Oregon Ducks Remind Nation: Don’t Believe Colorado Hype

Jordan Ingram Editorials

After Saturday’s football clinic in Eugene, it would be easy to take potshots at Colorado and mercilessly crow over the Buffs’ 42-6 loss at the hands of the No. 9 Oregon Ducks. The final score speaks for itself. Of course, the most succinct and well-phrased game description came from Colorado head coach Deion “Prime Time” Sanders in his postgame interview: “A good old-fashioned butt whooping.” Enough said.

On behalf of the Oregon Ducks welcome wagon, I’d like to welcome Prime Time to the Pac-12, where dreams of postseason greatness are often dashed within a gauntlet of talented West Coast teams. Whether it’s in Eugene or a bad road game at Arizona State (You guys remember that one, right? Sigh), the Conference of Champions, soon to be the conference that never had a chance thanks to Larry Scott, is unforgiving and brutal especially this year.

The more interesting conversation, in my mind, is reflecting on the past week. The days leading up to the game were bursting at the seams with frenzied media hype like an overstuffed turkey, countless “hot takes” exaggerating the banter between opposing coaches. Twitter feeds filled with garbage clickbait about Lanning vs. Prime bogged down the nation’s bandwidth like a saggy diaper.

Welcome to Eugene, Coach Prime. Screenshot/ESPN

Hey, I’m sure the television ratings were great, and the swag is probably flying off the shelves. Who doesn’t want a pair of gold Blenders? But no football game ever comes down to who’s got the better presser quote for a meme. Both teams battle to answer one question: Who’s the better football team after 60 minutes? The answer, without any question or pause for contemplation, was Oregon.

It’s possible Lanning took the barbs from Sanders and Co. personally — it certainly felt that way in his pre-game locker room speech. Wins and clicks. Pearl-clutching critics — many of whom clearly bought into the hype surrounding Sanders and the Buffs football program despite the previous week’s narrow overtime escape from lowly Colorado State — called Lanning hypocritical for having the camera crew broadcast his message, suggesting it was a PR stunt to generate “clicks.”

Or perhaps Lanning’s fiery sermon did exactly what it was intended to do: Pump up his team by delivering a clear message that cut through the nonsensical jawing from a world of overpaid talking heads with chronic verbal diarrhea (I’m looking at you, Skip Bayless). This is football, not speech and debate. The Ducks played with a level of ferocity, determination and outright gridiron savagery that I hope continues to mutate and fester uncontrollably like raging boils on the neck of college football.

Let’s look at the numbers…

After Week 4, the Ducks, largely at the hands of Heisman hopeful Bo Nix, have the nation’s top passing completion percentage (.801, 121 of 151 pass attempts) and are tied for 1st with Notre Dame for most first downs (114). Oregon is ranked 2nd in the FBS in scoring offense (54 points per game) and total offense (570.8 ypg), No. 9 in passing offense (338.8 ypg) and passing yard allowed (158.8) and 11th in total defense (allowed seven TDs, 264 ypg, and 4.22 yards per play).

But against Colorado, the contrast was stark. On the ground, Oregon finished with 240 yards rushing and three TDs, holding the Buffs to just 40 yards on the ground (and held QB Shedeur Sanders to -34 yards). Nix completed 28 of 33 pass attempts for 276 yards, three touchdowns and an interception, helping the Ducks finish with 282 total yards passing and three TDs. Troy Franklin had a monster game with eight receptions for 126 touchdowns and two touchdowns. Side by side, Oregon finished with 520 total yards in offense compared to Colorado’s 199 total yards. The Ducks finished with 30 first downs, the Buffs just 13.

Oregon’s defense, in a performance similar to the Mongol horde’s conquest of continental Asia, finished with seven sacks and seven tackles for a loss. This was easily the strongest showing from Oregon defensive coordinator Tosh Lupoi‘s squad so far this season. And Evan Williams? Look out, Bubba.

While Prime and his entourage of media bootlickers dominated the storyline before the game, the Ducks controlled the narrative on the field. Biggest takeaway? Don’t believe the hype. Go Ducks.

Jordan Ingram
Carlsbad, California
Top photo Eric Evans/Oregon Football 

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