Oregon football looked at the Pac-12 Championship Game as a revenge opportunity, or so we thought. Utah won the game 38-10 to go to the Rose Bowl.
It was clear from the start that the outcome would be similar to the loss two weeks ago as Anthony Brown had no answers and was not able to find young Duck wide receivers who did not seem to be on the same page throughout the game. The Utes defense again held Oregon in check allowing just 82 yards on the ground to running back Travis Dye.
Oregon lost CJ Verdell earlier this season and over the last month have found a way to get extra yards on the ground by using Brown’s feet to find a way to the first down marker.
As hard as they tried on Friday night in Las Vegas, Brown’s legs got the Ducks nowhere. He ran the ball 10 times for a statistic anomaly of -5 yards. The Utah defense swarmed all night and never let up, even after pushing the lead.
Utah did well on third down going 6-for-13. The Utes were also 4-for-4 on fourth down for the game. Utah quarterback Cameron Rising was efficient completing 15-of-24 passes for 170 yards and a touchdown. He also threw two interceptions, but the Oregon offense was unable to find much from them.
The Oregon defense did the best they could and was led by Noah Sewell who had a big night with 12 tackles, eight solo tackles, a tackle for loss, a forced fumble, and his first career interception.
Leading up to the game there was word that several coaches, including head coach Mario Cristobal, were being considered by other schools. Following the game, several players said their focus was on Utah and it was not a distraction for the team.
Oregon football now waits for this weekend’s dust to settle for a likely Alamo Bowl appearance. Despite the loss to Utah, Oregon has a 10-win season and a third straight Pac-12 title game appearance heading into bowl season.