No. 10 Utah travel to No. 12 Oregon in Pac-12 showdown

No. 10 Utah (8-2, 6-1 Pac-12, No. 10 CFP) at No. 12 Oregon (8-2, 6-1 Pac-12, No. 12 CFP), Saturday, 10:30 p.m. EST (ESPN)


Series record: Oregon leads 23-12.


Short of some major chaos taking place in the Pac-12, this is likely a semifinal game with the winner having a clear path to the conference title game in Las Vegas. The showdown lost some of its luster when Oregon cracked in the fourth quarter and lost 37-34 to No. 15 Washington last week ending the Ducks’ 23-game home win streak and their hopes of a College Football Playoff bid. But the conference title game and a possible Rose Bowl berth is still out there for both teams. The Utes have won four straight since losing at UCLA and last year thumped Oregon in two games by a combined 76-17.


Oregon QB Bo Nix vs. Utah’s secondary. The best pass defense in the Pac-12 belongs to Utah, giving up an average of 206.5 yards per game through the air. Nix leads the conference is passing efficiency, is tied for third in TD passes and is fourth in yards passing per game at 277.4. Nix also has the added element of his running ability but that will need to be watched after a tackle to his legs late in the loss to Washington left him a little gimpy.


Utah: QB Cam Rising. The Utes saw last week the success Washington was able to have throwing against Oregon’s secondary when Michael Penix Jr. threw for 408 yards. Utah’s offense isn’t built the same and Rising hasn’t been asked to chuck it that often.

Oregon: RBs Bucky Irving and Noah Whittington. The two-headed duo in the Oregon backfield each rushed for more than 100 yards last week against Washington. The only times this season Utah has allowed more than 200 yards rushing it lost, so Oregon’s duo will be critical to the Ducks’ offensive success.


Oregon leads the country in fewest sacks allowed with just two. ... Utah is eighth in the country in time of possession averaging 33:46 per game. ... Oregon ranks No. 2 in the country in total yards per game at 520.6. ... Utah is one of six Power Five teams in the country to rank in the Top 25 in scoring offense (12th at 39.3) and scoring defense (21st at 20.0).


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