The Utah Utes came into the PAC-12 championship game against the Oregon Ducks with a chance to go to the College Football playoff. A Utah win would have given them a pretty got shot of sneaking into the CFP. Unfortunately for them, Oregon had other plans. The Ducks came out and pushed around a physical Utah team and won 37-15.
Ducks Rushing Attack
Utah defense came into the game giving up just 56.3 yards per game. The Ducks rushed for 239 rushing yards, they went out and established the run early in the game. Oregon’s offensive line did a great job blocking Utah’s strong defensive line.
Oregon is not known for being a physical football team, but last night they proved otherwise. Oregon’s runningback, CJ Verdell, rushed for 208 yards on 18 carries. He averaged 11.6 yards per rush and ran for three touchdowns in the game. Verdell capped off his night with a 70-yard touchdown run to put the game away for good.
Oregon’s Defense Showed Up
The Ducks defense came to play against Utah; they pretty much held the Utes offense in check all night. Utah’s running back Zack Moss did have 113 yards on 19 carries, but Oregon pretty much kept him in check after his 42 yard run in the first quarter. As a team, Utah only averaged 33 yards per carry.
The Ducks defense did not respect the Utes’ passing attack, and the numbers reflected that. Utah’s quarterback Tyler Huntley only passed for 193 yards, threw two touchdowns and two interceptions. Oregon’s defense sacked Huntley five times, freshman defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux contributed 2.5 sacks and also blocked a punt as well. Safety Brady Breeze was all over the field, making crucial tackles and showing excellent range in the secondary. It was a good all around performance by the Duck’s defense.
Before this game Utah was the most physical team in the PAC-12. It’s safe to say that’s no longer the case.