Utes Feeling Pressure, Making Mental Mistakes In First Half
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – In the first quarter of the Pac-12 Championship game, it showed on the field that the pressure on the Utes might be weighing on them.
Oregon had a 10-0 lead at the end of the opening quarter. Despite leading the game, Utah had the most total yards on offense, outgaining Oregon 115-106.
The issues for Utah was the mental mistakes on offense and special teams. They had two penalties but came at crucial times in the quarter when the offense was being productive.
Also, Utah quarterback Tyler Huntley threw his third interception of the season when he threw the ball into double coverage in the end zone.
One big mistake on special teams was erased by the Utes’ defense holding Oregon. Utah punter Ben Lennon’s punt was blocked by Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux, luckily, he lost control of the ball on the block and the ball rolled out of bounds. The Utes defense stuffed the Ducks and forced them to punt the ball away.
Early in the second quarter, Utah allowed Justin Herbert to throw a 45-yard touchdown to wide receiver Johnny Johnson III to give the Ducks a 17-0 lead.
The pressure on the Utes is monumental with more than just a trip to the Rose Bowl on the line. If they beat Oregon and certain teams lose their conference championship games, including Georgia, they could get a spot in the College Football Playoff.