The Utah Utes and Oregon Ducks sit in the opposite divisions of the Pac-12. They both want to get off to a good start in conference play so that they don’t have to be under maximum pressure to win every remaining game in the season. Utah has the great defense, and Oregon the great offense. This might mean, though, that the battle between Utah’s offense and Oregon’s defense is what decides things.
The Utes are coming off a comfortable victory over Fresno State, one in which their offense pulled away late and made the outcome on the scoreboard look slightly more lopsided than the game actually was. The Utes weren’t seriously threatened, but they did go through peaks and valleys. Playing Oregon, the defending Pac-12 champion, Utah will have to be a lot more consistent and prone to fewer lapses. Utah got a lead on Oregon last year but then endured a memorable blooper, as receiver Kaelin Clay – en route to the end zone – dropped the ball before the goal line in a premature celebration of a touchdown. Instead of being up 14-0, Utah was only up 7-0, and Oregon quickly tied the score and then ran away with the rest of the game. Utah can’t let down its guard this time.
Oregon easily coasted past Georgia State. The main thing the Ducks gained from that game is that Jeff Lockie, the number two quarterback, got a lot of snaps. More on his situation below in the injury section.
The college football odds weren’t up for a while for this game as both of the starting quarterbacks are questionable. However, we did see Bookmaker be the first to open it up at -14 but the line has since come down to -13.5 at most online sportsbooks.
The Utes have tight end Evan Moeai questionable for this game with a leg injury. Starting quarterback Travis Wilson is questionable for this game with a shoulder injury – he has been injured at multiple points in his career. Kendal Thompson would fill in for him, and Thompson has experience as a starting quarterback both from last season at Utah, and previously at Oklahoma.
Defensive end Hunter Dimick is questionable for this game with a knee injury. Offensive lineman Lo Falemaka is out indefinitely with a chest injury. Running back Marcel Brooks-Brown is also out indefinitely with a chest injury.
The Ducks also have an injured quarterback whose status is uncertain for this game. Vernon Adams has an injured finger. If he can’t play, Jeff Lockie, who played a week ago against Georgia State and got some critical playing experience, will step in for him. The injury situations for the two quarterbacks are why the line hasn’t been posted for this game.
Also for Oregon, wide receiver Darren Carrington has been suspended and is not available for this game. Running back Thomas Tyner is out for the season with a shoulder injury. Tight end Pharaoh Brown is out indefinitely with a leg injury.
Handicapping The Game
The main thing to realize here is that Utah will have to score at least 27 to 30 points if not more to win. The Utes and Ducks have quarterback questions, but that favors Oregon. Utah needed to have a healthy quarterback situation to take advantage here. Take the Ducks with your college football picks.
Free College Football Pick: Oregon -13.5 at Bookmaker