Could be a Doozy
To say that the Oregon Ducks are favorites heading into their contest with the Colorado Buffaloes would be an understatement. In fact, the Ducks are 47 point favorites heading into Saturday, opening up one of the biggest spreads we have seen this season.
Matchup: Colorado at Oregon
Venue: Autzen Stadium (Eugene, Oregon)
Game Time, TV: 12:00pm (PST), Pac-12 Network
Date: Saturday, October 27, 2012
Team Records: Oregon (7-0), Colorado (1-6)
Standings: Oregon (T-1st in PAC-12), Colorado (T-9th in Pac-12)
While the Ducks do have the USC Trojans looming on their schedule, Chip Kelly has done a great job to keep his team and fans focused on the opponent they will be facing tomorrow. And while Colorado is in the midst of yet another dismal college football season, it is sometimes these contests that can surprise you the most.
The contest between Oregon and Colorado will be an interesting one to pay attention to despite the ultimate outcome likely resulting in a blowout victory for the Ducks. The main reason for this is because this will be the first time the Ducks have faced a true pro-style offense in 2012, thus giving them a new system to work with on defense.
How the Ducks will fair against a physical attack like this will be very interesting to watch, as will be how long the Oregon starters remain in the game should it start to get out of hand fast (as is expected).
Oregon’s injury situation will also be something to watch on Saturday. Kiko Alonso, having yet another phenomenal season at linebacker, has been rumored to be a little bit dinged up. Whether or not he gets much playing time we shall see. Oregon needs to play this game carefully and strategically if they want to head into USC with a loaded roster that is full of health and ready to go up against one of the top opponents on their schedule.
What to Watch: Colorado
The main thing to watch on the Buffaloes side of the ball will be whether or not they can limit turnovers and move the ball against fast-paced Duck defense that has been ruthless in 2012.
While the Buffaloes are a very young and inexperienced team, running a pro-style offense that the Ducks have not seen this year should give them at least some momentum heading into this contest. Watch for TE Nick Kasa to be the main player for Colorado on Saturday as he can test the Oregon defense with his physicality and versatility.
What to Watch: Oregon
As mentioned previously, it will be very interesting to see how long the Oregon starters play in this game. On the one hand, you don’t want to risk any injury to any starter whatsoever. On the other, however, you would like your starters (at least on defense) to play against Colorado so they can experience a pro-style attack before heading to Los Angeles to take on the Trojans.
Expect the defense to stay on the field much more than the offensive starters as Bryan Bennett is likely to see a lot of action this week.
Key Matchup: Oregon Linebackers vs. Nick Kasa
Nick Kasa is a tough and physical player to contain. The Oregon linebackers, for really the first time this season, will have to deal with a tight end that is just as talented as they are. If the Ducks cannot find a way to limit the productivity of Kasa, the Buffaloes may be able to move the ball more than anybody would have previously thought.
Sorry, Colorado, but you have no shot in this one.
Oregon 63 Colorado 10