Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon beats Colorado 41-24 to go 3-2 for the season 1-1 in Pac-12 race.

It was competitive for the first half, but in the second half Oregon kept things simple and ran the ball. Royce Freeman finished the night rushing for 163 yards and two touchdowns while freshman Taj Griffin added 109 yards and a TD.

Oregon is now 3-2 for the season and 1-1 in conference play while Colorado drops to 3-2 for the season and 0-1 in conference action.

Oregon ran for 361 yards of the total 537 yards. Freeman carried the ball 27 times for an even 6-yard per carry average. His longest was 29 that led to Oregon’s first score in the first quarter. Freeman added the second score at the 10:02 mark on a 3-yard run.

Griffin was superb and got his yardage on just 10 carries giving him a 10.1 ypc average for the game.

The Ducks used two quarterbacks, Jeff Lockie, the starter and then brought Taylor Alie. The two traded time as the game went along. Lockie was 8-for-11 for 54 yards and an interception while Alie was 4-for-9 for 83 yards and one touchdown pass to Jalen Brown covering 43 yards. Bralon Addison also threw a TD pass to Charles Nelson in the first half for 39 yards.

Aidan Schneider booted two field goals from 39 and 33 yards out.

Colorado was very much into the game all the way up until the middle of  the fourth quarter. At the start of the fourth, Oregon had the ball on 3rd and 1 at the Colorado 48 leading by 14 (31-7), but was unable to convert the first down and turned the ball over on downs. It what may have been the longest three minutes of the night, the Buffaloes moved the ball down to the 11 yard line where the ball was fumbled and after a long review process, possession was awarded the Colorado, first and goal at the seven (where it was determined the ball was recovered.) Sefo Liufau ended the drive by running straight up the middle and following the successful point after, Oregon’s lead was 31-24. From that point on however, Oregon’s running game and a suddenly refreshed defense took over.

Liufau was 25-for-42 for 230 yards and a touchdown to Shay Fields covering 8 yards. Christian Powell also had a rushing TD while Diego Gonzolez had a monster field goal from 52-yards out to complete the Colorado scoring.

Oregon’s much maligned defense held up for the most part but still gave up 24 points. The Ducks also had some luck when on at least two occasions, wide open Colorado receivers slipped and were unable to make catches. The Ducks also helped its cause by putting pressure on Liufau and sacked him five times.

Rodney Hardrick was the leading tackler with eight tackles, seven solos including two tackles for loss, one being a sack. Hardrick also forced a fumble. Terrodney Prevot, Christian French, Alex Balducci and Henry Mondeaux also recorded one sack each. DeForest Buckner also recorded a TFL, which translates to the Oregon defensive front accounted for all the tackles for loss including sacks for the first time this season.

Joe Walker had an interception and fumble recovery; Mondeaux also had credit for a recovering a fumble.

Buckner came very close to getting a couple of sacks but was given two quarterback hurries instead.


·         Addison recorded his first career TD pass.

·         Freeman recorded his ninth 100-yard rushing game of his career.

·         Freeman is now eighth in career rushing touchdowns at Oregon with 25. He passed Saladin McCullough (24, 1996-97) against Colorado.

·         Walker’s interception was the first of his career.

·         Lockie made his second career start.

·         Alie threw his first career TD.

·         Brown’s TD catch was the first of his career.

·         Griffin and Devon Allen had their first starts of the season against the Buffaloes.

·         Griffin’s 109 yards was his first 100-yard game as a college player.

·         Freeman and Griffin’s 100-yard plus performance each was the first time the Ducks have done this since Marcus Mariota and De’Anthony Thomas accomplished the same feat against Virginia in 2013.

·         The five sacks was a season high for Oregon.

·         The Ducks extended its consecutive game streak with a touchdown pass to 71 games, which is an NCAA record.

·         The win marked the fifth win over Colorado since it has joined the Pac-12.

·         Oregon had its first shutout third quarter of the year.

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