Oregon-Utah Preview Capsule
No. 5 OREGON (8-1, 5-1 Pac-12) at No. 20 Utah (6-2, 3-2), 10 p.m. ET (ESPN).
Line: Oregon by 8 1/2.
Series Record: Oregon leads 19-8.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Oregon remains ranked at No. 5 in the AP Top 25, but the Ducks popped into No. 4 in the College Football Playoff rankings that will determine the four teams headed to the first playoffs. With a win Saturday, Oregon clinches the Pac-12 North. Utah, ranked in the Top 25 for the fifth straight week, is 2-1 against ranked opponents this season. The last time the Utes beat a top-five team was last season, when they knocked off Stanford.
Oregon’s high-flying offense against Utah’s defense. The Ducks are ranked fifth in the nation with an average of 533.8 yards total offense per game, and they’ve found success against tough defenses like Michigan State and Stanford. But they’ve struggled when quarterback Marcus Mariota has been vulnerable, and Utah leads the nation in total sacks with 39, for an average of 4.88 per game.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Oregon: Quarterback Marcus Mariota has thrown multiple touchdowns in nine straight games, the longest current streak in the FBS. The junior Heisman hopeful’s 187.2 quarterback rating also leads the nation.
Utah: Quarterbacks Travis Wilson and Kendal Thompson are competing this week for who is going to start against the Ducks. Coach Kyle Whittingham isn’t going to announce his decision, so the starter will remain a mystery until game time.
FACTS & FIGURES
It is just the second conference meeting between the two schools; Utah didn’t join the Pac-12 until 2011. … The Ducks have won five of the last six in the series going back to 1995. The only loss was in 2003 for Oregon’s last visit to Salt Lake City. … Oregon freshman running back Royce Freeman needs 154 yards rushing to reach the 1,000-yard mark. If he passes it, he will be the first true freshman in Oregon history to do so; LaMichael James ran for 1,546 as a redshirt freshman in 2009. … Utah’s Devontae Booker needs 10 yards rushing to reach 1,000 and become the 12th Ute to reach the milestone. Booker ranks second in the conference with an average of 123.8 yards per game.