We're now in the third season of the Colorado Buffaloes being conference opponents, and only one question remains: Why are these guys in the Pac-12? Outside of the Pac-12's desire to add the Denver TV market, the once-proud Buffaloes have done little to compete with the rest of the league.
The three conference games between the Oregon Ducks and Colorado have resulted in the scores 45-2, 70-14 and today 57-16. Oregon's starting quarterback and running back sat out the first game. The second game is only famous for Colorado being the largest underdog in conference history. In today's game, Colorado played like a team possessed, emptying out the playbook to announce that they had indeed come to win tonight... and they lost by 41. Oregon beat the spread once again.
And that is really all there is to say about this game. Colorado tried its best and it just didn't work out. They went for an onside kick to open the game. Oregon recovered it. The Buffaloes scored on a 75-yard pass from their stud receiver Paul Richardson, who had himself one hell of a game. Oregon scored a touchdown on the next drive. The Ducks played their sloppiest quarter of the year to start the game, and they were up 29-10 after it.
Today will be remembered as the day a seemingly disinterested Oregon took a conference foe's best shot and won 56-17. And the Ducks took a knee at the Buffaloes' 1-yard line to end the game instead of running up the score.
Player of the Game — Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota scored seven touchdowns (5 passing, 2 rushing) cemented his position as the current Heisman front-runner. He was completely untouched on his two touchdown runs, including a play where he faked out both the entire Colorado defense and the cameraman to comfortably trot into the endzone.
Play of the Game — Oregon corner Terrance Mitchell's diving interception in the first quarter. It was a tremendous read and play by Mitchell but I selected this play due to the obnoxious difficulty in stopping wide receiver bubble screens in the various iterations of EA Sports NCAA football games. It's a quick play—a safe play—but Mitchell jumped in-between the blocker and the receiver to make an incredible interception.
The Moment When I Was Worried About the Outcome — When, instead of backing down after Oregon took an early lead, Colorado scored on a long fake-reverse wide receiver pass in the first quarter.
I Stopped Worrying About the Game When — Colorado opted for a field goal at 4th and goal from the five-yard line in the second quarter. The Buffaloes' aggressive play-calling up to that point signaled that they had come to Folsom Field with an upset in mind. This decision by Colorado Head Coach Mike MacIntyre signaled that he was willing to trade touchdowns for field goals with Oregon.
I Most Wanted to Lick the Colorado Faithful Tears of Sorrow When — Mariota threw a 75-yard touchdown pass to Bralon Addison following a Colorado punt.
The Rasheed Wallace "Both Teams Played Hard"® Play of the Game — Colorado receiver Paul Richardson made a diving, one-handed grab despite being interfered with by an Oregon cornerback.
Huski Hate Week is finally upon us! Oregon travels to the newly renovated Husky Stadium to take on a top 25 Washington Huskies team for their 10th-consecutive victory in the rivalry series. A lot has been said about this bitter rivalry, easily the most intense in the entire conference, but this will be the best matchup between the two programs since the game decided that decided the Rose Bowl in the 2000-2001 season. I almost hope the Huskies beat Stanford tonight to set up a game between undefeated top 10 teams.