No. 19 Colorado has been the talk of the entire sports world -- not just college football -- as the Deion Sanders era in Boulder, Colorado, is off to a 3-0 start in the 2023 season. But now it's time for Coach Prime and the Buffaloes to stare their toughest test yet directly in the face as they are welcomed into Autzen Stadium on Saturday by No. 10 Oregon. Led by Heisman candidate Bo Nix at quarterback, many believe the Ducks will be the ones to bring Colorado back down to Earth amid the Buffs' dream start to the season.
The Buffaloes have earned that unblemished record to start the year despite flipping more than 70 players from their roster in the offseason. Colorado survived a double-overtime upset bid by Colorado State last week thanks in large part to quarterback Shedeur Sanders, who threw for 348 yards and four touchdowns -- including a game-tying 45-yard touchdown pass to Jimmy Horn Jr.
The matchup on Saturday marks the Pac-12 debut for Sanders, but it is the final meeting for these two programs as members of the same conference before they depart for the Big 12 (Colorado) and Big Ten (Oregon). Since Colorado joined the Pac-12 in 2011, Oregon has dominated the series. The Ducks hold an 8-1 record against the Buffs, including a 49-10 win in Boulder, Colorado, last season. The last Colorado win was in 2016, the year the Buffaloes claimed their lone Pac-12 South Division title.
How to watch Oregon vs. Colorado live
Date: Saturday, Sept. 23 | Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: Autzen Stadium -- Eugene, Oregon
TV: ABC | Live stream: fubo (Try for free)
Oregon vs. Colorado: Need to know
Brilliant Bo: Ducks quarterback Bo Nix broke out during his first season in Eugene, Oregon, and has only improved during the team's 3-0 start. The Auburn transfer is completing a ridiculous 78% of his passes for 893 yards and eight touchdowns on 9.1 yards per attempt. In a come-from-behind victory over Texas Tech, Nix led the Ducks in both yards passing and rushing to outlast a hungry Red Raiders squad. Oregon scored on its final three drives to pull off the 38-30 victory.
Resilient Buffs: The Buffaloes have played three completely different game scripts against talented opponents, but survived each time. TCU forced Colorado into a shootout. Nebraska made the game a defensive slugfest. Colorado State handed the Buffs their first major deficit. Colorado has responded and won games in different ways. That is one of the hallmarks of a well-coached team. Nix is the best quarterback Colorado has played by far, so the Buffaloes will likely have to survive some haymakers.
Testing trenches: Colorado offensive coordinator Sean Lewis has done a masterful job of keeping the game outside of the box and utilizing the short passing game to make up for a sputtering rushing attack. Still, a massive gap remains between these two teams along the line of scrimmage. Oregon ranks No. 17 nationally in rushing offense and No. 70 in rushing defense. Colorado ranks No. 127 in rushing offense and No. 119 in rushing defense. The Buffaloes need to find ways to create rushing yards and stay on schedule against a physical Oregon defense. Helping matters, the Buffaloes could get Houston transfer running back Alton McCaskill back.
Oregon vs. Colorado prediction, picks
Odds via SportsLine consensus
Oregon presents Colorado its biggest challenge by far, but the Buffaloes are comfortable getting into a shootout with their high-powered offense. Shedeur Sanders has thrown for more than 1,200 yards in just three games and will get his against Oregon. The Ducks come away victorious, but it will come down to the fourth quarter. Pick: Colorado +21
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