What does Oregon get for its troubles following a 52-27 reduction last week at home against Stanford? : A road game against a much better version of the Cardinal.
The Ducks play in No. 11 Utah Saturday in Salt Lake City, Utah, and on paper have zero chance to win, or even 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) with the second-worst rushing defense at the Pac-12 in 255.4 yards allowed per game to face the hottest rushing attack in the seminar.
“Same thing as last week, actually,” Oregon defensive coordinator Brady Hoke said. “You’ve got to stop the run. There’s little doubt about it”
Oregon hasn’t stopped the run . Not against UC Davis and Virginia in what seems like ions ago. Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey ran rampant a week, scoring three touchdowns as the Cardinal, owners of the worst offense in the conference, averaging 340 yards per game, put up 540 yards of total offense on the Ducks.
Utah, averaging 433.7 metres per game is better on offense than Stanford thanks to this amazing performances of running Joe Williams. He”retired” for four games to begin the season only to be talked back into playing. Since his return, Williams has averaged 216 total yards and 156.5 yards rushing per game. He has gained 939 rushing yards on 7.0 yards per carry.
“He’s possibly the most explosive and also the quickest of any of the backs we’ve had here as far as a home run-type back that can go the distance from anywhere on the field,” Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham told reporters this week.
To make things worse for Oregon, Williams runs behind a veteran offensive line.
“They are physical upfront,” Hoke said. “Very senior-oriented offensive line together with three men up there that have played a great deal of football.”
The Ducks would be the opposite with one senior beginning on a young defense that has rotated through 14 defensive linemen this season.
“We had a good week of training , 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.