by Rob Moseley
BOULDER, Colo. — After watching Oregon run for 349 yards in Saturday's 57-16 win at Colorado, De'Anthony Thomas couldn't muster much frustration at missing the game with an ankle injury.
None, in fact.
"Not at all," Thomas said, after watching the game with a boot on the ankle he injured a week ago against Cal. "I enjoyed the game. Just being out here being a team player, that's all that matters."
In Thomas' absence, sophomore Byron Marshall started for the second straight game, and the first in which he knew going in he'd be the guy. Marshall had 23 carries for 122 yards against the Buffaloes, and caught two passes for 17 yards.
A week earlier against the Golden Bears, Thomas was injured on the opening kickoff and Marshall was thrust into the spotlight. This week, he prepared to be the starter.
"It was a little more exciting coming into this game, knowing that I was for sure going to start," Marshall said. "I just came in, not with a different mindset, but just a little more excited, a little more anxious."
Marshall averaged 5.3 yards per carry, doing yeoman's work against a Colorado defense that stacked the line of scrimmage to stop the run. That's what the Ducks saw from the Buffaloes on film, and it didn't change despite the absence of Thomas.
"That's respect right there," Marshall said. "We just have such a good running game, and come at them from so many angles, they really had to put a lot into the run — which opened up the passing game."
Freshman Thomas Tyner again handled second-string duties. Tyner carried 10 times for 30 yards and touchdown, his fifth in four games, though he also lost a fumble for the second straight game.
Ayele Forde came on after halftime and rushed nine times for 82 yards, helping the Ducks run out the clock.
"It was great," Thomas said. "I saw guys out there having fun. It was great to see them perform and keep it going. Now we've just got to get ready for Monday."