Week 9 - Colorado at Oregon

Posted Oct 25, 2012

Week 9 Fearless Prediction & Game Preview – Colorado at Oregon

Colorado (1-6) at Oregon (7-0) Oct. 27, 3:00, Pac-12 Networks

Here's The Deal: Oregon passed its biggest test of the year so far, yet still dropped a notch in the BCS standings. The rest of the Pac-12 is asking that the powers-that-be stop ticking this team off.

The Ducks walked into a potential minefield in Tempe, and wound up blowing up Arizona State on national TV, 43-21. The fact that they slipped behind Kansas State in the BCS standings might make for lively debate, but doesn't change Oregon's goals of winning a fourth consecutive conference championship and appearing in a second BCS National Championship Game in the last three years. The Ducks are poised for another title run, and a week away from a highly-anticipated showdown with USC at The Coliseum.

The misery continued last Saturday for Colorado, which has dropped its last three games by at least four touchdowns. While a .500 mark and a postseason invite weren't expected in head coach Jon Embree's second year, it's the lack of progress on the field that has frustrations growing inside the program and within the fan base. The Buffs aren't just losing games, they're regressing.

Why Colorado Might Win: Well, any hope that the Buffaloes have of shocking the college football world will require Oregon to look completely past them.

Colorado can't match the Ducks. Who can? Instead, it'll have to catch them in a classic sandwich game, dwelling on Arizona State in the rear view mirror and USC in the on-deck circle. The Buffs will look to establish the ground game, milking clock and keeping the host offense off the field. They boast a quality collection of backs, especially now that leading rusher Christian Powell has returned from injury. His power plus the shiftiness of Tony Jones will help absorb some pressure from a struggling passing game.

Why Oregon Might Win: The Ducks have a chip on their shoulder to go with the one on the sidelines.

Head coach Chip Kelly will maintain a poker face, but he has to be seething that his team has fallen in the BCS rankings. He'll have his guys playing with something to prove over the final five regular season games. The offense, led by QB Marcus Mariota and playmakers Kenjon Barner and De'Anthony Thomas have hung up at least 40 points in 10 straight. No. 11 is a near certainty. The defense doesn't get nearly enough credit, posting 43 combined sacks and takeaways through seven games, and generally causing mayhem with their speed and tenacity.

What To Watch Out For: How long will the Oregon starters last? The game ought to be safely in hand by the second quarter, encouraging Kelly and his staff to begin coaching with the USC game in mind shortly after halftime. With Trojans receivers Marqise Lee and Robert Woods next up for the Ducks, this week will be a good time to work on the secondary rotation by getting reps for sophomore backups Erick Dargan, Dior Mathis and Troy Hill.

What Will Happen: Oregon hasn't played an FCS team since Sept. 15. This week's game will have that kind of a feel for the team.

The Ducks' heads could be elsewhere this Saturday afternoon, and they'll still win by five touchdowns. Oregon will steamroll another opponent without breaking a sweat, getting plenty of reps for the reserves. This is one of those games in which relative unknown players, like QB Bryan Bennett and RB Byron Marshall, could finish the day with the best stat lines, as the stars get limited to two quarters of action

CFN Prediction: Oregon 58 … Colorado 13
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Oregon -46 O/U: 68.5
Must Watch Rating (5 – The Girl, 1 – Don't Trust The B In Apt. 23): 2.5