Oregon opponent early scouting report: Colorado

We’re taking an early look at Oregon’s opponents for the 2023 regular season.
Game date & time: Autzen Stadium, Sept. 23
2022 record: (1-11)
Coach: Deion Sanders, first year (27-6)
Returning starters: 6 offense, 3 defense
Most important returning players: RB Anthony Hankerson, OL Gerad Christian-Lichtenhan, DE Chance Main, S Trevor Woods
Most critical departures: WR Jordyn Tyson, LB Josh Chandler-Semedo, CB Nikko Reed
Oregon storylines:
Nikko Reed vs. former school
The Colorado transfer will get a chance to face his former team, much in the way Christian Gonzalez did in 2022.
Ducks defensive line vs. Gerad Christian-Lichtenhan
Oregon’s defensive line will get to renew acquaintances with the Colorado tackle, who had the notorious remarks about the interior of UO’s defensive line before last year’s game.
Pass rush, defense
This should be a fair assessment of Oregon’s pass rush and pass defense as a whole. Colorado’s offense has weapons and is going to have to score a lot of points to win games this season. Oregon’s defense is the most talented group the Buffs will have seen to this point. The Ducks should have ample opportunities to pressure Shedeur Sanders and contain him to the pocket as well. How Oregon’s defense executes at each level will be a real test.
Colorado storylines:
Deion Sanders
Colorado has generated more attention in the months since hiring the NFL Hall of Famer than in its entire tenure in the Pac-12. Even if Colorado is 0-3 entering this game, there will be national attention wherever Sanders is. If CU is anything better than 1-2 and Oregon is 3-0, this could easily be a national TV game.
Shedeur Sanders, Travis Hunter vs. Oregon defense
The most prominent Jackson State transfers, Sanders and Hunter are going to be two of CU’s biggest playmakers. Oregon’s defense will be the most talented group they have faced to this point.
Cormani McClain vs. Oregon’s receivers
McClain was another premier recruit to follow Deion Sanders. He was committed to Miami and Oregon was among the many to pursue him as well. UO’s receiving corps will be the best McClain has seen in his brief career at this point and those will be significant matchups no matter who he’s lined up against.
An Oregon win would mean:
Opening Pac-12 play with a win and likely improving to either 3-1 or 4-0 entering a trip to Stanford before the bye week. It’ll also be 10 of 11 and four straight wins over CU, which Oregon probably won’t see again for a long time. If the defense and pass rush show out it’ll also be a boost to those units from a national credibility perspective.
An Oregon loss would mean:
A massive disappointment on what will likely be a national stage. Even if Colorado is somehow 2-1 entering this game, the Buffs do not have the talent yet to contend for a conference title. An upset here would be a monumental signature win for Sanders and a potentially devastating blow to UO given the second half of its schedule. With a loss to Texas Tech another loss would end CFP hopes before October.

Latest Player Notes

If that really was Drake Maye’s last game in Chapel Hill, it provided a fitting full-circle ending

UPDATED NOVEMBER 13, 2023 2:49 PMHere was Drake Maye in the middle of it all late Saturday night, in the middle of the kind ...

Shedeur Sanders closing in on CU Buffs single-season records through pain of all the sacks and hits

PUBLISHED November 13, 2023 at 12:38 p.m. | UPDATED: November 13, 2023 at 12:40 p.m.BOULDER — Shedeur Sanders is closing ...

Tenth Anniversary of Kick Six: Inside video, "Official" look at Historic Iron Bowl Shocker

Published Nov. 13, 2023, 6:00 a.m.By Creg Stephenson See and hear history behind Kick Six (excuse the ads, but this is ...

Goodman: Jimbo Fisher is out and Nick Saban wins again

Updated: Nov. 13, 2023, 10:00 a.m.|By Joseph GoodmanJimbo Fisher is out at Texas A&M, which goes to show that even when a ...

Huard on Huskies: Why a win over No. 10 Oregon St would be huge

The No. 5 UW Huskies’ quest to make the College Football Playoff went through the two-time defending Pac-12 champions on ...

USC’s loss to Oregon exposes clear flaws in program-building up front

EUGENE, Ore. — In January, Lincoln Riley was on the sidelines at SoFi for the College Football Playoff championship game, ...

Two years after winning school-record 12 games, Brady Hoke out as Aztecs football coach

Brady Hoke is out as San Diego State’s football coach.SDSU released a statement Monday morning saying that Hoke is retiring, ...

Oregon’s Bo Nix named Pac-12 offensive player of the week for third time in 2023

Oregon’s Bo Nix earned his third weekly honor from the Pac-12.Nix, who went 23 of 31 for a season-high 412 yards with four ...

Oregon Ducks’ head coach Dan Lanning mentioned as a leading candidate for Texas A&M job

Oregon Ducks head coach Dan Lanning has been mentioned as a leading candidate to replace Jimbo Fisher as coach of the Texas ...

After ‘tough day,’ Boise State AD searches for a football coach; defensive analyst promoted

Boise State athletic director Jeramiah Dickey was on the job for less than a week the last time he began a search for a football ...
See More Player Notes