Colorado’s Shedeur Sanders took the final snap of the first half under center, and took a knee. It’s called the victory formation when it happens as time expires and the winning team is showing mercy. In this context, it was a concession. CU ran off the field, but Oregon had played them off of it from the first snap anyway in a dominant 42–6 dismantling of the Buffaloes.
It is abundantly clear Oregon entered this game with the intent to send a message. Well, consider it clearly received. Before the game, Oregon head coach Dan Lanning told his team in the locker room:
"The Cinderella story's over. They're fighting for clicks, we're fighting for wins. There's a difference. This game ain't gonna be played in Hollywood. It's played on the grass."
They didn’t have to wait til midnight, what had been done by halftime was enough to prove their point. You will seldom see a more comprehensive performance in one half of football than what Oregon did in the opening stanza. The teams went into the break with Oregon leading 35-0. The only drive Oregon didn’t score on was a Bo Nix interception. Oregon had another get stymied inside their own 20-yard line but surprisingly faked a punt, a nod to how stiff they viewed their competition to truly be (read: not at all). CU registered .9 yards per play on 24 plays, with 21 total yards and 2-7 on third down. The kneel down by Sanders was not the only time he moved backwards after taking the snap, as four first half sacks saw drives get killed by Sanders making bad plays worse by dropping back deep behind his line of scrimmage.
"We're not done yet. We're not satisfied. I hope everyone that's been watching (Colorado) every week is still watching,” Lanning said to ESPN.
It’s not often Oregon gets to play blue collar as the program that wore color changing cleats and helmets, but the chip was placed firmly on Oregon’s shoulder by the untold amounts of hype around this Colorado program so far this season. It’s no secret in coaching circles that there’s more than a little professional jealousy for the attention paid to Sanders without much in the way of actual success, even with Colorado’s impressive 3-0 start. Lanning exuded some of that in pre and mid-game comments. It’s a large reason there was no quarter given today.
Oregon’s touchdown to go up 42-0 came on a 4th and goal. Mercy field goals didn’t exist. The Ducks passed on another fourth down in the red zone as well. Backups finally came in the game in the fourth quarters to see the game out. They were putting on a show for what ended up being the sixth-largest crowd in school history.
It never rains in Autzen Stadium as they like to say around Eugene, but chants of “overrated” came down like a torrential downpour for what seemed like the entire afternoon.