The #13 Oregon Ducks (5-1, 3-0) dismantled the Colorado Buffaloes (3-3, 1-2) by a score of 45 to 3 despite suffering crucial injuries.
Justin Herbert: 18/32 - 261 YDS - 2 TD
Steven Montez: 19/34 - 131 YDS - 4 INT
TD SCORERS: (UO) Jacob Breeland, Cyrus Habibi-Likio, Jaylon Redd, Jaylon Redd, Cyrus Habibi-Likio, Cyrus Habibi-Likio
DUCK YARDS: 527 YDS - 275 passing - 252 rushing
BUFF YARDS: 299 YDS - 131 pass - 168 rushing
TURNOVERS FORCED: Ducks 4 - Buffs 0
1ST QUARTER: The Ducks won the opening toss and elected to receive, leading to a 21-yard return from Travis Dye. Starting on their 25, Oregon was able to earn their first 1st down by handing off the ball to CJ Verdell on back-to-back plays.
A holding penalty committed by a Buffs’ linemen gave Oregon 10 more yards, but on the next play a high snap from Jake Hanson sailed over the head of Herbert who was lucky enough to jump on it far behind the line. On 2nd-and-29, Herbert earned back all their lost yardage through a pass to Jaylon Redd. Redd caught the next pass as well, this time for 17 yards and the first down.
Jacob Breeland then caught his first pass of the game, a 24-yard pass near the middle of the field set up by a fake screen. On the Colorado 9-yard line Verdell ran for a short gain and then Herbert threw an incomplete pass well defended by a Buffalo, but on the next play the Herbert-Breeland connection once again came up big for a touchdown.
Ducks 7 - Buffs 0
Ferocious pressure from Oregon’s defense forced Colorado into a three-and-out, consisting of an incompletion on first, a four-yard gain from running back Alex Fontenot, then another incomplete pass as Steven Montez was pinned to the boundary and frantically overthrew a receiver.
Offsetting penalties resulted in a second punt attempt from Colorado and Jevon Holland made good use of the practice run by returning it for 18 yards to the Oregon 46. The Ducks’ second drive went for nine plays and 35 yards. Juwan Johnson caught the first pass of his career, a 14-yard reception, but after a potential big play from Bryan Addison was taken away upon further review, Oregon elected to go for it on 4th-and-5.
Mycah Pittman came up with another athletic play by converting with a catch on a quick slant. However, the Ducks next fourth down conversion failed when Verdell was unable to hang on to a short pass behind the line.
It appeared Colorado was set to have another quick three-and-out, but on 3rd-and-8 Montez was able to connect with Dimitri Stanley, who dodged a couple of charging Ducks and fought forward for the first down and then some.
Completions to Stanley and Fontenot were also able to gain positive yardage after the catch, earning the Buffs another first down, and then a 15-yard pass to Laviska Shenault Jr. had the visiting team at the Duck 42. A 10-yard run by Fontenot was followed by another 15-yard completion to Shenault Jr. but when it got to 3rd-and-6 on the 13-yard line the Buffs could only gain four. James Stefanou connected on the 27-yard field goal attempt.
Ducks 7 - Buffs 3
Oregon’s next drive started on their own 24, but a 22-yard pass to Breeland quickly had them near midfield. Unfortunately for the Ducks, Breeland fell to the sideline after the catch and was later taken to the injury tent.
A combination of Cyrus Habibi-Likio and Verdell gained 28 yards in the next six plays and amid that Johnson caught his second pass in a Duck uniform, a 22-yard play that made Autzen erupt in applause. Habibi-Likio earned the first down that would have placed Oregon at the Buffs’ 4-yard line, but a personal foul on Brenden Schooler put them back 15 yards.
2ND QUARTER: Herbert delivered a beauty of a bullet to Johnson in the end zone, but the big target wasn’t able to hold onto it. Another Habibi-Likio run gained five yards, but an incompletion on third down resulted in a Camden Lewis field goal attempt that was barely able to find its target from 32 yards out.
Ducks 10 - Buffs 3
Colorado began on their 26 and gained six yards on first down off a powerful run by Deion Smith. However, back to back batted passes forced the Buffs to punt. Darrian Felix entered the game and caught a 4-yard screen, but two straight dropped off-passes led to Oregon’s first three-and-out on offense of the game.
Once again Oregon’s defense was asked to respond and once again they did so in a big way, forcing another three-and-out by blowing up screens and keeping Colorado to short gains. On the Ducks’ next possession Cristobal elected to put the ball in the hands of his running backs and was rewarded with 51 yards and a one-yard touchdown by Habibi-Likio. This 7-play, 65-yard drive featured a 30-yard run from Verdell and a 10-yard pass to Johnny Johnson III in the red zone.
