clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Oregon 41, Colorado 24: Bounce back win for Ducks

Freeman, Griffin, Alie lead Ducks to big road win at Colorado -- raise your hand if you predicted that.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn't pretty. It wasn't vintage. Most of the time, it was a little perplexing.

But it was a win; and at this point, with this many questions, that's what Oregon needed.

Alternating quarterbacks -- Jeff Lockie and Taylor Alie -- but riding the combination of Royce Freeman and Taj Griffin, Oregon garnered their first conference win of the season, 41-24, over a pesky and clearly improved Colorado team.

Freeman rushed for 163 yards and two touchdowns, Griffin added 109 and a touchdown, and Oregon, a week after crashing back to earth against Utah, beat the Buffaloes 41-24 Saturday night.

With Vernon Adams still unable to go with a broken finger, Lockie got the start for the second time this season, but it was Alie -- the walk-on from Sheldon High School -- who recorded Oregon's lone touchdown pass from a quarterback, a 43-yarder to Jalen Brown in the 4th quarter. In his biggest moment, Alie made the biggest throw of the season, perhaps setting himself up for one of the unlikeliest of starts in college football next weekend.

Bralon Addison also threw a touchdown pass in the first half, as Oregon finds itself locked in a viscous game of smoke-and-mirrors to get their offense in gear. But, after a week of questions about the future of the program, a road win, in the rain, against a hungry team, should help ease some of the questions that still linger.

And, for the defense -- despite still looking soft in the secondary -- it was a much improved result, especially the front seven, which harassed and pressured Colorado all night long. Deforest Buckner, especially, proved why he has vaulted to the top of mock drafts, as he found himself in the Buffs backfield constantly.

Oregon's running game was dominant all night, finishing with 361 yards, and it was never more evident than the third quarter, when they turned a 17-17 halftime tie into a 31-17 lead. Behind Freeman, and the change-of-pace from Griffin, Oregon wore down Colorado, providing a hint of what their formula for success going forward will be: run, run, and just when they see something else coming, run some more.

Questions still remain -- can the secondary tighten up? Will the quarterback situation be settled anytime soon? -- but with Washington State, Washington and a bye week on the horizon, Oregon can build off this one. It wasn't one for the record books, and won't end up on Oregon's highlight reel for best all-time wins...but, when this season is played out, this may look more and more impressive.

Considering how we all felt last Saturday, I know everyone will take it.