No. 4 Oregon football smashes records, Colorado in 70-14 win

By Matt Walks

No. 4 Oregon football smashes records, Colorado in 70-14 win

In the end, there were no surprises — no upsets, no letdowns and certainly no hope for the Buffaloes.

No. 4 Oregon bruised, battered and broke Colorado 70-14 Saturday at Autzen Stadium, running over one of the country’s most generous defenses to the tune of 617 total yards and 30 first downs. The wire-to-wire win turned out to be the glorified scrimmage many had predicted, but few could have imagined Oregon would break its program record for points in a conference game.

Ten touchdowns; 435 rushing yards; a defense that held Colorado to 2-for-13 on third down; a special-teams score.


“Our confidence is based on our preparation,” head coach Chip Kelly said after the game. “I thought we were really focused today.”

With much talk swirling around the looming No. 9 USC Trojans, that focus was clear early. The Ducks had two touchdowns on the board before Colorado even registered an offensive snap. When Colorado finally ended the shutout after running back Christian Powell scored his first of two rushing touchdowns in the third quarter, Oregon was halfway to the century mark with 56 points.

On paper, the score almost seems inhumane. But Kelly had many of his starters out of the game before the first half ended. Redshirt freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota logged an effective 136 yards and two touchdowns passing on 10-for-14 before ceding the job to backup Bryan Bennett, who tallied three rushing touchdowns before handing QB duties to walk-on Dustin Haines …

And so it went.

With the Ducks’ coaching staff digging deep into the roster, it was a unique opportunity for players like Haines and running backs Kenny Bassett and Bill Chimphalee to get significant playing time in a nonconference game. For their part, Mariota and running back Kenjon Barner enjoyed the chance to play coach and fan for the second and third units.

“For myself I just like to think of all my decisions during the time that I played,” Mariota said. “But you also gotta coach up the other guys. They work just as hard as we do, and to see them go out there and be able to play and be able to show what they can do, it’s fun for me.”

Turning point. It may be fair to say this game was over at kickoff, but the first nail in the coffin came before Colorado’s offense took the field. After Barner’s first touchdown capped Oregon’s opening drive, Donta Abron muffed the ensuing kickoff. Backup-turned-standout Avery Patterson scooped the ball up for the Ducks, and Oregon wasted no time capitalizing. De’Anthony Thomas ran it in from nine yards out less than a minute later.

On the horizon. It’s finally here. USC-Oregon. Nov. 3.

The Trojans got the last laugh against the Ducks last year, when Alejandro Maldonado’s kick sailed wide of the uprights to the give USC the upset win. But a preview of Kelly-Barkley III barely resembles that matchup.

“Last year’s last year,” Barner said. “We’re a completely different team with different players. It’s a new year.”

Kickoff is set for 4 p.m.

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