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Football Practice Report: Nov. 1

Nov 1, 2022

Venue: Outdoor practice fields
Format: Full pads

When Colorado's offense swings for the fences, the Buffaloes tend to connect for home runs.

Through eight games this season, Colorado has the fewest pass completions of 10 yards or more in the Pac-12 Conference. But when the Buffs do throw long, they get their money's worth – Colorado does the best job in the conference of converting long pass plays into long, long pass plays.

Of the Buffs' 49 completions of 10 yards or more, 24.4 percent (12 total) have gone for at least 30 yards, and 12.2 percent (six total) have gone for at least 40 yards. Those percentages are, by far, the highest in the Pac-12.

"They definitely take more shots than we've seen in the past," said UO safety Steve Stephens IV, whose Ducks play at Colorado on Saturday (12:30 p.m., ESPN). "We've really got to diagnose their team, diagnose their offense and see when they do like to throw deep."

The Ducks have done a solid job much of this season defending deep balls. They've allowed the fourth-fewest pass plays of 20 or more yards in the Pac-12 this season, 24. Just four of those have been 40 yards are longer, one of which was in the waning seconds of the win at WSU and another with backups on the field late in last week's win at Cal.

Overall, it's been tough to throw over the top of the Ducks.

"Playing safety, they say keep the roof on the house," Stephens said. "That's what we've been trying to do week by week."

The guys manning the cornerback spots are on alert this week as well.

"We get targeted every week with deep balls," defensive back Trikweze Bridges said. "So we expect them to come. So we've just got to stay on top of our routes, and dominate the perimeter."

Notable: UO coach Dan Lanning confirmed reports Monday that wide receiver Seven McGee has left the program. "I wish him nothing but the best moving forward," Lanning said. … Receiver Chase Cota's status for Saturday's game is "to be determined" after Cota left the Cal game early, Lanning said. … The Ducks appealed linebacker Jeffrey Bassa's penalty for targeting at California to the Pac-12 Conference, but that appeal was unsuccessful and Bassa will miss the first half at Colorado.


Sophomore defensive back Christian Gonzalez
On returning to play this week at Colorado, the school from which he transferred

"It's a normal week. Just preparing like every other game. Obviously I'm going back to where I came from, but it's the same thing I've done week in, week out. Not looking at it any different. Just getting film study, getting what we gotta do done as a team. Just excited to go play another opponent."

Junior defensive back Steve Stephens IV
On seeing Jevon Holland and Verone McKinley III start together for the Dolphins last week

"I got to see a couple highlights ... I was happy my guys were out there on the field at the same time. It was truly a blessing, honestly."

Post-practice interviews:

Junior defensive back Steve Stephens IV

Sophomore defensive back Christian Gonzalez

Sophomore defensive back Trikweze Bridges