Instant Reactions: Oregon’s hot start allows for a thrashing of Utah

Oregon coming out of Utah with a win would have been nice, but no one expected them to win quite like this.

The Ducks dominated the Utes for four quarters in Salt Lake City and Oregon goes back to Eugene with a 35-6 victory.

They’re now 7-1 overall, 4-1 in conference, and have the bragging rights, for now, as the best team in the Pac-12. The win also broke Utah’s 18-game home winning streak.

It was a given that Oregon would put points on the board, but the Duck defense completely stifled Utah’s offense and held them to single figures.

Safety Tysheem Johnson was the defensive star of the game with his two interceptions and Oregon held Utah to just 99 rushing yards and 241 total yards.

Final Score: Oregon 35, Utah 6

Christopher Creveling-USA TODAY Sports
Christopher Creveling-USA TODAY Sports

Keys to the Game

Christopher Creveling-USA TODAY Sports
Christopher Creveling-USA TODAY Sports
  • The Ducks set the tone early with a six-play, 75-yard drive that put Oregon up 7-0 and put Utah back on its heels immediately.

  • The Utes tried to answer back with a scoring drive of their own and reached the Duck 25-yard line, but instead of kicking a field goal, they went for it. Oregon’s defense was up to the occasion and stuffed the run.

  • Although Bucky Irving fumbled the ball away on the next play, the first for his career, the Oregon defense was able to hold Utah to a field goal. This game could have been vastly different if the Utes turned that into a touchdown.

  • Oregon dominated the third quarter, turning a 21-6 lead, which is still manageable for Utah, to a 35-6 lead.

  • Utah’s Defensive Player of the Year candidate, Jonah Elliss, was a complete no-show. He came in with 10 sacks and 35 tackles. He didn’t even appear on the stat sheet as the Ducks did a great job to account for him.

Players of the Game

Christopher Creveling-USA TODAY Sports
Christopher Creveling-USA TODAY Sports
  • Bo Nix: 24-of-31, 248 yards, 2 TD

  • Troy Franklin: 8 catches, 99 yards, 1 TD

  • Tysheem Johnson: 2 INT

  • Evan Williams: 7 tackles, 0.5 for loss, 1 pass breakup

  • Jahlil Florence: 9 tackles

  • Ross James: 5 punts, 50-yard average

Key Stats to Know

Chris Gardner/Getty Images
Chris Gardner/Getty Images
  • In the last two games, Utah averaged 282 yards on the ground. Against the Ducks? 99 yards

  • This is the first time since 2018 Utah was held out of the end zone.

  • Oregon averaged 6.7 yards per play, while the Utes gained just 3.7 yards per play.

  • For the first time this season, Franklin was held to under 100 yards receiving. He had 99.

  • Also a first, Bucky Irving lost a fumble for the first time in his career.

What's Next?

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon welcomes in former player and current Cal head coach Justin Wilcox as the Ducks host the Bears for a 2:30 pm PT kickoff on the Pac-12 Network.

Story originally appeared on Ducks Wire