If you had told me, at any point, that the final score was going to be 35-6, I would have assumed that Bo Nix got hurt early in the game and the defense didn’t show up.
I would not have believed that it was because the Ducks were just demonstrably better than Utah in every phase of the game, at every position that mattered. I didn’t expect Oregon to be able to run the ball effectively, not because they’re not good but because I thought Utah was fantastic against the run. I didn’t expect Dan Lanning to be able to scheme against the run defensively to the point that the Utes just couldn’t do anything.
The Ducks were sharp, they easily scored on their opening drive of the game, and never really looked back. The closest the game ever got was 7-3 in the first quarter, but Oregon quickly scored again and the blowout was on.
Despite all of the complaints about play-calling from the fanbase this season (myself included) the coaching staff was locked in for this game. The offense was humming, able to throw the ball with ease and run well enough to compliment the passing game. The offensive line had one bad rep the entire game, and it wasn’t until very late in the contest.
This game was not one Cam Rising from being competitive. The Utah defense wasn’t anywhere near keeping it close, and the lack of a running game wouldn’t have disappeared had Rising played. The Ute offensive line wouldn’t have suddenly learned to block Brandon Dorlus just because there was a different QB. Evan Williams would have been a huge playmaker regardless of who was taking snaps.
Overall, there isn’t really much to say about the game. Oregon dominated a team perceived to be very talented, on the road, ending a substantial home winning streak. Nix was in complete control, the front seven was fantastic, the secondary made plays all over the field, Bucky Irving continued to prove he is the nations best running back.
This one wasn’t close, and it was kind of surprising how substantial the talent gap actually was.
Utah was physically dominant against USC, and the Ducks were significantly more physical than the Utes. Three weeks ago the back half of the schedule looked like a gauntlet, and maybe it still is. But after clearing the first hurdle of the last 5 games without even jumping, it certainly feels a lot more manageable.
Suddenly, the postseason is very close, and the Ducks are playing very good football…
Do you feel the magic yet?
Sierra Vista, Arizona
Top Photo By Kiffer Creveling
Ryan Robertson is a defense contractor for the United States Marine Corps. A lifelong Duck fan from Grants Pass, he joined the Army out of high school. After four years as an Intelligence Analyst he decided it was time to further his education and pay more attention to his Ducks. One of Ryan’s first memories is of watching the Ducks, led by Joey Harrington, beating up on the Utah Utes in 2001. His grandfather ran track at Oregon in the ‘50s. He loves the Ducks, and has a passionate interest in reading every scrap of analysis centered around the football team.
FishDuck Going to Articles on Monday and Tuesday Only…
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