What does Oregon get because of its troubles following a reduction last week at home against Stanford? : A road game against a much better version of this Cardinal.
The Ducks play at No. 11 Utah Saturday at Salt Lake City, Utah, and on newspaper have no chance to win, or perhaps stay close. So much so the 14-point spread seems to be an insult to Utah by about ten points.
Oregon (3-7, 1-6 Pac-12) will roll into Utah (8-2, 5-2) using 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 have got to stop the run. There’s little doubt about it”
Oregon hasn’t stopped the run . Not even against UC Davis and Virginia in what seems like beams ago. Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey ran rampant last week, scoring three touchdowns as the Cardinal, owners of the worst offense in the conference, averaging 340 yards per game, place up 540 yards of total offense on the Ducks.
Utah, averaging 433.7 yards per game is much better on offense than Stanford thanks to this wonderful performances of running Joe Williams. He”retired” for four games to start the season only to be spoken back into enjoying. Since his return, Williams has averaged 216 total yards and 156.5 yards rushing per game. He’s gained 939 rushing yards on 7.0 yards per carry.
“He is possibly the most explosive and the quickest of some of the backs we have had here as far as a house run-type back which could go the distance from anywhere on the field,” Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham told colleagues this week.
To make matters worse for Oregon, Williams runs behind a veteran offensive line.
“They are physical upfront,” Hoke said. “Very senior-oriented offensive line together with three guys up there which have played a great deal of football”
The Ducks would be the opposite with one senior starting on a young defense that’s rotated through 14 defensive linemen this year.
“We had a fantastic week of practice, same thing we all did the week before,” Hoke said. “Our men have come out and struggled and been physical every time we go on the field.”
That intensity hasn’t translated into strong performances on game titles. Saturday will probably be no different.
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