ARIZONA STATE FOOTBALL

‘Prime’ meat: No. 19 Colorado hammered by No. 10 Oregon at Autzen

Sep 23, 2023, 5:00 PM

Colorado head coach Deion Sanders talks with his son and quarterback Shedeur Sanders during the fir...

Colorado head coach Deion Sanders talks with his son and quarterback Shedeur Sanders during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Oregon, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023, in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/Amanda Loman)

(AP Photo/Amanda Loman)

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Bo Nix threw three touchdown passes and No. 10 Oregon emphatically slammed the brakes on Coach Prime’s “Cinderella story,” routing No. 19 Colorado 42-6 on Saturday.

The Ducks (4-0, 1-0 Pac-12) were up 35-0 half after coach Dan Lanning sent them into the matchup of unbeatens with a fiery pregame speech that took direct aim at the star-studded, hype machine that has followed coach Deion Sanders’ team for the first three weeks of the season.

“The Cinderella story’s over, men. They’re fighting for clicks, we’re fighting for wins. There’s a difference,” Lanning told his team in front of ESPN’s cameras.

Troy Franklin caught eight passes for 126 yards and two scores for Oregon.

Sanders turned around a Colorado program that won just one game last year, bringing aboard 67 new scholarship players and opening the season with wins over TCU, Nebraska and last weekend’s double-overtime thriller against Colorado State.

He got a nice welcome to Autzen Stadium before the game from Nike co-founder Phil Knight, the patriarch of Oregon sports. And former NFL star Terrell Owens made the trip to see his friend coach.

Oregon’s duck mascot came out on the field wearing a cowboy hat and sunglasses, copying Sanders’ style.

It was a big-game atmosphere, but the Buffs (3-1, 0-1) were no match for the Ducks.

Nix completed his first 11 passes and 28 of 33 before he was pulled to start the fourth quarter. He also ran for an 11-yard TD. One fan held a sign that said: “This is Nix Country.”

Coach Prime’s son Shedeur Sanders went into Saturday averaging 417.0 passing yards per game, with 10 touchdowns against one interception. He completed 23 of 33 passes for 159 yards and a late touchdown against the Ducks. He was sacked seven times.

Colorado had 199 yards of total offense. The fans at Autzen Stadium chanted “Overrated!” in the final moments of the game.

On their first series of the game, the Ducks went 72 yards in 10 plays capped by a 3-yard touchdown run by Noah Wittington. Colorado punted on its first series.

Nix threw a 1-yard pass to Casey Kelly to make it 13-0, capitalizing on a pair of Colorado penalties inside the 10. Oregon’s 2-point attempt failed. The Buffaloes punted again on the next drive.

Nix found Franklin with a 16-yard scoring pass and this time the 2-point conversion was good to put the Ducks up 21-0.

Nix was intercepted for the first time this season in the second quarter. It was also Oregon’s first turnover of the year. But the Ducks’ defense sacked Shedeur Sanders on third down, pushing him back 16 years, and Colorado again was forced to punt.

Franklin was wide open running into the endzone for a 36-yard touchdown from Nix, and Nix ran for another TD to cap the first half onslaught.

Jordan James padded Oregon’s lead with a 1-yard touchdown dash, for his sixth TD this season. Colorado avoided the shutout with Shedeur Sanders’ a 6-yard pass to Michael Harrison.

It was Colorado’s first game without two-way standout Travis Hunter, who was sent to the hospital with a lacerated liver from a late hit in the game last weekend against Colorado State,

Hunter had nine tackles, two pass breakups and an interception and also had 16 catches for 213 yards on offense.

The Takeaway

Colorado: Colorado’s offensive line remains suspect and it has allowed 23 sacks already.

Oregon: The Ducks have won 30 straight games when scoring 40 or more points.

Poll Implications

While one loss might not drop the Buffaloes out of the AP Top 25, some of their offensive stats should be cause for concern. Colorado had minus-33 rushing yards in the half — due in part by Oregon’s four sacks on Shedeur Sanders — and just 35 for the game. Oregon racked up 522 yards in total offense and the decisive win should push them further up the rankings.

Up Next

Colorado: The Buffs host No. 5 Southern California next Saturday.

Oregon: The Ducks visit Stanford on Saturday.

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‘Prime’ meat: No. 19 Colorado hammered by No. 10 Oregon at Autzen