Week 4’s Colorado vs Oregon matchup at Autzen Stadium on September 23 could see a major slowdown for the Coach Prime hype train in Boulder. Although the Buffs were able to beat TCU in Week 1 as a similarly counted-out underdog — a Horned Frogs program coming off a College Football Playoff National Championship runner-up season, no less — the Ducks present a different challenge altogether.
TCU had lost most of its stars to the NFL draft, most notably quarterback Max Duggan and wideout Quentin Johnston, whereas Oregon and the Ducks’ No. 9 overall transfer class strengthened a Dan Lanning-coached squad that brings back Heisman hopeful Bo Nix under center.
The sizeable spread gap between Colorado and the favorite isn’t disrespectful in Week 4 as it was for their kickoff. We know what the Buffs are now, and for the next few weeks they’re without two-way star and Heisman hopeful Travis Hunter, but we also have known for a while that Oregon is one of the top teams in the Pac-12.
Colorado vs Oregon Odds, Spread, and Total
The point spread for Week 4 has Oregon as a -20.5 point favorite. Colorado is a +650 underdog on the moneyline, while Oregon is a heavy -1000 favorite. The over/under is set at 70.5, meaning that the oddsmakers are expecting a high-scoring affair. All lines are courtesy of BetMGM and are subject to change.
Colorado vs Oregon How to Watch
Date: September 23, 2023
Game Time: 1:30 pm Mountain Time
Venue: Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon
How to Watch: ABC, which is available on FuboTV.
Colorado Record: 3-0
Oregon Record: 3-0
Colorado vs Oregon Key Players to Watch
Jimmy Horn Jr.: We’ve established that Xavier Weaver is Shedeur Sanders’ WR1, but with Hunter out of the picture, someone needs to step up as WR2. Enter Weaver’s USF teammate in years past, Jimmy Horn Jr.
Horn is already ahead of Hunter in receptions and receiving yards, but that was with Hunter as a decoy. Without that cover, it’s on Horn to be more of a big-play receiver like Weaver has been through the first three weeks of the season.
Dylan Edwards: Oregon showed a weakness in run defense in Week 2 against Texas Tech, giving up over 100 yards to Red Raiders quarterback, and ex-Ducks signal-caller, Tyler Shough while giving up another 66 yards (on just six carries) to Tahj Brooks.
Since a Week 1 explosion that mostly happened in the short passing game, Buffs RB Dylan Edwards has been quiet. If CU stands a chance against the Ducks in Eugene on Saturday, he needs to make serious noise again.
Bo Nix: This one is obvious. Nix is one of the top quarterbacks in the country, sitting at No. 8 in completion percentage at an 181 passer rating. Without Hunter, Nix could have his biggest game yet this season against Colorado.
Troy Franklin: Though Nix’s brother, Tez Johnson, is now one of his route-runners, it’s Troy Franklin who is far and away his top weapon in the passing game. Franklin is No. 24 in the nation through three weeks in receiving yards.
Colorado vs Oregon Prediction and Pick
This week doesn’t look good for Colorado. Though they’ve been the most significant surprise thus far in the 2023 season — going from a program projected to hit the under on a 3.5 over/under win total before the season to a ranked team by Week 2 and an undefeated team by Week 4 — all good things eventually come to an end.
CU’s undefeated streak is going down hard in Week 4 in Eugene.