Since Colorado has joined the Pac-12 Oregon has won all four games (2011, 45-2; 2012, 70-14; 2013, 57-16; 2014, 44-10). The games haven't been close. Oregon used a stingy defense and the quick-strike offense against the Buffaloes and for all intents and purposes the contests were over at halftime.
This year however, Oregon a suffered mightily on both offense on defense. Last week the Utah Utes exposed the Ducks shortcomings and left Autzen Stadium with a 62-20 win and there's little doubt most all the remaining opponents on the Ducks' schedule see hope for the first time in several season against Oregon.
The Ducks are deadlast in the conference in nearly every defensive catagory, points allowed (40.8 ppg) total offense (474.8 ypg) pass defense (301.2 ppg), pass defense efficiency (152.7), first downs allowed (24.5), 4th down confersions allowed (4-of-7 or 87.8 percent).
To put it bluntly, Oregon is not a good good defensive team, and after last week, the offense and special teams are in question too.
Colorado on the other hand has been making steady improvement. After losing to Hawaii on the road, 28-20 in the season opener, the Buffaloes haver reeled off three straight wins. They beat Massachusetts in Boulder, 48-14, then followed that up with a 27-24 win over arch rival Colorado State in a game played in Denver and finally the big win over FCS Nichols last week at home.
The Buffaloes are second best in the conference in points allowed (16.5 ppg), fourth in total defense at 341.2 and sixth in total offense at 477.5 ypg. Nelson Spruce is the third best receiver in receptions (6.9 ppg) in the conference and is averaging 69 ypg receiving.
However, during Mark Helfrich's weekly Tuesday media conference, the headman was asked how are the Ducks changing things on defense?
Helfrich, is never particularly direct in answering media questions and today was no different.
He ultimate response to the question was "playing fast, playing with confidence and doing your job."
Colorado is not the pushover that they have been in past few years and if the Ducks hope to get on the right track with a win, the changes Helfrich mentioned must happen, or Oregon could be in for a long evening in Boulder.