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Top 10 things to know about the Oregon-Utah matchup
PICKLESS: Although we keep hearing about it, it really is just that incredible. Oregon’s Mariota has yet to throw an interception this season. Utah’s Travis Wilson has thrown 16.
PAC-12 PAIR: These two teams have not played each other since the 2009 season when Oregon beat Utah 31-24. Also, they have yet to play each other in a conference game since Utah joined the Pac-12 in 2011.
UPSET ALERT: Coming of their last weekend’s loss to Stanford, the Ducks need to thoroughly rebound. The Utes have given the Cardinal their only loss this season, which in theory, should inflate Utah’s chance to pull off the upset over the Ducks.
TOUCHDOWN: Oregon’s Marcus Mariota has passed for at least one touchdown in all 22 games of his college career. Utah’s Travis Wilson has not scored a touchdown in eight of his 21-game career.
COMMON CARDINAL: The Utes are 1-5 in conference play while the Ducks are 5-1. The Cardinal’s only loss came from Utah who gave the Ducks their only loss as well.
IN A RUSH: Oregon has rushed nearly double the yards of Utah during this 2013 season. The Ducks are 7th overall in the nation with 301.6 yards while the Utes fall 67th overall with 168.8.
MCL MAYHEM: While Mariota has been in the spotlight for his Heisman worthy performances this season, the tables might have turned as of last week. He played the entire Stanford game with his prior sprained MCL and re-injured it during that game. He has been sporting a brace in practice but reports say he is “fine” and expecting to play this weekend. The Utah game will prove to be the biggest test of his injury.
SCRAMBLE OR SCRAP: The Ducks have proven to give their all in the fourth quarter but the Utes are notorious for falling apart late in the game. Utah led Arizona State by 12 points heading into the fourth quarter, but the Sun Devils scored with 2:37 remaining to pull out a 20-19 victory and hand Utah a third straight loss. Utah, which had won 49 consecutive games when leading at halftime, was also tied with UCLA in the fourth quarter of a 34-27 loss on Oct. 3. On the other hand the Ducks made a late fourth quarter scramble against Stanford scoring 20 points in the second half of the fourth in their loss this past weekend.
ON THE LINE: A Ducks loss this weekend could put them on the edge and surely out of the races. If the Ducks are looking to push ahead in the Pac-12 standings they must hope for a Cardinal loss to USC this weekend and their own road victory to regain their winning ways. Utah has nothing to lose, no bid to the championship, no title at steak, nothing. This should be a good game.
1994: Kickoff is at 1:05 pm this Saturday, Nov. 16th at Autzen Stadium. The last time Utes beat the Ducks in Eugene was in 1994, nearly 20 years ago.
Written by Kristin MacDougald