Big test ahead when Buffs visit Ducks
No. 10 Oregon awaits No. 19 Colorado at Autzen Stadium
BY TYLER KING email@example.com THE ASS OCIATED PRESS
The Gazette, Colorado Springs
As usual, Deion Sanders and Colorado probably have all the necessary bulletin-board material to make the Pac-12 opener personal. As No. 19 CU plays at No. 10 Oregon on Saturday (1:30 p.m., ABC), the new “doubter” is sitting right there for them — even if it has nothing to do with Sanders or the current Buffs. “I’m trying to remember what they won to affect this conference. Do you remember them winning anything? I don’t remember them winning anything,” Oregon coach Dan Lanning told reporters last month when asked for his reaction to CU leaving for the Big 12. Lanning’s team is 3-0 after a dominant win over Hawaii, road win at Texas Tech and a blowout of FCS opponent Portland State at Autzen Stadium. Here’s a full look at the Buffs’ first Pac-12 foe of the season: Offense Despite allowing nearly 500 yards of offense against Colorado State, the CU defense will be in for its biggest test of the season as it faces a talented Oregon offense led by veteran quarterback Bo Nix. Nix, an Auburn transfer, last year looked like a much-improved player in his first season with the Ducks. That’s carried over into 2023 with just under 900 passing yards, eight touchdowns, no interceptions and a 77% completion percentage in three games. He has plenty of talented skill position players, including standout wide receiver Troy Franklin, who has 292 receiving yards and three touchdowns. Troy transfer Tez Johnson has excelled with three early touchdowns. At running back, Oregon has a talented trio in Bucky Irving, James Jordan and Noah Whittington, all of whom are averaging over 7 yards per carry. Irving is the headliner and leads the team in carries and yards, while Jordan has five touchdowns. The Ducks also have a Colorado native in the starting lineup in tight end Terrance Ferguson, a Littleton native and Heritage grad. Defense The Buffs rarely will face a former member of the program. Oregon’s defense is an exception, featuring former CU starting cornerback Nikko Reed, who leads the Ducks with three pass breakups, as well as cornerbacks coach Demetrice Martin. The Oregon defense has remained mostly untested through three weeks. The Ducks allowed 456 yards of offense in a 38-30 win at Texas Tech and came up clutch with a pair of interceptions and a turnover on downs in the fourth quarter. The Ducks have a pair of defensive ends in Brandon Dorlus and Jordan Burch that could wreak havoc on a Buffs offensive line that struggled against CSU.