The prime time wasn’t what head coach Dan Lanning, Bo Nix, and the Oregon Ducks squad had expected. They convincingly dismantled Deion Sanders’ Colorado Buffaloes on a Saturday afternoon, displaying their dominance with a 42-6 victory. Despite entering the game as 21-point underdogs, the buzz surrounding the Sanders family and Colorado’s strong start following a dismal 1-11 performance in 2022 had led analysts and fans to anticipate a closer contest. The pregame theatrics included Colorado players disrespecting the UO logo by stomping on it and the Ducks’ mascot adding fuel to the fire by smashing an oversized clock labeled “Prime Time” with a sledgehammer.
Photo Cred: SI
After a fiery speech from Dan Lanning, where he boldly declared, “The Cinderella story is over” and asserted, “They’re fighting for clicks, and we’re fighting for wins,” the Ducks wasted no time making their mark. They scored on their first three possessions of the game and maintained their momentum throughout. A pivotal moment was when the Ducks faced a challenging 4th-and-four on their own 17. A direct snap to d-lineman Casey Rogers delivered an impressive run to keep the drive alive. This drive culminated in a Ducks touchdown, firmly establishing their control.
Oregon QB Bo Nix, a Heisman contender, led the Ducks with an impressive 276 passing yards and three touchdowns. Two touchdowns went to WR Troy Franklin, who dismantled the Colorado defense with eight receptions and 126 yards. The Ducks’ running game was equally impressive, with Bucky Irving, Jordan James, and Noah Whittington combining for 188 yards and each contributing a touchdown, with Nix adding another on a short burst in the third quarter.
Much was made of the absence of Colorado’s star cornerback/wide receiver Travis Hunter, who left last week’s game against CSU due to a flagrantly dirty hit on the sideline. While Nix targeted Hunter’s replacement, Omarion Cooper, it became evident that Cooper was no match for Troy Franklin. The clear X-factor for Oregon was their dominance on the line. Oregon’s defense, which had struggled with tackling this year, sacked Shadeur Sanders seven times for a combined loss of 73 yards. The Buffaloes were limited to a mere 199 yards compared to the Ducks’ impressive 522. Colorado also committed 12 penalties, resulting in a loss of 103 yards.
Photo Cred: CBS Sports
Coach Deion Sanders made no excuses for his team’s performance after the game, stating, “What transpired was a good old-fashioned butt-kicking.” Nevertheless, Prime remained optimistic, saying, “This is the worst we’re going to get beat. I can see the future, and it looks really good, so I’m excited about it.”
It will be fascinating to observe how Colorado and Coach Prime recover from such a defeat. Also intriguing will be how Oregon responds to the newfound national attention and media scrutiny that such a victory inevitably brings. But don’t make a mistake, Sanders feels he will build this team into national contenders.