Wilson a concern after Utah falls 44-21 to Ducks

Utah quarterback Travis Wilson did not play in Saturday’s 44-21
loss at No. 6 Oregon because of a concussion, but afterward Utes
coach Kyle Whittingham suggested something more is going on with
his sophomore starter.

”What I can say is it’s a head injury. He was not able to
practice at all last week. Part of it was something that happened
in the game last week, but there’s more than that going on right
now. Rather than say something that is not completely accurate, I’m
going to wait until Monday and talk a little more about it that
week,” Whittingham said.

Utah announced Friday night that Wilson was not making the trip
to Eugene. He had averaged 203 yards passing per game this season,
with 16 touchdowns with 16 interceptions.

It was unclear when Wilson was hurt last week when the Utes fell
20-19 to Arizona State.

”Our thoughts and prayers are with him, and it’s something that
all that matters to us right now is health,” Whittingham said.
”Whether or not he plays is not a factor, it’s Travis and his
health overall.”

Backup Adam Schulz got the start for Utah and threw for 157
yards and a touchdown and ran for another. Also a sophomore, Schulz
had appeared in just three games for the Utes this season,
completing 22 of 45 passes with one touchdown and one
interception.

”I’ve been looking for an opportunity since I’ve been here. I
always talk about seizing the opportunity and there is no bigger
stage really than Oregon at their place,” Schulz said. ”I was
ready to go.”

But the Utes (4-6, 1-6 Pac-12) were no match for Oregon.

Marcus Mariota’s threw for 288 yards and three touchdowns for
the Ducks (9-1, 6-1). De’Anthony Thomas caught a touchdown pass and
scored on an 86-yard kickoff return.

Byron Marshall ran for two additional scores but the Ducks were
slowed on the ground by Utah’s defense, rushing for 145 yards after
averaging nearly 302 yards a game this season.

Mariota went into the game with questions about the health of
his left knee, which impacted his mobility in Oregon’s 26-20 loss
to Stanford last week. The loss to Stanford in all likelihood ended
the Ducks’ shot at a spot in the national championship game.

Mariota, who wore a brace on his knee against both Stanford and
the Utes, insisted this week that his knee wasn’t an issue, but
wouldn’t say if he was 100 percent. As a policy, Oregon does not
discuss injuries.

Mariota hit Thomas with an 8-yard touchdown pass and the Ducks
added a 31-yard field goal by true freshman Matt Wogan to make it
10-0 in the first quarter.

Wogan took over as Oregon’s kicker for the final three games of
the season, replacing Alejandro Maldonado, who missed a 37-yard
field goal before halftime of the Ducks’ game against UCLA.

The Utes narrowed the gap on Schulz’s 34-yard pass to Jake
Murphy with 2:52 left in the half.

Murphy was making his return after wrist surgery following the
Utes’ Oct. 3 loss to UCLA. It was thought that the junior tight end
might miss the rest of the regular season.

”Compared to watching the away games in my apartment, it felt
good,” Muphy said afterward. ”At the end of the day, it doesn’t
feel good enough having lost.”

The Ducks answered the Utes quickly by scoring on Mariota’s
5-yard pass to Josh Huff – concluding a drive that took three plays
and just 24 seconds – to make it 17-7 at the half.

After a 4-yard scoring run from Schulz, Oregon again quickly
came back with Thomas’ touchdown on the kickoff return to make it
23-14.

The Ducks extended the lead on Mariota’s 14-yard scoring pass to
Johnny Mundt, and Marshall’s 17-yard scoring run made it 37-14 with
32 seconds left in the third quarter.

Marshall added a 16-yard touchdown run in the fourth. Soon
thereafter, Oregon sat Mariota.

With most of the Ducks’ starters out of the game, Bubba Poole
ran for a 10-yard Utah touchdown with 6:01 left.

Utah’s lone conference win this season came against Stanford.
The Utes have lost four straight since then.

Saturday’s game was the first between the teams since Utah
joined the conference in 2011. Oregon won the last meeting 31-24 at
Autzen Stadium in 2009.