A heavily-anticipated Colorado vs. Oregon matchup turned out to be a non-starter when the Ducks thoroughly outclassed the Buffaloes in a 42-6 drubbing. How did the two early-round 2024 NFL Draft prospects fare in this contest, and what else stood out?
Colorado vs. Oregon Recap: Bo Nix, Shedeur Sanders on Opposite Sides of the Coin
Both the Ducks and the Buffaloes came into Week 4 riding high at 3-0, with emotions running equally high. But in the end, it was Dan Lanning who scored a decisive victory over Deion Sanders, proving that the Buffaloes might not be ready for prime time just yet.
The Ducks outscored the Buffaloes 42-0 in the first three quarters and allowed Colorado’s only points in garbage time. The QB dichotomy was a stark representation of how far apart each team was.
Bo Nix completed 28 of 33 passes for 274 yards, three touchdowns, and one pick and ran for an additional score. Shedeur Sanders, meanwhile, completed 23 of 33 passes for 159 yards — averaging just 4.9 yards per attempt — and a garbage-time touchdown.
In truth, the Buffaloes weren’t going to have much of a chance in this game, regardless. Not only was the team missing its top playmaker — Travis Hunter — but the roster was noticeably deficient in the trenches compared to Oregon’s squad.
Lanning’s offensive line kept Nix clean all game, allowing him and explosive, versatile weapon Troy Franklin to connect for eight passes, 126 yards, and two scores. Nix’s interception was a lapse in field vision, but outside of that, he was extremely efficient, accurate, and measured with his decision-making.
The Ducks also paved open lanes for Bucky Irving, Jordan James, and Noah Whittington on the ground. And on the defensive side, Brandon Dorlus, Jordan Burch, and others wreaked constant havoc on Colorado’s ill-equipped offensive line.
Sanders’ uninspiring performance against Oregon isn’t a full indictment on him as a QB or as a prospect. He encountered pressure often and was never able to get into a rhythm or sustain drives, and missing Hunter didn’t help.
But this was the first time Sanders faced this kind of pressure so far this year, and it gave us a glimpse at how much room this Buffaloes team still has to improve before they can truly compete in these environments.
The Ducks stay undefeated and will also keep their slot in the top 10. The Buffaloes, meanwhile, are now 3-1, losing their first game in conference play. They don’t have much time to lick their wounds, either. Next Saturday, they play fifth-ranked USC.
The Trojans’ defense won’t be as smothering as Oregon’s, but keeping up with Caleb Williams in a firefight is never an easy venture. Perhaps the Buffaloes needed this humbling moment to reset ahead of full-fledged Pac-12 play.
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