Wilson a concern after Utah falls 44-21 to Ducks
EUGENE, Ore. (AP)
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.
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.