Playoff hopes gone, No. 12 seed Oregon plays host to No. 10 seed Utah

Dan Lanning was feeling remorse. That must have been to be expected after the coach saw Oregon’s chances of slipping away from the college football game due to decisions he’d like to win back and mistakes made on the field a week earlier.

“I think we’ve all had a taste in our mouths that we’re ready to come out of our mouths,” said Lanning. “Ready to come back and attack things. This (last) weekend certainly didn’t turn out the way we expected it to. As I said after the game, that rests solely with me.”

But those regrets can’t last if the No. 12-ranked Ducks still want to make this season special, and not with a visit from No. 10 Utah coming Saturday night.

While the Ducks’ chances for the playoffs were dropped by Washington last week, they’re still in control of their path to the Pac-12 Championship game and a chance at the Rose Bowl in Lanning’s senior season.

Beat Utah, beat Oregon State next week, and the Ducks (8-2, 6-1 Pac-12, No. 12 CFP) will be headed to Las Vegas no matter what happens around the conference.

Oregon State fullback Casey Rogers said, “Good teams can find a way to recover from a loss. I think (coach) Lanning really emphasized not to let (Washington) beat us twice.”

The same scenario applies to the Utes and their hopes of returning to the conference title game. Thanks to a win over Southern California that kicked off a four-game winning streak, Utah (8-2, 6-1, No. 10 CFP) will find a spot in Las Vegas if they beat the Ducks and then Colorado next week.

In this sense, Saturday’s game can be seen as a de facto semi-final, although there is still a scenario in which five teams could all finish 7-2 in group play and create tiebreaker mayhem.

“Obviously this week’s game has implications, conference implications as does every game. You say this is a big game, it’s all big. If you lose one before that, that game doesn’t matter. So every game,” Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham said. important.” “It will be a difficult environment. … We have to deal with the crucible of Autzen’s stadium.”

injury hour

Oregon came away losing to Washington, with the biggest concerns surrounding quarterback Bo Nix, who appeared to be suffering from a lower leg injury in the fourth quarter. The Knicks returned for Oregon’s final drive but were on the sidelines when Lanning elected to go for him on fourth and one on 34 ducks with less than two minutes remaining. The Ducks were stopped when Noah Whittington slipped into the background.

“In retrospect, I wish I’d asked for a timeout based on the looks we got to not just get Bo,” Lanning said. “But it’s really easy to go back and replay the game in your head. There are probably 10 plays I would have played a lot differently.”

Oregon also has concerns about its offensive line after Ryan Walk and Alex Forsyth were injured against Washington. Lanning declined to give updates on either’s condition earlier this week.


Utah beat the Ducks twice last year, 76-17, including a 38-10 run in the conference championship game. A decisive factor in the two victories was Utah running back Taveon Thomas. He rushed for 94 yards and three touchdowns in the 38-7 regular season victory, and followed that up with two more kicks in the championship game.

Thomas has been quiet most of this season while dealing with personal issues, but he finally had his break last week in a win over Stanford, rushing for 180 yards and two touchdowns.


Utah seized an opportunity nearly a month ago when they quietly held quarterback Cameron Rising in their game at Washington State and managed to escape with a 21-17 win. Since getting that extra bit of rest, Rising hasn’t been asked to do much in easy wins over Arizona and Stanford.

The Height didn’t need big numbers in wins over the Ducks last season. But this could be his chance against an Oregon defense that ranks 127th in the country in yards allowing a 408-yard pass to Washington QB Michael Bennix Jr.

“You can tell by the way that (Rising) has this attitude about him that he’s not afraid to do things on his own,” Rogers said.


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