Ducks 17 - Buffs 3
Steven Montez started on his 20 but quickly earned a first down off a playaction pass to Shenault Jr, then on 3rd-and-6 an incompletion to Shenault Jr. would have resulted in another punt but Thomas Graham Jr. was called for the pass interference.
A screen to Tony Brown lost five yards, however, a 20-yard run from Fontenot gave the Buffs a lot of momentum, not only through improved field position but through injury as well due to Troy Dye and Holland having to leave the game after they ran into each other.
Two plays later, Deommodore Lenoir was also called for a pass interference, placing the Buffs at the Oregon 15. After three tough carries from Fontenot, the Buffs were just three yards away from the end zone, but a short gain was followed by a false start. then a holding penalty put Colorado at a 3rd-and-11. And on the following play, Haki Woods deflected a ball which was almost caught by a Buffalo but ultimately picked off through an athletic play by Verone McKinley III.
With 1:20 left in the half, Oregon aired out an 8-play, 80 yard drive in which Herbert threw seven straight passes and Redd ran it in for the 3-yard touchdown. The drive was aided by a face mask on 3rd-and-10 at the Oregon 20 and featured explasive plays by true freshman Pittman, including a 39-yard catch that put the Ducks in the red zone.
Ducks 24 - Buffs 3
Colorado received the ball with little time left in the half and elected to run out the clock.
Halftime Score: Ducks 24 - Buffs 3
3RD QUARTER: Colorado started with the ball to start the third quarter and were able to return it to their 22-yard line. Things started off with a successful hand-off to Stanley, but quickly turned sour for the Buffs after a deflected ball fell into the hands of Bryson Young, who used his size to fend off the receiver while making the catch.
Oregon took advantage of the excellent field position by moving the ball 40 yards in five plays for their fourth touchdown of the game. Redd’s two receptions of the drive accounted for 37 of those yards and also the touchdown, his second score of the night.
Ducks 31 - Buffs 3
The Buffs continued to shoot themselves in the foot by starting their next drive with two false starts, then, just when a 24-yard completion to Shenault Jr. seemingly gave Buffs some much needed momentum, McKinley III picked off Montez and returned it for 53 yards to the Colorado 7. Oregon scored on the next play, a three-yard run by Habibi-Likio.
Ducks 38 - Buffs 3
Fontenot proved to be the most efficient member of the Buff offense, earning his team another first down, but after leading his team 34 yards down the field, Montez threw a pick on 4th-and-8. The pass was an attempt at a 40-plus-yard touchdown pass to Shenault but resulted in the receiver being engulfed by a Duck defensive back and inadvertently kicking the ball to Nick Pickett for the pick and touchback.
An offensive holding penalty put the Ducks behind the sticks and eventually forced them to punt after five plays. Offensive lineman Dallas Warmack was the next Duck to be taken off the field due to injury.
Oregon committed a couple of penalties that helped out Colorado’s proceeding drive, but Colorado committed even more, which eventually doomed their most impressive possession since early in the first half. After 10 plays, the Buffs moved the ball 46 yards and were at the Duck 12-yard line, however, it was fourth-and-one. Coach Mel Tucker decided to go for it, but the Duck defense sniffed out the run and took down Stanley three yards behind the line. And so ended the third quarter.
4TH QUARTER: Habibi-Likio received three straight carries and earned a first down, but his good work was dwarfed by a 70-yard run by Verdell that nearly went the distance if not for a speedy Buffs defensive back. The ball was given back to Habibi-Likio and two carries later the sophomore had his third touchdown of the evening.
Ducks 45 - Buffs 3
Despite being down by 42 points, Colorado increased their plays on the ground, and overall it worked out in their favor. Jaren Mangham received 10 carries in what would end up a 14-play, 59-yard drive. A pass interference penalty on DJ James helped the drive survive but in the end a missed 33-yard field goal attempt maintained the Ducks’ 42 point advantage.
Tyler Shough replace Justin Herbert and was able to burn more than three minutes off the clock before the Ducks eventually turned over the ball on downs at the Colorado 19-yard line. Within this drive, Dye had a 47-yard run, but on the last play failed to pick up the final three yards on 4th-and-short.
Backup quarterback Tyler Lytle entered the game for Montez which equated to Mel Tucker raising the white flag. Darrian Felix received a few carries and the game was over, making it three straight conference victories for Mighty Oregon!