Utah celebrating after a win over Oregon. Nov 20, 2021; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Utah Utes players (2) celebrate after their win against the Oregon Ducks as fans rush the field at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

There’s been a lot of debate about the Oregon Ducks this season, particularly whether they’re best represented by their high point (an upset road win over then-AP-poll #3 Ohio State while they were ranked #12 by that poll) or their low point (an overtime loss to unranked Stanford, following an improbable late comeback). Well, Saturday’s Oregon road game at Utah may mark a new low point. The Ducks are #3 in the latest CFP rankings and #4 in the AP poll versus #23 and #24 respectively for Utah, leading to everyone on College GameDay but guest picker Twenty One Pilots choosing them. But they lost that one 38-7.

The first half in particular was all Utah, with the Utes posting a 28-0 lead at the break. And they really emphasized that with a 78-yard punt return touchdown from Brittain Covey with no time left on the clock:

Oregon scored a touchdown on their first drive in the third quarter, but that would be all their offense would produce on the night. Meanwhile, Utah added another touchdown and a field goal. The Utes finished with 388 total offensive yards to 294 from the Ducks, and they were particularly impressive on the ground: Tavion Thomas rushed 21 times for 94 yards and three touchdowns, while TJ Pledger added 10 carries for 46 yards, and Utah finished with 208 rushing yards and four touchdowns. But they were also efficient through the air, with Cameron Rising completing 10 of 18 passes for 178 yards. And that added up to a winning recipe that let them clinch the Pac-12 South, and severely diminish if not outright extinguish Oregon’s playoff hopes.

[ESPN; photo from Jef

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.