and defensive end Chidera Uzo-Diribe, who like Washington, is tied for fourth in the nation with three forced fumbles. Greg Henderson leads Colorado with two interceptions on the year and both him and Jered Bell have returned an interception back for a touchdown.