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Saturday, October 22, 2011
Final: Oregon 45, Colorado 2

By Ted Miller

Oregon blew the shutout. Just blew it. Bad Cliff Harris! Bad!

Despite the absences due to injury of quarterback Darron Thomas and running back LaMichael James, Oregon rolled over Colorado 45-2. They jumped ahead of the injury-ravaged Buffaloes 29-0 in the first quarter and then mostly coasted over an overmatched team.

But the Ducks failed -- FAILED! -- to record the shutout because Harris was tackled in the endzone on a third quarter punt return that allowed the Buffaloes to avoid their first shutout at home since losing 28-0 to Oklahoma in 1986.

Backup running back Kenjon Barner gained 115 yards on 10 carries, and backup quarterback Bryan Bennett added 69 yards rushing to go with 156 yards through the air with two touchdowns. Both were eating orange slices with James and Thomas on the sidelines before the third quarter was over.

The Ducks outgained the Buffs 527 yards to 231.

Adding to the Buffs' misery: quarterback Tyler Hansen sustained a concussion late in the first half and was replaced by freshman Nick Hirschman, who was 8 for 18 for 71 yards.

Oregon, now 6-1 and 4-0 in the Pac-12, returns home to face Washington State next weekend. Colorado, 1-7, 0-4, will be at Arizona State.