Oregon routed by Utah in Pac-12 championship, but was it Mario Cristobal's last game as coach?

·2 min read

Another beatdown, and now Oregon will have to wait to see what its future will look like.

The Ducks got rolled 38-10 by Utah in the Pac-12 championship game Friday on a day when rumors swirled about head coach Mario Cristobal.

Hours before the game, the Miami Herald reported that Cristobal, a University of Miami alum, was close to a deal with the Hurricanes to become their head coach.

It’s tough to overlook that as a distraction, and even analyst Kirk Herbstreit talked about it during the telecast on ABC.

Oregon looked uninspired for four quarters, which was surprising considering the Ducks lost 38-7 at Utah just two weeks ago. The Ducks managed just 221 yards of total offense, including 74 on the ground.

Mario Cristobal is 35-13 as Oregon head coach.
Mario Cristobal is 35-13 as Oregon head coach.

Oregon quarterback Anthony Brown was 13-of-24 for 147 yards and two interceptions. It was a step back for Brown, who had been better in the second half of the season.

Running back Travis Dye was the best offensive player for the Ducks, rushing 15 times for 82 yards and the team's only touchdown.

The next few days could be a rough for the Oregon program, which will learn its bowl destination on Sunday, expected to be the Alamo Bowl.

The Miami Herald reported Friday that Miami could announce Cristobal as its new coach as early as Tuesday. Also, Ducks offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead has been linked to the Akron opening.

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The Oregonian reported Friday that the Ducks have presented Cristobal with a contract extension, and he very well could sign it.

If the Ducks have to begin a search for a new coach, that could jeopardize their 2022 recruiting class, which now is ranked No. 1 in the Pac-12. The early signing day is Dec. 15.

The Ducks had been on top of the conference since 2019, winning two straight titles, but suddenly the program seems shaky, not only because of the coaching situation, but also because they’ll have no real experience at quarterback coming back.

Next week is a pivotal week.

Follow Pete Martini on Twitter @PeteMartiniSJ.

This article originally appeared on Salem Statesman Journal: Mario Cristobal: Was Oregon's rout his final game as Ducks coach