Thank God that's over. The Ducks stick it to a getting-better-but-still-pretty-awful Colorado Buffaloes team.
The score was 70-14, and it wasn't as close as it sounds. Oregon went into halftime with a 56-0 victory, er, lead. Win The Day, indeed.
The Ducks scored on their first seven possessions—I'm talking touchdowns, not field goals—and Oregon punter Jackson "I have the easiest job in America" Rice did not make an appearance until 10:35 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Before we get into the finer points of the game, I have one small issue with the University of Oregon Athletic Department: do you not check who the Ducks' opponent is, and what color uniforms they will be wearing before deciding on the color combo for the home team?
Black is one of Colorado's colors, and it was extremely likely that the Buffs would be wearing black pants. Who is the genius at Oregon who decided the Ducks would wear all black unis today? It's not like you don't have any other options, Oregon. Let's find out whose job it is to make these decisions and see if we can talk some sense into them.
The lightning yellow gloves were very cool though.
OK, now that the fashion issue is out of the way, it's time to say: Welcome back, DAT. De'Anthony Thomas has not played his usual, electrifying game the past 2-3 weeks, but he got well today.
After Kenjon Barner scored Oregon's first touchdown 1:47 into the game, DAT got the second TD less than two minutes later. But it was Thomas' second touchdown, scored on a brilliant "how did he do that?!?" punt return that reminded 57,000+ fans why he is one of the best college football players in America. Words can't describe that touchdown, other than that DAT was simply showing off. Sports Center highlight all the way.
I hate to say this because I think Colorado head coach Jon Embree is a cool guy, but the Buffs looked disorganized—at times like chickens running around with their heads cut off. Of course, when you are playing a team whose back-up quarterback rushes for three touchdowns, you must know you are over-matched.
Oregon back-up QB Bryan Bennett, who played early and often, should probably be the Pac-12 offensive player of the week. Can a back-up player win that award? Guess we'll see.
Starting wide receiver Josh Huff had a nice game...finally. Huff made the cornerback on his side cry. Well, I don't know that the young man actually cried, but it's possible the way Huff was making him look.
However, someone needs to talk to Huff about his blocking. He keeps missing some key blocks; one in the first quarter that would have sprung Kenjon Barner for a touchdown. The Ducks scored on the next play anyway, but that's not the point.
Oregon students sitting in the student sections get two free tacos if the Ducks score 43 points. The most tension in today's game was would they get four tacos if the Ducks scored 86 points? I guess we'll have to wait for another day to get the answer to that question.
As this game progressed, there was increasingly bad news for the rest of the Pac-12 Conference. True freshman running back, Byron "Marshall Plan" Marshall, is a real gamer. This kid is reminiscent of a young Jonathan Stewart. I know it's early, but if you are a Duck fan, you have to be drooling at the prospect of De'Anthony Thomas, Byron Marshall and Thomas Tyner in the Oregon backfield for the next couple of years.
We would be remiss in not mentioning blooming superstar safety Avery Patterson. Patterson did not get an interception today, breaking his streak of three straight games with a pick, but no matter. He did recover a Colorado fumble in the first quarter that helped get the rout going. This guy is a ball hawk, and plays smart, heads-up football.
In other Oregon player news, tight end Colt Lyerla and linebacker Kiko Alonso did not play, believed to be nursing not-life-threatening injuries. Hopefully, both those guys will be ready for Surfer Dude & Co seven days from now.
Who will win the Pac-12 Conference?
All this talk across the country about strength of schedule, and the smack talk between fans of top-ranked teams about who played who, and who hasn't played anybody is starting to get old. At some point, you must look at this Oregon team and say "This is a great team."
Lastly, Oregon has a very fun tradition at Autzen Stadium. You may not know this, but the University of Oregon was the setting for the cult movie classic "Animal House". At the end of the third quarter, the stadium rocks with Otis Day & the Knights version of "Shout" from the movie on Oregon's huge videotron. Everyone sings along and throws their hands up and shouts.
The best part of the entire game today was the Colorado band during the "Shout". They were totally into it, rocking out and having more fun than anyone. Of course, if your team is behind 70-14 what else are you going to do?