No. 10 Utah went on the road to face the 12th ranked Oregon Ducks Saturday night at Autzen Stadium. After a back-and-forth battle, the Utes lost a 20-17 nailbiter, effectively ending any chances at a Pac-12 title repeat.
Oregon started out the game strong with a score on their first drive, as running back Bucky Irving scored put Oregon up 7-0 on a 10-yard rushing touchdown.
On Utah’s first drive, they drove down the field to set up a 38-yard field goal. However, Utes kicker Jadon Redding missed the field goal, and the Utes stayed scoreless.
Following a three-and-out for the Ducks, the Utes got another opportunity to get on the board with a field goal. This time they capitalized on the opportunity and brought the score to 7-3.
On the next drive, Oregon turned the ball over to the Utes, which led to a Cam Rising interception the very next play. This turnover led to Oregon scoring their second touchdown of the game, this time on a four-yard passing touchdown from Bo Nix.
The Utes, looking to turn the momentum around before the end of the half, drove to within 10 yards of their first touchdown, however, a turnover on downs prevented Utah from scoring. After the Ducks ran an effective 7-play drive to set up for a field goal, the half ended with Oregon leading 17-3.
Utah’s first drive of the second half was ineffective, leading to a punt after merely five plays. However, things quickly started to turn around. Oregon fumbled the ball on their first play, which was recovered by Karene Reid who took the ball for Utah’s first touchdown.
Utah forced another three-and-out, and despite a Cam Rising interception, the Utes got the ball back quickly after yet another Oregon three-and-out. Utah was able to capitalize this time, with Jaylon Dixon scoring an 18-yard rushing touchdown for the Utes, bringing the game to a 17-17 tie.
— Utah Athletics (@utahathletics) November 20, 2022
Oregon, however, struck back. Scoring a field goal to go up 20-17, they kept the Utes from holding a tie for long and the three-point lead ended up sticking for the remainder of the game.
Following interceptions by both teams, as well as two failed fourth down conversions by Utah, Oregon was the last man standing in a tough, defensive battle by both squads.
What’s Next For Utah?
This loss is a critical one for the Utes. It eliminates them from any hopes of a Pac-12 championship repeat, as well as any hopes for a Rose Bowl appearance or victory.
However, the season is not over for Utah just yet. The Utes are able to look forward to possible Sun Bowl, Alamo Bowl, or Las Vegas Bowl tie-ins, depending on how the following weeks shake out. Watch out in the next couple of weeks for what may lie in store for Utah football’s bowl game aspirations.
Utah (8-3, 6-2 Pac-12) now travels to Colorado for the regular season finale. The Utes and Buffaloes will battle on Saturday, Nov. 26 at 2 p.m. and can be seen on the Pac-12 Networks.