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Heisman Hopefuls Unharnessed: Sanders, No. 19 Colorado Come For Nix, No. 10 Oregon

EUGENE, Oregon (CC) - In this unharnessed, hyped battle between Heisman hopefuls, have the Buffaloes roamed too far from home? Will the Ducks quack under pressure?

We will know by sundown Saturday, and by the final score, after Colorado and the Sanders family travel to Eugene to face Oregon as their first AP Top 10 opponent. The much-discussed and anticipated college football game starts at 12:30 p.m. local time.

Coach Prime Time Deion Sanders has been a ratings king in Colorado, and I expect much of the same this weekend. In fact, this will probably be CU's most-watched game thus far. And that is not an easy task.

Last week's CU-CSU game broke streaming records for most viewers.

The task for the Buffaloes will be for their defense to stop Bo Nix, Oregon's heralded Heisman hopeful. Meanwhile, Oregon's defense cannot duck their responsibilities and fly backwards against CU's superstar and Heisman front-running quarterback Shedeur Sanders, who is Tom Brady's protege.

This game could be for the Heisman. Now, I could say the same for CU-USC next week. But because the Sanders-Nix game is being played first, then it gets the nod.

No one will be nodding their head watching this game, because future NFL quarterbacks are slated to matchup on the NCAA gridiron in what will certainly be an entertaining game that might exceed all expectations for electrifying play.

I expect an old-fashioned Wild West shootout. Possibly over 100 passes thrown combined. Possibly over 1,000 yards passing.

Shedeur will chuck it. Bo will chuck it. No college football fan will duck it - the game, that is.

No. 10 Oregon (3-0, 0-0) and No. 19 Colorado (3-0, 0-0) are tied for second in the Pac-12 standings. USC (3-0, 1-0) sits atop the conference.

The forgotten players in this game will be the running backs. Oregon averages 7.2 yards per rush, while CU averages 2.0.

But the Buffs will be tested through the air because they have to prove that they can stop the pass with superstar two-way player Travis Hunter out with a lacerated kidney.

The same proof serum goes for Oregon, as Sanders came into last week's contest leading all FBS passers in average yards per game. And he did not disappoint. If you have yet to see him play, then you are missing an artistry rarely seen among college pocket passers.

The CU receiving core features Xavier Weaver, Joe Horn Jr. and running back Dylan Edwards. But they have a secret weapon named Alton McKaskill, who is scheduled to play his first game for the Buffs after starring for Houston.

He might see duty at slot receiver. The same goes for Edwards, in my estimation. Because with all four of the aforementioned players on the field at once, any defensive coordinator would be shaking his head.

Nix has the skill to make any opposing coaches shake in their shoes. He is a former Alabama Mr. Football Award winner who transferred from Auburn to Oregon after winning SEC Freshman of the Year, then experiencing some rollercoaster rides like us all.


All said, I expect both quarterbacks to have stellar games. The Buffaloes will buck last week by jumping out on top, then face a fierce rally by the Ducks that falls just short.

Colorado pulls their second huge upset of the season, coming in as the underdog by 21. The Buffs are not coming. They are here, and will leave Eugene with a 42-38 victory.



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