A struggling Colorado offense prepares to face a gritty Duck defensive unit




 

It's a matchup that, on paper, just doesn't set up well for Colorado.

The Ducks and Buffaloes are scheduled to kick off at 12:30 p.m. PST inside Autzen Stadium televised nationally on FOX. Even Colorado might admit it's not exactly the best time to face Oregon.

Colorado's offense has struggled all season long to put points on the board and now it faces a healthy Duck defense that looks to keep rolling along.

The Buffaloes rank 11th in the conference in points as they average just 15 points a game. Only Arizona is behind them in putting points on the scoreboard.

They're last in total yards (238 ypg), passing yards (117 ypg), and ninth in rushing (121 ypg). While Oregon's defensive rankings aren't the best in the world, the Ducks have played most games without Kayvon Thibodeaux, which is a completely different defense when he is out there. Just ask California and UCLA.

Colorado's biggest weapon offensively is tailback Jarek Broussard. Although he is averaging just 48 yards a game, he doesn't get the carries later in games as the Buffaloes are usually behind. But when they are in the game, Broussard as the ability to do damage.

"He was the conference offensive player of the year last year, extremely quick, dynamic runner and he can make guys miss," Oregon defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter said. "You design offensive plays where there's usually someone going to be free, well that guy makes you miss a bunch and you have to have multiple guys at the point of attack."

Unfortunately for Colorado, however, it's had to go away from the running game early because they fall behind. The Buffaloes has been held to single digits in three of their seven games so far.

Colorado's offensive struggles might be due to the fact the Buffaloes are playing a freshman at quarterback in Brendon Lewis. The second-year freshman played in just one game last season, in the Alamo Bowl, but he won the starting job in camp.

Once ranked as the 12th-best duel-threat quarterback in the country out of Melissa, Texas, Lewis has found it difficult throwing the ball downfield on any consistant basis. He did, however, manage to throw for 248 yards and two touchdowns in the 34-0 romp over Arizona two weeks ago.

But he then followed that performance up by throwing for just 69 yards in the 26-3 loss to Cal last weekend.

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