Oregon (5-1) at Colorado (1-6)
Oregon has won 5 straight games after losing their season opener against top-ranked LSU. Colorado has yet to win a game in the new Pac 12, but even though they are only 1-5 the Buffaloes are at home and the Ducks may be without their 2 big offensive guns.
Oregon Ducks (5-1) @ Colorado Buffaloes (1-6) Matchup
Saturday, October 22, 3:40 PM ET
Folsom Field, Boulder, Colorado
Favorite: Oregon -32 O/U 67.5
Still, there is a reason the Ducks are such big road favorites.
Oregon can’t overlook Colorado, as after facing the Buffaloes they still have to face Washington, Stanford, and USC in Pac 12 play.
The big question for the Ducks in this game is will RB LaMichael James or QB Darron Thomas play? James is being fitted for a special brace and while he will suit up he may not play.
Thomas has an injured knee and Oregon head coach Chip Kelly has not named a starter as of Wednesday. Do the Ducks need these guys?
James’ backup Kenjon Barner rushed for 171 yards and freshman De’Anthony Thomas rushed for 73 yards and 2 TD last week in a 41-27 win over a ranked Arizona State team.
Whoever is running the ball for Oregon and their 3rd ranked scoring offense will likely rack up a ton of rushing yards facing a Colorado run defense that ranks 65th in the nation. Also, whoever is under center will have a good game facing a Colorado pass defense that ranks 96th in the nation.
Last week in the 52-24 loss to Washington Colorado gave up 562 total yards (267 passing yards 295 rushing yards).
You know the Ducks will rack up the yards, but will the Oregon defense be able to keep the Buffaloes from doing the same?
The Ducks gave up 460 yards to Arizona State last week, but I think they will do ok on D in this game. Why? Well, last week Colorado QB Tyler Hansen, who has passed for 1,682 yards with 13 TD and 3 INT on the season, only mustered 155 yards last week against Washington, who only has the nation’s 116th ranked pass defense.
Colorado will not be able to run the ball well either, as they only have the nation’s 113th ranked rushing offense and they only had 62 yards on the ground last week against UW.
This game will be a good tune-up for the Ducks, who enter the tough part of their conference schedule after this game.
The Ducks are deep, which is why they will likely not lean on James and Thomas so they can stay healthy for their big upcoming games.
Colorado may have to wait until November 12th to get their first ever Pac 12 win, as after this game they face Arizona State (4-2) on the road and then host USC (5-1).