Let’s face it, Oregon was hoping they would play well enough to get out of Salt Lake City with a win of any kind. No one had done that in three seasons and the Ducks needed a signature road win.
They got it and then some.
Oregon dominated the Utes in every facet of the game in the 35-6 beating of Utah in front of a national television audience on FOX. The Duck defense held the Utes out of the end zone, a feat that hadn’t been done since 2018 and the offense set the tone at the beginning of each half with touchdowns.
With the win, the Ducks moved up in both polls and Bo Nix is finally being considered as a top Heisman Trophy candidate. It was probably the best week for the program in the Dan Lanning Era and the report card is going to reflect it.
Bo Nix was consistent as always, going 24-of-31 for 248 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for a score. He’s finally receiving some much-deserved Heisman talk after this signature road win.
Bucky Irving and Jordan James kept the Utah defense guessing as they couldn’t focus solely on the passing game. Irving gained 83 yards and a touchdown and James gained 38 yards with a receiving touchdown.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Seven different Ducks caught at least one pass with Troy Franklin leading the way with eight catches for 99 yards and a touchdown. Tez Johnson added six receptions for 51 yards and Terrance Ferguson’s only reception was a circus good for 20 yards and a first down. They were all excellent in blocking downfield as well.
In what was billed as one of the more physical challenges Oregon would face this season, the Ducks were more than up for it. They dominated the Utes up front by opening up holes for the backs and protecting their quarterback. Nix wasn’t sacked once.
The defensive line also won their physical battles with Utah, holding the Utes to just 99 yards rushing. Utah quarterback was sacked twice and he was pressured several times. They also got a fourth down stop.
This might have been the linebackers’ best showing of the season. It was a team effort with Jestin Jacobs, Jeffrey Bassa and Jordan Burch leading the way. They were in every run gap and covered the middle of the field with perfection. In retrospect, Utah didn’t have a chance.
Even without Tysheem Johnson’s two interceptions, the secondary had a banner day. They held Barnes to 15-of-29 passing and just 136 yards through the air. Jahlil Florence led all Ducks with nine tackles and the defense as a whole held Utah out of the end zone for the first time since 2018.
We say “complete” because the special teams weren’t asked to do much. Camden Lewis was perfect on all five of his extra point attempts and punter Ross James averaged 50 yards on five punts. The only downside came when Utah had a 49-yard kickoff return on a trick play.