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Oregon Ducks Vs. Utah Utes Score Prediction, Game Day Storylines

Oct 27, 2023, 2:04 PM

SALT LAKE CITY – We are around 24 hours away from the No. 13 Utah Utes kicking off against the No. 8 Oregon Ducks which means it’s time for storylines and a game prediction.

The stage is huge for the Utes this week after upsetting USC on their homefield with the beloved pig farmer (Bryson Barnes) leading the charge. College GameDay is in town to watch Utah and Oregon battle it out for the opportunity to continue in the College Football Playoff and Pac-12 Championship race.

The Pac-12 in its final season currently has six total teams ranked in the AP Top 25 and the Utes still have to get past two of them starting with the Ducks this weekend. The Utes already checked another one off their list last weekend, beating the Trojans at the Coliseum.

Before game day, make sure you are in the know about important storylines, and questions surrounding the game as well as a score prediction for Oregon versus Utah.

Three Storylines For Oregon Vs. Utah Football

  1. Cam Rising. This storyline took its final twist last week after head coach Kyle Whittingham revealed during the USC post-game press conference that Rising, along with Brant Kuithe are shutting it down for the season. It’s a disappointing conclusion but understandable as both players suffered gnarly knee injuries last season that just weren’t able to recover quick enough. Both players potentially could return to the Utes next season, but that is yet to be determined. For the here and now, Rising says he’s dedicated to making sure Bryson Barnes has everything he needs to be successful in his absence. Needless to say, this is now Barnes’ team.
  2. Speaking Of Bryson Barnes… The pig farmer from Milford, Utah received quite a bit of hate earlier in the season for play that wasn’t up to the Utes’ current standards. That has slowly changed over the past two weeks against Cal and USC as the gameplan clearly has been centered around Barnes and not a “what if” scenario with Rising. It’s also worth noting Barnes has done well with the plan centering on what he does well. He was still a tad shaky against Cal, but really seemed to blossom against USC. The Utes are going to need him to take another big step forward this weekend against a very good Ducks defense.
  3. Utah’s Dominant Defense Gets Another Test. Last week this Utah defense was tasked with keeping USC quarterback Caleb Williams and their ridiculously talented receivers in check. Mission accomplished. Utah didn’t allow a single passing touchdown, something that has never happened to Williams. However, they now have to contend with Oregon’s Bo Nix and their stable of running backs. The Ducks currently sit at No. 2 in the country in total offense and No. 1 in the Pac-12. If Utah can slow Nix and the Ducks down, they will have a shot.

 

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Two Questions Heading Into Oregon Vs. USC

  1. What Trick Will The Utah Offense Have Up Its Sleeve? Utah has recently introduced safety Sione Vaki into their arsenal of offensive tricks and he’s been marvelous against Cal and USC. How does he do against the Ducks? Does Utah have another new thing they will do with him? Will they roll out someone else that will blow our minds? Here is the thing, the Utes don’t need to get terribly cute with it, just do what you’ve been doing, execute, and give them a little something new to think about.
  2. How Does This Utah Team Handle The Big Stage? There are a lot of new faces running the show out of necessity this year for the Utes. How do they handle being front and center of all the hype and build up to this matchup with the Oregon Ducks? Nobody thought after the Oregon State game that the Utes would be here in this situation and yet here we are. Kudos to the coaches and players because nothing about this year has been easy. If they can sink this ship though? Whew boy. Legend status again.

 

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Oregon Vs. Utah Score Prediction

I want to pick Utah in this one. I really do. The problem is the only time I’ve seen them against a similarly built team (Oregon State) it was a bit of a disaster.

This team is different now and they will be home in the comfort of Rice-Eccles Stadium which always counts for something. However, I still have some questions about the Utes that only a game like this can answer, and until I have those answers, I have to go with what makes sense.

  • Oregon 35- Utah 31

Will I be surprised if I’m wrong and Utah pulls it off? No. At this point, nothing will surprise me this season.

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 XInstagram, and Threads: @BodkinKSLsports

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Oregon Ducks Vs. Utah Utes Score Prediction, Game Day Storylines