Note: This content was originally reported by the CU Independent. In this week’s edition of Fraternizing with the Enemy, Daily Emerald Sports Editor Kenny Jacoby of the University of Oregon gives us some insider information on the Oregon Ducks. Justin Guerriero: The University of Colorado Buffs are coming off a somewhat close, 45-28 loss to the No. 4 Michigan Wolverines. Nebraska just edged the Ducks 35-32 last week. So with these two losses, and keeping in mind the relative closeness of last year’s Ducks-Buffs matchup in Boulder (which was tied 17-17 at halftime), what are your expectations for this game? What do the 2016 Oregon Ducks look like compared to last year’s squad? Kenny Jacoby: The outcome of last year’s game makes me believe this year’s will be another close one. But keep in mind Oregon’s starting quarterback against Colorado last year was Jeff Lockie, who has since been relegated to scout team duties. Nevertheless, the Buffaloes appear to be an improved group, and the Ducks are on a trajectory similar to how they fared last season at the three-game point. They’ve won two of three in less-than-impressive fashion, and lost the other to a tough Big Ten team. They brought in another graduate transfer quarterback, Dakota Prukop, who has been solid but has yet to take over a game. Their running game is still top-notch, even with Royce Freeman questionable to play. That said, Oregon is favored by 10.5 points, but has yet to beat the spread this season. JG: I’ve heard good things about Oregon’s secondary. I heard the same about Michigan’s all-senior secondary as the game approached last week, and yet, the Buffaloes’ receivers shined, stretching Michigan’s defense out for large gains multiple times. How will Oregon’s secondary handle the Buffs’ group of speedy, medium-sized wide receivers? KJ: Oregon’s secondary has improved greatly from last season, when it allowed 485 yards per game while enduring growing pains. That number is down to 232 thanks to tighter coverage from defensive backs Arrion Springs, Ugo Amadi and Tyree Robinson. Still, that doesn’t mean the Ducks aren’t vulnerable. It wouldn’t surprise me if one or more of Buffaloes receivers shreds the Oregon secondary — that is, if Sefo Liufau is throwing to them. JG: Can you give me some playmakers on both sides of the ball for the Ducks? Who will have a large impact on this game? KJ: People close to Oregon football won’t hesitate to tell you that Freeman has the goods to be a Heisman contender, even though he lacks the hype. After injuring his leg and leaving the game against Nebraska, though, he may be limited if not altogether out for this game. His backups, Kani Benoit, Tony Brooks-James and Taj Griffin are electric-fast and plenty capable of carrying the load. They averaged 9.8 yards per carry against Nebraska, but Freeman’s absence would undoubtedly hurt. Wide receiver Darren Carrington has the ability to burn just about any defensive back downfield. On defense, keep an eye on true freshman linebacker Troy Dye, who had 11 total tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and a blocked field goal in week one. JG: What is the Ducks’ biggest strength so far this season, and what is their biggest flaw? KJ: Oregon’s biggest strength has been its rushing offense, which ranks eighth in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) with 296 yards per game. On the other hand, its rushing defense has been dreadful, allowing 4.25 yards per carry. JG: Is this game bigger than we think? For the Ducks, a solid win in this Pac-12 opener could serve as a reminder that Oregon is still a major force to be reckoned with in the conference. For the Buffs, this could be a statement game in which a win could help solidify the idea that Colorado is not the whipping boy of the conference anymore. Do you see this game as two schools trying to prove something to themselves, and for that matter, the college football world? KJ: Absolutely. Colorado has the chance to prove it’s a legitimate roadblock in the Pac-12 North title race. Oregon is trying to prove it’s not the laughingstock of the conference. So both teams have a lot at stake. If the Ducks lose this one, it will be a long time before the college football world lets them live it down. JG: To build off that, how do the Ducks’ coaches and players view this Colorado team? Have you gotten the politically correct answer of “We respect this team and we treat every opponent like they’re the No. 1 team in the country” from any coaches who have been asked about the matchup? Or do you think the Ducks are confident that they can beat the Buffs soundly? KJ: Oregon coaches have spoken highly of the Buffaloes. Neither they nor the players have given them the “cellar dweller” treatment. I think everyone on the Ducks understands Colorado is no longer a team to take lightly. JG: Final question: score predictions. How do you think this game will end? KJ: Oregon 37, Colorado 28. Contact CU Independent Head Sports Editor Justin Guerriero at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @TheHungry_Hippo. Contact Daily Emerald Sports Editor Kenny Jacoby at email@example.com.