In what was its most decisive win against a Pac-12 opponent this season, No. 13 Oregon beat Colorado 45-3 on Friday night at Autzen Stadium, giving the Ducks a fifth straight win.
Here are five takeaways as Oregon heads into Husky week and a game in Seattle against Washington next Saturday.
1. The offense was in sync
Despite Oregon’s national ranking and winning record, critics of Oregon’s offense have been out in force this season, especially after 21- and 17-point performances the last two weeks against Stanford and California, respectively. Well, everyone should’ve gone to bed happy Friday night, as the Ducks’ offense had an old-school outing against the Buffaloes. They made big plays, ran the ball well, piled on the points, played with tempo and had quick scoring drives. Their 527 yards of offense is the most in three Pac-12 games and their 252 yards rushing were the most of the season.
2. The defense is leading the way
For the first time since 1958, the Oregon defense has held five consecutive opponents to less than 10 points. That’s an amazing statistic and emphasizes just how good the Ducks have become under first-year defensive coordinator Andy Avalos. On Friday, Oregon’s defense did it with style, too, getting four interceptions, two sacks, 10 tackles for a loss of 30 yards and three red-zone stops. The Ducks have allowed just one TD in their opponent’s last 63 drives.
3. The victory came with a price
Not to be overlooked is the fact that the Ducks lost two starters to injury in the first half. Senior tight end Jacob Breeland, who had three catches for 53 yards and a touchdown, was hurt on his last catch after getting knocked to the ground along the Oregon sideline. Breeland was down on the turf for a short time before gingerly making his way to the medical tent. He would later be seen on the sideline with a brace on his left leg. Breeland is tied for the team lead in both receptions (26) and TD catches (6) this year.
Later in the half, sophomore safety Jevon Holland was hurt while attempting to make a tackle. He was helped off the field and later was taken by cart to the locker room. He returned in the second half and watched the game from the sideline while wearing a boot.
Holland is also Oregon’s primary punt returner.
After the game, Oregon coach Mario Cristobal said he thinks Holland's injury is minor but Breeland will have to be evaluated further.
4. No Montez Magic this time
The Ducks’ defense had Colorado senior QB Steven Montez wishing it was 2016 again.
That was the year Montez started at Autzen Stadium as a redshirt freshman and had the game of his life in a 41-38 win. Montez combined for 468 yards of offense and four touchdowns that day as he became the first Colorado player to throw for 300 yards and rush for 100.
It was different story Friday, as Montez was intercepted four times completed 19-of-34 passes for 131 yards and no touchdowns. He also rushed for just 12 yards and was sacked once.
5. The receiving corps shows its depth
One of the big storylines during the first four weeks of the season was the absence of injured receivers Juwan Johnson, Mycah Pittman and Brendon Schooler. All three returned last week against California in a limited role. Friday they got involved a little more, as Pittman had three catches for 57 yards, including a 39-yarder on a drive at the end of the first half to set up a touchdown, and Johnson was targeted five times and had two catches for 36 yards, including a 22-yarder that put the Ducks on the Colorado 16-yard line. All together, nine players caught passes for Oregon.
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