Oregon vs. Utah prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins Saturday’s matchup between the Ducks and Utes.
When: Saturday, Nov. 19 – 2:00 p.m. ET
Where: Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City, Utah
TV Broadcast: Pac-12 Network
Mark Helfrich’s Ducks (3-7) have fallen on hard times this season with only three wins on the resume: UC Davis, Virginia and Arizona State. A five-game losing streak from Sept. 17 to Oct. 21 is now being highlighted even more by Oregon’s back-to-back losses in the last two weeks. The Ducks fell on the road to USC before losing in Eugene to Stanford this past weekend, 52-27.
Utah (8-2) started off with four straight wins before it fell on the road to Cal. Then the Utes secured three more consecutive wins before losing at home to Washington. Kyle Whittingham’s team bounced back after that last week when it went on the road and took down Arizona State, 49-26. Utah fell behind early, 13-0, but it took the lead heading into halftime and held on for the win.
Oregon has a clear advantage in the all-time series with Utah, 20-9. However, it was the Utes who took last season’s matchup in Eugene, 62-20.
What To Know About Oregon
Justin Herbert’s stat line wasn’t the greatest, but it wasn’t horrific either. The true freshman quarterback completed 21-of-30 passes for 274 yards, two touchdowns and two intercpetions. One of those touchdowns went to Charles Nelson, and the other went to Johnny Mundt. Nelson ended up with two catches for 59 yards, and Mundt reeled in two passes for 45 yards. Pharaoh Brown didn’t find the end zone, but he led the Ducks with six catches for 93 yards.
Oregon did get a solid performance from Royce Freeman. He tallied 111 rushing yards and a touchdown on 20 carries, and Herbert added 47 yards on 12 carries. The odd man out was Tony Brooks-James. The Ducks gave him only four carries, and Brooks-James managed 26 rushing yards with his longest run of the day having gone for 18 yards.
What to Know About Utah
The Utes got a pleasant surprise from Troy Williams in the win over Arizona State. The Utah quarterback threw for 296 yards and four touchdowns on 21-of-37 passing. He found Raelon Singleton for three of those touchdowns, and Singleton caught four passes for 116 yards on the day, so only one grab didn’t result in six points. Siaosi Wilson caught three passes for 35 yards and was on the receiving end of the other touchdown toss from Williams.
Joe Williams continued to tote the rock like a man possessed for the Utes. He ran 15 times for 181 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Zack Moss took only one carry for 11 rushing yards.
Offense: Utah – Troy Williams isn’t usually a prolific passer, and Herbert is talented but still young. Really, this just comes down to Joe Williams gashing defenses since coming out of retirement.
Defense: Utah – The Utes are ranked No. 35 in scoring defense, allowing 23 points per game. Oregon is ranked No. 127, giving up 43.5 points per game.
Special Teams: Oregon – Aidan Schneider has accounted for 57 points, but the real threat is Nelson in the return game. He’s averaging 26.2 yards per kick return and has returned one to the house.
Coaching: Utah – Whittingham’s team isn’t the one facing a losing record.
Matchup To Watch
Joe Williams vs. Royce Freeman and Tony Brooks-James
Williams has been burning teams with his ability to run in between the tackles, and the Utes have relied on him heavily because of some key injuries they sustained in their backfield while Williams was retired. At the same time, Oregon has two running threats in Freemand and Brooks-James, and both tailbacks can be utilized in the passing game for Herbert. If Oregon can slow down Williams, then Utah will be forced to air it out more than it wants to and in 3rd-and-long situations. Conversely, the Utes need to keep an eye on Brooks-James in the air attack and try to hit Freeman before he can get past the line of scrimmage.
Spread: Utah -12
Over/Under: No line as of publication
Oregon vs. Utah Prediction
This has trap game written all over it. Utah is the team playing better football at the moment, but don’t underestimate Herbert. That kid can sling the rock, and he’ll do that against the Utes. Oregon is looking for something to play for, and that something may just be the job security of its head coach. Herbert will go over 250 passing yards and will toss three scores. Brooks-James will have a bigger impact as a receiver, but Freeman will find the end zone on the ground. Troy Williams will do well but will get picked off twice, which will hurt Utah in the end.
Oregon vs. Utah Score Prediction: Oregon 38, Utah 34