Can the Ducks upset Utah, Pac-12 south leader?
By the numbers, stats and gambling spread
Oregon hits the road for a tough test against Utah, who is tied for first in the Pac-12 South Division with a 4-3 conference record. The Ducks (6-3, 3-3 Pac-12) will be looking for their third straight win in Salt Lake City and to break a two-game losing streak on the road.
Fun fact: In 2016, the Ducks upset then-No. 12 Utah with much thanks to true freshman quarterback Justin Herbert. Herbert led Oregon to a game-winning touchdown pass to Darren Carrington with just two seconds to beat the Utes, 30-28.
Fun Fact #2: Wide receiver Dillon Mitchell is first player in UO program history with six or more receptions in six consecutive games.
The Herbert factor: Herbert owns a streak of 24 consecutive games with a touchdown pass, good for the longest in the country.
Betting line: The line opened favoring Utah by 5-points, has moved to 3.5 point Utah favorite
Utah (6-3, 4-3 Pac-12) is coming off a 38-20 loss to Arizona State in which starting quarterback Tyler Huntley broke his collarbone and is out for the season (more on his replacement in the next slide). Oregon beat UCLA in a victory that made it bowl eligible for the 13th time in the last 14 seasons.
Home field advantage: Utah has sold out 55 straight games in Rice-Eccles Stadium since the 2010 season opener
-After suffering a small lower leg fracture on Saturday, senior inside linebacker Kaulana Apelu will be out the remainder of the regular season. He could return for Oregon’s bowl game.
-UO’s offensive line will be without starting center Jake Hanson for the first half, who was ejected for targeting against UCLA.
-According to Oregon coach Mario Cristobal; junior offensive lineman Dallas Warmack will play and redshirt freshman inside linebacker Isaac Slade-Matautia might not return until the end of the season.
Players to keep an eye on
Replacing Huntley, redshirt freshman Jason Shelley will make his first career start. Shelley has played in four games (Weber State, Arizona, UCLA, Arizona State), completing 6-of-14 pass attempts for 99 yards with a
long of 40 vs. Weber State.
Running back Zack Moss leads the Utes on the ground. The junior recorded his sixth 100-yard rushing game of the season in Saturday’s loss to Arizona State. Moss is fourth Ute in program history to achieve two 1,000-yard rushing seasons.
The Utes have two of the best linebackers in the conference in Chase Hansen and Cody Barton. Hansen is among the nation's leaders in tackles for loss (15.5) and leads Utah with 75 tackles, two interceptions and four sacks. Barton has 72 tackles this season and has had 19 tackles in his last two games.
Keys to an Oregon win
Get it done in the red zone: The Ducks must finish drives as Utah is No. 1 in the nation in red zone defense (55.6, 15-of-27).
Stop Moss: With Shelley making his first career start, the Utes will likely rely even more on start running back Moss. With Huntley, the Utes ran the ball nearly 60-percent of the time, and ranked second in the conference on the ground with 375 yards per game. This poses a huge threat for Oregon, who is already thin at linebacker. With Apelu’s injury, The Ducks will turn to Keith Simms and Sampson Niu at the inside linebacker position.
Find success on the ground: The Utes only allow 100 rushing yards per game. The Ducks have recommitted themselves to the run game but have not found much success yet. It won’t be easy for the Ducks offense against a Utah defense that ranks in the top of the conference in almost every statistic.
How and where to watch
Time: Saturday, Nov. 10, 2:40 p.m. PT
Where: Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City, Utah
TV: Pac-12 Networks
Radio: KUGN-AM (590), KUJZ-FM (95.3), KZEL-FM (96.1)