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Texas A&M Football

Around CFB: Coach Prime's Buffs set for top-20 showdown with Oregon

September 19, 2023

Deion Sanders has made his point.

His 3-0 Colorado Buffaloes have already tripled Colorado’s win total of a year ago.

He overhauled the Buffaloes roster. He has led Colorado into the top 20. He has instilled a winning attitude in Boulder. He installed his son, Shedeur, as the starting quarterback. Shedeur is now a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate.

Coach Sanders has also kept receipts from all those who doubted him.

“We told you we coming,” Deion Sanders said following a season-opening 45-42 upset of TCU. “You thought we was playing. And guess what? We keep receipts.”

Sanders has every right to gloat and keep “receipts.” But price tags for wins get higher come Saturday when the No. 18 Buffaloes travel to face No. 10 Oregon.

Unlike Colorado’s three previous opponents — TCU, Nebraska and Colorado State — Oregon complements an explosive offense with a sound defense.

Colorado averages a healthy 41.3 points. Oregon averages more (58). Colorado’s defense was gashed for 42 points by TCU and 35 by Colorado State.

Oregon has allowed 47 total points, though 30 were given up in a come-from-behind victory at Texas Tech.

Oregon also has a coach who needs to save face.

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Colorado is currently ranked 15th nationally in scoring offense. Oregon is ranked second.

At Oregon’s preseason media day, head coach Dan Lanning was asked about Colorado leaving the Pac-12 for the Big 12 next season.

“Not a big reaction,” Lanning said. “I'm trying to remember what they won to affect this conference, and I don't remember. Do you remember them winning anything? I don't remember them winning anything.”

Lanning is right.

Colorado has endured 16 losing records in the last 17 years. Also, Lanning's ire was more aimed at Colorado for its decision to exit the Pac-12.

Ironically, several weeks later, Oregon announced it was leaving the Pac-12 for the Big Ten.

None of that will prevent Lanning’s quote from appearing on Colorado bulletin boards.

The Autzen Stadium crowd will see an angry opponent intent on making Lanning eat those words.

But Colorado will face the best team it has seen thus far.

The Ducks will be highly motivated, too.

“We’re excited to go play a great opponent,” Lanning said. “This is going to be an awesome atmosphere for the Oregon Ducks, and this is one of those marquee games that we are really excited about, so we know we’re going to get everybody’s best, which is exactly what we want.

“I have a lot of respect for that team, and obviously, they are a completely different team than they were last year, so let's see what they look like when they go out on the field. I hope we get their best, and we are certainly going to try and give them ours.”

Heisman Watch
(If my ballot was due today)

1. Michael Penix, Washington, QB: He’s averaging four touchdown passes and more than 400 passing yards per game. That’s well on the way to qualifying as “Most Outstanding.” In a 41-7 blowout of Michigan State, Penix threw for 473 yards and four touchdowns. He has been remarkably consistent. He passed for 450 yards and five scores in a win over Boise State. He had 409 yards and three touchdowns against Tulsa. Not surprisingly, Penix leads the nation in passing and total offense.

2. Shedeur Sanders, Colorado, QB: Sanders is second in the nation in both passing and total offense. He has thrown for 1,251 yards and 10 touchdowns. Last week, he led the Buffaloes to a come-from-behind 43-35 victory over Colorado State. He completed 81 percent of his attempts for 348 yards and four touchdowns. Colorado trailed by eight points and was at its own 2-yard line with just under two minutes left in regulation. Sanders completed 5-of-6 passes for 106 yards (there were two penalties) on that drive, including a 45-yard touchdown pass, as well as passing for a two-point conversion to force overtime.

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Jordan Travis also rushed for 38 yards in this past Saturday’s narrow 31-29 win over Boston College.

3. Jordan Travis, Florida State, QB: He has had consecutive mundane showings since a tremendous performance in the season-opening victory over LSU. Last week, Travis passed for just 212 yards and two touchdowns as the Seminoles escaped a Boston College upset bid, 31-29. That’s not bad but hardly Heisman-worthy production. Overall, he’s thrown for 729 yards and eight touchdowns with one interception.

4. Caleb Williams, USC, QB: Last year’s Heisman winner also averages four touchdown passes per game. The Trojans were idle last week, but Williams has an opportunity to roll up huge stats this week against Arizona State. Through three games, he has passed for 878 yards and has not thrown an interception.

5. Jayden Daniels, LSU, QB: Daniels is ranked third in the nation in total offense. Last week, he completed 30-of-34 passes for 361 yards and two touchdowns in a 41-14 thrashing of Mississippi State. He also rushed for 64 yards and two touchdowns. Overall, he has passed for 976 yards and eight touchdowns with one interception. He has rushed for 157 yards and two touchdowns.

Predicted Playoff Participants

1. Georgia: South Carolina led 14-3 at halftime last week. Does that mean there are chinks in the Bulldogs’ armor? Maybe. But they dominated the second half for their 20th consecutive victory.

2. Michigan: Admittedly, the Wolverines were untested by three grossly inferior opponents. Still, they’ve only allowed one touchdown. Rutgers, which Michigan plays this week, might be the strongest opponent until a Nov. 11 trip to Penn State. Coach Jim Harbaugh returns from a three-game suspension.

3. Florida State: The close call vs. Boston College is reason for pause. But the Seminoles have the win over LSU. They potentially can add to their resume with a road win against Clemson.

4. Texas: The victory over Alabama now doesn’t seem that impressive. However, the Big 12 is looking like a cakewalk. Unless the Longhorns have their typical stunning loss (hello, Kansas), they have a realistic shot at running the Big 12 table. Meanwhile, it’s hard to project any team getting through the Pac-12 unscathed.

Games to Watch

No. 19 Colorado at No. 10 Oregon: Ducks are seeking their 10th win over the visiting Buffaloes in 11 seasons. Take the over. These are two of the highest-scoring teams in the nation.

No. 15 Ole Miss at No. 12 Alabama: Just how bad has it gotten for Alabama? We’ll find out.

No. 6 Ohio State at No. 9 Notre Dame: Neither has lost. Neither has been overly impressive. It’s a prove-it game for both.

No. 24 Iowa at No. 7 Penn State: The Nittany Lions haven’t gotten too much attention despite three easy wins. A victory over Iowa would change that. Expect it. Penn State has a strong defense. Iowa struggles to score. Take the under.

No. 4 Florida State at Clemson: It’s still September, and Clemson would be virtually eliminated from the ACC Championship with a loss. A defeat would damage Florida State’s College Football Playoff aspirations. The Seminoles are looking to end a seven-game losing streak to the Tigers.

Discussion from...

Around CFB: Coach Prime's Buffs set for top-20 showdown with Oregon

2,254 Views | 2 Replies | Last: 9 days ago by Matsui
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Honestly I do not see a way Oregon wins by less than 3 scores, I will eat my words if that ends up not being the case but Colorado's defense is horrid
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Love these summaries. Thanks!
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