Colorado at Oregon St. Preview and Game Thread

Scott Crichton having a good game pressuring Colorado quarterback Connor Wood could be just the ticket for Oregon St. to stay atop the Pac-12 North.
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Colorado (2-0) at Oregon St. (3-1, 1-0) / Reser Stadium / 12 NOON PDT / Pac-12 Channel / KEJO 1240 AM / KEX 1190 AM

Game Notes / Colorado Game Notes

Having secured their 100th win of this century with their 34-30 win in San Diego, Oregon St. now hosts Colorado in Corvallis for the first time ever, in the Pac-12 opener for the Buffs, and the first home conference game of the season for the co-Pac-12 North leading Beavers.

It's only the 6th meeting ever between the teams, and the first since a 28-21 Buffs win in Boulder in 1988, when Colorado running back Eric Bienemy's running slightly out-shone Oregon St. quarterback Eric Wilhelm throwing. The Beavers also lost in Colorado 38-14 in 1983, after winning the first 3 meetings.

Oregon St. last beat Colorado in 1964, a 14-7 win in Boulder. It was the "return game" after a 41-6 win in 1963, in a game played in Portland (Oregon St. played most of their more marquis home games away from home in those days). The only other meeting was a 16-0 Oregon St. win, also in Portland, way back in 1931.

So series history couldn't be more unimportant this time out.

What is important is both teams have passing games not to be trifled with, and are coming in on winning streaks.

Colorado's 2 game run is somewhat dated, given that their home game against Fresno St. 2 weeks ago was washed away by flooding in the region around Boulder, and on campus, and the Buffs already had a bye on the schedule for last week.

But Connor Wood is 6th in the nation in total offense per game, from those 2 games the Buffs did play, both wins by 2 touchdown margins. A big reason why is WR Paul Richardson, who leads the nation in receiving yards per game, about the only receiving stat not led by Oregon St.'s Brandin Cooks. Richardson, who missed part of the year before last, and all of last season, is the only receiver in the country who is over 200 yards per game, and has 2 touchdown catches in each of Colorado's games.

Cooks is second in yards per game, to go along with leading the country in total yards, touchdown catches, total catches, and catches per game. 3 out of 5 times Cooks catches a pass, it results in either a 1st down or a touchdown.

Being the favorite target of Oregon St. quarterback Sean Mannion, who leads the country in passing yards, and is third in total offense, is a good thing. Manion's 4 games to start the season all with over 350 yards passing is the first such 4 game stretch ever at Oregon St. Considering Derek "Air it out" Anderson, who is the alumni co-captain for today's game threw the ball around quite a bit for the Beavers, that's pretty notable.

With injuries to both starting RB Storm Woods and FB Tyler Anderson, and a shuffled and re-shuffled offensive line, Oregon St. isn't likely to make much progress on restoring balance to their offense, which is #3 in the nation in passing, and #121 in rushing.

And Colorado, still in the process of sorting out their backfield between Tony Jones and Christian Powell, isn't much better balanced, coming in at #110 in rushing, to go with the 7th ranked passing game.

The Oregon St. athletic department should have probably arranged to borrow that air raid siren from Husky Stadium.

Buildingthedam.com will be at the game, and back afterwards, with complete coverage and analysis.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com

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