College Football Playoff still within reach after Oregon defeats Colorado

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EUGENE, OR – The No. 7 Oregon Ducks have struggled with consistency this season, but they hit their stride Saturday as they defeated the Colorado Buffaloes 52-29. The win moves Oregon one step closer to competing for their third straight Pac-12 Championship and brings them right back into the College Football Playoff conversation as they move to 7-1 (4-1 in Pac-12 play).

Oregon quarterback Anthony Brown brought a spark to the Duck’s offense where he threw for a career-high 307 yards and threw three touchdowns. The Ducks have struggled to score early this season but jumped out to an early 21-0 lead.

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“It’s good. Especially to get a win,” Brown stated when asked about his performance. “[we’re] trying to build off it.”

With junior running back CJ Verdell out indefinitely due to an undisclosed lower leg injury, the other backs were asked to step up. Brown found junior running back Travis Dye on the first drive of game for a 10-yard touchdown pass, who finished day with an impressive 122 all-purpose yards and 3 total touchdowns.

Freshman running backs Byron Cardwell and Seven McGee also scored their first career touchdowns. Cardwell with a 34-yard touchdown in the first quarter, and McGee punching in a 1-yard touchdown to finish it out in the fourth quarter. Freshman wide receiver Troy Franklin also caught his first career touchdown on a 28-yard play in the second quarter.

The Oregon defense was equally impressive, holding Colorado to a total of 22 yards in the first quarter. The strong first half play from the Ducks gave head coach Mario Cristobal a chance to get other players valuable experience.

“I think we took control of the game relatively early,” Cristobal said after the game. “When it was 45-14, we wanted to play a lot of guys. Guys who not only were backups but guys down the line a little bit that deserve playing time that are going to possibly have to step up and we wanted to let them play.”

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One of those players was five-star freshman quarterback Ty Thompson, who threw a costly interception on his third pass. After the interception Colorado made it a two-possession game after Brenden Rice, son NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice, caught a 16-yard touchdown pass from Brendon Lewis.

Anthony Brown was subsequently put back in at quarterback, where he finished the game and secured the Oregon victory. Brown and the Ducks will head to the University of Washington next Saturday, Nov. 6, to face the Huskies at 4:30 pm PST (ABC).

Photo by Megan Connelly / fi360 News