Despite a sluggish and sloppy start to a game the Ducks were favored to win by 39, No. 2 Oregon eventually ran away from the Colorado Buffaloes by a score of 57-16 in front of 45,944 at Folsom Field.
It certainly wasn’t pretty though.
Oregon ( 5-0 / 2-0 ) took the opening kickoff and immediately went three and out giving the ball to the Buff’s ( 2-2 / 0-2 ) with less than a minute off the game clock.
The Buffs didn’t waste any time either.
After the Ducks punt, Colorado Quarterback Connor Wood tossed a 55 yard strike to Paul Richardson and the Buffs found themselves at the Oregon 30 yard line.
The Buffs couldn’t convert on their good field position however and were forced to kick a 33 yard field goal and took an early 3-0 lead at the 12:02 mark of the 1st quarter.
After that early score and punch in the mouth, Oregon seemed to put their blur offense in gear and drove the length of the field for their first score of the game – a 2 yard touchdown run by Marcus Mariota who once again showed Heisman voters why he’s considered the leading candidate to be college football’s best player in 2013.
Mariota was 16 of 27 for 355 yards and accounted for 7 touchdowns – 5 through the air and 2 on the ground.
Mariota has now thrown a touchdown pass in 18 consecutive games since becoming a full time starter last season.
Even more impressive, Mariota has now thrown 202 consecutive pass attempts without an interception.
“Colorado had eight or nine guys in the box” said Maiota after the game when asked about his success through the air.
“,….we have the type of athletes outside that can take advantage of that.”
When asked about his 7 touchdown effort, Mariota seemed unassuming about his productive outing.
“I have no idea,…I couldn’t have told you that” he said.
Now five games into the 2013 season, the Ducks have scored at least 50 points in each of those games and remain second in the country in scoring averaging 59.2 points per game.
In total yards, Oregon racked up 755 – the second time this season the Ducks have eclipsed the 700 yard mark. ( Nicholls State – 772 )
Defensively, it’s a game Oregon defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti described as ‘a nightmare in the first half.’
“I tell you what, the way that thing started, I’m very pleased with the way it ended” explained Aliotti after the game.
“It was not fun early.”
The Ducks looked sloppy and often times out of position in the secondary and ended up surrendering 280 yards through the air and 374 yards total.
At halftime, there was one simple message Aliotti wanted to deliver.
“I kind of yelled a little bit more than I do and said, ‘let’s wake up, this is embarrassing and is not how we play’ and all those kinds of nice things that you say,” Aliotti quipped.
That said, the Ducks only relinquished one scoring pass – that to D.D. Goodson who caught a well executed 75 yard pass on a trick play from fellow wide receiver Paul Richardson.
“There’s no excuses” said cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu after the game.
“They came out with an added edge. Towards the end of the first quarter, we flipped that around quick.”
One area where the Ducks defense shined was on 3rd down conversions allowed. On 15 total attempts, Oregon’s defense never allowed the Buff’s to convert.
After the game, Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said he was pleased with the win but took the blame for the Ducks lackluster start.
“We didn’t play as well as we should have at the beginning of the game…and that’s on me.” said Helfrich.
Although the score didn’t necessarily reflect the improvement in this Colorado team, the Buff’s certainly came to play and wasn’t about to lie down for the nations second ranked team.
“Every game we go into we know we’re going to get everyone’s best shot” explained WR Josh Huff after the game.
Huff, who caught 5 passes for 103 yards and scored 2 touchdowns, told reporters maintaining confidence was key to the teams win when asked about the Ducks slow start.
“We were able to overcome adversity” said Huff.
” This is one thing I love about this team,…we never lose confidence. We’re a team that plays with a lot of confidence. We just need to find a way to start out faster.”
* Prior to kickoff, it was announced by the Oregon Sports Information department that TE Colt Lylerla did not make the trip to Boulder. After the game, Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said Lyerla was suspended for 1 game for breaking a team rule. Helfrich said Lyerla will practice on Monday and will start with a clean slate.
* Quarterback Marcus Mariota set a school record for consecutive passes ( 179 ) without an interception. Mariota now has 202 consecutive passes without an INT.
* De’Anthony Thomas made the trip to Boulder, and was seen wearing a walking boot on his sprained right ankle. Thomas dressed for the game and was seen on the field in warm-ups wearing his protective boot, but did not play in the game.
* Junior CB Terrance Mitchell had 2 interceptions against the Buffaloes. It was Mitchell’s 3rd and 4th interceptions of his Oregon career.
* For the 5th consecutive game, Oregon scored 50 or more points which set a school record.
WHO LED THE TEAM
PASSING - Marcus Mariota ( 16 of 27 for 355 yards ) 5 Passing TD’s – 2 Rushing TD’s
RUSHING - Byron Marshall ( 23 carries for 122 yards )
RECEIVING - Bralon Addison ( 5 catches for 158 yards – 2 TD’s )