EUGENE, Ore. -- The sixth-ranked Oregon Ducks bounced back from their first loss of the season.
Oregon, which fell from No. 3 in the BCS standings following a 26-20 loss at Stanford last week, returned home to defeat the Utah Utes 44-21 in a Pac-12 game Saturday afternoon at Autzen Stadium.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota re-charged his Heisman Trophy hopes by completing 19 of 26 passes for 288 yards and three touchdowns as the Ducks improved to 9-1 overall and 6-1 in the conference.
Utah gave the Ducks a scare as the Utes trailed 17-14 early in the third quarter before Oregon closed out the period with three touchdowns.
Utah put together a long scoring drive to start the second half as the Utes drove 75 yards in just under five minutes before quarterback Adam Schulz ran four yards for a touchdown to cut Oregon's lead to 17-14 with 10:09 left in the third quarter.
Oregon had a quick answer for the Utes when De'Anthony Thomas ran the kickoff back 86 yards for a touchdown to take a 23-14 lead.
The Ducks extended the lead to 30-14 on a 14-yard touchdown pass from Mariota to tight end John Mundt. Oregon drove 93 yards in less than two minutes for the score.
Oregon struggled to run the ball for most of the game, but Byron Marshall had a 21-yard run late in the third quarter and then scored on the next play with a 17-yard run to put the Ducks ahead 37-14 heading into the fourth quarter. Marshall added a 16-yard touchdown run in the final period to take a 44-14 lead.
Oregon scored first in the game after cornerback Terrance Mitchell intercepted Schulz to give the Ducks the ball at Utah's 38-yard line.
Mariota threw a 28-yard pass to tight end Pharaoh Brown and one play later, Mariota found Thomas for a touchdown. Mariota has thrown at least one touchdown pass in all 23 career starts.
The Ducks faced fourth-and-one from the Utah 13-yard line on their next drive and sent out Matt Wogan for a 31-yard field goal that put Oregon ahead 10-0 late in the first quarter. Wogan was named Oregon's starting kicker early in the week after splitting time with Alejandro Maldonado for the first nine games.
Utah took nearly five minutes off the clock with a touchdown drive late in the first half that culminated with a 34-yard touchdown pass from Schulz to tight end Jake Murphy with 2:52 left in the second quarter that got the Utes within 10-7.
Oregon needed just 45 seconds to answer as Mariota started the next drive with a 57-yard pass to Bralon Addison that moved the ball to Utah's 7-yard line. Two plays later, Mariota threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Josh Huff to give Oregon a 17-7 lead at halftime.
NOTES: Oregon and Utah have played 27 times, but Saturday was the first time since the Utes joined the Pac-12. Utah became the last Pac-12 team to play at Autzen Stadium. ... Oregon has not lost consecutive games in the same season since 2007. ... Utah QB Travis Wilson did not make the trip to Eugene due to a concussion.