Kickoff: 7:00 p.m.
Weather: Mid 40’s, dry
Vegas Says: Oregon -8
Game Color: Green
In this spread-offense era, the Ducks have mastered the art of blowing out their opponents whilst amassing gaudy stats on the offensive side of the football. In a phrase, they’re up there with the nation’s best “front runners.”
The scariest moments during this era have come when a defense is able to keep the Ducks from running up the score, and ultimately forcing them into a close game — “deep water,” as the Stanford Cardinal coined it a few years ago. For a team that is accustomed to coasting through the finish line, a close game can be a swift and shaky shock to the system, but these games can be expected over the course of a college football season. This year there was Michigan State for three quarters, Washington State, Arizona (ugh…), and to some degree UCLA; every other contest has been a merciless blowout, including the three most recent.
Having handed Stanford their Pac-12 North walking papers, a big win over #17 Utah would be just what the Ducks need to reestablish themselves as one of the nations most dominant contenders for the inaugural college football playoff. The Utes present the perfect challenge, and opportunity, for the Ducks to show that they’ve turned the corner at this juncture in the season. Kyle Whittingham has his guys playing some of the best defense in the Pac-12, only allowing an average of 21 points per game this season, and never more than 30. Their record is a more-than-respectable 6-2, with their two losses coming against two pass-happy programs — Washington State and Arizona State — by a combined 4 points.
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