- Kevin Gemmell, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Oregon Ducks jump out to a 56-0 lead in the first half, sit the starters, give up a couple of scores but cruise to a huge win.
Stop me if you've heard this one before.
The No. 4 Ducks kept to their 2012 script, pounding on the Colorado Buffaloes 70-14 at Autzen Stadium. The Ducks, per usual, struck early and often behind touchdown runs from Kenjon Barner, touchdown passes from Marcus Mariota and electrifying plays from De’Anthony Thomas on offense and special teams.
Barner put together his fourth straight 100-yard rushing game, needing just nine carries to reach 103 yards with a pair of touchdowns. Thomas was equally explosive, carrying five times for 97 yards and a score. But it was Thomas’ 73-yard punt return for a touchdown that was eye-popping. Thomas chased down the ball with his back to the opposite end zone, turned the corner, side-stepped a couple of tackles and then took off down the sidelines for the score.
In relief of Mariota, backup quarterback Bryan Bennett rushed for 73 yards and three touchdowns. Mariota finished the game 10-of-14 for 136 yards with a pair of touchdown passes. He also carried four times for 23 yards and a score.
Colorado (1-7, 1-4) picked up a pair of third-quarter touchdowns from Christian Powell, who rushed for 121 yards on 20 carries. But as many teams do, the Buffaloes found themselves in a 28-0 hole by the end of the first quarter.
Oregon (8-0, 5-0) has kept up its end of the deal and travels to Los Angeles next week undefeated for its much-anticipated showdown with USC.
2dChantel Jennings and Ted Miller