EUGENE, Ore. – Over the course of three weeks it’s been coming together for Oregon quarterback Anthony Brown Jr.
Brown threw for a career-high 307 yards and three touchdowns and No. 7 Oregon had a season-high 568 yards of offense in a 52-29 victory over Colorado on Saturday.
Travis Dye ran for two touchdowns and caught a scoring pass to help Oregon (7-1, 6-1 Pac-12) extend its winning streak at Autzen Stadium to 17 games.
“Efficiency, consistency and just making the right reads all around the board,” Brown said about his progress. “And it came from a lot of things, but just staying in the groove and continuing to do what I do throughout the week, continuing my my process, watching extra film and doing extra things and just continuing that.”
Although he was met by some boos from the home crowd early against Cal on Oct. 15, Brown shook off the critics and rallied Oregon with two straight touchdowns in the fourth quarter for a 24-17 victory. The final touchdown was Brown’s 11-yard keeper.
Brown did it again last weekend in a 34-31 victory at UCLA with a 43-yard, fourth-quarter touchdown run that ultimately kept the game out of reach for the Bruins. He finished with 296 yards passing and 85 yards rushing.
“The supporting cast continues to elevate their play, which, in turn, as Anthony continues to elevate his play, his attention to detail, his accuracy, his decision making – all those things cumulatively add up the better play as an offense,” Oregon coach Mario Cristobal said.
Colorado was coming off a 26-3 loss at California. The Buffaloes went into the game in Eugene ranked second-to-last in the Pac-12 for touchdowns and points per game.
The Buffaloes were without All-America linebacker Nate Landman because of a soft-tissue injury. Last week in a loss to Cal, Landman became just the sixth player in Buffs’ history with 400 career tackles.
“I felt that this team played hard overall,” Colorado coach Karl Dorrell said. “I thought offensively we made some some tough plays in some critical moments. We had some fourth downs we had to go for, had to extend some plays and we made those plays. The receivers, tight ends, backs, all, I thought they played hard, ran hard.”
Dye caught a touchdown pass and ran for another in the opening half as Oregon built a 31-14 lead.
Colorado scored a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter to close the gap to 45-29, but the Ducks ended it on freshman Seven McGee‘s 1-yard touchdown run with 50 seconds left.
“I think we showed that when we’re playing our our starters, and when we play and execute, we’re really good football team, can be a really good football team. And I think what makes us good is that we know we can get a lot better,” Cristobal said. “That’s the best way to put it: It’s a hungry driven team. We did some really good things today, some other things that we can do better.”
Ducks receiver Johnny Johnson III was ejected in the third quarter for targeting on Rice on a kickoff return. Colorado’s Tyrin Taylor was also flagged for targeting and ejected during the quarter.
RICE’S BIG GAME
Rice has his second career 100-yard receiving game. He also had 162 kickoff return yards and his 281 all-purpose yards rank him 13th on Colorado’s career list for all-purpose years in a game.
“The first one I thought I was going to take it to the house, but out of nowhere, I just saw a flash or green or yellow or whatever they are. And I just got hit. I was very disappointed. I was trying to get in the end zone all day,” he said about his returns.
Colorado: Earlier this week Colorado coach Karl Dorrell announced that he had relieved offensive line coach Mitch Rodrigue of his duties. Colorado said it would honor the terms of his contract.
Oregon: Former Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, now with the NFL’s Raiders, was at the homecoming game and received an ovation when he was introduced to the crowd. It was Mariota’s 28th birthday. … The Ducks also honored WNBA players Sabrina Ionescu and Satou Sabally, both former Ducks. … Oregon center Alex Forsyth missed his fourth game with back spasms.
Colorado: Hosts Oregon State next Saturday.
Oregon: At Washington next Saturday.