UTAH UTES

Instant Takeaways: No. 10 Utah Lays A Duck Egg Against No. 12 Oregon, 20-17

Nov 20, 2022, 2:23 AM | Updated: Nov 21, 2022, 11:23 am

EUGENE, OR- No. 10 Utah had everything going for it but laid a duck egg against No. 12 Oregon when it mattered most, 20-17. That’s not to say it’s unacceptable the Utes lost this game. They were playing a ranked opponent who had proven to be pretty good all season long and frankly, someone has to lose. That’s just how games work.

The shocking part was how Utah lost- a disjointed effort on offense. The loss also signifies the end (most likely) of Utah’s dreams of repeating as Pac-12 Champions in 2022. Here are a few instant takeaways from the Utes’ loss to the Ducks.

Cam Rising

Normally quarterback Cam Rising is a header because despite all odds he carries the team. He’s the guy who makes the impossible, possible. Rising has had countless incredible moments for the Utes, unfortunately Saturday’s contest with the Ducks was not one of them.

Rising is a cool cat on the field. Unflappable really, but he wasn’t that guy in the biggest game of the season for Utah and it was rather surprising how unsettled he seemed from the jump.

Rising finished the night 21 of 38 for 170 yards, three interceptions and no touchdowns.

Obviously, it was a disappointing performance and one that Rising would love to have back. He owned as much in the post-game press conference.

It can be easy to bag on the guy because we have all been so spoiled by his ability to bail Utah out of bad situations, but even heroes slip up on occasion. Best advice is to remember the countless good times and forgive the one time Rising couldn’t come through. It happens.

Overall Disjointed Utah Offense

As mentioned in the opener, the Utah offense that has been so good felt off against Oregon. Part of that obviously has to do with Rising not having his best game but it went beyond that too.

Often it felt like Utah would find something that was working and then inexplicably move away from it to do something totally different. It seemed like those moves always came on 3rd and short or 4th and short and that they didn’t work. The stats seem to say so too. Utah finished the night 8 of 15 on 3rd down conversions and 1 of 4 on fourth down.

Another indicator? Utah’s first touchdown of the night came from a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown by linebacker Karene Reid in the third quarter. When your defense essentially gets you your first score of the night, it’s not exactly a great indication that things are working well on your offense.

The All-White Utah Look

Utah’s clean, all-white uniforms have become very popular and for good reason. They look great.

However, the last three times Utah has worn them have been in big games where Utah loses by three points in the final score.

Rose Bowl vs. Ohio State: 48-45

2022 Season Opener vs. Florida: 29-26

2022 Utah vs. Oregon Game: 20-17

There is a saying about “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results”. Maybe it’s time to retire the look for a while when it comes to big games. The three-point reoccurrence feels like the universe is trying to hint at that.

Utah’s Defense

Enough negativity. I want to finish this thing out with some positivity. Utah’s defense, while not perfect, did what they needed to in order to give Utah a chance in this game.

Yes, Bucky Irving gave them some fits, and they struggled to tackle well in the first part of the game, but then they really turned it on when the team needed them too.

Reid’s timely fumble recovery for a touchdown has been mentioned already. Cornerback Clark Phillips III had an interception late in the game that gave Rising and the offense a chance to claim victory if not for turning it back over. Cornerback Zemaiah Vaughn also forced a fumble that Utah’s offense ended up giving right back to the Ducks as well.

Simote Pepa recorded a sack while also adding in a tackle-for-loss. Gabe Reid, RJ Hubert and Vaughn also penciled in their own tackles for loss.

 

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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