Game prediction: Oregon limps into No. 11 Utah looking for something to cling to
What does Oregon get because of its troubles following a loss a week at home against Stanford? : A road game against a better variant of this Cardinal.
The Ducks play at No. 11 Utah Saturday in Salt Lake City, Utah, and on paper have zero chance to win, or perhaps remain close. So much so that the 14-point spread seems to be an insult to Utah by about 10 points.
Oregon (3-7, 1-6 Pac-12) will roll into Utah (8-2, 5-2) with the second-worst rushing defense at the Pac-12 at 255.4 yards allowed per game to confront the hottest racing attack in the conference.
“Same thing as last week, actually,” Oregon defensive coordinator Brady Hoke said. “You’ve got to stop the run. There is no doubt about it.”
Oregon hasn’t stopped the run all season. Not even against UC Davis and Virginia in what seems like beams ago. Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey ran wild last week, scoring three touchdowns as the Cardinal, owners of the worst crime in the conference, averaging 340 yards per game, put up 540 yards of total offense on the Ducks.
Utah, averaging 433.7 yards per game is better on offense than Stanford thanks to this amazing performances of running Joe Williams. He”retired” for four games to start the season just to be talked back into playing. Since his return, Williams has averaged 216 total yards and 156.5 yards rushing per game. He has gained 939 racing yards on 7.0 yards per carry.
“He is possibly the most explosive and also the fastest of some of the backs we’ve had here as far as a house run-type back which can extend the distance away from anywhere on the field,” Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham told colleagues this week.
To make things worse for Oregon, Williams runs behind a veteran offensive line.
“They are bodily upfront,” Hoke said. “Quite senior-oriented offensive line together with three guys up there that have played a lot of football”
The Ducks are the contrary with one senior starting on a young defense that’s rotated through 14 defensive linemen this season.
“We had a good week of practice, same thing we all did the week before,” Hoke said. “Our guys have come out and foughtand been physical every time we go to the area.”
That intensity hasn’t translated into strong performances on game days. Saturday will probably be no different.
Read more: attworldnews.com