Whittingham, No. 10 Utes Preparing For Late Kick Against No. 12 Oregon On ESPN

Nov 14, 2022, 12:34 PM
A general view of the stadium during the game between the Washington State Cougars and the Oregon Ducks at Autzen Stadium on October 7, 2017 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY- Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham and the No. 12 Utes are in the process of preparing for a late kick against No. 12 Oregon on Saturday night. The time and channel announcement came in the middle of the Stanford game- an 8:30 pm MT/7:30 pm PT kick to be aired on ESPN.

November 19th has always loomed large for Utah and Oregon with the stakes becoming much more interesting after Oregon was upset at home by Washington last weekend. Also in the mix for the Conference Championship is No. 7 USC and No. 16 UCLA who was also upset by Arizona. You can view that game before the Ducks and Utes play at 6 pm MT/5 pm PT on FOX.

Whittingham’s Thoughts Heading Into Autzen Stadium

Whittingham alluded to the magnitude of the games happening in the Pac-12 this weekend in his Monday press conference, noting the importance of taking care of business each week to stay in the conversation.

“Obviously, the game this week has implications- conference implications as does every game,” Whittingham said. “We say it is a big game- they are all big games. If you lose one prior to this, this game doesn’t matter. Every game is important. It’s going to be a tough environment in Autzen Stadium. It’s a difficult place to play- one of the loudest places in the country.”

Despite some mishaps against Georgia and then last week against the Huskies, Whittingham says Oregon has been playing exceptionally good football in 2022, anticipating a tough matchup.

“Oregon is terrific on offense,” Whittingham said. “They are leading the league in total offense. First or second in points. First and second in first downs- they do a lot of really good things. Second I think running the football. We’ve got our work cut out for us and our hands full on defense to try and slow that down.”

Asked about the biggest difference maker for Oregon in 2022 versus when the Utes met them twice last season, and Whittingham emphatically credited quarterback Bo Nix.

“Bo Nix is a tremendous player,” Whittingham said. “I believe he is second or third in QBR in the country. We have five Pac-12 quarterbacks in the Top 12 of QBR which speaks to the level of quarterback in this conference and how many good players there are. That is absolutely the single-most difference between last year and this year.”

Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @BodkinKSLsports

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