by Rob Moseley
When the Oregon football team retired to its locker room following Saturday's 57-16 win at Colorado, the Ducks were greeted with a mixed message.
On one hand, UO coach Mark Helfrich said, the victory had been far from flawless. On the other hand, Oregon remained unbeaten through five games this season.
The Ducks' record is what matters most, and when it comes to that number, "hyphen-zero is good," Helfrich told his team.
"We're 5-0, and that's our best statistic," Helfrich told media a few minutes later. "And we haven't played remotely to what we can, in any phase, in any game. That's encouraging."
The Ducks (5-0, 2-0 Pac-12) held onto their five first-place votes from the media, and doubled their total to four from the coaches.
Also on Sunday morning, ESPN announced that its "College GameDay" pregame show would be produced next weekend from Seattle, where the Ducks will meet No. 16 Washington on Saturday at 1 p.m. PT (FOX Sports 1).
Statistically, Oregon is second nationally in points per game (59.2) and yards per game (630.4) , third in rushing offense (335.80) and ninth in pass efficiency (170.15). On defense, the Ducks are second in scoring (11.8), seventh in yards per play allowed (4.08) and seventh in pass efficiency (91.67).
Oregon is also strong in some of the more nuanced metrics that are key to success. The Ducks are second in turnover margin (plus-1.8 per game), fourth defensively in touchdowns allowed inside the red zone (30.77%) and seventh in third-down defense (25.84%).
The Ducks remain the best big-play team in the country, on both sides of the ball. Oregon's 48 plays of 20-plus yards on offense are the most in the nation, and the 10 allowed on defense are tied for the fewest in the country.
Individually, Marcus Mariota is eighth in quarterback rating (176.33), second in yards per carry (12.07), second in points responsible for (126) and ninth in total offense (339.2 ypg). Bralon Addison continues to lead the nation with 30.86 yards per punt return.