(AP) — Upstart Colorado and flashy coach Deion Sanders will face a true test Saturday against No. 10 Oregon on the road in front of a sellout crowd at Autzen Stadium.
Colorado needed double overtime to defeat Colorado State 43-35 after opening the season with wins against TCU and Nebraska. Oregon is coming off a 55-10 rout of Hawaii last weekend, but the Ducks proved their mettle the week before in a come-from-behind victory over Texas Tech. The Ducks are averaging 58 points a game, second in the nation.
No. 19 Colorado (3-0) at No. 10 Oregon (3-0), Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (Fox)
Line: Oregon by 21, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series record: Oregon leads 15-9.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Upstart Colorado and flashy coach Deion Sanders will face a true test on the road in front of a sellout crowd at Autzen Stadium. Colorado needed double overtime to defeat Colorado State 43-35 last weekend while Oregon is coming off a 55-10 rout of Hawaii. A win by the Buffs would be an extraordinary accomplishment by a team that has been the talk of college football. The Ducks have national championship aspirations and can start that march with a statement win of their own in this Pac-12 opener.
Both teams have created explosive plays on offense and limiting those will help determine the winner. The Ducks are averaging 58 points a game, second in the nation. Colorado allows 30.3 points per game, 102nd in the nation, and is a woeful 122nd in overall defense, surrendering more than 460 yards per game. Oregon’s defense has allowed an average of just 158.7 passing yards a game, best in the Pac-12, and an average of only 15.7 points per game.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Colorado: Quarterback Shedeur Sanders finished with 348 yards, four TDs and one interception against Colorado State. Overall, Sanders is ranked fourth nationally with a 78.7% completion rate, and he’s averaging 417 passing yards a game, second nationally to Washington’s Michael Penix.
Oregon: Quarterback Bo Nix is the best signal-caller Colorado has seen so far this season. He is averaging 297.7 passing yards a game and that’s after sitting out most of the second half against both Portland State and Hawaii after Oregon built big leads. He needs just two two completions to become the third active QB to reach 1,000 in his career.
FACTS & FIGURES
Oregon is one of just two teams, with Penn State, not to have a penalty this season. … Colorado has forced 10 turnovers this season. … Oregon beat Colorado 49-10 last year in Boulder. … The Buffs are facing two tough games to start the conference season. After visiting Oregon, they return home to host No. 5 USC. … Colorado has allowed 16 sacks this season, tied for second-worst in the nation, which cost the Buffaloes 134 yards. … Buffs receiver Xavier Weaver is averaging 128.7 receiving yards a game, fourth-most in the nation. … Colorado has sold out its home games for the first time ever.