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Buffaloes Fall To No. 8 Ducks

Nov 5, 2022
CU's Jordyn Tyson races to an 81-yard touchdown reception.

BOULDER — Colorado's defense could not stop No. 8 Oregon's high-powered offense and the Buffaloes' offense squandered opportunities and committed critical turnovers Saturday as CU dropped a 49-10 decision at Folsom Field.

The Buffs fell to 1-8 overall and 1-5 in Pac-12 play while the Ducks improved to 8-1, 6-0.

Oregon scored on four of its first five possessions while the Buffs found the end zone just once before halftime after coming up empty deep in Ducks territory early in the game. Colorado managed to open the third quarter with a field goal, but the Ducks tacked on three more touchdowns in the second half — two aided by interceptions thrown by CU quarterback J.T. Shrout — to roll to the win.

Shrout finished 17-for-34 for 247 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, both going to former Colorado cornerback Christian Gonzalez. CU true freshman wide receiver Jordyn Tyson had another outstanding day, hauling in five catches for 137 yards, including an 81-yard reception that gave the Buffs their only score of the day.

But Tyson's day ended on a difficult note as he was helped from the field into the locker room in the fourth quarter after suffering what coach Mike Sanford called a "significant" injury.

Oregon quarterback Bo Nix burnished his Heisman Trophy candidacy with 274 yards and two touchdowns passing, two more scores rushing and one receiving.

The Buffs finished with 367 yards total offense while Oregon had 479.

"Hats off to Oregon, a really good football team," Sanford said. "I thought at halftime we were competing at a fairly high level and we came out and put together a drive to put three on the board. But just having answers consistently proved to be a challenge."

HOW IT HAPPENED: The Ducks scored on the game's opening possession, going 75 yards in six plays, capping the march with a 4-yard Nix pass to backup left tackle Josh Conerly.

The Buffs answered with a long drive of their own, marching deep into Oregon territory. Shrout had completions of 17 and 9 yards on the march, plus a 12-yard scamper after being flushed from the pocket.

But after moving to a first-and-10 at the Oregon 25, the drive stalled. Deion Smith picked up 8 yards on two carries, but Shrout threw incomplete and Jayle Stacks was stopped for a 1-yard gain on fourth-and-2 and CU came away empty.

Oregon then established control for good, adding touchdown marches covering 85 and 70 yards. Nix caught an 18-yard touchdown pass from running back Bucky Irving and linebacker Noah Sewell got into the action with a 1-yard touchdown dive, giving the Ducks a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter.

CU finally slowed Oregon's momentum when Shrout hit Tyson with an 81-yard scoring pass with 12:14 still to play in the second quarter. Tyson ran past Gonzalez, took Shrout's pass on the run and raced to the end zone to cut Oregon's lead to 21-7.

The Buffs then gave themselves a chance to narrow the deficit even more when the defense forced a UO punt and Colorado again drove into Oregon territory. But the drive again stalled and a 40-yard Cole Becker field goal try slipped wide right. 

The Ducks then wasted no time in pushing their lead to 28-7, with Nix throwing a 16-yard touchdown pass to wrap up a 78-yard scoring drive in the final minute of the half. The score sent Colorado into the locker room trailing 28-7 at intermission.

The Buffs shaved the deficit down to 18 on their first possession of the second half. Running back Alex Fontenot, making his first appearance since Week 2, had a 15-yard reception and a 27-yard run to help the Buffs into Oregon territory. But the drive stalled at the Oregon 26 and Colorado settled for a 44-yard Becker field goal to cut the Ducks' lead to 28-10.

CU's defense then came up with a big fourth-down stop at the Colorado 5-yard line on UO's ensuing possession. The Buffs got good pressure on Nix from edge rusher Jamar Montgomery and Colorado's coverage in the end zone forced Nix to throw it away.

But the Buffs quickly squandered the opportunity for momentum as Shrout threw into tight coverage two plays later. Oregon's Gonzalez intercepted and returned it to the CU 2-yard line. 

Two plays later, Nix carried in from 1 yard out to give the Ducks a 35-10 lead.

Gonzalez then put the finishing touches on the game for Oregon, intercepting Shrout again on the Buffs' next possession. Six plays later the Ducks had their sixth touchdown of the day and a 42-10 lead.

 "The game really got away from us with the two interceptions," Sanford said. "That's on all of us. That's on me. It starts out with the head coach. We have  to make sure that we put our guys in the best position."

The Ducks then added another score early in the fourth quarter after CU failed to convert a fourth down at midfield. Nix finished a 51-yard scoring march with a 1-yard TD run, giving him two touchdowns rushing, two passing and one receiving for the game.

"The thing I'm most proud of with this team is I've had a chance to look them in the eyes on the sideline and I've never seen one person quit on the field," Sanford said. "I think we're fighting through four quarters. And that's going to be our calling card because you just never know when it does all click and all of a sudden here we are in a ball game against one of the top teams in the country."

TYSON UPDATE: Sanford said after the game that Tyson has suffered a "significant" lower leg injury, but was still undergoing examinations by team medical personnel.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Jordyn," Sanford said. "He's put together as impressive of a true freshman campaign as I've personally been a part of at that receiver position."

Tyson had his second straight 100-yard receiving game, and the 81-yard touchdown catch was CU's longest play from scrimmage this season. He also has the longest play this year, an 88-yard punt return for a touchdown last week against Arizona State, and he also had a 58-yard scoring catch in that game.

In his last three games, he has caught 13 passes for 344 yards and two touchdowns.

TURNING POINT: The Buffs had a chance to answer Oregon's opening touchdown by driving deep into UO territory, but came up short on fourth-and-2. The Ducks responded with an 85-yard touchdown drive to take firm control and Colorado never threatened again.

WHAT IT MEANS: The Buffs now have just three more opportunities to collect a second win, and it's possible all could be against ranked teams.

UP NEXT: The Buffs head to Los Angeles next Friday for a 7:30 p.m. game against No. 9 USC at the Coliseum (FS1).