Why the Ducks must beat Colorado on Saturday:
1. After a discouraging loss last week at Nebraska, Oregon needs to quickly get back on track. If the Ducks were to suffer a second loss in a row, things could spiral out of control quickly.
2. Oregon disappointed its fans at home with two bad losses early in the season against Utah and Washington State. The Ducks already have had fewer fans in attendance this season, so they need to make sure they are winning at home.
3. The easiest way to put the loss to Nebraska in the rearview mirror is to beat Colorado and start the Pac-12 season off right. If the Ducks can make a run to start conference play, people will soon forget about the loss last week.
4. Oregon suffered injuries to Royce Freeman, Devon Allen and Tyrell Crosby in last week’s loss, and the Ducks must show that they are still a “next man up” program, and a win would do that. Allen and Crosby are done for the season.
5. Mark Helfrich and the coaching staff have deservedly taken a ton of heat the past two seasons for poor decision and a lack of preparedness. This is the first adversity that Oregon has faced this season, and the coaches need to show that they can adapt and keep the program moving forward despite setbacks.
COLORADO AT OREGON
When: 2:30 p.m. Saturday
TV: Pac-12 Network
Prediction: Oregon 45, Colorado 34