On a night where severe storms postponed the start in Boulder by an hour, Oregon didn’t delay in bringing their own thunder and lightning to town in the form of Royce Freeman and Taj Griffin. The stable of Duck running backs rushed 60 times for 381 yards.
Coach Mike MacIntyre knew Oregon’s game plan, and lamented their inability to stop it effectively.
“We didn’t stop the run very well. I thought they would come in and hand the ball to Royce Freeman.” Speaking of a 3rd-and-10 where Oregon ran the ball successfully with their power back, Coach continued, “We hit the guy (Royce Freeman) three different times and that was rough. That was a tough sequence.”
Referring to Oregon’s lightning quick true freshman Griffin, “I don’t know his name, No. 5 (Taj Griffin), but he made a couple nice runs, too. He is extremely fast.”
Coach continued, “I think we got wore down a little bit,” speaking of Colorado’s defense in the second half, “We missed some tackles. The one big run they hit on us I think we lined up wrong and misfit it. That happens with their offense going fast. You don’t want it to happen, but it happens.”
As for Oregon’s defensive line, Coach spoke plainly about their difficulties running the ball on first down,
“I guess they were whipping us up front.”
Offensively for the Buffalos, wide receiver Nelson Spruce saw opportunities against Oregon’s secondary.
“Going into the game we knew their secondary was something we could take advantage of, so that was built into our game plan going into the game. As the game went on we were able to make some plays when the protection held up. That cushion they were giving us, we were able to get some quick game going.”
He saw Oregon’s scheme change in the second half, which led to better results for the Ducks. “I noticed they started running a bit more Cover 2, keeping the cornerback not giving all that cushion. Maybe they were anticipating us throwing it more.”
Although the final score indicated otherwise, defensive back Tedric Thompson may have provided the sound byte of the night with his thoughts on the Ducks.
“We always knew we could compete with them. We look at them as another decal. No disrespect towards them, but we don’t look at them (Oregon) as a super great team. We feel we can beat them. When it was 17-17 we felt like we should have been up to be honest with you.”
After the loss, defensive back Ken Crawley reflected on the progress Colorado has made as a program and how they will move forward.
“We believe we can beat anybody. We let one slip away from us but we’re not going to let that bother us. We just have to put it in the past.”
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