Colorado Buffaloes

EUGENE, OR - SEPTEMBER 24: Defensive back Ahkello Witherspoon #23 of the Colorado Buffaloes intercepts a pass intended for wide receiver Darren Carrington II #7 of the Oregon Ducks late in the fourth quarter of the game at Autzen Stadium on September 24, 2016 in Eugene, Oregon. Colorado won the game 41-38. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
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Ducks lose back-to-back games for first time since 2007; Buffs 3-1 for first time since Big 12 days

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Oregon did its damnedest to keep a rather remarkable streak alive, but, in the end, they simply couldn’t.

Colorado, one week after wasting a 21-7 first-quarter lead to Michigan, jumped out to a 23-7 second-quarter lead and a 33-17 third-quarter lead on Oregon in Eugene Saturday.  It looked like it would be lather, rinse and repeat for the Buffs as the truck-pulling Ducks stormed back to take a 38-33 lead at the end of the fourth quarter.

However, Steven Montez, making his first career start, tossed a 31-yard touchdown pass midway through the fourth quarter that stood up as the game-winner as the Buffs held on for a 41-38 win.  While Colorado pushed its record to 3-1 — that’s the Buffs best start to a season since 2010, their final year in the Big 12 — Oregon has now lost back-to-back games one-third of the way through the 2016.

Such a feeling two weekends in a row, it turns out, is decidedly foreign for both the Ducks and their fan base.

What should concern the Ducks the most, perhaps, is that the Brady Hoke-directed defense allowed a first-time starter at quarterback throw for 333 yards and three touchdowns, one week after the same defense allowed three touchdown passes in the loss to Nebraska.

Buffs lose starting LB, K to season-ending injuries; starting QB’s status up in the air

Colorado quarterback Sefo Liufau throws a pass during warmups before an NCAA college football game against Michigan at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Tony Ding)
Associated Press
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Colorado lost more than a game this past weekend.

Linebacker Derek McCartney and place-kicker Diego Gonzalez, the football program confirmed Monday, will miss the remainder of the 2016 season because of injuries sustained in the Week 3 loss to Michigan. The former sustained a torn ACL, the latter a torn Achilles tendon.

The injury to McCartney, the grandson of legendary CU head coach Bill McCartney, came shortly after the starting ‘backer returned a fumble for a touchdown that, briefly, gave the visiting Buffs a 14-0 lead.

“I just kind of landed funny and my knee buckled on me,” McCartney said according to the Denver Post. “I felt something that felt weird. I didn’t go back in because it didn’t feel right, and the doctors figured (an ACL tear) was probably what had happened.”

Last season as a sophomore, McCartney was second on the team with five sacks.

As for Gonzalez, he had connected on 3-4 field goals and all 16 extra point attempts this season. Last year, he was 18-29 and 35-35.

With no disrespect meant to the aforementioned pair of players, though, the situation regarding Sefo Liufau bears the most attention.

The starting quarterback, who missed the last two games of the 2015 season because of a foot injury, sustained an injury to his right ankle in the third quarter of the loss. Prior to the injury, the Buffs trailed 31-28; after the injury, the Wolverines outscored the visitors 14-0 in the 45-28 win.

Liufau did not practice Monday, and his status for this weekend’s game against Oregon will be determined later in the week.

“If he’s moving good enough to play, we’ll play him,” head coach Mike MacIntyre said. “If he’s not moving good enough to play then we won’t play him. We’ll know as the week goes along on that.”

Should Liufau be unable to go, Steven Montez would get the start. After replacing the starter, the redshirt freshman failed to complete any of his seven passes.

For perspective as to what Liufau’s absence would mean for the CU offense, he is currently seventh nationally and second amongst Pac-12 quarterbacks in passing efficiency.

AP’s top three teams each facing ranked road opponent for first time in poll era

Louisville's Lamar Jackson jumps over Syracuse's Cordell Hudson and scores a touchdown in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Syracuse, N.Y., Friday, Sept. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Nick Lisi)
Associated Press
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It’s not getting hype of Week 1, but Week 3 is shaping up to be a rather epic weekend of college football in its own right.

The top three teams in the most recent Associated Press poll, No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Florida State and No. 3 Ohio State, all play on the road, with all three games coming against ranked teams for that matter.  Top-ranked ‘Bama travels to Oxford to face No. 19 Ole Miss, which has beaten the Tide the last two seasons, while FSU must trek north to take on 10th-ranked Louisville and Lamar Jackson, the quarterback who has singlehandedly scored more touchdowns than all but 13 FBS teams.  Finally, OSU makes it way to Norman to take on a wounded but 14th-ranked Oklahoma.

The fact that the top three teams are all on the road against ranked opponents is a little bit of history in the making.

But wait, there’s more.

In addition to those games, you had the likes of No. 6 Houston-Cincinnati Thursday night as well as FCS power North Dakota State at No. 13 Iowa; No. 25 Miami traveling to an Appalachian State squad that nearly knocked off No. 15 Tennessee in Knoxville Week 1; Colorado at No. 4 Michigan in a revival of the 1994 “Miracle at Michigan” game; No. 22 Oregon at Nebraska, coached by former Civil War rival Mike Riley; Pittsburgh, coming off a win over its in-state rival, at an Oklahoma State squad still hurting from the screwing they received in Week 2; Mississippi State-No. 20 LSU and No. 17 Texas A&M-Auburn in a key pair of SEC West clashes; No. 12 Michigan State at No. 18 Notre Dame in the fourth of four ranked vs. ranked matchups; USC, reeling from a series of embarrassing incidents on and off the field the past couple of weeks, trying to right the listing ship against the best the Pac-12 has to offer, No. 7 Stanford; BYU playing host to Josh Rosen and UCLA; and capping a loaded weekend with seemingly revitalized and 11th-ranked Texas heading to the Left Coast to square off with Cal.

It may not be Week 1 good, but Week 3 is about as close as you can get.

Jim Harbaugh finds zero humor in Colorado’s faux depth chart

FILE - In this Oct. 3, 2015, file photo, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh calls for a flag in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Maryland in College Park, Md. Michigan and Florida both entered the season hoping to revive storied programs that had begun to look more pedestrian than they were accustomed to. Enter Wolverines coach Harbaugh and Gators coach Jim McElwain, who both brought their own style and approach to the sidelines in their first seasons on the job. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
Associated Press
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Most everybody got a kick out of Colorado’s faux depth chart released earlier this week. Jim Harbaugh, however, is not everybody.

Michigan is one of the few teams in the country that doesn’t release a weekly depth chart. So, to poke a little fun at the practice, the Buffaloes, who travel to the Big House this weekend, unleashed a depth chart that included characters from movies such as “The Big Lebowski,” “Kingpin,” “Dumb & Dumber” among many others.

Harbaugh, though, failed to see the humor.

“In our preparation for Colorado we’ve had a hard time working humor into the preparations,” Harbaugh said during a radio spot Thursday morning — and that was just the beginning for a head coach who seemingly took offense to another program making light of his approach to depth charts. From mlive.com:

I saw the depth chart,” he said. “I was trying to imagine how many people sat around and how many hours they worked on that. We’ve just found, I mean, when it comes to the depth chart — modern technology seems to have made the depth chart an out-dated task by about 20 years. We’ve found studying last week’s film of the opponent is the most accurate way of determining another team’s depth chart.

“There’s so much written about the team that’s on the Internet. For those of us who can or do watch the games — they’re all on television now as well — we just felt like modern technology was the most accurate way of knowing what the opponent’s depth chart is by looking at the previous week’s film. And not relying on another PR director’s assessment of what the depth chart is.

Sgt. Hulka, take it away…

Michigan doesn’t do depth charts, so Colorado releases hilarious parody for theirs

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 01:  Mascot Ralphie V escorts the Colorado Buffaloes onto the field to face the Colorado State Rams in the Rocky Mountain Showdown at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 1, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Rams defeated the Buffs 22-17 to capture the Centennial Cup.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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There are a lot of excellent sports information departments across the country, and Colorado has consistently been one of them. Tuesday, they also showed that they’re one of the most hilarious.

CU will travel to the Big House in Ann Arbor to take on unbeaten and fourth-ranked Michigan this Saturday. Per policy, the Wolverines do not release a depth chart ahead of their contests.

Obviously, the Buffaloes will not release one of their own — well, at least not a serious one.

The Dude as a backup? C’mon.

Other than that, very, very excellent work, by all that cobbled together this classic “depth chart.”